Quick-fix to problems of life

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My mother always said that if you didn’t have enough problems in your life, you would not value hard work and one would lose faith in God. Point Noted.

As you grow up you realise one problem is just around the corner as you are about to get over the current issue. After experience you find methods to resolve them smartly, swiftly and sometimes effortlessly.

Here is my quick-fix:

  1. Break your problem into two parts. Set 1 is priority – Life can’t move on unless resolved. Make every effort and have this resolved.
  2. Set 2. By the time you finish resolving issues in Set 1, you will realise that problems in Set 2 have either disappeared or were not worth stressing about. 

There – Problem Resolved. Happy Weekend to you all.

Make this a Happy Diwali for everyone

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The last few weeks have been such a delight to see the bunch of Diwali Ads of TV. No, I am not talking about the happy families sharing gifts, the oh-so-good husband giving jewellery to his wife or the kids getting a larger TV for their room.

This Diwali there seems to be a consensus, at least in the minds of the planners, creative teams and the brand managers. Let’s make this Diwali not about consumption but about sharing.

The true joy of Diwali is probably not just about gifting yourself the new iPhone 7, its about getting a new set of clothes for your house help’s kids.

If God has given you the opportunity and ability to share some joy, do your bit. Trust me its a blissful experience and you shall have a HAPPIER DIWALI.

Some of the ads are wonderful messages. They are heart touching and I am glad to have received the opportunity to do my bit for those around me.

I do hope you all too will make this a HAPPY DIWALI not just for yourself but for someone else too.

My Kid Is Teaching Me and I am happy to learn

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Spending time with the little one is therapeutic, gives me the opportunity to be me. We talk, laugh, scream, we share and we both learn. Did you know that rain rubber shoes (gumboots) are called “galoshes”? No, even I didn’t. My kid is teaching me and I am happy to learn.

Learning from kids

Ask Questions
“Why is the pig pink?”
“Why are babies only in the mommy’s tummy?”
One of the most awkward aspects of growing up is that we stop questioning. We either accept what’s there or believe it would be silly to ask a question and hence limit our learning. So let’s drop the hesitation and the smart-ass “I know it all attitude, let’s ask, let’s learn”

Think out of the box
“No I don’t want to colour the tree green”
“I want to colour the dog blue”
Why not? Let their imagination run wild. If i keep telling her the rules of life so early, it may limit her thinking and become boring. So let’s set the thinking free. Imagine the crazy – remember if it isn’t crazy every one would be doing it.

Be Happy
“It’s ok papa, we can read this book tonight”
If I can’t find her favourite book, she sometimes is happy with the one available on hand. As we grow up & life becomes complicated, we forget the simple joys of life. Let’s try and cherish those.

Give up. Move on.
Can I please watch TV? No.
Can I watch TV? NO
Switch on the TV. NO!!!
Fine, move on, pick up some toys and get busy. As much as we all need to be determined, there should be point when we realise this is the WALL. So stop and get going in some other direction.

Explore
“I think I should try using this (chopsticks)”
Routine is boring. We settle in and love the smooth going. One stops growing if we stop looking or doing beyond the obvious. So, go try something new today.

Are you learning something from your kid? Add to this list, please do share your thoughts in the comments.

Answering the “What do you want in life?” question

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The answer to “What do you want in life” would be most often answered in objectives – A good house, fancy car, lovely long holidays and more. Very few of us can define our life needs, the way this person has done it:

Rather than argue over numbers in a spreadsheet, we instead each listed the lifestyle we wanted. My list was simple: Eat dinner with my family every night, send my kids to good schools, work out three times a week, and if everything fell just right, fly business class. Clarifying success in terms of daily life vs. dollars made it easy to agree on how much was “enough.”

Extracted from: Never quit a job you hate without first doing this

What a wonderful way to look at life.

RIP Dr.Kalam

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As the country mourns the loss of a great visionary and one of India’s finest President – Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, I would like to take just a moment and share one of his quotes which had the strongest impact in my life and has kept me going.

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam

11 Lessons from being a business owner

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Last month I completed 1 year since I quit advertising, quit a job and started managing a small business along with my wife. What I do now is different from what I did in the past 14 years of my working life. Different but at the core very same.

However running your own business has some challenges and some lessons you need to learn fast if you want to survive, grow and make your efforts count.

1.Self-starter Wanted
There is No Boss for a pep talk, no colleague to drink with and no HR for your Annual Review. If you can’t be a self-starter then things are going to be a drag. You need to wake up every morning & get to office NOT because your boss needs you or the client is firing. But because you have clients to face and salaries to pay at the end of the month.

2.No role only responsibility
As a business owner you have no defined role you only have responsibilities. If transport fails, you need to load the taxi and have the good delivered to the client. If your accountant is missing, you need to issue bills and follow-up on the money.

3.Respect your time
If your business is a small setup, chances are you are working by yourself most of the time. Which means you need to fix deadlines for yourself and ensure you don’t get lost trying to check Facebook & Twitter because there is nobody expecting a report at the end of the evening.

4.Penny Pinching
Every penny counts. Cost of courier, travel & telephone expense, staff entertainment – all these indirect expenses matter if not controlled. So be wise, search for cheaper options, look for ways to ensure your expense is controlled from day one.

5.Build relationships
I think this one applies for any scenario – Job or Business. Don’t work with people because you think they are being paid and hence obliged to deliver. Work with the attitude that together you are fulfilling a requirement and helping everyone in the deal move forward. Respect them all.

6.Hire attitude then talent
As a small business owner budgets can be small when it comes to hiring help / talent. My experience – Hire people with the right attitude. A 6/10 on talent can be made into a 8/10 over a period of time. Hand holding, guidance and training should get them there.

7.Develop a problem solving attitude
Shit will happen. Things will not go as planned. You will be challenged almost all the time. As a small business owner if you don’t develop a problem solver attitude there is very little you will be able to achieve. Leave the comfort, roll up your sleeves and be prepared to get your hands dirty.

8.Spread your hope & risks
No single client should be responsible for all your expenses. Spread your business so that you don’t have to close shop if that client goes out of business or just happens to not pay for the services/goods. Keep the faith but spread it.

9.Keep innovating. Keep experimenting.
In the last 1 year we have experimented and introduced our clients to a varied product range. Some were hits, some failures. We have worked & then re-worked our price points, re-seller commission models and everything that goes with it. We have banked on the success but haven’t stopped the innovation because we for sure know that our best designs will be outdated very soon.

10.Build your image
As a small business owner, I strongly recommend spending good time & some money building the right imagery for your business brand. Do you have a well designed logo? A sales pitch for new clients? You don’t need to spend mega bucks on marketing but do focus on the smaller elements to build the right image for your business.

11.Money is a bitch
Buyers will come in with very big smiles. They will agree to prices with maybe a small smile but they will smile the least when you talk about payments. If you happen to be unlucky, at some point chasing your OWN HARD EARNED money will become a TASK. Calls, follow-ups and what not. So play safe. Keep your risks minimised.

Want to share something with me & my readers? Do leave a comment below.

And yes I said yes I will Yes

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Last week I had an interesting experience with one of the local auto rickshaw drivers. Now, let me give you some background first. When I get off the train station most rickshaw drivers will refuse the journey to my office [For reasons unknown]. And then last week one of the rickshaw drivers said: YES. I jumped in.

As we got on the road this is what he said:

Sahab, aaj subah mein ghar se nikla toh apne aap ko bola ki kisi bhi passenger ko mana nahin karoonga. Mein dekhta hoon aaj kya hota hai agar sab passenger ko kisi bhi jagah le jaata hoon.

English translation: This morning I decided I wont’ refuse any passenger. Let’s see what happens if I agree on every journey the customer requests.

And yes I said yes I will yes

On a typical day when most of these drivers have disappointed you, this suddenly brings in such a confident mood into you. Lifehacker techniques usually teach you “Learn to say no”. Be picky of things you do. Allocate your time wisely. Do a background check, is it good / bad?

However, it would be rather interesting to get up one morning and tell yourself – “Let’s say YES today.” Your wife wants to go to a new restaurant, don’t check the review – Say YES. Friends call for a movie, don’t ask “Is it good?” say YES.

I am trying to adopt this for 2014. Not a resolution, but a change of attitude. Let’s see where it takes me. What do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comments area.