Last Tuesday I was attending SME meet at Grosvenor Hotel – Dubai. Moments before the next speaker EMCEE asked everyone to rise and said “in next 7 minutes move around the room introduce yourself and collect as many business cards. And the person who collects maximum business Cards will win a Dell Tablet.” Over 100 in the hall stood up whereas I quietly moved out of the hall for a hot cup of coffee. And returned sooner everyone settled down for the next session.
Fast forward the event came to an end and it was time to acknowledge participants and announce the winners. The first winner was for the raffle drawn out of the feedback form submitted by the attendees. And the second draw was for the person who collected maximum number of business cards.
Emcee came to the lectern and asked who has collected 5 or more business cards. Many in the audience stood up. And then he further announced 10 cards or more, many more in the attendees sat down. 15 and more, four remained standing. 20 and more, 2 remained and the Dell Tablet was won by the lady who collected 23 business cards. She was called on the stage to collect the prize and introduce herself.
Immediately few thoughts surfaced in my conscious.
- 23 cards (from an audience of over 100+ people) in 7 minutes for a Notebook seemed very easy task.
- I could have done it easy.
- Oh no I did not carry enough business cards so it was not possible to collect cards. I was still bent on rationalizing why I could not have done it.
- When the announcement for card collection exercise was made; I felt pretty awkward and exercise seemed daunting. Hence I dropped out of the race to get a cup of coffee – an easy way out.
MESSAGE : We are so ensconced in our comfort zone that every change seems difficult but easy when we see someone else accomplishing it. Secondly change brings opportunities. The lady received an opportunity to introduce herself and everyone in the audience was awed by her and congratulated her later.
I am certain that if similar opportunity knocks next time I would still run out of the room to grab my cup of coffee and come back during awards ceremony and envy the winner. Because Change seems Tough.
This morning I had four telephonic conversations before 10:00 am in the morning. All four had different subject, different people and all ended in a BITTER note. I sat down to analyze what happened? Was that a freak coincidence or it’s a pattern – i.e. if you begin well you end well or when you begin badly you end bad. Or I carried feelings and emotions of my first bitter engagement into my subsequent engagements. Well one thing was certain I was dragging my first experience into subsequent experiences.
So what is the solution? Take the cue from KITKAT advertisement – “TAKE A BREAK,” yes I took a break – had a cup of tea, okra stuffed sandwich and smiled back. Many a time in our life we believe …….
- I AM NOT PROGRESSING: Simple Solution: Consciously take a step forward. Enroll for an online course (courseera.org), join a professional forum (meetup), learn a new skill, Get a mentor or a Coach, Talk to someone who you look up to in your profession.
- I AM BORED: Simple Solution: Break the monotony and do something different during the day or at that particular time. May be take a walk, call up your loved one, take up dance class, go for a haircut or body massage, practice Pranayama for the next 20 minutes and clear up clutter in your mind.
- I AM UNHAPPY: Simple Solution: Make others happy, complement someone, wish someone happy birthday, congratulate someone on promotion or job well done. Or better still volunteer for helping others.
Try these simple solutions and you will realize that life is not so complicated but solution lies in simple things in your life.
Couple of weeks earlier a LinkedIn friend asked me to edit his post. Subsequently he published it as LinkedIn “POST” (New Feature). After reading his post on LinkedIn I frantically began searching for the feature and an hour or so later realized that the feature has been selectively released and I was not the lucky one. April 7, 2014 I got lucky because this day LinkedIn released “POST” feature on my profile too.
This is my first post for LinkedIn platform wherein I will share my this week learning. ……… Life is made up of little learnings that can have profound impact; the question is where it is applied. Addition and Subtraction can change your life a little whereas Multiplication or Division can change your life big time. This morning I wrote on my Facebook timeline and it began with the first word “NEW” – and while observing the post a little later; I realized life is like the words. A letter here and there can change the meaning.
- When you add letter “S” to NEW it becomes NEWS. But S at the wrong place has no meaning “SNEW”
- But if you jumble up SNEW it can become “SEWN”
My message is life does not change unless you bring change in your life. The question is where do you bring that change – and second question is how do you bring in change do you ADD, SUBTRACT, MULTIPLY or DIVIDE.
Simple lessons are masked in simple experiences. On the flip side simple lessons are the strongest foundation of our success that is taught in no schools. Let me share seven simple lessons that changed my life.
- ASK for what you want….. Effectively: I joined sales and failed miserably because I did not ask for orders. I suffered more because I did not ask for help either. How I wish I had a mentor who could have taught me the importance of asking and asking effectively. Because when I realized the importance of asking I faltered on asking effectively.
- You improve when you step out of your COMFORT zone: This lesson can change your life and changed mine too. I would make few unplanned calls a day. Some time I would not make any calls and compensate the time with mundane activities i.e. Making proposal or hand delivering proposal copy. I was not progressing. Sooner I stepped out of my comfort zone and began making 4 planned visits a day for the week ahead. Results improved and my learning increased.
- Your personality blossoms when you attempt NEW TASK for the first time: Winston Churchill once said “Change is improvement and perfection is change often.” I had covered most of my life years walking a straight line. And one fine day after a profound discussion with friends I decided to learn one new task every six months. Result I made new friends acquired new skills and discovered new revenue streams. Read the rest of this entry »
- You build strong teams, when you begin looking for GOOD in others: In a corporate world no sooner you walk into the office you are being judged and judgment is about finding faults. What if you endeavor to find good in others; what is their strength where they will be the best fit. Good Manager becomes better Manager when he looks for good in others. Successful leaders find good in other which other may not see or the person himself is not aware of. Many years ago one of my employers picked up a supermarket floor salesman to sell technology and he went on to ace the sales achievement numbers year on year. Employer would successfully repeat this exercise by hiring people from different domain and positioning them in another.
- Be your CHEER leader: Everyone needs encouragement and there are two options to achieving so – either wait for the third party to cheer you up or begin cheering yourself up. Either of them works because our brain does not distinguish between the two commands. So be your cheer leader.
- LOVE yourself: This is extremely important to develop and it is internal as well as external. Internal refers to healthy living – exercise and positive thinking and external refers to continuous learning to sparkle your knowledge. When you practice this principle you will begin to love yourself and others too.
- Get comfortable with setbacks and faster you will succeed: I realized whenever I had a challenge my performance dropped because I was consumed by worries what would happen now? Later I realized that more setbacks I experienced more confident I grew – no more cloud of worries. Hence I decided to take bigger risk to get early lessons and succeed faster.
Simple lessons are masked in simple life experiences; what is yours. If you like it ——- share
Imagine you call up your customer for the outstanding payment and the response is “We cannot make the payment please take back the equipment.” Later in the evening you receive a call that your best friend has been admitted to the hospital.
Next morning you go for a health checkup and the Doctor says that you have a high cholesterol. Later in the day your appraisal has been completed and your senior neither recommends a raise nor a promotion. Aah!
How do you react? Most of the people in your situation will fold up and withdraw in self-pity and cursing. On the flip side there are a handful few who bounce back with vigour and high octane fuel. Where do they get the inspiration to bounce back?
Well I have a close friend who always bounces back irrespective how hard he hits the ground. I am amazed by his capacity to let go of the past and move forward hence I called on him to request recipe for his secret sauce. He kept quiet for sometime and said Vinod lets go watch Cricket live telecast.
My next question to you is “what do you enjoy doing?” I will share my list of few that I have compiled and enjoy doing.
- READING NON-FICTION BEST SELLERS:- My favourite “The Magic of Thinking big,” “Who moved my cheese;” “Think and Grow Rich;” “The Monk who sold his Ferrari;” “Yes the 50 secrets of Persuasion;” “Outliers;” “Tipping point” “The Brain Advantage” and so on.
- LISTENING TO AUDIO :- Listening in the car or on my MP3, Inspirational speeches by Jim Rohn, Sandeep Maheshwari, Brian Tracy and TED.
- NATURE IS A SUPERB CURE :– Going for an early morning walk. There is power in the early hour’s cool wind and the silence in the air.
- TALKING TO POSITIVE PEOPLE WHO UPLIFT AND INSPIRE YOU :– A friend, colleague or a family member. Or attend a seminar or an event with an uplifting theme.
- ATTEND TOASTMASTERS MEETING or visit a museum or an art exhibition.
- Reading my GRATITUDE book.
- And finally SKIPPING, STAIR CLIMBING or a short jog.
What is your Secret Sauce?
You can ask me the same question. Well 2011; 2012; 2013 I miserably failed on my New Year resolutions and I realized that my failure was due to four factors. And they are:
- Fuzzy ideas regarding my resolutions
- No plan of action.
- Out of sight, out of mind and finally
- I did not have a mentor or partner to keep me on track.
This year I changed my strategy which is bearing fruits. Hence, I will share it in this post. December 2013 I decided to shortlist “4” best seller books (non-fiction) that were in line with my goals. And then on December 20, 2013 onwards I chose my first book wherein my theme was “Master Science of Persuasion.” Since I come from a sales background, it’s important to study selling but it’s more important to masters how customer buy? So I chose my first book to be “Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion” written by Steve J. Martin and Robert B. Cialdini. The objective was to: Read the rest of this entry »
- Focus on the “SCIENCE OF PERSUASION” for the next 3 months.
- Study the book and practice the passage and tips.
- Carry the book along with the objective to keep the resolution in my vision.
- Read and re-read and practice the principles.
- Time permitting to read other online content published by the author and comments/reviews written by the readers.
Subsequent to these three months, that is, the beginning April 2014 my theme is “Thinking big” and the book will be “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz. Similarly, there are themes for the months subsequent to those, that is, from July – September and October – December. By the end of the year I should have mastered 4 principles and made them second nature to me.
This book methodology is working with me because it has addressed the four reasons of failures. You can further reinforce your learning by writing book reviews and blogging your experiences. Or better still, contact a meet-up group and deliver your learnings in the forum.
Your business has been bought over or your profile has been purged and you have been made redundant, how do you respond? Most of the people in your situation will hide in a cave and spend time playing the blame game. When they do get out of the cave they are unprepared to approach the job market.
They are entangled in two complex webs i.e. A web of unplanned activities and a lack of confidence. The result is that you will waste time in trial and tribulations. Remember, you cannot win the battle unless you have a plan and work on your plan. There are three stages you must plan for i.e 1) YOURSELF 2) Get to know the EMPLOYER PERSPECTIVE 3) RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. Let’s touch on the three stages of market approach….
1. Decide what do you do well?
2. Identify what you ENJOY doing?
3. And finally gather evidence to support # 1 and # 2
What is your USP; what makes you stand out and shine; what is your area of superiority? If you need to get additional certification go for it.
Segmentation: What is the target Industry that will need your services? What are the targets Companies and Who will you target within those companies? Define the demographics of your target industry, company and psychographics of your target people. Tip: you can use LinkedIn company page to “DEFINE YOUR IDEAL EMPLOYER”
Focus: Where will you focus your Time? Best possible Industry, Company or People? And how will you contact them?
EMPLOYER PERSPECTIVE: Employer would like to know …
- How can you save him time?
- How can you save or make money?
- How can you improve or increase business efficiency?
Do your homework and craft your answers. If you are in your late 40s or 50s don’t let your age discourage you. Maintain a positive attitude because you are too young to retire whereas your interviewer might feel that you are too old to employ. Believe in your experience as your strength and not your weakness. Ronald Regan to Walter Mondale at a debate once said “I want you to know also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT:
- Network. Connect Online and Offline. Ask your network for advice.
- Customize your CVs for the job. Check the key words in the job specification and include them as action words.
- Be honest in your disclosure.
- Don’t look older than you are. Get in shape and get rid of your belly or excess fat.
- Be friendly with current technological trends. Get on Social Media and create an engagement on LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Prepare for the likely questions from your interviewer such as, tell me about yourself? Why you want to join our company? What is your strength? What is your weakness? What do you know about our company? Where do you see yourself in the next five years? Don’t you believe you are over qualified?
- Prepare two questions for the interviewer.
- Finally if you are past 40/50; inform your interviewer that you are a team player and you are happy to work/report to younger team members. And share that in a story format.
Give yourself 2 days’ for the 3 step exercise and nothing more. And remember, redundancy is not the end of your world because there is a world beyond the corporate world, that is, Entrepreneurship. In the Corporate world you need a MBA whereas an Entrepreneur employs a MBA. Good luck for your next job hunt.
You are being watched by Hackers, Stalkers, Employers, Federal agents (PRISM in US) and Insurance companies. Hence be careful and in this post I am sharing tips on Digital Etiquette and how to protect from Digital Enemies.
- Create and keep strong password
- Protect your computer install good SECURITY SOFTWARE to protect against MALWARE, IDENTITY THEFT and DATA THEFT.
- Don’t give up information that identifies you and could be the cause for IDENTITY THEFT INCLUDING
- Your Home Address
- Phone number
- Your long trips Away from Home
- Short trips away from home
- House layout
- Your risky behavior
- Third Party applications such as ONLINE GAMES can access profile information through malicious links and files. The information gathered through this can be used for various reasons such as spam e-mails and criminal activity. Ensure to always click on links from trusted sources.
- Use the ‘DO NOT TRACK’ feature on your browser while visiting websites
- Clear COOKIES from your system regularly
- Use A SECONDARY E-MAIL ID (not used for personal mailing) for sign-ups
- Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) – a VPN allows you to encrypt your signal, making your IP address completely illegible to hackers.
- Know your PRIVACY SETTING, who can see your posts and who doesn’t.
- Don’t upload INAPPROPRIATE PICTURES that you would be ashamed 2 years later.
- Don’t PROMOTE YOURSELF TOO MUCH and like share other important relevant content.
- EXPLOITATION: In cyber world People usually tend to update status such as ‘going out with family for dinner at 9’, ‘visiting Dubai on the 25th with family’ and other such messages. These are bits of information that can be exploited by cyber attackers. They can plan to rob the house on the day the family is out or stalk the family at the location mentioned in the status update.
- Avoid topics on Sex, Religion and Politics
- Know who to add and who not to add
- Stop and think before your click to purchase
- Put up a professional profile picture on Social Media sites.
Trust the above helps you towards a safer journey in your digital world
2013 has come to an end and new year 2014 is on the horizon. 2012 I failed in my resolutions whereas in 2013 I failed miserably in my resolutions. This time I have decided to try a different process and am sharing my thoughts in the post. I will agree on resolution provided I can answer the following 6 questions.
- Write my new year’s resolutions.
- Write down why I want to achieve them?
- Do I have the right tools to achieve them?
- Do I believe in them?
- Do I have a plan?
- Finally are they aligned with my goals in life?
If I have a compelling answer to the above Six QUESTIONS then go ahead and incorporate them as part of my 2014 resolution. And in the event I don’t; either I drop them or find compelling reason and then make that part of 2014 resolution.
Good luck for your 2014 resolution and success.
I was surfing the net when I got a Skype call from a friend in India. He said “Hi – I am driving and thought of connecting with you through Skype.” Last Thursday while driving on Emirates road I noticed a long line of vehicles ahead hence I decided to turn towards the city to avoid the traffic. Alas the situation was worse; the traffic had come to stand still. That’s when I realized the traffic in Dubai will continue to grow grim over the next few years. And there are numerous reasons contributing to Traffic jams and am sharing few of them:
Why Traffic jams:
- Population increase.
- Increase in number of vehicles on the road.
- Limitation of infrastructure to handle increase in traffic.
- Global events such as Expo 2020 and other regional events taking place in UAE are contributing towards increased movement of vehicle on DUBAI roads.
- More and more people using cars and not carpooling.
- People from other Emirates not encouraged using Metro services.
- Car owners not using Metro unless it connects direct office to residence.
What can Dubai government do to minimize traffic jams?
- Expand and build road infrastructure to support future growth.
- Develop a feeder Metro; bus and taxi services to connect main metro stations
- Restrict traffic on certain commercials zones.
- Restrict type of traffic or vehicles during certain time periods or days
- Support car pool services and make it simpler.
- Build multi-storied parking zones next to metro stations.
- Work with other Emirates to ease entry and exit choke points.
The traffic jam cost sweat equity in terms of man-hours lost. So what is the solution ? Well I am sharing my thoughts to minimize and add value to your time on the road and or tips to utilize your time when stuck in traffic jam.
- Identify a suitable less traffic time to travel such as leaving early from home to office and office to home.
- Use metro to reach faster and Fresh in Dubai
- Buy your groceries and essential items online to be delivered to your home. And save general purchase commute time.
- Cut down on Commute Time:
- Find residence next to your office.
- Use digital tools such as video conference for meetings.
- Replace onsite with online seminars and web events
- Identify convenient meeting places for business meetings in the city such as coffee shop or restaurants equipped with WIFI
- Things to do when in the car:
- Listen to audio program – Create your University in car
- Listen to your favorite music.
- Touch base with business and friends
- Utilize time to fix up meetings.
- Call on Radio Stations and participate in contests
- Practice breathing exercises – my favourite
- Practice Memory exercises
- Use time to plan your next day
- Set aside travel time for brainstorming new ideas – my favourite
Good luck on your road journey in Dubai