Lets have a great start for this week. #MondayMotivation. Grow More this week!
Get out of your #Comfortzone
Lets have a great start for this week. #MondayMotivation. Grow More this week!
Get out of your #Comfortzone
Somebody recently asked me how can I start a business in less than Rs. 50,000/- or less than USD 900/- (approx.). To the uninitiated, this is no startup capital given that we are flooded with information about Billions being paid to companies for fending off competition. It is hard earned money that somebody wants to properly utilize and become a successful businessperson.
This got me thinking of a quick framework that could help in decision making:
Additionally, one should reflect and assess whether they are a ‘product person’ or a ‘services person’. Here is a good guide for the same. The Happy Startup School gives some good and easy classification of all pros and cons of both the business.
Needless to say. Any genuine product development is not possible without reasonable capital – whether it is technology or any kind of manufacturing. So, I am not pursuing the product options. I believe a good product requires a minimum capital of Rs. 5,00,000/- (approx $10,000).
With this context, below are few ideas and tips for a company in less than Rs. 50,000 –
You can further lap up these services with going across the value chain i.e. blue collar supply like technicians, security guards and general labor. The key challenge though is going to be building a supply chain for manpower.
The obvious question is where can you spend this Rs. 50,000/- judiciously. Here is a simple split of the Rs. 50,000/- you have in hand to start. Its only a reference and not a recommendation. This may vary as per the business you chose.
Would put in another post on how to do marketing in a thread-bare budget for your services business.
All the best with your plunge!
I was recently asked by someone to suggest a name for their startup. This is not the first time that someone has approached me for this. I also often (not so often these days) see posts on social media from friends, families and acquaintances seeking name suggestions for their businesses.
Names are an important anatomical entity for anything. A name is an identity. It is the first conversational point – between people irrespective of whether they are customers, or employees or friends or anyone else.
Household names like Google, Uber, Starbucks, Facebook, Rin, Coke, TATA etc that have become part of everyday language and are an essential part of our lives. Of course, they have been pushed hard by some smart marketing but having a marketable name is the first step in the right direction.
On the other hand, there are business names that are regrettable to say the least as they shift focus from purpose to the quirky nature of these names. A simple Google search will give you some very interesting results:
Shakespeare may disagree and roses may smell the same with another name but in business, telling name of the business is a defining moment for anybody. With the growing startup culture in countries like India, name could be a make or break for any further discussion with customers, investors, employees and vendors.
So what goes in a name? Below are some of the tips to consider while naming your business.
Names for business just as children last a lifetime. These names are registered and marketed entities and have lot of bearing in the marketplace. When you name your business, make sure that it is not something that you regret sooner or later. All the best with your journey to pursue your next big dream.
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Image Courtesy: https://creativemarket.com
Ideas flow like water. The more you think, the more they come. The more they come, the more they flow.
Some unconfirmed estimates show that human brain generates 60,000-80,000 ideas or thoughts per day.
As per a study, 70% – 80% of these thoughts are negative.
So in a year a normal human brain produces more than 15.5 Million negative thoughts.
If we consider the entire human population of 7,496,146,095, the number of negative thoughts produced per year is:
Imagine the mental filth that we are generating each day every year in the world.
The high generation of negative thoughts are getting compounded by the negative data feed in terms of news and technology enabled stimuli that is being fed to us. Given this, there is a long list of mental disorders that are emerging:
The problem of these mental disorders is so common that we may not even know whether we are suffering or someone in our close circle is suffering from it. Especially in countries like India where mental disorders are often linked to societal taboo.
One of the most common disorder discussed and often ignore is ‘Depression’.
In October 2016, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru released a mental health survey that said one in every 20 Indians suffered from some form of depression. – Source Times of India
So what is Depression?
Depression is the mental state of feeling “down”. It is a state of feeling severely despondent, and feel dejected.
Given the high growth rate of depression worldwide, WHO has set the theme for World’s Health Day today i.e. April 7, 2017 as Depression : let’s talk.
What are some of the symptoms of Depression? (source: WebMD)
If someone around you shows these symptoms, then it may be a case of clinical depression. It is important to refer to a psychiatrist.
So the big question that arises is how technology (and in particular Artificial Intelligence) help in countering Depression?
Here are a few strides that have been made in the field of AI to counter or treat depression:
As more and more technology evolution happens, it is imperative that technology continues serve to make world a better place to live. The investments and solutions of AI in mental illness field are surely the step in right direction.
In addition, as an individual, on this World Health Day, we should pledge to counter Depression: Lets Talk.
Modern tech has changed the way the world operates. No boundaries, no walls, no cubicles, no time zones, no barriers. Information has easy flow. Consequently there is a change in expectation in the working style as well for people around the world.
The connected world has connected beyond boundaries. These are fantastic times to live in. These are fantastic times to work in. Concepts like BYOD are adding seamless mobility to the workplace. Here are some facts about the changing workplace:
Obviously, Artificial Intelligence has its own way in the workplace with the evolving change.
While more and more such use cases are emerging in the distributed work place and so the implementation of AI, modern managers need to swiftly embark the journey to this change to stay relevant.
There is always something to worry about. As a child, you are worried about winning the flash card game, getting your homework done, your school marks. Most importantly, getting up everyday and reaching school on time to avoid any punishment.
For an Indian teenage, these worries are replaced by worries of what ‘stream’ we should take – Science for a career in Engineering or Medicine, Commerce for a career as an Accountant etc. How you look in front of your first crush? What movies you are going to miss due to examinations? Will India win against Pakistan in the next cricket match?
For an Indian Youth, the worries compound more. What job would she get after college? Who will take care of her education loan? What will be the next big thing in fashion that she needs to follow? Would Kapil Sharma and Sunil GroverKapil Sharma and Sunil Grover ever get together again? Would India win the Cricket World Cup in 2019?
For an Indian Middle Aged, the worries switch to something else. Whether she would get that promotion she has been eyeing? Whether her husband is cheating on her? Will I stay in my job to pay my bills? Whether her car is good to take her to Leh, alone? Whether Flipkart and Snapdeal merge – would she still get the same online deals for her favorite fashion does? Whether Sensex will rise today? Whether Yogi Adityanath impose prohibition in Uttar Pradesh?
For an Indian elder, the worries change further. Whether it is going to be sunny today or is it going to rain? Whether the prices of onions are going to hit the roof again? Whether Narendra Modi will win 2019 general elections or not? Whether Mukesh Ambani’s Jio will comeback with the free offer? Whether the upcoming sale would have the best deal or should one wait? What should be prepared in lunch today?
How long is she going to live?
Businesses go through a similar life cycle of worry.
When young the business is worried about getting the right employees, getting first paying customers, getting the right industry fitment. Whether someone big and loaded will disrupt the industry?
When its in teen years, the worries change to managing capital, talent, customers, business environment and competition effectively.
When it is middle aged, the worries change to How to stay competitive? How to retain the best employees? How to retrench the scum? Whether there is somebody disrupting the industry that the business operates in?
When it is old, the worries change to how to continue to survive and not get disrupted by a new wave of technology? Other things are largely taken care of. Day to day mundane is self-adjusting.
In both the cases, the worries shift to a different set and magnitude if worry is swapped with change. Worry suffocates the appetite to taking risks.
Businesses and individuals that continuously evolve and embrace change do not worry but swap it for change. For individuals, it is adopting new skills with changing market conditions or perhaps adopting a side ageless career that does not go through the mundane 20 something to 50 something cycle of hiring and retiring, if not firing in between somewhere.
For Businesses, the continuous worry is to keep competition in abeyance and stay afloat. It is this worry that sows the seeds of innovation and risk taking. A culture of innovation would push the teams and departments to continuously evolve and continuously embrace change to stay relevant in the market place. So many businesses fail to build this culture and ultimately die their own death.
Whether businesses or individuals, one should ask these questions –
Grow daily by swapping that worry with change.
In current times, we see scaling as a fundamental criteria of success by many.
If you look around, you would see many businesses fumbling and then failing in their chase to scale new heights. Much more than before, people are trying to scale new professional heights, many a times compromising lot more than they should.
Some are successful in scaling. Most are not. For businesses, the fuel to scale is capital. Capital access is at an all time low for businesses. So scaling is easy, quick and doable now.
For individuals, scaling happens in skills, opportunities and professional growth. When businesses scale, individuals also gain new skills, they get new opportunities and they have professional growth.
However, the scale is being challenged and many a times leading sharp declines or businesses. Look around and you would see some key news items:
Scale often gives a feeling of invincibility and rapid scaling at times is a poison pill to survival.
Then how come some businesses and so the individuals, scale and then sustain at a higher level. Its like a steep step-up to the next level and not just a scale up.
The differentiating element is ability to build trust. For businesses, building trust in their customers about their ability to deliver and for individuals, building trust in their immediate circles about their ability to execute.
So scale as much as you can but scale while winning trust of others.
Its good to have spring back in India as we brace for a hot Indian summer in 2017. I usually look forward to spring to take a stock of how the year has fared so far for me and how am I going to utilize the next 9 months.
One of my decisions from the dusk of 2016 and dawn of 2017 was to start running – for weight loss. Years of sedentary job and spending most of the awake hours in front of a laptop has led to addition of significant mass around my waist. My once lean and sharp personality is now covered with layers of fat that need to be discarded.
With few half attempts in the past, I decided that 2017 is the year for my physical transformation. I was excited with my younger brother’s loss of 30 lbs in over 4 months with running.
That introduced me to the fantastic app called ‘Running for Weight Loss‘. The app gives good, strict, manageable workouts that gradually increase the intensity of training with more running sprint – with breaks for walking. As I stand at the end of week 1 of training, I feel proud to have comfortably complete the first step. Its an 8-week program, so I am 12.5% through.
The fact that Facebook has a dedicated group for ‘A Year of Running‘ further motivates me to go further on this.
Below is my tool kit for this year of running:
To me running so far has provided the following:
More on Monkey Mind and Running in a future post.
2. Physical endurance
3. Break from the regular daily routine and go for a refresh
4. Just re-energize
In a short duration it has become a fundamental need of my everyday routine, just like coffee.