Tag Archives: Learnings

Trust

A friend pointed out some days back that I trust people too quickly. I agreed and however many times I may have felt cheated, I still continue to do that. Why?

My logic behind this trust is, if I start any new relationship without trusting the other person, the relationship will surely fail. Here’s how.

If i don’t trust the person, the other person will never have full confidence in me. And thus, will keep doubting my intentions. We will both be second guessing each others’ statements and hence will never be fully committed to me. This will eventually lead to low motivations and the objective for which we joined hands, will never be met. Ultimately, there will be a failed commitment and a sour relationship.
In the end, I will just say, “see, I told you this person isn’t trustworthy” and prove myself right.

On the contrary, if I had shown full faith and trusted the person, the results would have been different. Clear intentions, high motivations, great results! And then also I would have proven myself right, “see i knew the relationship would work out”. Both ways, I will prove myself right. But its the latter, that will take me ahead in life and give me satisfaction, no?

I want to thank everyone who has shown faith in me and trusted me with their goals.

Discipline

Back in May 2012, Niswey used to work from a shared office space in Connaught Place, Delhi. I used to wake up everyday at 6.30 and reach office by 8.30. Nobody used to reach by then I used to keep a set of keys with me, open the office and start working. We were just 2 people then at Niswey. And had 2 customers. So we would work the entire day and left everyday by 8PM. The building had some security issues and had to be shut down by 8. So if we would be still working, the security guards would come over and ask us to shut down the office. Initially i used to get irritated with them but slowly I gave in. Looking back, this was a blessing in disguise as it put pressure on us to wind up the day’s work before 8. Some days I used to even reach before 8.30, to squeeze in another few minutes of extra work.

The office was 1 hour away from my place. So by the time I would reach home, I would just have dinner, walk a bit and then fall asleep while reading a book. I made it a point not to open the laptop at home, unless someone was dying!

Since we were just 2 people, it wasn’t necessary for us to go office everyday. We could work from home, unless we needed face time. But we chose to come to office, everyday. It brought a great level of discipline in me. Which, thankfully, is still there. Another, brilliant, thing that happened in me was that it increased my ‘focus’! Since I knew everyday I had a limited 12 hours, I just concentrated on getting. things. done. Period.

Friends & family didn’t matter for me. Not that I broke relationships with everyone but I cut down my time with them. Especially where I didn’t feel it was important. A lot of times I used to get invites for gathering at a friends’ place, but I used to politely deny. Just because everyone is going, didn’t mean I had to join. Similarly, just because the entire family was meeting, didn’t mean I had to go.

For a long time I carried on like that. Those who understood why I didn’t join them, had no complaints, those who didn’t, anyways were not important for me.

The best thing is, this focus and discipline has stayed with me since then. Niswey survived through tough times and is 10 people strong. To this day, I start work at 9 everyday, whether from home of from office, and make sure that I am in office everyday. Plus, I do ensure that I don’t work once I reach home. And I don’t have to spend 12 hours in office everyday either. Productivity levels are much higher!

Want to thank my well wishers and stars as I could learn such important life lessons early in my life 🙂

5 things I learned from a driver in Delhi

On a recent trip to Delhi, I had the chance to engage in conversations with drivers on a couple of occassions. Since the journey on both trips lasted for more than a couple of hours, I had the chance to delve into the lives of a driver and was highly impressed with them, their beliefs and the way they live their lives. – truly King Size. Overwhelmed with the chat, I wish to share my experience and learnings from them.

Driver

No, not the image of any of those drivers

1. Work while you work and when in need, JUST WORK! [The drivers here don’t sleep for 24-30 hours on the trot].
Karan, a driver, was there to drop a colleague one day. The next day I called a cab, Karan was again there, though he had come to pick someone else, I chatted with him for a while and got to know that he hadn’t slept since then – 32 hours! In this case, his need is money. He would sleep 10-12 hours a week, work the rest and then rush off to spend the weekend with his parents.

2. Respect your job/profession like anything.
Rajkumar, another driver, was a class 12th passout, still he was driving a vehicle for living. He knows how to operate a computer and understands what a pen drive is. When I got to know that I told him that he could get a better job if he wants – his reply simply stunned me. “Sir – Main dilli aaya tha job dhundne. Jab 6 mahine tak naukri nhi mili to maine gaadi chalane se hi kamana shuru kiya hai, isi se kamaye paise se apni behn ki shaadi ki hai aur pitaji ko dukan khulvayi hai, ab agar ise thokar maarkar kuch aur karunga to yeh is naukri aur mere liye dhokha aur sharm ki baat hogi” (Sir – I came to Delhi in search for a job. But after 6 months of unsuccessful job hunting, I started earning through this profession, married my sister and bought my father a shop with the money I’ve earned through Driving, Now if I kick this profession and switch to another, it would be a disgrace to me and my profession.)

3. Respect your subordinates, give them more than they want and they would reciprocate – Learnt from his employer
Rajkumar’s employer started with 3 cars, now he owns a fleet of 82 cars, just within 6 years of operations. Still, he drives the cars, plays cards and dines with his drivers only. Shows no signs of a bossy attitude. How does that help? His drivers are available on a call 24×7 happily and have never let him down in the 6 years of his company’s history.

4. Build trust. It pays you more than anything else in your life.
The driver’s sister had to get married. His employer, without even telling him, transferred 1 Lac Rupees in the driver’s father’s account, and told the father that it was a part of his son’s pending salary. Two months later the driver got to know about that, when his father asked him what was his profession that he earns so much. Rajkumar, though explained, but was stunned to know that. 6 months was all that he took to repay the money, 99% of us cannot do that, especially at a driver’s wage! Just shows the trust Rajkumar has built with his employer. Reminds me, even I have huge pending debts, less than Rajkumar’s and my salary is more than him….

5. Build relations, money is secondary.
Rajkumar told me that people who travel in his cab often give him a tip, depending on the financial status of the traveller. When I got down and offered him a small tip, he refused to take it – “Sir, aap mujhe sharminda kar rhe hain, aapse to dosti karli hai, ye nahi le sakta main” (Sir, you are making me feel embarrassed, I have built a friendship with you, I can’t take this).
Another incidence same day, the first driver, Karan, called me next day to find out whether the colleague whom he dropped the previous day had reached his destination perfectly or not? Never seen a driver/stranger to that. I obliged and talked to him over the phone for a while. After 10-15 mins he said, “Sir itni der to meri setting bhi mujhse baat nhi karti, mujhe bahut achha laga aapne itni der baat kari mujhse“. (Sir, I even my girlfriend doesn’t talk to me for so long, I am really glad that you did). To end the conversation, he even offered me to shift to gurgaon and he would assist me in finding accommodation at the cheapest prices, even though I don’t plan to shift, I was moved with his gesture, especially in the tone in which he said that!

Just to mention why I say they live King Size – Both the drivers had almost double the salary offers from different organizations, but they had refused for reasons highly unknown in today’s world – Freedom, Respect and Loyalty to their current employer!

Probably we can learn something from them. What is that you would want to learn from them?

Joy of Giving : What did you give last?

Last week Teach for India celebrated the Joy of Giving week. There were free hugs campaigns in Pune and problem solving free marches around the city (2nd october- TFI fellows along with volunteers went around the city talking to people asking what problems they see in the country and what are the steps they have taken or plan to take in order to eradicate them). Being in Bangalore I could not be a part of the campaign but does that mean I should stop giving? Of course the answer is NO.

Joy of giving week reminds me the thought of giving. We often give gifts to our loved ones, we give money/food/clothes to beggars/needy ones, we give …. probably lots of things to people but what is that that cannot be measured in terms of money? I thought for some time that what is that I have given to the society that doesn’t involve monetary transactions? What is that which I gave or wish to give in future for nothing in reward? What is that which I gave and made me happy, just that feeling of happiness? Yes, I came up with an answer, it was ‘Knowledge’.

As a student and even now as a professional, there is one thing which I don’t stop giving or sharing and that is knowledge. Educate somebody about something, spread what you know and preach what you practice. There are some things which we can learn only from our peers, and education is one of them. Everybody reads the same text books but still someone knows more, someone less. Why not share our knowledge and make the world a better place by giving everybody the power of information. I have often seen people hiding their knowledge or not sharing what they know, reason being they fear their friend might overtake in the particular field/subject. How can someone overtake you if you told him/her how to take the first steps? And even if he does, you should feel happy about it, and that too for two reasons. First is, someone listened to what you had to say and has actually implemented what you were trying to convey, how many of us do that? And secondly because if he knows more than you some days later, you can learn all those new things from him and that too in a much lesser time than you would have originally spent. So its always good to ‘give’ and the joy of giving can never supercede any other joy.

Now let me know (in the comments section) what is that you’ve given or plan to give in future which would give you ‘Joy of Giving’.

How a bad Advertisement timing can spoil your Brand Value

I recently came across an advertisement in The Economic Times, a national daily newspaper arguably read by each and every businessman across the country. The ad started with the words :

Kind Attention CMD’s, CEO’s, COO’s and top management

Following the address, it had information regarding the program which was succeeded with a 2 line statement about advertiser’s background. Now I guess we can imagine how much information can be dispensed in a 3″x4″ ad. And hence as a result of which the ads are always suffixed with a website link, an email id and a contact no, assuming the advertiser and the addressed people have enough technology exposure. You must be thinking so what’s wrong in this ? Nothing ! Absolutely correct.
The website has a single page and that page contains nothing more than a 1 paragraph information of the company. There are 4 other links on the website, one of which links to a related external site, good enough. But out of the other 3 links, 2 do not work. The last one says “News”. Hoping that this will have information at least about the ad, I clicked that link. And guess did I see.

This post has been deleted.

I assume that, okay, the website might be having some problems so I pick up my phone to call on the given number. You can’t believe what reply I got,

Please check the number you have dialed !!!

What my first reaction was, I probably cannot write here.  Still assuming that IT’S OKAY,  there might be a printing mistake, I gathered  some courage and clicked on the only link that was working (the linking to an external site). That website, though functional,  also did not have any info about the advertisement. Somhow I found a landline contact no and I had full confidence that atleast this should be working. Alas! it was not to be. No, the numbers were correct, but none of them was recieved. I dialled both the numbers but to no avail.

Harms caused by bad timing

Harms caused by bad timing

Can you imagine what sort of impression would this sort of campaign do. It’s done more damage than you can imagine. The website’s not ready, has no information, the news section says post deleted, the mobile numbers don’t exist and nobody is bothered or responsible enough to recieve the landline calls. Waaaoow ! I am impressed. And in case you forgot, then I may remind you that the post was addressed to CEO’S, COO’S and CMD’S. No, I am not anyone of those, but yes I do own an organization or rather a startup I should say and the advertiser is connected to me due to previous background.

Things they lost from all this :

Trust :   Confidence :   Loyalty :   Growth/Business (for a short term and with some concerned people at least) : and the most important BRAND VALUE, if they had any.

Lesson to be learnt : If your soldiers aren’t ready, don’t FIRE !

This is a perfect example why you should synchronize your advertising and marketing/branding campaigns. Probably they should have waited at least till the date the website is ready. Since a bad impression lasts longer in the human brain, I guess next time such or may be any ad from the same organization, wouldn’t be treated trustworthy or would get the response it expects.

By the way, after all this, I didn’t bother to try the email id.

Things we can learn from Rock On!

Some times even movies can teach us a lot. Probably everyone of us has seen the movie ROCK ON, here are some things which I thought we can learn from it.

1. Talent must be MARKETED, if properly shown to relevant people, it can reach new levels and set new benchmarks. (Joe, a great guitarist, does not want to tell people and give auditions)  If people don’t see your talent, how will they value it ?

Arjun RampalRock On

Market Yourself

2. What we’ve learnt must be shared with others and must not end if we end, it must go on. A true leader always always creates a 100 more leaders (Joe and KD started a business of nurturing new talent) .

Rock On Arjun Rampal_Promote new talent

Promote new talent

3. We all make mistakes but the point is do we learn from our mistakes and move on keeping in mind that we won’t make the same mistake again. (Joe realized that Aditya was not wrong, it was the situation and the circumstances that made him feel so,  which he understood and came back).

Rock On_Magik reunited for that second chance

Magik reunited for that second chance

4. Life does not offer a second chance to everyone, but if that chance is given do we grab it with both hands ? I guess most of us let that chance go ! (Magik grabbed that chance and performed once again on stage, and I don’t need to say that it did remarkably well).

5. Money is not the only criteria to be successful and happy in life. (Aditya is very successful and has everything in life what an ideal person would want to, but was Aditya happy living that life? All of us know the answer, there are other things in life that are important in life to keep us happy.

Rock On Farhan Akhtar_Criteria for success - Money?

Criteria for success – Money?

6. You must set your priorities right, there are a 100 different things to do for everyone at an given point of time, it’s WE who have to take that correct decision based on the importance. (Rob could have met that producer whom Anu Malik wanted to meet him, but he knew his priorities – Magik).

Rock On Magik compromise_Learn to Compromise

Learn to Compromise

7. We all have to make compromises in life at some stage, we should LEARN do that, sometimes a successful compromise can take us a long journey (Had Magik completed their first album according to the director’s needs, the album being a HIT, they would have dictated terms from the next album, unfortunately, they DIDN’T) .

Rock On Farhan and Arjun_Learn to forgive

Learn to forgive

8. Sometimes even our “bestest” friends do something bad to us, but they don’t do it intentionally, we should find out the reasons, and best part is FORGIVE them. No point in carrying a heavy heart all through your life. Needless to say, your friend should be worth the forgiveness.

Rock On Farhan, Arjun, Purab_Friends Forever

Friends Forever

9. Best friends are forever, no matter how good or bad the times we face, real friends will always be at your side.

10. When resources are less and we really need something. that’s the time when we have be INNOVATIVE (Magik really needed the money and Aditya was innovative enough to sing old songs with Rock Touch).

Rock On Dandiya_Learn to innovate

Learn to innovate

Last but the most important point, Live your Dreams ! Someone has correctly said

Dreams are not those which you see while asleep, but they DON’T let you sleep

In order to ROCK ON, you must have a Dream !

Rock On Dreams_Live your dreams

Live your dreams

Well, those are the things I learnt, it’s not an exhaustive list, probably you can something more. Drop in your learnings in the comments section. Highly appreciated.