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Month: October 2018

Busy binging?

The culture of binging is a reality. So, what are you binging most on?
Soap operas, commercial movies, easy reads? Or documentaries, hard to read books, series based on things that matter to you, perspective-altering movies?
Under Armour’s line fits aptly. “It’s what you do in the dark that puts you in the light.” They’re 2 different roads and most don’t have the time to tread both. You have to choose.

No is the begining of negotiation.

No is the beginning of a negotiation. Most stop and accept the rejection. But a few understand that it opens multiple possibilities. Put in your negotiation hats and think how can you enrich the deal for everyone involved. There are multiple ways to do so:

The easiest one is to reduce the price and this is what MOST people aim at.

The next option is to buy more and invoke economies of scale (the more you buy the less it costs per unit)

Negotiation goes beyond it. It increases the value of the overall deal. If the price is off limits, then negotiate for add-ons, complimentary delivery, warranty or even expert support. Aim for those that have high value to you but is low cost for the seller.

Start small, start now.

The name, logo, subtitle can come later. When building a project, executing an idea, penning down a book the structure or the outline is more important than the title. The business model and systems around it matter. Working ON the project is better than working IN the project especially when you are just starting out.

The branding doesn’t matter initially. It’s OK if you don’t get that coveted, apt domain, it’s fine if the idea isn’t world-changing, universe denting. Get it down on paper and then get it going.

Some things are black holes as they distract you from getting back to doing the work that matters. You can spend countless hours perfecting your website, endless brainstorming sessions to find that perfect name. All of these can be changed, iterated as you go or even later. Get something workable now so you can get back to doing the work that you wanted to.

Start small, start now.

Change is obvious, means are not.

When campaigning a change, a novel idea, or even an amendment. Which path do you choose?

We can hammer it down to the last person. Force them to comply, obey and not ask questions. The current school system was a result of such an approach. It works but at the cost of a lot of things.

We can take the carrot and stick approach and drive the change by increasingly rewarding as we get to the expected change. This makes people hungry not for more change, but for more rewards.

Or we can celebrate when the change is implemented, the idea is recognised, the amendment is being followed. We can set the tone of what is accepted and what is cherished. Even rewarded. Psychologists term it positive reinforcement.

The choice rests with you. You need not be the boss, the elder one, the top management to decide which path you will tread. You can begin from where you are.

(Off-topic) 5 reasons why I changed my name.

I didn’t quite change my name, just updated it. and here’s why:

1: My name was Puneeth Jain K. I believe Jain is an individual following the religion Jainism rather than a surname and my actual family name is surana. When something becomes a part of one’s name, it becomes a priority and I wanted to give my family that priority. The K represents my dad’s initials and in India, we have a tradition of having it as a part of our name. Usually the middle name but in my case, it ended up being the last name. I’m unsure how.

2: “Your name is your identity”: My mentor had once told me and I gave it extensive thought and realised why many work to get the DR. or CA ahead of their names and it becomes a part of their personality. I didn’t want my religion or my dad’s initials to be a part of my identity. I love my dad and deeply believe in Jainism yet It’s something that’s personal and I want to keep it at that.

3: From the past 2 years I have been experimenting with numerology. I didn’t believe it at first like most millennials but I decided to read up, extensively discuss with an expert and experiment on myself before making the big decision. I found it provided me with clarity, strengthened my conviction and calmed me down. I now appreciate the power of numbers in all areas of my life. The addition of an ‘a’ in my surname suraAna is the result of over 2 years of exploration with numerology.

4: Rebranding myself. Yes! My nickname was Kalu. Which in Hindi means dark complexion or a young ruler. I was extremely dark and small in size when I was born and would get sick very often. Today I have the best of health and fitness and my colour is technically fair to dusky. This name is rooted in part superstition and part racism and I never connected with it. I wanted to rebrand myself in my family and community. I anticipated a long journey and wasn’t disappointed.

I further realised that I responded differently when addressed by my nickname when compared to being called as Puneeth. This was an eye-opening moment and though initially, I’d laughed it off when I’d learned how multiple personalities develop in people, it shook me when I saw a glimpse of it in myself.

5: SEO: Yes, this was an afterthought but I realised that this update would make my positioning truly unique and easily discoverable. It’d be hard to communicate initially but over time this would make a difference. Also, I love the fact that both my first and last name have 7 letters.

Ps: If you are family, friend or acquaintance now would be a good time to pull up my contact and update the spelling.

Progress, please.

The smallest possible action that you can take daily to make something happen. Breaking your project down to the smallest bit that you look forward to every day and increase the input, efforts and attention invested incrementally.

Bit by bit the work stacks up, the project progresses and it gets completed. This is not about the first step, this is about the 1 step that you take daily to start with and then raise the bar to 2 steps, then to 3, and so on. Till you manage a marathon in a day!

Don’t let your dreams, desires and destinations overwhelm you. Pick up that project you’ve been putting off, that health goal that you craved for, that book which you’ve been writing in your mind for years, that speech project which is demanding you to show up.

Make something happen, everyday. Day after day.

Democracy is still a dream.

The irony of democracy is that while the country is democratic its workplaces, schools, colleges, institutions are not. They continue to centralise power in the hands of a few. The top-down power hierarchy is the norm.

When a kid is cultured to follow orders, obey and not question the teacher, the professor and later the boss. How can we expect that individual to yield the power of democracy? To take a stand against the status quo, to go against the grain?

With a patriarchal society, there isn’t any democracy at home either. Your opinion is limited to trifle matters only.

How then, do we teach democracy to the youth and make them aware of people power.

Encourage the youth to take a stand, even if it’s not popular.

Create democratic organisations where the top officials seek consensus.

As parents, seek the opinion of the kids even for matters that they may not understand yet. They will feel respected and valued. You can call the shots but allow them to contribute.

Pick yourself

If you are waiting to be picked then it’s a long wait. For that big break, the coveted position, the glam role or even that internship opportunity.

The gatekeepers are almost gone. The secondary decision makers, series of doors that had to be crossed before one met the right person is no more existing. The feeling that you are not skilled, talented or big enough for someone to consider you is an illusion.

Pick yourself! Publish that book, make that short film, ask for that internship and share it with 10 people that would go through it. If they like it they will spread the word and if not you will get feedback.

Pick yourself again and create the sequel, the next project, the second edition and repeat the process.

You are not striving for being picked, you are striving to build a career that can’t be ignored. Go make some Galata!

Everyone is a crisis manager.

When organising a meet-up, a talk, a seminar or even an event. The minute details make all the difference. The more meticulous you can be in planning before the event the smoother the event runs. Because you’ve thought it through, prepared for it and have a plan B to it, it’s easier to deal with it in the heat of the event.

Diffuse issues before they arise.

    If the speaker needs a lukewarm lemonade in the 2-minute break and it’s mentioned in his briefing. Make sure it’s there. That’s how you build a reputation as a bankable organiser.
    Think of worst-case scenarios before and take prevention measures.
    Create and build a checklist which will be refined and expanded upon as you gain experience.

We are all crisis managers. The one who leads in a crisis is the one who keeps his calm, acts with certainty( even if he isn’t) and finds a solution.