Thursday, October 30, 2008

Networking.... The guide to unlimited power...

The word network is a most common but least understood word in our day to day vocabulary. Network is something which you built initially and later it builds you.

Let me begin with the definition of a network. Network is a cluster of entities bound together by a common purpose. We have the electric transmission network, which brings power to our households; we have the satellite communication network which brings home entertainment and telephone utilities. If we look around, we can actually see a network behind all successful systems.

All successful personalities for that sake are highly net-worth individual. It’s the secret behind building a fortune out of your life, because it awards the individuals involved, with power beyond our imagination. It is this latent power of networking that helps the rich become even richer.

Let me explain; suppose you start a cable TV operation in your town; you start of by providing connections to around 20 families in the first phase. Surely you’ll be able to sell the service at a cost which gives you a marginal profit. Now suppose you wish to expand the service to 100 families, the moment you go for it – you will be facing the strictest competition from big players like TATA SKY, DISH TV etc. You’ll not be able to match the quality/price provided by these giants and they may even reduce their rates of subscription, without suffering a loss, to throw you out of business.

Networking is a highly misunderstood word in our society. The reason may be because of the numerous ‘get rich quick’ schemes like the money chains and illegal pyramids. Factually speaking the power of networking is indescribable.

There is another fascinating twist about networks. Not only information but money also flows through it. Thomas Edison’s bulb would have been of no market value, if the electricity network was not well established. Edison actually exploited the power of this network to make his business grow. What Edison actually did was to take advantage of an already established network to sell his product. Edison was smart enough to utilize someone else’s network to build a fortune.

Networking is crucial for the growth and sustenance of any business. The same is true when it comes to building and sustaining personal relationships. The better your network of friends, the better will be your lifestyle. We all wish for more and better friends in our lives. We are all interpersonally connected and most often we may find that we’re better off as a network than as an individual.

Like the previous newsletters, this one also has an inspiration behind it. It was a small incident that happened while I was traveling home by train the previous week on someone else’s ticket bought from an agent. During verification by the TTR I was asked for my ID card. I had no other choice but to admit that I was traveling on a wrong ticket. I was fined Rs 550 and I found myself short of money to remit the fined amount. I started becoming tensed.

That was when the power of networking came to my help. I called up my friends who in turn called their friends and enquired who else was traveling by the same train. Fortunately after 15 minutes I got around 8 responses from different people traveling by the same train. I was about to get their help when a total stranger came forward to help me. But the important point was the information had already been passed on to many people within that short span of time. That incident really made me think about the power of networking.

I did not have the strongest network of friends, but my friend had, I could use his network to find a solution to my problem. Now, what do you feel, isn’t it possible for us to solve any problem through networking, just like Edison used someone else’s network to render a great service to our society?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mistakes...The more you make, the more the chances to win...

“Mistakes”- the very word brings fear to our minds. Everyone fears making a mistake but we’re even more scared of having to admit one. Have you ever thought why making mistakes is one of the most fearful aspects of our lives? Ever since childhood, our parents and elders have taught us the importance of being earnest. But even then all of us have lied on some occasion or the other. Why? The answer to the earlier question lies here as well. We’ve all lied because we were not ready to face the consequences. If some one told us, “Its ok child – tell me the truth, I am not going to punish you for it”, we would most often have ended up telling the truth.

Any mistakes we make in our life, whether personal or official is also to be dealt with in the same way. If our boss, client or business partner has an attitude which tells us, “Its ok that you made a mistake – after all mistakes are stepping stones to success”; then we wouldn’t have any issue in admitting that we made one.

It’s only human to err; but the important thing is to learn from the mistake and make sure it never happens again. Twenty years back, if you committed a mistake at work, you would’ve been fired without any second thoughts. But situations have changed today. It’s no longer an unpardonable sin to make a mistake provided you learn from it. The biggest mistake would be to repeat the same error twice. To an extent, the management of most companies go soft on trivial mistakes, so that it’ll be taken as a learning experience and employees will refine their skills accordingly.

I was in a meeting last week with a client, which turned out to be a real character testing one. I made mistakes after mistakes. At the end of the presentation, had it not been for the client, who very frankly pointed out my mistakes to me personally, I would have gone home unaware of the blunders I’d made. I sincerely appreciated the mindset of the client to help me realize and improve on my mistakes. He advised me to take this as a learning experience and to narrow down my margin of errors in the future. Those words of his really hit me. I spent a sleepless night with his words echoing in my thoughts. For a moment I lost all my confidence and self-esteem.

Now I guess you all realize the inspiration behind this week’s newsletter. It’s simply human nature to make errors. But it takes character to realize the blunder you’ve made, own it up and make sure you never repeat it. Making a mistake once is not a crime but repeating it definitely is one.

When you make mistakes, it shows that you are trying out new things and that definitely is a good sign. The more things you attempt to do, the better you will understand your area of functioning. Universal law of success says, “Attempt all things, keep what works and discard the ones that don’t”. So the good news is – not to worry if you’ve made a mistake, but take it as an opportunity to grow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Momentum Revisited...More of speed than skill…

I could understand from the feedback received on the previous newsletter that some of you had difficulty in assimilating the new definition of momentum that I had put forth. So I have decided to revisit the topic and explain a bit further.
In the previous newsletter I’d defined business momentum as the product of skill and speed. Most often we see in business, that leaders tend to increase their speed infinitely so as to compensate for their lack of skill, to keep pace with the market. This phenomenon can be clearly seen in the billion dollar retail industry. Almost all major players focus primarily on improving their customer network prior to improving the quality of products. This is because of the immense latent power in networking.
It would be foolish for a retail distributor to limit his operations to a single centre and concentrate on improving his products rather than on improving the quality of operation. This phenomenon can be seen all around us, but we may not have given it serious thought. Let me explain with an example. We know of many small hotels in our town providing excellent idly’s and dosa’s. Their products may be awesome, but they will never be able to compete with the Saravana Hotels or Nirulas.
Momentum in business is something which helps the businessman to climb from one peak to another. When there is a momentum; simply ride on it. If it’s absent, then create it. Most people think they cannot create momentum because their skill sets are low. But the truth is they are unable to create momentum not because their skill sets are low but because their speed of skill utilization is zero.
This is the reason as to why people fail miserably in business. They lose their confidence and self esteem, thinking they lack the ability to make it to the top. Now if you see someone on the street who has gone broke in business; you know why they got there.
The most interesting part of this equation for momentum is that speed is more important than skill. If skill were the most important aspect, then this world would have been ruled by rank holders, Doctorate and Post-doc holders and the like of such people. Instead, the sad part for these people, is that most of the big giants, enterprises and economy building companies are run by college dropouts and C grade students. [Courtesy: Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert T Kiyosaki].
Everything in nature has a natural course. If you have started on a job, you will continue to do so until and unless acted upon by an external force – very true isn’t it? That is the natural momentum. And guess what, if you follow nature’s course of doing things; you will perform well when times are good and there really won’t be a difference between you and the person who is swimming against the tide. But the difference becomes notable when times are bad; then you’ll be in real trouble.
Wherever you are, whatever you do; develop the habit of increasing your speed of accomplishing. You may not get immediate results, but it will set the wheel rolling. Once that is done, you will be on track to accomplishing all that you’ve noted down in your personal diary as your GOALS!!!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Momentum...The product of skill and speed.....

Physics defines momentum as the product of mass and velocity. We all know how powerful an attribute momentum really is, in science and otherwise, not just because of the meaning it conveys but also because of the dangerous impact it can have. It’s just not enough to have mass alone or velocity alone, they need to complement each other, so that their product is maximum.
We all know the power of a moving neutron; it is capable of disintegrating an atom 1000 times heavier than it. Let’s analyze the principle behind this. Even though the mass of the neutron is very less, the momentum it has gathered makes it possible to create one of the most disastrous bombs ever discovered by humans. Apply this principle to your business and you’ll be able to solve any problem.
If we just apply a little thought now, won’t we get the answer as to how to build the largest business empire? The answer lies within you. The important thing is not how talented you are, but how many times in a day you use that talent. I define business momentum as the product of skill and speed. Just like how mass can be acquired, we can acquire skill too. Skill is actually a refinement of talent. Now what matters is how often and how well you use your skill.
I can illustrate this with an example; suppose making hamburgers is a skill – all that counts is how many of them you can make in a day, month or year. The combination of a skill (making hamburgers) multiplied by the speed (speed of sales) creates a momentum which keeps the business ticking. This is what Mc Donald’s have been doing for almost half a century now.
Now imagine that you have the ability to make the hamburger even tastier, still you are not going to succeed with a slow speed of delivery. Like mass, skill has an upper limit – you will not be able to improve the quality of hamburger beyond a certain limit. But let me tell you; there is no such limit to speed. You can increase the sales to any number per minute.
For those of you who are still confused about the whole new definition of momentum, let me explain this topic more specifically. We all have got some kind of talents and skill sets. Many of us have already discovered it and some of us are really digging it out. For those of you who are not attempting to rediscover themselves, VISWARAM PUBLICATIONS cannot be of any help. It’s like 80-20 principle; the people who read the blog are as low as 15-18%, because they want to have that spark to keep them going.
If you know you are particularly good at something, then let me tell you, that’s going to be your number one earning skill. You are going to amass huge wealth, thanks to that skill. But somewhere in your life you need to take a decision to go for it. Once you do that, all you need is to sell your skill; if you yearn to be extraordinary you need to learn the skill of selling yourselves.
All that takes for you to pick up momentum is a decision. Once you do that, everything around you keeps changing to aid you. I suppose you are at your best today; five years from now you will be a weaker person, you will be financially brittle, you will have greater liabilities and lesser flexibility. So I guess, today is the day to take the decision. If you step into a wealth creating system, it may take you atleast 5 years to turn successful. But if you create the momentum and learn to live up to it, then I’m sure we are all going to hear your success story very soon.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Commitment....You need to give all that you’ve got...

To be a winner we need to give all that we’ve got; in simple words, be committed to our goal. It is quite natural that we eat up most of our resources before tasting success. Success is not easy, but its simple.

Opportunity comes unnoticed; it rings up the calling bell when it arrives. We usually open the door and see if the opportunity is for us, we either grab it or let it fly by. But it’s a mistake to believe success comes unseen; it doesn’t have to ring up the calling bell for us to notice. In fact, we can see it coming long before it even reaches our doorsteps because it is usually the product of our hard work, wisdom and the decisions we make.

Another definition for commitment would be “to consistently persist”. To have commitment, we need to have a goal. Let me not use the word “dream” and “chasing the dream”, let me instead use the word “goal”. We all know we can achieve anything provided we are given ample time. But the question is can you do it in record time? When we set a time limit for our dreams it is called a goal. It may be our dream to become the CEO of a company. Perhaps some of us may make it towards the end of our careers. But can you achieve that dream at an early age of say 35 years? When you have taken a decision that you will and start working towards it, it is no longer a dream; it becomes a goal.

The attribute that let us put in the necessary efforts for achieving our goal is commitment. Let us not put in effort because of fear or pressure from our boss, friends or relatives. Let us put in the effort because we are motivated by the outcome.

It’s human nature to keep changing goals from time to time. We don’t dream today, what we dreamed 5 years ago. Most often we cut down on our dreams, mostly because we start to see the impossibility of achieving it. But let me tell you, to live your dream you need to commit yourselves to put in the efforts. The real sense of commitment comes when you fix up in your mind that you are going to achieve your goal come what may!

To live life in style, we need to commit ourselves to something. Don’t be content with a mediocre life, you are worth more! Be it a job or a business dig yourself deep into it and make the impossible happen. Develop the habit of working harder and going that extra mile to see yourself through the goal. Rise to the top 20% in your field, the payoff will be awesome. Then, when someone asks you, “Who are you? What do you stand for?”, you’ll have an answer.

Suppose you have started a new endeavor. If you have seen the big picture of where it takes you 5 years from now, if your wisdom tells you its worth putting your efforts for, then don’t wait; make things happen. Commit yourself to put in the effort and stay focused. If you have to do it anyway, then do it now. Try to achieve goals you planned to achieve 5 years from now in 3 years.

There is no alternative for commitment; you need to stay committed and put in the effort to achieve your goals. There is obviously a difference between passion and commitment. You are passionate about something when you like it and continue doing it; Commitment is when you accept no excuses and do something regardless of temptations leading you away from your goal. We would all love to hear your success story, so stay focused and go for it !!!