My Musings

Day 6 of the 7 day challenge - Confidence

The topic today is CONFIDENCE. Let’s face it: If we don’t have confidence in ourselves or in what we are promoting, we are NOT going to have the results that we are looking for – either in life or in our business. Confidence is your best accessory and all you need to do is to wear it well. Everything else will follow suit. I now know from my personal experience and from the struggles that I have had since the beginning of my journey to where I am now (which is still nowhere close to where I want to be), that confidence is not a skillset; it is self-taught. It is your job (and your job ALONE) to work on yourself and change your life. All you need to have is the confidence and urgency to take control of your life and change your life because no one else can do it for you

So let’s just go right into it and see what are some ways in which you can increase our confidence and in turn change our life and business and basically everything around us. And I am going to focus less on business and more from a life perspective.

  1. Change your internal self-talk: Change the way you talk to yourself. Figure out what your limiting self-beliefs are. This is something I really had to learn all throughout my life. But this will probably be one of the most powerful ways to increase your confidence. I used to say sentences like ‘Oh I’m so young’ and ‘Who’s going to listen to me?” constantly. However, one of the most powerful things you can start changing is the negative internal chatter box in your head filing you with limiting beliefs. Because guess what? What you tell yourself – happens! So start by changing that:

One powerful way is to start by repeating daily affirmations to yourself. You can write down some affirmations that suits your current restriction or there are great affirmation apps you can download. Alternatively, there are hundreds of videos on YouTube that you listen to while you sleep which helps re-program your subconscious mind.

Choose to feed your mind with powerful messages and powerful images. This builds confidence. Think about this: the more confident you are about quitting smoking, the more likely you will quit. So start by changing the way you talk to yourself.

  1. Stop judging others. If you don’t apply that yourself, then don’t feel bad if someone else judges you. In this day and age, it is so easy to judge someone by what they wear, what they say, do or don’t do. Please don’t! Everyone has the right to their life. It’s their life, their prerogative and it does not affect you or your life in anyway. Let it go. Think before you speak about anyone if it is important to you or your life in any way. And if it isn’t, let it go. Remember, when you are hard on others, you are harder on yourself. It reflects more on you as a person than it does on them. Similarly, when someone is speaking ill about you or judging you, it reflects more on them than on you.
  2. Delete the negative people from your life. If you have that friend who belittles you or talks down to you, delete them from your life. Because friends, family, people you work with – the people who are around us; they are our biggest influencers. So surround yourself with the right people. The moment you let go of negative people, you will see how positive people come into your life. One thing you really need to understand is that no matter what you do or who you are, there will always be people who hate on you or not like you or care about what you do. There will always be people who have a problem with anything you do. As I said earlier, especially now in the world of digitalization, people can write nasty messages or comments behind the anonymity and luxury of their screens. These people do not matter. You can never please everyone all the time. All you can do is not let the negative stuff on the outside (because it IS mostly the outside world altering your thoughts and your ideas or beliefs) tear you down. Most people have their own doubts or limitations. Don’t let them project their limitations on to you. You can either choose to take on their limitations or you can listen to your dreams and not get hurt by their negativity or ideals. If you allow yourself to be hurt, you will not get too far. You have to be okay with who you are and be the best version of yourself. You need to believe that you already have everything you need inside of you, there is no need for external validation.
  3. This doesn’t mean you are not kind to others.Be kind. You never know what their story is. Remember that there will always be someone less fortunate than you. So be kind. HOWEVER, Be kinder to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Many times I have felt that I am in a toxic relationship with myself. It’s like feeling nothing I do is good enough and I constantly told myself “Work harder…you are not doing it right, you can do better. What have you achieved” If you do the same: STOP. Treat yourself like someone you care about. Celebrate your wins and embrace your failures. Find happiness in your own achievements like you do for your loved ones. This in turn will help you to genuinely be happy for others and their achievements even more.

The more you beat yourself up, the worse you will feel. The next time you do, try a different approach.

You will always make mistakes, you will always do something you are not proud of. But the next time, CHANGE THE WAY YOU TALK TO YOURSELF. Use that as an opportunity and think for a second. This is what I did. I stop myself and say “Hang on.. how will I speak to my daughters about this? Or my best friend about this?”. Will you tell them “You are so stupid”! Or “you are horrible at this?” YOU WON’T. So don’t do that to yourself as well.

Another activity that you can do is, speak out-loud to someone else the same things you would say to yourself. Now this will really show you how hard you are being on yourself. When you have to verbally say it, you will realize how cruel you are being to yourself. You will not talk like that to a stranger, let alone your loved ones. Then why do you do that to yourself? You HAVE to treat yourself kindly because ONLY that will increase your confidence and help you to rise in life.

So many people are held back in life because these are the things they are saying to themselves (“You are so dumb”, “You cannot do it”, “Did you see how they looked at you?, “What will people think of you” etc)

And you are probably telling your loved ones exact opposite things like “Yes! You can do it”, “You can achieve your goal”. STOP BEING THIS TWO DIFFERENT SIDES OF YOU. Be the same person. You are not only cheating yourself but the other person as well who is depending on you to raise their confidence. Your loved ones or people who genuinely care about you have a different perspective of you and they probably even idolize you. Rather than looking at all the negatives you might have said or did, be proud of yourself. Proud that you put yourself out there because many people don’t even do it, many people wish they did like you.

  1. Expand your knowledge. Learn, learn and learn from all that you can. Stretch yourself a bit more and increase value in your life. It can be uncomfortable, but that is how you grow. Stop avoiding stuff you don’t want to do. Those are the stuff that will help you to evolve. The more you do it, the better you become at it. You will grow into who you are as long as you absorb as much information and experience as many experiences as you can. So don’t avoid the uncomfortable, and embrace it. Expand your horizons. Also read up and educate yourself about other people and their story. How they reached where they are now; the steps they took.
  2. However….. Don’t compare yourself with anyone. One of my favourite quotes is “Comparison is the thief of joy”. You don’t know their story, you don’t know their struggles. You don’t really know anyone that well to compare your life to theirs. It will only take you on a path of negativity. All you can do is work on yourself, your goals and dreams. Because your path is your own and others is theirs. There is room for everyone in this planet and if you are persistent on your goals, you can be the best in whatever you want to be. Don’t aspire to have someone else’s life. Take inspiration from others and go ahead and pave your own path.
  3. Find your voice. Start with baby steps. It could be when you are in meetings and hear others say really bad ideas and know deep inside that you have better ideas. So challenge yourself to speak one thing or idea at the next presentation or school project. And continue to build up on that. It takes a lot of practice, taking chances, listening to yourself and a lot many scary moments. But keep building from there on.  
  4. Write yourself an email with few examples of things you have done out of your comfort zone and you were proud of yourself. Or if you can’t think of anything, then ask your friends to do it for you and ask them to email it to you. Then on days when you are feeling down or think that you cannot do something, read those emails and see how you faced those adversities. This will give you more confidence to power ahead.
  5. This next point is something I have a hard time with and am trying really hard to do. Which is to convert your sorry to a thank you. During my theta healing course, my trainer used to tell us that should we really need to say sorry, say “Please forgive me” instead. Since saying sorry essentially means that you are feeling sorry for yourself. So, instead convert them into Thank you. Instead of saying “Sorry I am late”, say “Thank you for waiting”. Or “Sorry I did this wrong”, say “Thank you for showing me the correct way, I will remember it next time”. This will transition you from the feeling of taking blame for everything into gratitude for others and everything in your life.  
  6. Another tip to boost your confidence is to start accepting compliments. Next time someone gives you a compliment, don’t feel the need to give back a negative or neutral comment like “Oh it’s the light”, or “its nothing”. Not only does it hurts the person who gave you a compliment, it hurts you on the long run you as well. Because you are telling your subconscious mind that you are not worthy of that compliment. Instead thank them. It might sound weird for a few people initially, but gradually you will begin to believe that you are indeed worthy of that compliment.
  7. Another great thing you can do to boost your confidence is to help others. Something as simple as holding doors or if you are feeling a bit braver, saying good morning to stranger. These are all confidence building moments. Do more of that.
  8. While we are there, I think we should also learn to start asking for help. That was another big lesson for me last year. Asking for help was a pain point for me. I am getting better at it now. The next time you have a hard time asking for help, remember that asking for help is NOT something that weak people do, it is something that strong and confident people do. So ask when you need help.
  9. My last tip is something my mentor tells me every time: Fake it till you make it. Untill you start believing in your confidence a lot more, fake it. There is nothing wrong in promoting yourself because if you won’t, then no one else will.

Pick your head up and start thinking about what you can really do if only you stop playing it so small.

Step into your dream and own who you are. If it doesn’t work out, you will figure something out and pivot on the way. When you start living your life and doing your business that way, you will move faster and stronger as you will be more solutions-focused instead of backing up and staying the same way as you always were.

Day 5 of the 7 day challenge - Fear

The topic I have for today is Fear and how to overcome it. We can talk about everything else, but ultimately if we let the little fears hold us back, then we will not be able to achieve what we are in this world to achieve. We are not here to just exist. We are all here to make a difference, whatever that may be. So don’t let fear stop you from becoming the best of what you have to offer.

There can be different kinds of fears.

One of the biggest fears that entrepreneurs or business owners have is the fear of failure. This stems from the feeling of being “not good enough”. You end up not trying hard enough because you are worried you will fail. Here is the biggest irony about that….It is the fear of failure that is making you fail; because you are not even trying. You have to push through that feeling to succeed.

I think it stems up a lot from school because you clearly are not born with fear. Do you remember when you were a toddler, you didn’t give up walking even when you failed to walk properly the first 100, 200 or even 1000 times. But as we grow up, especially when we are in school, we are not taught to embrace failure. Failure is always looked at as something dreaded. The thought of being wrong is what causes us to not speak up in class, not to sign up for that competition, or suggest that right idea we had… “what if we are wrong?” But then, how do we grow? Because we grow through failure.

As business owners, another fear we have is that the fear of rejection. The only way we can overcome that fear is to be okay with it. Be okay with rejection.  Many people don’t even try with the very first step because they fear rejection. But you won’t know unless you start trying. No one has it all figured out. Stop fear letting you from starting. If you get rejected and you grow to be alright with it, it will then pave the way towards something probably even better. You CANNOT fail at your dreams and goals. If you put in the work; your dreams and goals WILL  happen. Your goals are personal but so are your obstacles. So work on them.

Another common fear is the fear of uncertainty. “What if it doesn’t go according to plan?” Here is the breaking news: It rarely goes according to plan. You just figure out things along the way. If you are about to do something for the first time, you might embarrass yourself. Be prepared for that. It also means you tried something. Which is so much better than not doing anything.

Every person who has achieved success, they did one thing—they put in the work. Will you fail along the way? Ofcourse you will. BUT YOU WILL ALSO LEARN.

So many people talk about finding their passion. However, only few are absolutely sure about what their passion is OR are able to just figure it out from the beginning. For most people, they are to try their hand in many things before they can realize they are good at something or even if they like something, preferably even find something that has demand in the market and then expand from there on to find their passion.

Everyone waits for the right time to do things or to start something or even to talk to people about their product or service or project. What you need to know is that, you are NEVER going to be ready for anything. All these successful people that you see (whatever your definition of success is), they didn’t start because they knew everything and were fearless. They started BEFORE they were ready. They just started and figured things along the way because they were consistent in what they were doing.

People hope that they can skip the first awful live or the first sales call or investor pitch they have to make. You cannot simply skip it. Nobody gets to skip Day 1. The next time you look at someone you follow, go back and listen to their first podcast or their first speech and you will see that they were not as great as they are today. They just improved overtime.

You never skip the awkward growing up phase of life, then why is entrepreneurship any different? You have to grow through the hard initial phases by showing up. Be willing to work through your fear. Show up despite it. Simply put one foot in front of the other and try different things. Learn to conquer your fears.

Let’s look at some ways in which we can do that:

  1. One of the biggest fears is the fear of talking to people (not just public speaking, but speaking in general to others). This can be especially true for some business owners. In such cases, think about what then? Yes, you are scared to talk to people, scared to talk about your business etc., then what would happen? No one would know about your business, your book or your product. And what then? Are you okay with that? Are you okay with just living the same life you are living now? If you are, then great! Don’t complain about it. Be happy and carry on. But if you are not, then take a small step to overcome it by working on your fear.
  2. Redefine the bigger fear. For example let’s say you need to talk to people to sell your product, but you are scared of talking to people (friends, family etc.) You might fear what they would think about you selling your product. In such cases, redefine your fear and think what the BIGGER FEAR is? Are you going to have any income that month? Are you going to be able to sustain your current lifestyle? Your kids, their future? What will be the repercussions of not taking that step? Is your current fear bigger or smaller than your BIGGER FEAR?
  3. Re-label failure or rejection as lessons. Look at failure as something you are LEARNING from. So if someone rejects you, take it as a lesson. Embrace the opportunity to have learned a lesson which helped you grow as a human being.
  4. Do you get intimidated by people who are in bigger positions than you? Stop considering you are in a lower place than others. Positions do not define people. What you have to offer does! Always think from a point of superiority because what you have to offer is different from what the other person has. Always decide on what is the value you or your product can provide to the other person and that is your point of superiority. That is what you HAVE which the other person doesn’t.
  5. Work on constantly increasing your value. Read, learn and educate yourself to become invaluable in skills that are needed in the industry you are interested in.
  6. Write down your worst case scenario. This is a powerful way to overcome fear. When you see it on a piece of paper, it will not be as daunting as you kept imagining it in your head. And sometimes you will also notice that when you write down your worst case scenario, you might realize that you are CURRENTLY living your worst case scenario because you refuse to take action.

These were few pointers on what you could do to overcome fear.

However, how to get past fear itself?

  1. Don’t let fear take up space in your head. Don’t let it live there rent free. Stop thinking ahead and projecting the outcome of a future that might or might not happen. Pay attention to your thoughts and how you talk to yourself. This takes practise and time.

For example, let’s assume that you were to get a response to an email you sent out a week earlier and you follow up once or twice and then start thinking in your head “they don’t like me and what I have to offer. Probably that is why they are avoiding me”. Who told you that? Other than your mind? No one! They haven’t. You don’t know unless they tell you. Do not jump to conclusions on behalf of others.

  1. Focus on your bigger why. Your why has to be bigger than all your fears. And most of the times, if your bigger why has other peoples interest associated with it, then it WILL BE bigger than your fear. Because your fear is all about you. Your BIGGER WHY can be anything from wanting your kids to have a good future to building a home for your parents or actually making someone’s life better through what you want to achieve. This would be the BIG push that will motivate you when your little fears stop you. And if you need more motivation, write down your bigger why and look at it every time. This is another reason why people do vision boards. To see their goal in front of them that so that it would enable them to work hard towards it and are not deterred by the fears stopping them.
  2. Accept that it will never go away. Accept your fear and understand that it is the part of the process of your evolving into the better version of you and don’t worry too much about it.

Remember that failure doesn’t make you give-up. Failure happens WHEN you give-up.

Day 4 of the 7 day challenge - Health

This is the fourth video of the live video series and the topic for today is health. Especially how our physical health effects our mental health which inturn effects our work, relationships and eventually our life. We have all heard how health is wealth and that if we don’t have good health, nothing else really seems to matter. And now, more than ever, we have to be careful about our health.

I honestly believe in health as a whole and it should not be differentiated into physical or mental since both are interconnected. Taking care of your physical health will help with your mental health and overall work output results. Else, your mental health will deteriorate and your work will suffer. You see, it is a cycle. And it is called health psychology. In health psychology, we understand that our physical health impacts our mental health and vice versa since they are associated with each other. So from a scientific point of view, our mental health can be impacted by any physical ailments that we may have or even by wellness in general and similarly our physical health can be impacted by our mental health patterns like our behaviours, depression, anxiety etc.

This in turn can start effecting every stage of your life including your work life. How long can you keep ignoring your health and keep on going? At the end, you are going to have a huge meltdown and we need to ensure that it doesn’t reach that stage.

Now lets look at some basic behavioural signs to see where physical and mental health are effecting each other and what you can do to work on it or atleast not let it affect you:

  • Evaluate your basic health behaviours: Monitor your sleep, how you eat, your exercise patterns, substance abuse (which includes alcohol, tobacco and drugs). If you feel like you are not able to sleep well, or are not eating the proper fuel that nourishes you (yes the junk food) or are seeming to indulge a bit more into substances to help you feel better – then these are signs that you need to be aware of.
  • Another big factor is also to check in on are headaches: Headaches are very often caused by physiological stress. You need to immediately address what is causing you that stress rather than just taking medication to numb the pain.

So what can you do to ensure that your health doesn’t affect your day to day life and your work?

  1. It can be as simple as adhering to healthy behaviours: Regular exercises, eating low sodium diet, more fruits and veggies. Check if you feel more fatigue, stressed and are doing less physical activity. Follow your health care regimen as much as possible (this can be as basic as flossing and brushing your teeth twice a day, to ensuring you do your periodic wellness checkups, to taking your vitamins regularly, to cleaning your contact lens properly daily etc). How many of us are guilty of not completing an antibiotic course because we felt better half way through? These are simple examples of how we do not adhere to healthy behaviours.
  1. Move your body: It has so many benefits to preventive health.

Exercise can really help to reduce your daily stress, increase happiness levels and lower levels of sadness and even loneliness. Some regular form of movement can prevent depression, anxiety and in some cases it is as effective as pharmaceutical treatments. It is said that just running for 15 minutes a day or walking for 30 minutes can help reduce depression by 26%.

So what are the kind of exercises you can do? The best form of physical exercise is just walking. You don’t need any fancy equipment or gym membership to do that.  Go for a good walk in your neighbourhood for at least 30 minutes daily. Skipping/ jumping ropes are another great cardiovascular exercise that can be fun and very beneficial for your body, plus doesn’t require too many equipment of much expertise to start.

But if you want to go more indepth for your age group, you can try the following:

If you are in your 20’s: Try to do a lot of exercises that help with developing your bone mineral density like dancing, running or martial arts.

Those in their 30’s and 40’s: You start to lose muscles and so must focus on more weight training and cardio vascular exercises like swimming.

Those in their 50’s and above: You should do exercises that help with balance and light weight activities.

This are just general ideas of course. Ideally you should and can do anything that suits your body and fitness level as everyone is different.

I personally feel yoga is great at any age group. It has helped me tremendously both physical and emotionally.

  1. Work on your sleep: Have a proper night time routine. Turn your devices off, your lights off, keep it quiet and cool. It is so important to have a regular bedtime schedule. Reading before sleep, meditation and sipping calming tea like chamomile can really help you to get your body into a relaxed state. You need to figure out how much sleep works for you as each person is different and needs different levels of sleep. So figure out for yourself what your level of need is and go get that sleep. It is the most vital of it all.
  2. I have one extra tip just for the ladies here. Please get yourself checked for PCOS. As you age, it is key that you do check yourself for any hormonal imbalances as your hormones will change. A lot of your changes in your mood and your physical/ emotional state including suddenly noticing being more tired, fatigue, hair loss, weight gain etc can all be due to an underlying PCOS condition. Figure it out and get yourself treated or atleast be aware so you can make healthy lifestyle choices to combat it.
  3. Be kind to yourself: This is the most important of it all. Be compassionate to yourself. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. Take breaks. Understand what triggers you off and work around it.

At the end of the day, health is the most important factor that binds everything together. Your family, your job, your business, your happiness – everything. You need to be healthy to enjoy it all. So take care of your health and be safe.

Day 3 of the 7 day challenge - Delegation

The topic for today is DELEGATION. This is a topic that I personally have a hard time with and yesterday at my live I realized a lot of people have trouble with it as well.

Let us start with why it is so hard for us to delegate. Why is it so difficult for us to let go of control and trust the other person to do a good job? Why do we feel the need to micromanage even when we finally whip up the courage to delegate? And most importantly why can’t we ask for help? Either as a business owner or even personally.

Start by being okay with letting go. The first step is to identify what’s causing you to not delegate. Is it the fear that someone else’s work will be sub-par? That they won’t meet the deadlines? That they will give up at the last minute and you’ll end up having to do it anyway? Once you’ve identified the reason, then you can work to overcome it.

But before we get into delegation and also why we normally resist it, let us first understand that delegation is different from allocation.

Allocating a task means giving instructions to someone in your team to carry out a specific action. You tell them what to do and they will follow what you asked to do. Delegating on the other hand, is assigning some of your work to another person who will be held accountable to how they did it, their actions, decisions and outcomes.

So here are few reasons why it is hard for us as business owners to hand off work to someone else.

  1. You just don’t want to. It might be that you like to do that work yourself. This can also mean that it might be some work that you really like to do but necessarily isn’t going to make sense to you as a business owner to do that anymore. Also, it is understandable why it could be easy to do it all yourself. For ex: if you are creating content. You might think it is better for you to do it as you know the content inside out and it is easier for you to write rather than having to explain your idea to others. While it seems to be easier to do it yourself, chances are that your skills are better used for something productive for your business. Like “developing a strategy to implement for that content“ or perhaps even “come up with new ideas for your business“. So you are essentially failing to make best use of your time and talents by refusing to delegate. Sometimes it can also be that we might want to keep those tasks for us because it might be a mental break from the tough tasks we need to do as a business owner.
  2. We don’t trust someone else to do it as good as we do. We might have developed a way of doing our tasks so well that we might feel that someone else might not be able to do it as well as us. In such cases, we need to accept beforehand that someone else will not do it as well as we do but they would do it as well as they can. And just like you weren’t perfect from the beginning, they will also get better at it. Else be the tough boss and tell them that it has to be done a certain way and put your foot down. Will it make you look like a bad boss? Most likely yes. But will it get the work done the way you want? Again, most likely yes. So you choose what is more important to you.

You have to understand that something doesn’t have to be done exactly like the way you would do it - but it has to be done right. And that is more important for business and success. Sometimes, you will find that their way is a bit better than yours or more effective than yours and if it is not, you can always train them.

  1. We do it out of habit. We go into an autopilot mode as we are so used to doing things ourselves. Habits are hard to change. The next time stop yourself when you find yourself doing things yourself and delegate immediately. Then, this will become a habit.

You don’t know everything. Someone else might be really great at doing a craft which you are only good at. Accept that and allow that person to take charge.

At the end, your business is your baby, and you would want the best for your baby always. But you would still have to trust the doctors and caregivers where your baby is concerned because they know what they are doing. And in the same way with your business, you need to trust and let go of control to others who is capable of doing a great job.

You might be a star at what you are doing, but you will not be able to go far alone. So figure out what you are exceptionally good at and delegate the rest.

Of all the work that you are doing as a solo entrepreneur, 90 percent of the work you should not be doing. You should only focus on what you are the 5-10 percent things that you should be doing for your business so that you can scale up.

Ofcourse it all depends on your ambitions. If you want to build a small business by yourself and have a small income to coast through your life, then awesome. Continue doing what you are doing now. But if you are mission driven and want to have a bigger impact on people, then you need the support of a team.

So how can you do it? Go beyond the solo-preneur mode and build a business that you can be proud of?

First thing is your mindset. Knowing the fact that you cannot do everything yourself and have the sure understanding that you want to scale up.

As you bring in more people and let them do what they love, you can focus on things you love and only you can do. Even if in the beginning it is something you can do better, you can train them to do a better job. So you can focus on what you can do.

So what are some tasks you can start to delegate?

  • Tiny: The little things that only take a small amount of time to complete but add up over time. These might be things an assistant could do: scheduling meetings, booking flights for business trips etc.
  • Tedious: Tedious tasks are mindless tasks. Tedious tasks require little skill and can be easily delegated.
  • Teachable: Do you have tasks on your plate that you could easily teach someone else to complete? If a task is entirely teachable and does not require expertise that only you can provide, then delegate.
  • Terrible at: Maybe you have no design skills and it probably takes you six times as long to create graphics for your blog posts as opposed to a professional designer. In such cases, it’s better to delegate that task to someone who is more equipped to do the work quickly and more effectively.

Slowly but surely, you may also need to consider delegating tasks you love doing but no longer help you to expand your business.

Let’s start with basic actionable Steps on how to delegate:

  1. Write down your list of weekly tasks (anything that is business related and takes more than 30 min for you).
  2. Circle anything on that list that only you can do for your business (not necessarily what you love to do). In my case, it is to pitch to investors. Is that something I love to do? Not necessarily. However, I cannot delegate it to someone else since only I know my projects inside out. Next, circle something that you are exceptional at or something that you want to expand your skills on. Only circle a max of 3-4 things. Everything else, should be ideally delegated.
  3. Of course, you are not going to quickly overnight have 10 people in your team. Just pick on thing from this list first and delegate it. Hire someone for 1 hour a day as a parttime basis or a freelancer (there are so many apps available to hire freelancers nowadays). The first person you hire doesn’t have to be a full time employee. He/ She can be a friend, neighbour or just someone you know.
  4. Every week, take one task away from you and delegate. This will allow you to free up time for you to do more of what is needed for your business as well as to do what you love to do more.

Ensure you brief your team member appropriately. Take time to explain what's expected from them during the project, the goals you have for the project, all timelines and deadlines and the resources on which they can draw information from. Agree a schedule for checking-in with progress updates.

Though it goes without saying you should not micromanage. However, this doesn't mean we must abdicate control altogether. In delegating effectively, we have to find the sweet spot between giving enough space for people to use their abilities to best effect, while still monitoring and supporting closely enough to ensure that the job is done correctly and effectively.

When delegated work is delivered back to you, set aside enough time to review it thoroughly. If possible, only accept good quality, fully-complete work. If you accept work you are not satisfied with, your team member does not learn to do the job properly. Worser still is that you will continue to think that there is no point in delegating and only you can do it well resulting you to stop delegating work altogether.

Delegating sounds easy and many who can do it well make it look easy. But passing the baton effectively requires a lot of trust, communication, and coordination. The good news is that like all other skills, it can be learned, honed, and developed until it becomes second nature.

If you’re still apprehensive about delegation, start small and ease yourself into it. Delegate small, low risk tasks first, then work your way up to something bigger. Eventually, delegation will become less stressful and more routine.

Richard Branson has said once that an entrepreneur is someone who is great at conceiving ideas, starting and building ideas. Then handing it on to good managers to build the businesses.

Delegation is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of a strong leader. You can accomplish a lot more by delegating. Try it today. One task at a time.

Click on the image to watch the full live video

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Day 2 of the 7 Day challenge - Time Management

This is the second video of the 7 days 7 videos challenge that I have been nominated for. Today's topic is all about Time Management. I want to elaborate more on the topic from a business owner perspective but it can be applied to everyone as well.

We have all heard that time is our biggest commodity. Everyone is blessed with 24 hours in a day and how we use these 24 hours is what determines our life path. Now, I am someone who understands that everyone's day is really different. My 24 hours right now, considering the fact that I am living alone in a different country, is completely different from what it used to be when I was back in UAE. As my kids were going to school in UAE and I had different priorities to accomplish with the time i had in hand then versus now. Everyone is at different stages of their life and your time depends on what your current priorities are in your life. However, having said that, time is the only thing you will never get back. You will never get more than 24 hours in a day and you can learn how to really manage yourself in those 24 hours. We need to really appreciate the time that is given to us and make the best use of it in order to ensure that our life is on track exactly where we need to be.

Contrary to what many people believe, we don’t need to spend the larger chunk of our day working on our business or our side hustle. If you manage your time well, you can achieve more in less time. Even if you figure out that you only have 1 hour to spend to work on your side hustle or your passion; but if you focus on that 1 hour 100%, you will start to see the results that you are looking for.

So let me give you my top tips on Time Management and you can choose whtever suits your lifestyle and your needs. However, please remember that you have to implement a plan and keep track of all your activities to be really effective in creating success.

  1. Plan your day ahead: Schedule everything. We need to be prepared for the next day from the night before. You need to take some time out every evening to review your day and to chart out your next day: What your goal for the next day is, what your meetings are, and what you need to do and at what time you need to do that, and what your pressing tasks are for every day in order to focus on that early on in the day itself. And it is also beneficial to do an extensive planning session every weekend for the week ahead. For ex: on a Saturday or a Sunday, I leave aside some time to go through my week and fix my goals and to-do list for the week ahead. This makes every night easier to go through your schedule for the next day. I do this for my personal things as well as for my professional things. Because I have realized that if I don’t block out time for something, I will not get it done. And I think it is true for most of us.
  2. Write down your To-Do list: It makes a lot of difference when you write it down. Otherwise, it is always in your mind and you will keep adding to it in your head. You will invariably end up not doing most of the things. Writing it down will also help you to find time to finish your tasks. Whether it is just an hour that you have, there is something about seeing the list on paper or your app; you know you have got to finish that task and you will find the time to finish it. it seems a bit more attainable  when you actually see it. ideally you should spend the first half of your day to tackle your to-do list but there are many people who are more productive towards the evening, whatever time it is that you feel you are most productive, finish your difficult tasks (or the things that you dread to do) – make sure you finish that first. It could be to make that phone call or to work out or to draft that email you have been dreading; whatever it is, tackle that most difficult thing first or else, believe me, you will procrastinate. At the end of the day you will not get it done and no matter how many things you may have checked off from your list, that one thing will keep gnawing at you at the back of your head and you will have this feeling (atleast, I know I do) of not having accomplished enough.

And please remember not to pack too many things in a day. It can overwhelm you. So if there are things that you feel are not too important when you are schduling your day ahead and you feel that you can afford to do it in the next couple of days, then schedule that accordingly.

  1. Plan your meals ahead: A lot of time goes in figuring out what to eat, what to cook, when to cook etc and prepping ahead will really help you with that. I for one, am not very particular about prepping my meals a week in advance and storing/ freezing them. What I do instead is, I batch cook for a couple of days in advance so that I am NOT cooking every single day and instead just every other day or every two days.

Same goes for clothes. It will be great if you can plan your wardrobe in advance for the next day, if it bothers you. I am not very picky about that, but it is a great tip for anyone who has trouble in that area and you waste your time a lot figuring out what to wear in the morning.

  1. Put a stop to interruptions: This is really important and you need to figure out what it is that causes you to waste time. For me, it is mindless scrolling on social media and also on whatsapp. I have switched off whatsapp notifications a long time back, so I don’t check it unless I am not working or I am on a break.

Another thing I do on a weekly basis and this has helped me a lot is changing apps locations on my home page. Our minds are very powerful and our fingers automatically go to those apps that seem to distract us. I have a folder for all my social media apps (which seems to be my weak link) and every week I consciously change the locations of these apps within the folder as I know these are my distractions and when I cant easily find them, I don’t use it as much.

You can also set a screentime limit on your phone for the apps that you use a lot. So it gives you a reminder if you are going onboard and will lock you out on days you exceed the limit.So find out what your distractions are and when you sit down to work, ensure that you put a stop to it. If it's your phone, put it on airplane mode or switch off your data. If it's your family, talk to them and let them know that they are not supposed to be disturbing you on your working hours.

Now, if your job revolves around being around social media a lot, try and be a creator instead of being a consumer. Set aside time for being a consumer when you are unwinding or when you are on a break. But even then, try and set a timer or else you will lose track of time and before you know it, you would have spend couple of hours on your FREE TIME and you would have gone down the rabbit hole, yet again. Especially now that so many people are still working from home, it is very important to put a stop to your distractions.

  1. POMODORO technique: This is a technique that has helped me a lot. It is a time management system that will encourage you to work with the time you have rather than against it. So, you basically break your whole work day into 25 min chunks separated by 5 min breaks. This one set is called 1 POMODORO. After about 4 POMODORO’s, you can take a longer break of 15-20 min. When I first came across this method I thought I would be wasting a lot of time as there seems to be a lot of visible breaks. But in reality, it has helped me a lot as it gets me to do things faster and more efficiently. There are lots of apps with POMODORO timer available, but you can use your phone timer as well. The idea behind this technique is that it creates a sense of urgency rather than us thinking that we have an entire day to get things done (which we usually don’t get done). This creates a sense of urgency and honestly 25 min is a lot of time and we can get a lot of things done if we are not distracted.
  2. Need to be accessible: Research shows that an average business owner is interrupted every 8 min. this is because we think we need to be immediately accessible as a business owner. Which is not true. This is also kind of an expansion on the topic of distractions. For those of you who have a team to manage, you will  have to learn to manage your time effectively with them. Be it be your employees, your stake holders or your investors – you need to set your expectations with them from the beginning. If it is too late already for you, start from now on. Don’t wait. Start with clarity on your business hours, your expectations from them and try to have them working and coming out with solutions independently rather than you having to handhold them all the time. You are only as successful as your team. So make sure that you set them up for success right from the beginning by laying out the foundations of what is important to you in terms of getting work done.
  3. Learn to delegate: This can be very difficult for many business owners and many people in general. Try and take things out of your plate. Understand what the things are that really ONLY YOU can do and are very important to you, your business or your life. Everything else, can be delegated. Learn to delegate and let go of that control. It is very important.
  4. Network wisely: Figure out what are the activities that will give you most success in your business and that should be the activities that you spend most of your free time on. There is a very famous rule called the 80/20 rule. Which means that 80% of your results are caused by 20% of the work you put in. That kind of work can be networking and being part of a similar mindset group; personal development and training which can be in the form of podcasts, reading books or even having mentors and coaches; picking up a hobby where you get to meet people who can refer you or connect you to the person or the company that you intend to pitch to; or alternatively you can be the mentor to someone else who is trying to start their business journey. Everything else, you should consider as your leisure time and make sure that you enjoy that as well.

But if you spend too much time in the wrong place, and try to create your success there; you will end up being busy all the time without really seeing any results and this will start to demotivate you a lot.

These were some of my tips for Time Management and I hope you have got some value out of it. Choose those tips that would work for you and like anything in life, don't attempt to do all at the same time. Start with 1 tip and master it, then move on to another. 

Good Luck :)

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Day 1 of the 7 day challenge - Morning Routine

So I have been tagged by my friend Angelique to post 7 live videos in 7 days on my Facebook about any topic. And I just couldn’t refuse. The topics she gave me were to be centered around business, parenting or motivation. I checked with few friends and everyone on my facebook page what topics they would prefer to hear me talk and most were business centered. I also did get some good topics that I will try to incorporate in these 7 days.

Todays topic has been suggested by one of my contacts and it is about Morning Routines for a business owner specifically. 

I honestly believe that in order to be successful in anything : as a student, business owner, parent, whaterver it might be -- you need to have discipline. And most of the times, from my personal experience, it starts with a good morning routine. Well, everyone is different and I understand that some people would be more productive in the evenings. But ensure that you have a strict routine that works for you every day. Also, I am not saying that only if you wake up at 5 or 6 am in the morning would it amount to a morning routine. I feel it is a big misconception. Like i said, some people are not morning people, some people sleep late. And it might even change over course of time. Your routines have to be incorporated and customized to suit your lifestyle.

Like me for instance, while I was back home in UAE, I used to wake up at 5 am in the morning. That was because my kids were going to school and I had to prepare them for school. But ever since I came to Philippines, I sleep late. Because my family is in UAE and in India along with my team – and I would be talking to them due to the time difference. So now my wake up time has changed. But my routine has not. I wake up by 7am  or sometimes by even by 8am. And then I get into my routine.

The most important factor to consider is not what time you wake  up, but what you DO after you wake up. Because that sets you up for your day. And unless you make these small changes, you cannot change much about your life. There is this quote that I like “ Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – A quote that has been wildly attributed to Albert Einstein. You cannot expect different results or want a change in your life, if you keep doing the same thing over and over again.

And that’s why I feel that a morning routine is really key. Since it will help you to run the day rather than let the day run you. This will determines whether you become a reactive person or a proactive person. Your goal is to become less reactive and more proactive. This will help you to inch closer to changing your day and thereby your life.

So what do I mean by that? And what are the changes you can make.

  • The Reactive people are those who wake up in the morning and let the day run them. They will immediately check their phones or emails, reply to messages, check their likes, their comments, start mindless scrolling and social media. And before you know it – your mood for the day is already set. You are already REACTING to circumstances that are being thrown at you. These people are constantly putting out fires and dont we all know about the Law of Attraction! You will constantly keep attracting situations in your life knowingly or unknowingly that requires you to put out fires. And at the end of the day, you might not have achieved your goals for the day or your major tasks for the day. This makes you feel overwhelmed; feel like there is no time and are constantly busy.
  • The Proactive group. This is the second kind of people. They have control of their day. They don’t let the outside world and the noises bogg them down in the morning. They plan ahead. They are prepared for their day. By the time they do sit down to take on the world, and react to the day, they have already accomplished their to do list and the major tasks for the day. This is accomplished by a proper routine and effective time management. You have 24 hours in a day and unless you structure it well, it will run away from you.

By the way, let me also inform you here that your effective morning routine essentially starts the evening before. So every night, before you get ready to sleep, write down your task list for the day and decide which are the things you want to tackle first. So that in the morning, there is not decision fatigue or confusion.

Let me give you a small run down of my morning routine. Like I said, I write down my list for the next day, the previous evening. And I have a physical calendar (more like a weekly planner) where I can see what I have for the week ahead. This is something I prepare for every Sunday night: I prepare for my week ahead with this calendar. It is an extensive calendar where I have incorporated time for my family, my personal things as well as my work related goals. And my family is aware of this as well. so they wont call me or expect me to be available while I am on my ”work time".

So once I wake up in the morning, I make my lemon water and I sit down to meditate. This is the only time in the day that I don’t really time myself. I free flow my meditation. It can be anything from 12min to 30 min. After that, I do some kind of physical exercise – either yoga or I go to the gym. And after that, I journal. (Offlate, I have been feeling Journalling is better than meditation as it helps me to purge my thoughts into a piece of paper and forget about it). Post that, I sage my home while listening to my meditaion playlist. Then I make tea and read or listen to podcasts for 30 min. (I try to read more than i listen to podcasts as i reserve podcasts to while i am cooking or in car to effectively manage my time). All this will take a min of 2 hours and only after that I will check my schedule and tackle my first task of the day. As i sit down to work is when I play my power music (which is some current fav songs of mine playing in a loop with my all time favorite song setting my mood for the day). Only after that will I talk to my family or respond to emails and messages. The difference here is that I am choosing my time wisely to react when I choose to and be mindful of being less reactive to situations or my day.

I have always had some similar kind of routine even when my kids where going to school in the morning. The main difference being that at that time, I would do all the above in a limited time frame and adjust my schedule based on my daily life. For example, I would only meditate for 10 min in the morning and leave my free flow meditation towards the evening. Also I would workout + jounal after the kids go to school. Again I choose the timing and what to do with it myself rather than let the day decide for me. 

So start your mornings right as it will set the tune for your entire day and eventually your entire life. 

 

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CELEBRATING JASMIN

2020-08-18

Of all the events I have had the honor of hosting, this still remains one closest to my heart. I grew up watching her and her best friends perform on stage, I saw her battling cancer and beating it. Then I saw her finally giving up to the disease. Everyone who knew her were on stage performing a dance and song that she performed from her childhood till just before she passed away. It was a night filled with emotions and I was grateful to have hosted the show.

YOGA CELEBRATED IN ABU DHABI.

2020-08-18

I have been fortunate enough to be associated with The Embassy of India, Abudhabi for all the International Days of Yoga celebrated in Abu Dhabi.

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