While I should be cramming my two final exam assignments, I am relaxing myself before I plunge into one of the toughest course/exam – Financial Management. Hope I don’t flunk the exam. This is one subject/area where you think you understand something and analyze and calculate but end up on the wrong side. Now I know why they say CA is one of the toughest subjects, now I know why stock market folks are thought to be crazy with numbers. Those who think MBA is all about boozing and talking and networking, from the outside it looks so but in the inside it is entirely different. In my perspective, MS can be learnt from the concepts and applying those concepts and deriving details out of it but MBA is not only learning from concepts, it comes from experience, knowledge, readings. So if you are like me who read the whole book and reproduced the same in college, you may find it difficult to be in and an MBA where you cannot reproduce anything as it is, where you have to share your perspective, experience, knowledge and ideas which simply comes from different things in life not just from books. I am experiencing its beauty now J
3 reality shows and 1 live event – I try to keep up with this weekly schedule because I love these 4 – Airtel Super Singer, Shark Tank, Celebrity Apprentice and Infinipath – each one teaches me something in its own stake.
Though Super singer is simply from my love towards music and the entertainment quotient, I like how Vijay TV bring the potential and make everyone big. Once you step, you will make a mark somehow – no, you will be made to grow somehow.
Shark Tank – I simply love this show for how sharks fry all the ‘pitching’ fishes J Sometimes I feel that if I had been there pitching in front of those five sharks, I might have to prepare a month before and looking at all angles where questions could come from – from a sales perspective, from an idea perspective, from an experience perspective, from the business model perspective and with the numbers (the sharks love numbers). For example, today I watched last week’s show and some fundamentals that I drew from each pitch/idea/business model: a) You lose when you pitch for something and ask money for something else that you thought is in the same business line or model b) You have nothing but you ask for money with a request to believe in something that you will come up with just an idea – only you will believe it, not the investors – they look for a working model, they don’t look for a model that you think will work c) Just because someone asks when you are going to come up with a new product doesn’t mean you should come up with a new product
This is off-track but I noticed these words from the Shark Tank which I did not know the meanings of:
Curmudgeon – a bad tempered or surly person; miser
Brusque –Abrupt or blunt in manner of speech
Domineering –Acting with or showing arrogance
Coattails –The loose back part of a coat that hangs below the waist
Celebrity Apprentice – Other than the creativity and pressure, I love the boardroom. You are put into some hypothetical or stressful situations and you have to overtake others in the team and prove yourself – Board room is really difficult to be in – I don’t think I will ever pass those situations – This teaches you how to manage a team of totally different individuals in character, mindset, attitude and goals.
Infinipath – This is where I draw from philosophies, wisdom from. Life’s biggest challenges are tackled in easier way from how T.T.Rangarajan puts it in simplest words. A good attitude, mindset, motivation comes mostly from this. If any of you want to watch this, check this out here (Live and recorded sessions): http://www.infinitheism.com/
Stay the same or create new?
I’m happy to be a student and an aspiring Entrepreneur. But though I have crossed the mid-life crisis which is supposed to happen between 20s and 30s, I feel clueless of what’s the new thing that I am going to bring to this world. I like reading everything start-up but I don’t have a solid idea to work on. While I move on with every other course work, I feel ‘I wanted to do this and that’ without any form or firmness – Once I want to be a Financial analyst, once I want to be a Management consultant, once I want to be a start-up girl and etc., During my last F2F classes, I happened to meet this classmate of mine from another cohort who is also from the southernmost part of India and who speaks the same language as mine (these two are insignificant details). He has his idea launched – this itself was inspiring to me. He talked about how his work-life-study-business balance was a mess. I can relate to it only by just having work-life-study minus a business.
When you start a new idea, the most significant factor other than you believing it and executing it is having a bunch of friends and family embracing it and motivating you. That’s an internal boost. This is what I had in mind. This was emphasized and re-iterated by someone else who’s an Entrepreneur already, who I have been diligently following for his business acumen and knowledge.
Time to stop digressing
I gave my first speech at Toastmasters. I did better than I expected. I still wonder how the stage in your mindset changes when you talk about the same thing to a bunch of colleagues or friends around a table and it seems so easy and talking about the same thing in front of an audience standing in the front makes it somewhat uncomfortable. Two major takeaways were that I was rushing and I felt breathless. Time to meditate and do some breathing exercise. There were lots of positives as well. Few thoughts that I left for others to ponder and execute at the end of the speech: 1. It’s okay to fail. If it is something that really matters to you, you should work on it more diligently the next time 2. You cannot control everything in life. Learning from failure helps you towards success 3. Take it in the right spirit because ‘Attitude measures one’s altitude’
Keep one thing in mind – efforts matter than results. Always give your best and leave the rest.
I am becoming comfortable than before to speak in front of a larger group. But there are always miles to go and improvements to make.
Bill & Steve:
I watched a video in CNBC where Bill Gates was talking about Steve Jobs. I admire both of them though latter has an ‘Entrepreneurial’ impact on me. The one question that was asked to Bill ‘What’s one thing that you think that you don’t have that Steve has?’ – He answered ‘Sense of design’ and he detailed how iPad tablet was a pioneer in technology. What a true statement it is!
An article on careers:
One of the articles that I recently read and found it very helpful for its content, very eye catching for its pictures with words detail, very intriguing for the mode it was put forth. It’s worth reading:
Two latest songs that I love listening and watching:-
‘Yaaro Ivan’ from Udhayam NH4:
‘Kaadhal ennulle’ from Neram:
Make a difference:
They say the one that you help without expecting anything in return is noble. Are you one among those who want to make a difference in someone’s life? Here’s my classmate R’s non-profit group (you can check more details in the website)
My new idea:
I started something called ‘Book Bridge’ and I wanted to try it with a closed group of friends to see how well it scales up before I take it to pitch. It didn’t work well as I expected. Time to think on new perspectives and angles – I have some in mind. Let’s see how it goes.
Have a wonderful week ahead! Bring in something new in your daily life and make a difference in someone’s life once in a while at the least.
A learning opportunity:
It was the first time to be in an established chapter of Toastmasters officers meet at Pikes Peak. For a budding group of Toastmasters in the workplace, this seemed to be a great learning opportunity. I observed a lot for what I need to implement. We, as guests, were asked to give our feedback on the meeting. I could spot out my 3 improved areas – Nervousness has been turned to non-nervousness, used the word ‘succinct’ which I have not used in any of my talks till now (not a common word that many uses), opened and ended my talk really well. As there are improvements, there are areas to be focused upon too – articulation of speech and delivering it in a simplified way for the audience to understand. This may seem insignificant to those who read, but for an aspiring public speaker – every iota of detail counts. I am working on a new idea of taking my speaking efforts to a new level based on a suggestion from a friend.
Am I turning to be a MBA advisor? In a day, I was approached by two different guys to know about my experience of applying process, how I tackled the essays, the coursework, classmates, career goals, suggestions, tips etc. I was very happy to share my knowledge and experience with others. There were lots of questions asked (obvious for potential MBA candidates for such a huge investment) and I was able to provide answers and my opinion on those. This in turn made me to relive my application and admission process – a sweet memory!
Failures breeds Success:
I follow start-ups a lot. Every time in anything I browse, I see the word start-up, I get excited J I really liked this article which clearly shows ‘Failures breeds successes’ – You need not be a follower of start-ups or have an Entrepreneurial mindset to read this – this is an article on Failures, Experiences that led to success.
HBS Start-ups – This is it?
The above link if looked in detail has a list of HBS start-ups at the end. None of them enticed me and I was surprised that HBS, a high profile school can only produce this much out of the behemoth of issues that we face in every walk of life which seriously demands an Entrepreneurial action.
This is cool:
Three new things that caught my curiosity:
Are you an avid reader of Tamil books, novels? Check this out. (Thanks to my friend S who posted about this) – http://www.nammabooks.com/
Many of us would have faced this situation – finding a parking lot space in a mall or a crowded place – This venture started out after a guy couldn’t find a parking space when he went to watch a movie for which he had already booked tickets. He went home later without watching the movie – The problem was that he couldn’t find a spot to park his car. Lots of us can relate to the situation of getting frustrated of finding a parking space. Well, if you were/are one amongst those individuals, check this out: http://www.parkme.com/
Flipboard, my favorite one – No wonder this is a favorite for one who wakes up 4 AM every morning to read the news and articles online that spans for about 2 hours and who loves reading magazines. I may launch my own flipboard after I explore the nuances and try it out. Check this out here: http://flipboard.com/
Namakku oru idea kooda vara maetenguthu, ivangallam room pottu yosipangalo?
The latest ‘murmur’:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsyfwQ4jTYs – ‘Aaha Kaadhal’ from ‘Moondru Per Moondru Kaadhal’ (movie yet to be released)
After coming to US, I became habituated to drinking warm water. So, I have always warmed up water in the microwave because it’s easier to do rather than taking a vessel and pouring water in it and boiling it for a while – OK, I am not lazy to do this but anyways it’s going to cool down after a while and for the amount of my water consumption every 2 glasses an hour, heating it up every time sounded tedious to me (You can call this lazinessJ). Why not follow the easier way when I have a microwave that comes handy to warm up anything I want? I did not know this habit is prone to a serious effect. One of my friends who knew this had advised me to boil water in a vessel and drink it. I did not ask her why and she did not tell me the reason – I thought she was asking me to follow her practice and she thought I will follow since she told me to J The change happened after I came across an article that shared the facts of the ‘why’ behind ‘not to boil water alone in a microwave?’
The accumulated energy from boiling/heating water in a microwave can burst out due to a phenomenon called ‘super heating’ as explained in Physics. What happens is that the water heats up much faster and the bubbles begin to form. If the cup is new (very clean and smooth), there is no graze or groove where the bubbles can go and can start the bubbling process in the water that is higher than the boiling temperature (100 degrees). What happens then is that any slight shock or even contact with slightly cooler air can initiate sudden boiling that is almost explosive.
If you want to warm up water in the microwave, you should always put something in the water, e.g.: a toothpick or one sachet of tea, but if we only heat the water, it is best to use the stove gas.
And my friend’s additional tip that she never uses microwave to warm up/heat any liquid items – she always heats it up in the stove to avoid any injuries such as the one with water in microwave.
If you are like me, will you change the habit of warming up water alone in the microwave? And if you think this will help many others who tend to do it like me, will you share it?
Sometimes, ‘Prevention is indeed better than cure’.
Source: Useful Information
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Every new thing that you try to learn either by compulsion or obligation or interest, seems very challenging in the beginning. But as it is said ‘Practice maketh a man perfect’, practice keeps the challenges away. When I started driving, I drove only to two places – my work and Grocery stores. If I had to drive to any other place, even with GPS, I used to get lost, I used to feel jittery when I had to think of driving to a different place which was new that time. As time flies by and I drove to many new places, it doesn’t scare me anymore, it doesn’t make me feel nervous anymore. I can even check the map at home and drive without a GPS now. How? Do you think it was because of interest? Intelligence? No, it was because of consistent practice. The same holds good for many things that come as ‘new’ in life.
‘Public Speaking’ skill is one of those skills that I am diligently working on, these days. Having been to Toastmaster sessions few times, I was lucky enough not to be picked for the impromptu speeches that we have in a meeting. Today was a (un)lucky day! I was called to give an impromptu speech on the most inspiring person in my life and what quality of that person resonates with me. There was no time to collect my thoughts, articulate, prepare and talk. I rendered whatever came out that time and I realized I did a lot of mistakes in the speech – grammatically, verbally but was not nervous, was not looking for words, was not lost. There were lots of encouragement from others, critiques and feedback from others which motivated me. In those earlier days, if I hear a critique, I tend to avoid that task which I was critiqued upon. But, now, every critique makes me feel like I am moving one step ahead. I diligently work on that particular weakness. It could be attitude, self-motivation, maturity or my B-school behavioral essence. ‘Toastmasters’ is a fantastic platform for one to improve communication, leadership, management skills. There is variety of roles one need to play –
Speaking skill: You could be a speaker (you will be evaluated by a panel and the written feedback will be passed on to you)
Listening skill: You could be an evaluator (evaluating someone’s speech and providing feedback)
Facilitating skill: You could be a facilitator for the meeting (devise and talk about the agenda, carry the meeting forward, introduce people and role plays)
Managing skill: You could be a timer (Keep track of the time and show cards – Green (Good to go, keep talking), Yellow (Ready to wrap it up soon) or Red (Finish it)); You could be a table topics master (Give impromptu speech topics and pick people randomly to talk); You could be a Grammarian (Give the word of the day and its meaning and usage – to be used in all the speeches for the day, count the number uh, ah, um, pauses, and, like crutch words used in the speeches)
It may sound very simple and the speeches may be very short, but standing and talking in front of a group of people – not a skill of many including me. The skills listed above are not restricted to people who want to be in Management or Leadership positions. It’s to be possessed by anyone who interacts with many people – That means every one of us.
The theme for today’s Toastmasters session was ‘Inspiration’ and well, it has been a theme of my day – Very inspiring day in terms of the Toastmasters session, a day where I could help many people of their needs, a day where many people inspired me and a day I am starting a new initiative.
Don’t limit your potential. Success does not lie in winning but in attempting. Be inspired and inspiring!
Was your day inspiring? What inspires you? Where do you seek inspiration from? Leave it in the comments.
I’m grateful for this day and any day that comes.
I don’t even leave surveys where I can show my loyalty to a brand J Surveys are an effective means of obtaining feedback about the business, product or service, one is into. I have not had a chance to create a survey at my professional or personal space but I know one reason people don’t respond to surveys is the ‘annoyance’ factor of pushing one of the radio buttons of those 25 odd questions that you have to answer for which there is no reward or obligation or penalty. It’s similar to the attitude that people show when there’s no power (electricity) at home – call the EB office and ask what the problem is and when will it be back and never call back to thank the technicians for restoring the power back (I get it – it’s their job but then why do you expect an appreciation at work when you simply responded to an email promptly?) – You enjoy a product or service but don’t take a chance to tell them back how you felt about it. Our tendency is to rate, or to comment, or to respond to a survey only when there is something terribly wrong or did not meet our expectations. Help the business prospects either way by helping others to decide whether to buy or not to buy, whether to use or not to use. How many of us rely just on the ratings and comments in Amazon when we buy? That’s the captivating factor of Amazon’s e-commerce business – so as is Netflix’s star rating and recommendation based on your taste and past preferences.
OK, all these business model talks is only to tell you this experience of mine – Today I received a survey link for many things but I want to touch base on HBR’s Management tip of the day survey. My first reaction – Why do they want to have more than 3 pages of questions for someone to respond to a survey? Their customer interaction and feedback impact is lost there. People of modern times do not have much attention span to respond to a survey for about 5 pages. A survey should only be 1 page with top 5 questions that could click or tick the main touch points for improvement or ‘continue to be the same way’ points. The purpose of survey and the yield on its results is lost with pages of questions. Anyways, I went and filled all the pages for the sake of being a true fan of HBR’s tips and to put forth some suggestion points.
The same methodology holds good for presentations – Be it your college presentation, presenting a paper before the panel of judges, a business plan competition, a pitch, a system presentation at workplace – if you have text all over and have more pages, you will lose the focus from audience. Pictures speak more than words. People’s attention can be grabbed easily with pictures and they can remember pictures well than words. Steve Jobs is an example of one of the good presenters/speakers – He used this mode of presentation. He enticed the audience this way. And from my personal experience of presenting (after learning this mode), I did win of pulling the crowd’s attention in one of my recent presentations. If you are unable to tell something in simple slides and pictures, it’s very obvious that you yourself do not understand the concepts very well to present. This is the thumb rule. Try this mode in your next presentation and see if it makes a difference. I’m sure it will!
Here’s an example of an effective way of jumping over the bureaucratic policies of a company and winning the innovation battle.
Source: Harvard Business Review blog
I feel that Entrepreneurship need not be a subject to be taught only in B-Schools. It could be cultivated in children from the young age. Entrepreneurship at an young age would teach children many things in life – How to be creative, how to build useful and helpful things, how to invest money, how to attract customers, how to fail and succeed, how to get inspired and inspire others, how to tackle difficulties, how to collaborate with people, how to be nice and how to be tough at times, how to be passionate, how to apply thought and action and much more. It’s not about profits and money alone, its about everything that one can learn in life. At the least, I hope to bring this in my children
If you like animated movies, ‘The Croods’ is a wonder to watch. Absolutely amazing storyline and creativity
Source: My experience
Green chillies are known to have bacteria around the stem. This leads to early spoilage. When you bring them home, snap off and discard the stems, wrap them in paper towels, put them in a Ziploc and only then refrigerate them. Now watch how long they last now!
Source: My experience after reading it in
If you are a person who loves philosophy and self-help things, this book is for you – ‘Most & More’ by T.T.RangaRajan (Popularly called as ‘Ra’ and ‘Mahatria’). The book is divided into many chapters with each chapter covering about 5 pages. Every chapter you read could be a reflection of the circumstances in your life, either in the past, or in the recent times, or in the present. You’ll be bound to build in lots of wisdom within you and some perspectives that you held before could change for good. When we can spend about $4 for a Starbucks coffee, why not on a great book like this? At least the coffee gets digested and pulled out in a later time but the thoughts from the books could well be inculcated in your mind, body and soul. Get it, read it, experience it and see at least small differences that will help your life change for good.
Source: My experience
Quotes to note:
“You are not defined by your past. You are prepared by your past” – Joel Osteen
Do you know?
(Ha ha) Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is the fear of long words. I think we all will have ‘Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia’ now
‘Make life a wonderful adventure’ – Today is Charlie Chaplin’s birth anniversary. One of his inspirational speeches here that fits the current happenings:
Work with words:
Meaning: Short lived
Usage: I always feel my trip to India is fugacious
Source: My toastmaster session
Fun with finance:
If you have loans (e.g. student loans, car loans), should you try to pay those off first before saving your money in an investment portfolio? No, not always! Here’s why.
Let’s say your student loans have an annual interest rate of 4%. Let’s be conservative and assume a 6% average annual rate of return on investments. In this scenario, you should not focus all your money in paying off the loans.
Why? Because the investment return that you would receive is greater than the 3% that you lose out from interest, +2% to be exact. The optimal solution would be to put most of your money in investments, but still continue to pay off your loans albeit not as intensively. In the end, you will actually come out with more net worth because your investments will pay you back more than the amount you would have to pay in interest on the loan. If you are diverting all your extra money towards paying off the loan, you are actually theoretically coming out in a net loss (-2%) by trying to pay off your loans faster.
Source: Quora.com – http://jessechen.quora.com/Personal-Finance-for-Young-Professionals
Four people are in an airplane, the pilot, the smartest man in the world, the richest man in the world, and a punk teenager. The airplane experiences some difficulties, and the pilot informs the three passengers that the plane is going to crash, and there are only three parachutes on the plane. The richest man in the world takes one, because he says that his lawyers will sue everyone else on the plane if he doesn’t survive. The smartest man in the world takes a parachute, because he thinks that the world would be a worse place without him. The pilot says to the punk “There’s only one parachute left, I’ll fight you for it.” “That won’t be necessary,” said the punk, “The smartest man in the world took my backpack.”
There are many songs devoting to mothers. But there are only few songs for fathers and they can be equally good as those of ‘mother’ songs:
US: Are you moving out to a new place? Frustrated looking for cardboard boxes in super stores and don’t want to pile it up at the new place after unpacking? There’s a new company that can make life easier with this problem:
India: Are you looking for a good private tutor for your sons/daughters? ‘Word of mouth’ research is old. Try this new way of researching and get a good teacher:
OK, it’s been a while. With my head forged into challenging course work and assignments and exams, though lots of thoughts came to my mind to blog, they did not travel far. Had an interesting face to face classes last month. It was a usual jiffy mode but this time, in addition to the classes where we explored the business strategies of Netflix, Yahoo, FedEx Harley, Teva, we had some networking events – a Women entrepreneurial forum where most questions centered around how to juggle a personal life of being a mother and a professional life of being an Entrepreneur (there’s no easy and right answer for this, would be a million dollar question for ages and any answer can never be a satisfying answer), a get together event at one of my classmate’s place – the aerial view of Bay bridge from his place was magnificent. I really loved the walking to school conveyance which took 20 minutes from my classmate’s place where I stayed this time. This time I purposefully sat with folks with whom I have not talked much before or never mingled much. Brainstormed more about patents and if it is worthy enough to share an idea with others. You never know who is watching you – a Venture Capitalist could be watching you and may be interested in your idea (No spoiler alerts! ).
Time passed since the face to face classes and one is coming in few weeks. Though I felt anxious and nervous and struggled with my concentration power or focus in the beginning, I enjoy the B-school ride just not for the ROI it can give me, but for the lessons and knowledge and new things it is bestowing upon me. There’s one big hope that pervades in me – If I can join Babson after few (many?) years of rigorously following it and breathing the dream in and out, why not a startup and becoming a VC?
Ok, OK…I heard you..there’s no logical connection here and that’s why I am going to write about the ‘fruits’ of expectations.
Do you know what’s the most difficult thing in life? Meeting or managing expectations. It holds us through in all walks of life – be it a promotion or love or marriage or family or friends or colleagues or anyone or anything for that matter.
There are only 4 ways to tackle this (pun intended):
1. You cannot expect ‘Apples’ from a ‘Mango’ tree. You got to accept that Mangoes only can come from Mango tree and not Apple. You have to crush that expectation and start liking the Mangoes (could be your family or friends or spouse or kids)
2. Like the early age Tavasees (Not namma Kaptain ‘Thavasi’ and not namma guys’ current hearthrob ‘Tapasee’), you can meditate daily and believe ‘Miracles do happen’ and ‘One day I will get apple from this mango tree’. One day, you may, you will!
3. Be cool and take as it comes – if apples come from a mango tree, why question? You like Apple, so eat apple. If a mango comes from a Mango tree, eat Mango because you like Mango too
4. Be like Mahatma – ‘Be the change you want to see in this world’. Become a Scientist or engage a scientist and put efforts to bring Apple from a Mango tree. Perseverance pays rich dividends. If you really aim for apple from a mango tree, your aims could become fruitful through efforts
I hope you got something out of this and you’ll apply any of the 4 solutions to manage your own expectations and that of others.
Babson has been ranked #1 in Entrepreneurship by US News & Report for the 20th consecutive year. Stanford, MIT, Harvard are behind us. Proud to be a ‘Babson’ite. Go beaver!!!
Jumping out of joy
Purify your thoughts?
Discover your inner power?
Bring body, mind and spirit in harmony?
Well, this may be one for you. Check out the 21 day Meditation challenge by Deepak Chopra & Oprah Winfrey: Meditation challenge