In the hustle bustle of life with juggling priorities and responsibilities, we often throw away or overlook the idea of investing in ourselves. The same routine, the same old menial work – we just live the way life takes us thinking ‘money’ and ‘peaceful or balanced life’ is all what we aim for.
How many of us wanted to change our jobs but never had spent time looking for it?
How many of us wanted to get promotions at work but did the same amount of work with the same level of commitment?
How many of us wanted to start a new thing but started and never pursued after a day or a week?
How many of us live in the opinion of others and never ventured out anything that we truly believed in?
How many us have unique potential that has never been utilized?
Almost most of us do. Why do people who have the same ability, same potential, same resources as many of us here became successful in what they wanted to do in life when we struggle to become one or not being able to become one? It’s because they invested in themselves before they invested in what they wanted to do, achieve and become successful.
Here’s a 5 min clipping from ‘MSN Today’ that caught my attention. A session of insightful questions & thoughtful answers from 4 self-made people in their own field. A must watch not only for the change makers/Entrepreneurs but for anyone who wants to excel in life: [Click on 'What brings success?' to watch the video]
My take-away is to continue introspecting 5 mins daily before going to bed and persist on investing in the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, goals that make me.
And, What’s your take-away?
T20: There are 2 T20s that I want to talk about: India Vs Pakistan. Became an ‘app’ woman – only checking updates from the notifications of the app. While you are busy working, these notifications do help – they do remind you that something else is also going on in this world other than work or school A win against Pakistan if not in hockey at least in the world of cricket draws some contentment. Second T20 is of Airtel Super Singer’s. It was legendary Kamalhaasan’s presence made the show special (DD maadhiri thirumba thirumba naan solla maeten ) I admire him not only for his acting and skills which is a very common justification of being a fan, but also for his pursuits, bold ventures and sincere efforts. If you have watched the show this week, you would have noticed how he enjoyed the music and singing (by nodding and tuning his head and hands to the tunes). That’s the beauty of an artist – enjoying his own as well as others work.
Movie time: Watched NEPV (Needhane En Pon Vasantham) and NKPK (Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanom). Gautham Menon has disappointed me. I am a big fan of his Vinnaithandi Varuvaya and with huge expectations, I watched the movie but it pushed me to a point “Please padatha seekirama mudinga”. It was a totally opposite experience when I watched NKPK. I did not have any expectations other than few friends suggested to watch it. Though I felt the start was a bit boring, the fun part started from “Ennachu? Cricket Velayadinom…” till the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Vijay Sethupathy has acted very well and so as others. The “Ennachu” disease has stuck me and I keep saying
that word, though neither did I play cricket nor did my Medulla Oblongata is repaired. I would recommend any Tamil movie lovers to watch it – You will have fun, you will laugh a lot, you will feel relaxed and at the end you will feel contended that you spent few hours worthy relaxing and entertaining yourself.
Cash flows: Ha…I always took pride that I am good at Math. With my ‘Financial Reporting’ coursework in progress, my problem solving and analytical skills are being tested. Only with two courses completed in my school curriculum, I feel that being an Entrepreneur is the most challenging and difficult thing in this world. It’s not about focusing on one area, it’s about focusing on almost all areas – Investment, ideas, revenues, people, talent, time, market share, economy, structure, design, employment, opportunity and also a bit of luck and being at the right place at the right time. Though Entrepreneurship is a long way to go, my current focus is only on tackling cash flows, balance sheets and income statements [Hair stands like Einstein's when I do financial accounting assignments. I should at least get pass marks in this course is my goal ]
Innovation: Reading articles, watching shows like ‘Shark Tank’ and ideation does not do any good unless there’s some sort of action involved. Travel industry is the major market that’s being targeted for innovation. Though there are yoga studios and checking the menu and ordering via an iPad in the restaurant seems to be new ideas, I’ve always wondered why not a ‘Red box’ (I don’t own some movies that are recently released and while the flight is delayed, need some form of entertainment to pass time) rental or ‘Book rental’ (I don’t need to carry books or my Kindle or nook) or ‘Toys rental’ (distract or engage the kids while waiting) in the airport [though the ROI may not be that great is a reason behind not having these rentals]?
Innovation starts from observation. Startup mantra is:
1. Finding a problem that YOU currently have
2. Building something that solves the problem
3. Iterating and never stop improving
4. For every iteration, checking if the end meets the means
“Empty vessels make much noise”: SFO women’s startup pitching competition is in Feb 2013. I wish I had an idea, a business plan and a prototype to pitch there, even if it does not scale or win. There’s an Entrepreneurship teaching campaign in Africa led by Babson during Spring break for which I really wish to go and teach kids about Entrepreneurship. I want to take internship in my dream company IDEO. I wish to go to India and work with NGOs for my non-profit start up to have a beginning. Sometimes, it’s like I want to do too many things and end up doing nothing
1 more week of break time and I rather use it efficiently and effectively writing blogs, eating & sleeping, watching movies and listening to music ‘Study mode’ button will soon be pressed after New Year.
Have a fantabulous new year ahead!!!
Days pass by so fast. It’s already November and holiday season is near by. We had Halloween celebrations last week. After 2007, I dressed up for Halloween this year, even did some cubicle decorations, invited kids to home for ‘trick or treat?’. Won the costume and cubicle decoration contest at work and our team won the contests both in CLE and CO. It was a great moment for all of us for our deliberate prep work and we all owed to it 2 guys who were the think-tanks behind the idea of executing the ‘CLUE’ board game. I was Ms. Scarlet and people asked me why I look pretty (thanks to a team-mate who gave her very beautiful red gown) rather than spooky or creepy? I remember running to Walmart in the morning to look for an alternative and the similar purse that Ms.Scarlet held in her hands in the ‘CLUE’ movie that I watched the weekend before Halloween (I thought I could enact well if I see the movie. It helped with the costume and accessories but not the seductive look and cigars though ). Had some decorations at home too. Did a handmade ‘boo’ door tag and had a pail of candies for kids. When 3 kids knocked the door, I was a bit scared to ask for trick. I passed the first moment by saying ‘Treat’ and gave a handful of candies to each of them I did research on the history of Halloween before all this happened and so I was well prepared. This Halloween was different from the earlier years since I engaged myself to do something on that day. A pumpkin carving and ask for tricks next year may be…
Classes and Assignments have become an integral part of my day-to-day life. I used to be stuck with routines, not any more – One basic thing that is thrusted upon me in the coursework. Break the routines and do something new. I’ve been trying to put this technique to work. No more ‘pre-programmed’ 9:30 sleep time, social networking for a few hours in the evenings etc., 2 courses this time – one that squeezes your brain to handle difficult situations and bends you to think on leadership capabilities; the other one pushes you to bring out your creativity, challenges you to get out of your comfort zone – I never thought creativity and Entrepreneurship can be thought, until now. Every week, I try out new strategies to improve my game plan of reading case studies, working on assignments and bring out new things that I may have resisted to try before. Though time stays critical and significant in all these, its worth the experience and energy spent. Our team is creating a new product which we got to present in 10 days during my second face to face classes. Lovviingg it!
Amidst all this, trying to catch up with Masterminds session. After missing a few in the row, did listen to it this week. Some of my interpretations from it:
Give up your comforts to go up
Make a difference – You should feel like this birth of mine is worth it, everyday
You shouldn’t be in a position to give up things that your heart desires, because of economical reasons
Amitabh Bacchan, T.T.RangaRajan, Robin Sharma, my cousin J Akka – I’m sure I’ll add many more to this list – I wonder how in this world these people get time and energy and passion to do things that no ordinary person like me can think of, accomplishing in 24 hours a day that’s given to all of us in this earth. They inspire me every now and then. I wish to be like that one day.
3 songs that I’ve glued my heart and soul to it. Worth listening:
‘Nenjukulle’ from Maniratnam’s movie Kadal – Nenjukulle is definitely in my nenjukulle now.
‘Ayyayo anandhame’ from Kumki:
‘Oru paadhi kadhavu neeyadi’ from Thaandavam
That’s for now. More later…
Its been a year since I had been to Boston. Had lots of excitement to meet my nephew R and to enter into Babson MBA community. I’m going to keep this post short and cover all the activities in a nutshell.
Day -1: Played with R for a while…his observations, puzzle solving capacity, talking abilities…there were more to catch up. I couldn’t compete with him in solving the large set of puzzles that he have. Loved when he says ‘Not like that Chitthi’ when I tried to connect the puzzle pieces wrongly Aha…his American accent…I’ve to learn from him, I told my sister. Picked up the rental car (Welcome my first solo driving in the people packed Boston). Did a bit of shopping for the Business casuals and dozed off early at night.
Day 0: Accounting Workshop – My first day @ Babson. Met Prof PW. I had difficulties in completing my pre course work accounting course and hence signed up for this workshop. When I got a hold of the basics of Accounting during the first few hours of the class, totally succeeded in solving the first set of problems that he gave to solve working with a group. Connected to those people in my group while solving the problem. None of us had finance or accounting background. Income Statements, Balance sheets have shifted from ‘Oh I don’t get it’ to ‘I like solving it’ type. A set of ‘Account statistics’ and ‘Company matching’ group solving activities followed. It was great to brainstorm with others and come up with solution and eagerly awaited to see the solution that Prof posted and explained in the class. Keeping in mind that the whole week is going to be a very intense and exhaustive week, caught sleep early after getting
Day 1: The Auditorium was filled with so many people connecting during breakfast. Orientation was started by Babson’s dean followed by our fast track chief and the President’s ‘Entrepreneurial Thinking’ session. He was brimmed with enthusiasm and energy moving across the Auditorium while delivering the content. During lunch, we were asked to pick up a token at the entrance and sit at the table with the number that was in the token. It was a way to connect to people from different industries. Went to bookstore with one of my classmates to pick up our coursepack. Connected to so may people and got an idea of why everyone chose Babson and why were they there. There were some technical laptop setting sessions thereafter. It was a 8AM-9PM week with 1 hour driving up and down amidst traffic, school buses, I felt very exhausted by the time I got back home
Day 2 & 3: It was a session called ‘Techmark simulation’. We were divided into groups into each planet (divided into 5 planets and 5 groups in each) and each group represented a Management team trying to bring back Techmark to speed and reap profits. We were given 5 quarter periods spanning 1.5 hours each to solve and sell 3 products to 3 different countries based on the market statistics, economy and financial statements. You don’t understand anything right after reading this? That’s how we as a group felt too…After 2 periods, we could gather details and understand what was expected and by the end of 5 periods, we won in our planet. Was it a win by luck? May be or may be not, but it was a great experience trying to calculate, brainstorm, listen to various perspectives, ideas and coming up with a competing strategy doing all this inside a room packed with charts, flipboards, print outs and notes. By the end of day 3, my brain was about to explode
Day 4: Had an idea lab session with Prof DC to know about brain orientation, where ideas come from, working on gathering and multiplying stimuli and coming up with an idea only with a company name given. There were 42 different ideas that were generated in the class…Mine was the most dumbest idea But most others were weird, very different and out of the box thinking types. We were asked to pick up one idea as a group and pitch as a business plan with Potential customers, Business/revenue model, Target industries, Production costs in mind. It was another group interaction session which led me to think ideas come from divergent thinking and its not easy to pitch if you are not sure about what you want to do/implement. Had a welcome party in the evening where we connected to our Profs and other faculty members.
Day 5: We had our first 2 core course sessions. Without pre reading for classes, you cannot contribute anything in the class which led me to catch up with the readings early in the mornings. Class interactions count for grades and hence introverts like me were pushed to talk. It was evident that only when you talk, your thinking and ideas emerge and help you to leverage with that others think of. It was a great session to discuss about a case study of Innovation, How failures breed success and much more. Said bye to my learning groups and other classmates and thanked Babson for such a wonderful experience throughout the week thought it was exhaustive. Did a bit of shopping and dinner with Sis and R later.
Day 6: Went to CT with friends and saw fall colors. How long I had to wait for seeing the fall colors? Had a great dinner at A/S’s house after which stayed very late till 2:15 in the morning completing my assignments. Ha, when did I become a good student?
Day 7: Watched some TV shows with A/S and talked about those. Packed and got to the airport very early not anticipating that I would be missing my connecting flight. New experience of missing the flight due to technical snag in the aircraft and stayed at a Hotel arranged by the airlines.
Got back home the day after and went to work after a week. Felt like I had been in a different planet the week before
Intense coursework and busy schedules ahead. The interest towards the coursework has certainly multiplied after the whirlwind week. Got to go…Will catch later
The title of this post is derived from Dr.Drake Ramoray’s (Joey’s) part in the F.R.I.E.N.D.S series An all time favorite of mine. I can watch it several times and can never get bored. If you ask me who I am a fan of, in the ‘F.R.I.E.N.D.S’ series, I won’t be able to tell. Each part is characterized and played very vividly aptly.
Into the days of my life now…
With my MBA course starting in about a month and half, I’m trying to keep up a work life balance. My schedule is getting intact. It’s a great privilege to know and to be a part of the community where CEOs, CFOs, Program Managers and IT Specialists from various industries are going to dwell. Mixed emotions – Very excited for the kick-off residency classes and at the same time feel perplexed on how I am going to fit into this great élite pool and make a significant mark. Challenging times ahead…But what matters is the enriching experience and exposure it’s going to dawn on me, isn’t it?
Being introduced to the new world of Accounts, Economics, Statistics, Ethics and Business, I’m able to see the vision and clarity of many great Entrepreneurs/mentors who I’ve been closely following lately – Chris Guillebeau and Mukund Mohan in specific.
Going to miss Nadal’s action in US Open – Now I console myself that it’s good that I did not get a ticket to watch it live (it was one of the items in my bucket list). Trip plans ahead for B’day/long weekend and the F2F MBA sessions. Fun days and intense schedule ahead. I’m saying to myself – Chillax Baby!
And here’s a song that has been ringing in mind lately:
First job, Beaches, Restaurants, People, Friends, Hang Outs, Shopping Spree – Thanks for the exposure you gave me Chennai! ‘Happy Madras day’ to all Chennaites and Chennai lovers
Time flies off easily. It’s been another year and another birthday around the corner – Not only a birthday but also a birthday wish
“Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”
Books are the treasures of life. What’s the best trait that you can develop in a child? Reading habit. Reading makes a child to think, explore, focus, communicate, gain knowledge and create ideas. Reading is a discipline. While most people know this, not everyone in this world are able to develop this discipline in a child just because they cannot afford to buy a good book. We can change that and make at least some children to gain accessibility and own a good book which he or she can cherish for lifetime. That’s my birthday wish of this year – ‘Give a good book’ fund-raising campaign.
On my birthday, you all are going wish me to have whatever I dream of. This fund-raiser is one of the big dreams that I have for this year. Will you make my dream and birthday wish come true this year by donating whatever you can and make a child have a good book in hands?
With a book in hands, you can bring a smile in a child’s face here.
Thanks a million, in advance!
‘Sportstar’ has been re-launched – I read it in the newspaper today. It brought back those vivid memories. My dad used to be a sport fanatic watching football, cricket, tennis which were his core favorites. We used to get Sportstar those days. I remember this in particular – There was some slogan contest for some upcoming tennis matches and my dad won it and met Ramesh Krishnan during the award ceremony. My sporting fanaticism started then, I guess. I remember cutting out the center cover photos of Hansie Cronje, Shaun Pollock, Saqlain Mushtaq, Javagal Srinath, Ajay Jadeja and having it secured. I used to collect those small cards that you get when you buy bubble gums (Big Babool or something, I forgot the name). Friends in school used to call me the 3S (Srinath, Saqlain and Shaun Pollock) fan. I used to go gung-ho about Srinath when he takes hatricks and as a result of my merriment, serve chocolates in class
Looked back at those days when I had my debut with baseball as a viewer during the start of this week. The day before the baseball game, I talked to a friend to know the rules and basics of the game. The day of the game, I read in wiki about the game. It was my first live match as a viewer. It was easy to get the game logic although I had to question about RBIs and HRs that displayed on the screen when the hitter’s statistics was on. It was a different experience and good start to begin following the game from now on. Came back as a fried chic(k) from the scorching sun. I wish I went well prepared with sun glasses and head caps.
What’s with the game of Indian cricket? Virat Kohli slamming a century on the first and the whole team packing a century altogether in the second – It gets unpredictable with the Indian team as always. England Vs South Africa games seem to be interesting.
With London Olympics on and another Wimbledon tennis on the cards, sporting world gets to draw more crowd. Though fans including me will miss Rafa, Roger and Novak might pull us into some excitement.
Time flies by easily…Summer is going to end soon.
I’m not the best in drawing Venn diagrams but I am good at interpreting one such. But, this one took more time than I expected. Pictures are better than words they say and I’ve started liking infographics than ever before. Here’s one infographic on life.
Is it not hard to interpret? If not, you’ve earned a Venn diagram mastery badge
Image courtesy: The Startup Centre
Success = Potential + Efforts + Luck
Though the % towards each factor can differ, when one is not there, ‘Success’ as a collective thing could be out of reach; could be a dream and not a reality. I watched this video from Grasshopper and I liked it because I thought it was well aligned with my thoughts. And, I’m sure every other Entrepreneur or a wanna be Entrepreneur has watched this video umpteen times.
It all started somehow, somewhere to have a motto in life to make a difference in every possible way. When your vision is clear, putting the thoughts into words can be easier than expected. I have talked to many people at work, at functions, at home, at friend’s place about being an Entrepreneur and getting into Babson’s Olin School of Business. Many have questioned me why I did not consider Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, Berkeley, Darden and all other ivy league B-Schools. Babson has been ranked #1 in entrepreneurship for 19 consecutive years. Babson’s professors are Entrepreneurs – Their realtime business execution, success measures, lessons on failure and much more will be helpful than just being in a theoretical class. Most of the Students are Entrepreneurs or at the least they have an idea or agenda to be an Entrepreneur. Theory can teach you the ways of doing things but unless it is put into practice, it is mere information. Practice can take you through the intricacies, show you to get back strong after a fatal fall – Experience can give you much more than the Knowledge you possess. Getting into Babson was a dream. I lived with it for years.
During one of our dinner outing, K asked me what were my plans for applying this year. I detailed her about the difficulties and she was the one who spurred this idea into me of trying something that’s possible in terms of executing the dream. My research started there and it provoked me to connect with few of Babson’s alumni and the prospective students. They helped me throughout the process of knowing what it is and how to approach. It was the start!
Application Essays – This was one of the things that kept me occupied for days altogether. Though I like writing, I was not sure how this format of app essays should be written. I researched on essay editing services and approached some but was not towards them due to the expenses their services rely on. So, ruled out the option of getting my essays edited through the services available and heavily relied on my writing skills. My best friends N and S were the driving force in getting the essays done. I honestly told them my views and the way I want it to shape up. Thanks to S for the valuable suggestions she provided. I owe N a great deal of thanks and gratefulness for spending several hours in reviewing, acknowledging, criticizing, giving ideas and directions and at the end giving me a very satisfactory feeling to say “It has indeed come out really well!”. Thanks to my sister for reviewing the essays within a less amount of time that I could give her, correctly pointing out grammatical errors and the lines that were not making any sense – I was able to correct it and rephrase it to mould the essays into a better shape. With application essays carrying the greater weightage for candidacy, without these 3 people, it would not have been easier to get it done with utmost satisfaction.
My good friends K and A, well wishers from my earlier and current company – S and R, were instrumental in recommending me to Babson’s MBA. I owe a great amount of thanks to them.
Bounds of joy:
The anxiety of checking the results every 1 hour on the web ended yesterday. Even for the 10th and +2 results, I did not have this anxious feeling. But the first ever time I tried to get into Babson, i.e. this time, it worked. I was not 100% hopeful because I stumbled in one significant question in the interview process. Yet I was very satisfied with the way I shaped my application essays. So my take was 50%-50%. The results were supposed to come on Thursday but it did not. So, the anxiety factor increased tremendously although I kept saying myself that a day delay in the results could be because of the July 4th holiday.
Later yesterday, when I got a call and the other side uttered “We have a great news for you!” – I felt like dancing; I felt like jumping; For few minutes after, I did not listen to what she said. I sunk into one of the happiest moments of my life. Then I realised the call was not over yet. We discussed on the next steps and hung up. The year(s) long dream, the vision, the future has unfolded today – Hurrah! Babson accepted me. I made into Babson’s fast track MBA this fall [I wish I could fill this space with 1000 smileys ]
My parents are one among those who know this dream of mine. They came to know it better after I detailed them on how I see it. So, when I told them the news yesterday, my dad gave a philosophical connection on why he believed that I would definitely make it. The connection/story is simple – He went to get the official transcripts from the university where I attended for my Undergrad studies. Generally it takes weeks or even months to get it. He approached and they said it will take time and with my deadlines fast approaching, he gave up the idea of getting one and was returning home. On the way, he was approached by one of his old students who was working in the university asking the reason for his visit. The student went with my application and there he was, with the approved application and official transcripts in hand within 2 hours. This was the root cause of my dad and mom’s belief of me getting it This sheer coincidence is what luck is!
Going to be back to School after 9 years. Studies, Travel, Work life balance, Financial responsibilities – A tough road ahead. I could foresee many challenges but I want to live yesterday’s moment without comprehending anything
The First treat:
I know S only for few months after she came to this place. We have gone out for Friday dinners, did cooking together, watched movies, shared personal futuristic views, took strolls on a nice weather etc. We went for the usual Friday dinner to one of my favorite restaurants. It was her treat for the great news that I shared. I did not know about the treat until she told me that when the bill came.
It’s a new beginning with challenges ahead, responsibilities surmounted, vision focussed. It’s going to be a difficult but an enriching experience!
I hope I live up to Babson’s legacy. A dream turned to reality – What an incredible happy feeling it is!