Feb 18, 2014

Few Bad Ideas is all it Takes to Start to Succeed

I came across an image by Caroline Kelso Winegeart. It read -  'Bad Ideas are building blocks of Good Ideas'. This comment brought me back to so many conversations I have had with young people who are unwilling to start something because they are not 'good at it yet'. They don't know where to start. They are reluctant to state their purpose and goal because they are afraid that they are not good enough and therefore might fail. They don't want people to watch them practice. 

Every successful person has had to start somewhere, practice, fail and restart till they succeeded. They had lots of ideas - good ideas, bad ideas and average ideas but they did not know which was which until the one succeeded, and then the second and the third. The reason one idea made it does not mean that the other ideas were bad. It is just that their time and moment has not come (or has come and gone!). The only way to find out is by doing, by making something happen.

Ideas have a destiny, just like you have a destiny. Forces of nature and nurture have to come together - preparedness has to meet luck. Like I talk about in the book - Rules of the Game, "Be an ideas factory". Keep creating opportunities, keep bringing new things to light and be detached. Let some win, let some lose. In fact, I talk about let others take your ideas and win with it. Success will happen as you sharpen your ability to create more winning ideas. Holding onto ones talent and ones ideas privately robs the world of your brilliance - something you are designed to do.

So all it takes is a few bad ideas to get you started on the path to success. The world is waiting for you.

Feb 6, 2014

Building a Consistent Narrative

I have been interviewing at all the IIMs and top business schools in India for the last 3 months - first for summer interns and then for regular placement and I must admit that I am inclined to prefer those candidates who can tell their life's journey and the purpose of that journey consistently. 
In my upcoming book "Rules of the Game", I take a good look at how and you should be liking yourself and continuously changing yourself till you accept yourself. What is your Raison d'ĂȘtre? What defines your core essence? This is your ‘inner brand’. After you have discovered or invented this, the consistent public presentation of the product is creation of ‘outer brand’ ‘you’. A strong brand ‘you’ requires weaving a strong personal narrative about yourself. This is a rule of the game that few have mastered since it has to be real, relevant and repeatable.
Few things that you have to look out for:
  • How to recognize that you are unique and distinguished from all others, and discover your authentic core essence?
  • How to internalize personal branding into your personality? How to build the product ‘you’, keep it relevant all the time, and present it well to make it build-to-last?
  • How important is personal credibility for your brand? How to build and maintain your credibility and character?
  • What is the importance of networking in finding, creating, maintaining, and propagating your brand? How contributing to the network finds you returns in the long run?

At the end of the day, this is also a game. You will win some and you will lose some opportunities but if you are consciously going about thinking about yourself as a company that has a product (you) and a brand (you), you will go about managing the product and the public perception of this brand continuously. As any marketer will tell you, "a Brand never sleeps".