The tag Emerging Entrepreneur has a nice tone to it and I am thankful to CII, Southern Region for recognizing me as one of the Emerging Entrepreneurs in 2016. The start- up world today is filled with young, energetic entrepreneurs. At the age of 50+, it feels good to be included in this club. The […]
A great leader is a leader who can identify a great leader capable of producing another great leader.
This is probably one of the most unspoken quality of a great leader.
When I list down my fears and worries, the answer to all of them is simply faith. Faith in myself and those around me.
At every phase of our lives, on every day we complain. About the weather, about corruption and politics, about how our friends are travelling across the world and we are siting in the office and working. “I wish I was travelling around the world like him for work; I don’t like my job; If only I could also be as attractive as her; ”
We are experts in complaining. Even when everything could be going perfectly, we will find a hundred things to complain about. And then we get advice from people that “Complain karne se kuch nahi hota” “You gain nothing by complaining”. Well this statement is only partially correct. It does not tell you that ” Complain karne se bahut nuksaan hota hai ” or “You lose a lot when you complain”
A simple yet extremely powerful experiment was conducted by Prof. Dan Ariely to understand the effect of the kinds of words and themes we are exposed to and its impact on our lives. Each person had to give a test for 30 mins. One set of people had questions around the theme of love, happiness, cheerful, young, smiles etc and the other set had questions around the theme of old, dull, weak, crying etc. The real experiment was not the actual performance during the test, but the time taken by each of them to walk out of the long corridor to the exit gate.
What do you expect? I’m sure you already know the answer of which group of people walked out faster than the other. We are intuitively good at guessing these things.
Yes the people who gave the first set of questions based around love and happiness walked out faster and the other group walked out slower than they normally would have. This experiment has been tested for enough sample size with different age groups, gender etc to make it statistically relevant.
I think this is a VERY powerful experiment.If an exposure of 30 minutes to a particular theme can have such an impact on us, think about our entire life. Whenever we complain about anything (even casually) it is affecting the way our brains function. So while it is right that we gain nothing by complaining, what is more important to understand is that
Imagine the energy and enthusiasm you would have in your life if you could eliminate all the negativity and focus only on the positivity. When we choose to surround ourselves with positive people, read positive things, STOP complaining about anything and everything, life becomes to much more fun to live.
Try this experiment with yourself. Notice how often you complain about anything during an entire day for a week. It could be petty issues or huge issues that are totally out of your hands. And then try to stop complaining completely for a week (try for a month for significant results)about anything and everything. Read positive stories of all the good that is happening in the world, distance yourself from negative people.
Let us discuss the results of the experiment once you have done it! 🙂
What can one learn from this thelawaala in BTM Layout in Bangalore?
You would be surprised to know, there’s quite a lot of ingredients of running a successful company that can be learnt by carefully observing this thelawaala.
- Build a great product that people love
This thela-waala makes the best ‘Vada Pav’ I have ever had. It’s a simple item to prepare yet he has his own varieties of chutney’s to make it irresistibly delicious. He realizes that the only way to run a successful business is to make something people truly love.
He has a limited set of products – Bajji (a few varieties), Bread Pakoda, Bonda and Vada Pav. Too many options may lead to a paradox of choice for the customer. He uses good quality oil (replaces it every day as well), fresh vegetables and branded packets of bread so you know that there is no compromise in quality.
I would highly recommend you to try his Vada Pav ^!!
- Don’t stress over Name/Logo
This shop doesn’t have a name, a fancy logo, yet runs very successfully with hundreds of ‘repeat customers’ like me with a high CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). All you need is a great product with quick service. So FOCUS on that! Your customers would become your marketing team, publicizing through the strongest medium – Word of Mouth. (See ^)
- Location and Ease of use matters
His thela is just before a traffic signal, in front of a car parking lot where there is space for parking my bike as well. I drop my friend (in Pic) near the signal usually and get hooked up to eat at his thela even if I wasn’t intending to do so initially.
When you set up your organization, know who your target customer is and set up shop close to them. Also be wary of all the other factors that might hinder the customer behavior like obstacles of parking (in the offline world but applies to the online world as well)
- Ask for genuine feedback
He regularly asks us for genuine feedback if we liked the Vada Pav or if there is any scope of improvement. You can see that he is not just ‘hearing’ but actually ‘listening’ to what you have to say.
Once you have built the product, customers will tell you either directly or indirectly through their behavior/expressions. You have to listen and iterate to keep improving (a philosophy called ‘Kaizen’) your product and service. Its a cycle that never stops.
- Have a lean and inspired team that connects to the vision
He has just one team member, but who is equally passionate in his work and greets you with a wide smile. A lean organization with all employees having high engagement and connection to the mission and vision of the company is the real crux behind a company that can weather any storm and come out victorious in the long run. Keep this in mind while hiring.
Next time you are around, let’s go have Vada Pav at this thela!!
PS: I visit him every day only to observe and learn about running a business :p
Be brutally honest with yourself in trying to answer these 5 questions.
- What do you want in life?
- What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
- If you had the opportunity to go back to your past and change something, what would it be? Are you absolutely sure, it can’t be done now?
- What do you value enough in life to struggle for?
There are times when you just have to accept some group decisions even when they are strongly contrary to your beliefs, however bitter it may feel.
Today has been a fantastic experience in that context. I still need to grow to accept it.
My first learning after taking up a post today. All other things throughout the year has simply been practicing everything I had learned in the past four years. 🙂
I am happy about being extremely sad. 😦