Monday, May 23, 2016

When should you quit you job?

When should you quit your job?
Well the answer is quite simple but would like to elaborate few points that are general scenarios when the “quitting” thought creeps.

Primarily, if you are planning to quit and do something on your own then you can stop reading this right now and JUST DO IT, I have also written something on –being-an-entrepreneur topic as well. You can read my post here at “DON’T BE AN ENTREPRENEUR

but

if you plan to switch your job then probably below pointers might be of help.

#1 – Your boss is an idiot
If this is the reason you plan to quit then think again, you will have a boss everywhere and in today’s “make-boss-happy” corporate environment it would be very tough to work under a leader and not a boss who is not busy making his/her boss happy. WRONG REASON to quit.

#2 – You feel you do not contribute to the bigger cause of the organization
Relax… 80% of your job is always going to be routine and the other fortunate 20% solely depends on your employer as well as your aspirations. This reason to quit is a lame one because if you want to contribute just keep contributing, the organization someday might notice and appreciate or you would grow personally with new ideas and thoughts. Just be so good that they cannot ignore you. WRONG REASON to quit

#3 – You hate your co-workers
Same explanation as #1 – There will be co-workers everywhere, you cannot be happy with everyone every time. Find people with similar wavelength as yours and enjoy the company and if possible your job. An absolutely WRONG REASON to quit

#4 – You want a better profile
This is the most stupid and vague reason to quit a job. There is nothing called as job-profile, it is just learning every day. Profile written in job description of other companies might be rosy as well (based on my experience a significant percentage of job description are just copy-&-paste content with some localization / internal touch).  Just speak to your manager and get it sorted. If it doesn’t change in a while then think about switching. Partially WRONG REASON to quit.

#5 – To make more money
Well, if it’s that blunt and clear then this is probably a reason to quit. But be clear that it is not what Uncle Ben (Spiderman movie) said “With more power come more responsibilities”, in the corporate world it just means that “With more money comes a lot of work to be justified and rest assured you would be nearing the RADAR”. But as I said if you are clear that you want to increase your income then probably partially RIGHT reason to quit

#6 – You do not love your job anymore
Just be absolutely sure that this reason is not a derivation because of the above #4 reasons, yes above #4 reasons could be a part of this but not “the” part. This is a very serious situation you are in. If your job doesn’t excite you to go to office every day and if it doesn’t give you the adrenaline rush anymore then you are at the wrong place. You are wasting your time, and it is your life. In this regard there are 2 favourite quotes that I follow

“The only way to do great work to love what you do” – Steve Jobs

“When work is pleasure, life is joy. When work is a duty, life is slavery” – Maxim Gorky

According to me #6 is the only “COMPLETELY CORRECT” reason to quit; all others are just excuses to run away.

Please note that these are my thoughts and I am no expert in HR mind-set, probably I have gained these thoughts because I have switched many times in my career :)

Thank you for reading.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Lessons from a 3 year old Chap | Life Lessons | Everyday Learning

“Child is the father of a man” … William Wordsworth
The above quote has numerous interpretations but those interpretations are not valid here. Here it is just used as an article-opener :)
Having said that, as a personal experience I believe all children do impart significant learning in our lives that can be used as daily motivations. My learning from a 3 year old chap :)

Live every moment

For a typical 3 year old child there is not even a single second where he / she is inactive, they enjoy each and every moment and subconsciously I feel that they are the ones who thank God by being happy always for the wonderful life they have been gifted with.

Victory at any cost

I am sure many of you might have experienced it; these folks know how to get what they want. Love, Laugh, Scream or Cry, they ensure that victory will always be theirs.

Focus

I believe most of the adults can be nowhere near when it comes to concentration power and focus on any activity. Whether it is watching the television or playing with a toy.

Innovation

They are the real scientists when “everyday innovation” has to be practised. I am always amazed when I see my nephew finding amazing ways of getting things done and some of them are the ones I thought would never have existed

A brand new day… Everyday

With happy memories they just move ahead to the next day effortlessly, no regret about the past and no anxiety about the future. A simple philosophy which all of us aspire to practice “It is here and now; nothing else matters”

Expensive never matters

Get them a 20 buck toy or a BMW miniature, they enjoy the company of both, many a times they enjoy the cheapest toy they have.

Attention to detail

Be it sound, light, people or dust they are the ones who know and realize the minutest of change and they are the masters of noticing everything

Unconditional Love

Life is simple; if you love me I will love you. If you don’t love me, I will still love you :)

No racism, caste-ism or any other complex nonsense

Mantra of their life “I am a human being and I will love all living beings as well as non-living beings :)”

No fear

Fear-science for them “I am afraid of only 2 things; falling and loud noise, everything else “I can do it” :)”

No Baggage

Nothing bothers them, they do don’t carry baggage. Best way to live life – “Forget soon and Forgive now”
 Innocence and honesty in everything they do are traits that are enviable and admirable but then... They Grow Up, get "Educated" and the mess starts, :)
Thank you for reading.

The Power of Nothing | Life Lessons | Life Insights

How many times in life have you faced a situation where everything and everyone is against you; a feeling of complete failure; a feeling of having nothing in hand? In my life (I am not that old to preach :)) but in the last 36 years I have been fortunate to be in this situation more than once. Though I say it as fortunate now but it definitely is a dreadful feeling where you are at the verge of collapsing, anxiety kills you and you find yourself completely lost.
But I have been fortunate and during these situations there were few people who had belief in me more than what I had in myself. The best part was, these patches in my life helped me realize one important thing… “The Power of Nothing”
What happens when you are in this situation?
You have “Nothing” to lose:
The best example of this can be found in the book “Before You Quit You Job” by the bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki where he mentions an instance of him being rejected in a job interview at Xerox. He gets completely disturbed and gives a speech to his manager on how he is the best bet compared to the Business Grads present there and what makes him unique for this role which eventually lands him the job. The take-away is he gathered this courage to speak because he had “nothing” to lose as he was already rejected. This situation gives rise to an amazing power and confidence to an individual that surpasses all the odds and most of the times result in being a winner.
“Nothing” can be worse than your current situation:
Well, if you are a Bollywood fan / follower , in the movie “Jab We Met” when Aditya (Shahid Kapoor) returns from his sabbatical or to be precise returns after being absconding, he meets the investors and says that “our share prices are at all time low and that’s the best part. We cannot go below than this; the only way now is upwards”. The take-away is when you are totally destroyed, no force in the world can destroy you more. This again gives the courage to do whatever it takes to rise-up and gives an inherent happiness that “nothing” can damage or destroy you now.
“Nothing” to be done to impress others:
Many a times what bothers an individual is the expectation that the society or people have from him/her. But the situation of being broke or the situation of being a complete failure kills all expectations. Acquaintances or peers or at times the family has already given upon you and they have tagged you as a loser and a good for “nothing” guy. Trust me this feeling is blissful, you have nobody to please, you have nothing to do with worldly matters, the only thing that you concentrate at that point is yourself. This is when you really explore “What are you and what do you want?” It gives you the power to be “You”.
There are many “nothings” that bestows immense power to you but I personally have experienced the power of these nothings that definitely has helped me in many ways.
Do enjoy and practice your “Power of Nothing”, it has got an amazing potential to change your life for good.
Thanks for reading!

Pay to Horn-Honk; recurring revenue model for vehicle manufacturers and a way to significantly reduce noise pollution.

I had the honour and opportunity to drive in Mumbai roads, was it an enjoyable one? No it was not.
Yes, traffic adds to the disturbance but I do not consider it as the prime reason for the frustration that I experienced or rather I still experience. For me it has always been uncivilized driving by peer-drivers (private & public transport) and untimely, uncivilized honking practice.
I always wondered, what’s the hurry and which racing track are they going to win. Most of the times victim of this frustration were my fellow passengers (mostly my wife :) ) and I should confess that there were instances where even I behaved like an uncivilized citizen when it came to driving etiquette.
This frustration helped me to ask a question to myself, “Why do people honk so badly and without a reason?” I checked with few of my friends and many of them gave me a reason that on-goers and other drivers do not follow road-rules and honking was the best to make them realize that. But I was not convinced, I feel relentless honking has been a practice because it’s FREE and most of the drivers do not appreciate the practice of controlling noise pollution. I have been fortunate to meet few drivers who share the same thought as mine and this thought is what triggered to write this post and to think of an idea where we can reduce “Noise Pollution” to a considerable level.
My thought:
WHAT IF A VEHICLE OWNER HAD TO BUY CREDITS FROM THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURER TO HORN-HONK?
Seems foolish but think it this way, when anybody buys a car or any other vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer will assign the buyer with a horn-honk credit of 10000 (sample number) which gives the vehicle owner / driver the luxury to honk 10000 times and beyond that he/she will have to pay a premium or atleast a cost to refill it. That is, whenever you honk the counter will deduct the credits based on the number of times the driver honked.
Challenges:
Acceptance:
Unfortunately, change is not a welcome thing but I feel this change is essential to control & take care of the bigger environmental damage that might happen soon because of the atrocious honking habit proudly practiced. No vehicle buyers will appreciate this idea because they will have to pay for something that was free till-date and for something that is considered so minuscule from the damage viewpoint. But I believe a positive step towards this by responsible vehicle manufactures and public bodies will create a lot of positive impact in controlling the uncontrollable, unacceptable noise pollution that happens
Monitoring:
Yes, monitoring will be a key challenge considering the expertise we have in getting things done from unauthorized service providers but I am sure that with the bio-metrics and other sensor-based technology available this is very much possible. I am working on the tech-specs document but to give a gist of the functionality, consider that for refilling horn-credits in the vehicle-automation system you will need 2-level finger-scan or 2 one-time-passwords based authentication to enable the horn-credit system. This will be required from both the parties a) the vehicle owner b) the vehicle manufacturer / authorized center(s). This was explained in a very simple manner but the technology involved in here is pretty sophisticated and complex. The above said technology will ensure that this refilling exercise is practiced only at authorized centers.
I will not want to elaborate this too much in detail; not for hiding the thought-process but for the fact that this might turn boring with a lot of tech-specs coming into picture. I will do it in my patent application :) if it’s applicable.
I believe this change would drastically reduce the practice of horn-honking and will help drivers be much more peaceful as well as it will be a big step towards reducing, if not nullifying the noise pollution that is experienced today.
Thanks for reading!
Do share your thoughts on the same.

Google Adwords Bidding Strategy | Competitor Bidding Best Practices

In their quest to maximize the number of relevant click-throughs for their ads, advertisers and campaign managers running a pay-per-click campaign on Google Adwords often resort to a ‘competitor brand name bidding’ strategy.
As the name suggests, competitor brand name bidding is a strategy used to get clicks for one’s campaign for searches on competitor’s brand name terms. Once the advertiser/Adwords campaign manager decides to adopt this strategy, they must ensure certain checks are in place and precautions taken so that there are no repercussions to not only the campaign but also ramifications from a financial, legal or organization’s image perspective. 

Avoid keyword insertion algorithm {Keyword: ................}
One of the most important tips is to not use dynamic ‘keyword insertion’ feature available on Google Adwords for competitor brand name terms. Before I explain why, here’s some information on the keyword insertion feature. 

Dynamic keyword insertion is a great feature that helps campaign managers to bid for and automatically have their target keywords/ phrases inserted into the ad text for matching search queries. The keywords can be inserted in both the headline as well as the body of the ad copy. 

The syntax of the ad creative using keyword insertion looks like: 

{Keyword: Default Ad}
Ad copy line 1
Ad copy line 2

www.YourCompanyURL.com

See more on keyword insertion.

The reason I recommend not using the keyword insertion command when bidding for competitor brand name terms will hopefully be clear with the following example: 

Suppose an advertiser has bid for the competitor’s company name. So when users search for the competitor company name, based on the keyword insertion algorithm and the keyword(s) selected / shortlisted by you in your ad group, the ad displayed would be something like: 

Competitor Name
Ad copy line 1
Ad copy line 2

www.YourCompanyURL.com

There are some obvious issues with an appearing in this manner:
  • It amounts to a blatant violation of the competitor’s copyright/trade mark
  • It can be seen as misleading users by attracting traffic using somebody else’s name
  • Depending on the two lines of text in the ad creative, the whole thing may look silly or even ridiculous, which can potentially cause the advertiser irreparable damage to their own brand
  • There is also the chance that the advertiser will end up inadvertently creating awareness about the competitor and eventually lose traffic and customers to the competitor.
Besides the fact that the advertiser may be alienating a prospect for life, the advertiser may also be liable for legal proceedings and possible penalties depending on which part of the world the company is located in. 
To avoid such serious issues, it is always safe to create a different ad group that is dedicated solely for executing the competitor brand name bidding strategy. Get all possible competitor brand names into the same ad group. Create a ‘static ad’ - i.e. without keyword insertion- that highlights the key selling propositions of the product/ service being advertised.
Few points to be clarified to the management / client  before using this strategy:
  • This is banned in certain countries
  • The CPC might be high for some competitor names and hence the effective CPA might go beyond permissible limits
  • CTR might be low for these keywords
  • Your competitor might start using your brand name once they see this ad pattern by you.
In recent times, with similar-format start-ups being aggressive on acquiring users based on intent, practicing this format of advertising strategy demands utmost caution.
The article was originally published on OnTarget Marketing website.
Image source: DessertIllumination.com 
Note: Above suggestion is valid only for Google Adwords, for other platforms there are different methods. It is always advisable to restrict the usage of competitor brand keywords. Consult your legal firm before you start any of these methods to drive traffic and acquire users for your brand.

Don't be an Entrepreneur | Entrepreneurship Tips | Business Advice

Entrepreneurship is in fashion these days; it has become a style statement. Few years back if a young graduate started a venture he / she would have been considered as a non-practical individual with no sense of responsibility. You would never have got any support for plunging in and would have been constantly tortured with a statement “Will you be able to get some money this month atleast?"
But times are changing and so is the mindset of people. I have seen people transforming from being not-so-happy to being proud when their wards become entrepreneurs. Now they proudly say “Mere bachhe ka business hai” (My child is an entrepreneur).
But even now, I would say, “Don’t be an entrepreneur”
Yes, I mean it when I say “Don’t be an entrepreneur!”, but it comes with a clause “if” or rather several “ifs”. These are notions that had hit me time and again whenever I thought of being an entrepreneur; I still remain to be an aspiring entrepreneur or I would rather say that I am yet to be a successful entrepreneur.
Be very careful and clear whenever you decide to take the plunge.
 Don’t be an entrepreneur … IF:
  1. You think “I am bored with my job”:
    • Entrepreneurship is not for people who feel bored with their current job. If the mindset you carry is to look for a change then better look for another job opportunity because entrepreneurship comes with lot of responsibilities; responsibility towards your team, investors, customers, industry, government and society.
  2. You think “I can do better if I work this hard for myself”
    • This is a general notion and thought that most of us carry, but I feel this state-of-mind would do no good for aspiring entrepreneurs. Always keep in mind that if you think that you are working hard then it means there is somebody who force you to work hard, because that is the only time when this thought comes into mind. If self-motivation is what drives you to work hard then it will not be “work” – it will be passion.
  3. You think “I can get richer, quicker”
    • With start-ups raking in a lot of money as seed-funds, early stage funding and VC funding, there is a notion that this is the easiest way to be rich. Trust me – it’s not. Investors are not people who would put money just like that; they need to be convinced that you have a plan, vision, team and above all a thought-process to bring in change. For most of the successful entrepreneurs, money was just a by-product; primarily it was the desire to address a customer pain-point and make life simpler.
  4. You think “I will have people to do my job”
    • If you just want to boss around people then as an entrepreneur it would be the worst notion you would carry. For being a successful entrepreneur you shouldn’t be a “Good Boss” but a “Good Leader”. Most of the candidates who will join your startup, will come with a want-to-learn mindset, so it is very important that you lead by example, hence you will have to probably work more and work smart.
  5. You think “I can always get back to job”
    • Until the time you remove your safety net, you will never ever be able to focus on your key goal of that to be a successful entrepreneur. The thought of getting back to job will always be a stumbling block to your success. This would somewhere prepare you for failure but will never make you strong enough to deal with success. Dealing with success is much more tougher than dealing with failure.
Entrepreneurship is not just another job; it’s a lifestyle you choose to live. It comes with its own share of challenges but I am pretty sure that the work-satisfaction it gives and the high an entrepreneur experiences is something that everyone should go through. If you aspire to be an entrepreneur then dream for the sky atleast you will not end up with a handful of dust.
Good luck and God bless!

3 Key Questions To Ask About Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is exciting, challenging, and confusing. It can make or break your internet business career and yet many people who depen...