Monthly Archives: September 2021
Monthly Archives: September 2021
All of us have heard before that “Age is just a number”. What does it really mean? We count the number of birthdays someone has celebrated as his/her age. And based on the texture of the skin and color of hair or physical appearance we tag ourselves and others as old, young, or mid-age. When we see someone frail, with white hair and pale looking skin we say that person as an “old man”. And when we see someone with wrinkle-free glowing skin and
black hair, we call that person a young man or woman.
But, have you seen people in their 40s and 50s who have an attitude of a child or a child having the maturity and wisdom of an adult or old man? I definitely have seen such people and I myself in few occasions behaved like a 10-year-old kid. I have found myself losing my temper to my school-going kids without any fault of their and due to my inability to manage and prioritize things. At the same time I have seen kids reacting to situations so calmly that we would expect a a 40-year-old adult to do.
I am sure, you have heard and read about 18 or 20-year-old millionaires. A quick google search will show you many such kids. I sometimes wonder, what do these kids know that I didn’t know when I was of their age. Being an entrepreneur myself, many a time I wonder in awe, the maturity of these kids and their business acumen. The other day while looking for tips on creating a podcast channel on YouTube, I came across a YouTube video by a kid having more than 1 million followers. It was very informational and I ended up creating my Podcast channel.
Some people are early bloomers and identify their talent and become successful very early in their lives and few people are late bloomers and identify their god-given talent at a later part of their lives. Barack Obama became the President of the United States at the age of 47 and finished his career as President at the age of 55 while Joe Biden took the responsibility of the country as the President, at the age of 78.
Harland David Sanders started selling his secret chicken recipe and founded KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) at the age of 61 which later on became a multi-billion dollar global brand. In contrast to that, Mark Zuckerburg founded Facebook, the social media and marketing giant, when he was 19 years old, studying at Harvard University. Few people shoot to the limelight very early whereas few others get to the limelight in the latter part of their life. It does not matter where you start. What really matters is where do you finish. What matters is your dream and daringness to pursue it.
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson “Life is a journey, not a destination”. We should enjoy the ride in every form, be it smooth or bumpy. But there can’t be a journey without any destination. Similarly, for us to stay young and energetic we need to have a destination, a goal to strive for. It’s not how many birthdays you celebrated in this world which decide whether you are old or young but rather your energy, enthusiasm, and zest for life that decide your youthfulness. I have met very young people who don’t have any desire and ambition in life, who are lazier than a sloth. I have also met people in their 70s and 80s, full of energy, very busy still striving for something bigger in their lives. In the words of Ben Franklin “Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75”. Few people lose all their dreams and aspirations in life at the age of 25. They are just like dead fish floating on the water without any energy. They do the same thing every single day till they die. Most people are so busy making a living that they forget to make a life. I guess life should be adventurous, thrill, and full of fun and excitement. And this keeps you young.
Life is not a race where you compete against others. The only person you compete with is yourself. The depth of the wrinkles on your face can’t be the yardstick to measure your age, as you may be 80 years old with the enthusiasm
of a 20-year-old or you could be a 20-year-old without any ambition in life and living a life of desperation and acting as a living dead. It’s time we change our thoughts. All of us are in this world for a certain number of years, months,
and days. Having a worthwhile dream and striving to make yourself better every single moment to realize your dreams, fills you with the energy that we always associate with youth.
So, the secret to eternal youthfulness is to keep your mind and body young. It’s doing what you did when you were a baby. As a baby every day and every moment when you were awake you learned new things. You learned to talk, eat, walk, play and do everything that you can do now. You were on a mission to learn every moment. You had certain goals in mind to accomplish. You fell several times before you took your first step and started to walk. You dropped your spoon and food several times before you learned to eat. You were goal-driven. You always had a goal in mind, be it to walk or eat or talk. Every moment, you tried to make yourself better. You never compared yourself with others. You were always active, kicking, and playful. You were busy but your parents called you naughty. When anyone came in contact with you, they also felt that energy, playfulness, and joy.
What happened now? Why did you stop learning and playing? You didn’t stop because you grew older, you grew older because you stopped learning and playing. A recent study published by Columbia Universitydone by Cell
Stem Cell suggests that elderly people grow as many brain cells as young, which directly challenges the common belief which we had until now. But researchers have suggested again and again that whatever we don’t use, will be lost. If you stop walking for a year, you may struggle to walk again. If you don’t use your brain or creative imagination, irrespective of your age, you will lose your cognitive abilities. Whatever we use more and do more we will get better at it. Whatever we don’t use, will be lost forever.
It’s very important to keep your body and mind busy so that both your cells in muscle and neurons in the brain are
regenerated every single day. This is the biggest secret of youthfulness.
Finally, you just don’t want to feel and look young you also want to be happy and live a life of significance. And this
comes from social interactions and giving back to the community and society. The most fulfilling experience you will ever have in life is interacting and helping others. Social interaction became quite evident when Covid-19 shut everyone down to the solitude of their homes. A lot of people faced serious mental health challenges. We are all social animals. For a healthy mind, we all need social interactions, be it with family and friends or with your next-door neighbor or the shopkeeper down the road. Thanks to social media, now social interactions could be done online, without even leaving your home. Though social media could never replace the connection and feeling that a face-to-face physical interaction could give, but it allows connecting with unlimited people around the world.
Social media not only helps you to connect with others but also to gather your raving fans. I have seen 5-year-old YouTuber Ryan reviewing toys in his channel and 107-year-old Mastanamma from India sharing her home cooking recipes. You can share anything that you follow or are passionate about. You could write blog posts or share pictures on Instagram or videos on YouTube. This will not only be fulfilling but also beneficial to others and has
a huge opportunity for you to monetize your passion.
So, in conclusion, these are the FOUR L’s which contribute to your eternal youth.
Entrepreneur, Author, Coach
Most people are pretty busy nowadays. Does not matter if you are a busy professional or be a student working part-time or having an odd job. All of us play many roles every day. As a full-time IT consultant, I was busy working in my IT consulting job and on my side hustle in my spare time while looking after my two children. When I left my full-time job to start my coaching and consulting business, along with my e-commerce business, I got extremely busy. So, in every part of life and every situation, we are busy. At least we think we are. The question to ask ourselves is, are we only busy, or are we busy being productive? In this world of social media, the temptation to look at a Facebook notification may take 15 mins of your time without you even realizing it.
Unfortunately, being busy has now become a status symbol. People take pride in telling themselves and others that they are busy. But, I guess becoming busy and not having time to do what you would cherish the most in your life is a situation to work on and not an accomplishment to boast about.
People want to find the time to do what they like the most, such as spending time with their loved ones, or acquiring the knowledge skillset for their career growth or pursuing their passion, be it sports, music, travel, etc. led to different time management techniques developed by some great minds. One of them is the Pomodoro technique developed by Francesco Cirillo.
While at University, Francesco would set himself some target to accomplish within a certain duration of time. But he would never be able to complete the task during the time. He then started to monitor his activities and would note down all his temptations and distractions during the time set for his tasks. He noticed that while he was in the process of finishing his assignment, a friend would come and that would take him down the rabbit hole, and he wouldn’t be able to complete his task in time. Then he realized that it wasn’t always the external factors such as his friends, or mom, or his professor to blame. As a matter of fact, he noticed that most of the time, it was his own temptation to peep through the window or taking a break or attending to some other tasks that got him off track.
He then devised a method of cutting down the entire job in hand to small tasks and allocating a time duration of 25 minutes or less to each such task before taking a break. This method substantially increased his productivity. This has become a very popular method practiced and preached by many in corporate and personal life.
Pomodoro, Italian for tomato, is a well-known time management technique to avoid distractions and have an intense focus on a specific task for a short duration of time. The steps of the Pomodoro technique are as below:
Example: If you got a PowerPoint presentation to complete in 3 days, your tasks could be requirement gathering, brainstorming, preparation of the draft, and review.
Example: You assign 25 minutes for requirement gathering in the above example.
Note: 25 minutes of work with 5 minutes break is called one Pomodoro.
The above are the steps of the Pomodoro technique. You may come across distractions in between where you may be tempted to attend to something else. But you have to acknowledge the temptation and feel it but not surrender yourself to it. There may be occasions when something urgent may come up. In that case, you have to stop the timer and attend to the other task before coming back to your Pomodoro.
Time is the most precious commodity in your life. Once gone, it never comes back, unlike money which can be re-earned if lost. Hence every minute of your life should be cautiously spent. And the Pomodoro technique helps you to accomplish that.
The pandemic has forced a lot of businesses to adapt to the new norm, such as working from home or focussing more on getting their businesses to go online. Businesses which could not adapt to the change had to be shut down. This led the world economy to deep recession and unprecedented double digit decline in stock markets around the world in March 2020.
With world economy slowly coming back on track, cash starved companies are now finding ways to innovate and thrive in the new post-pandemic economy.
The biggest survivors and the companies which grew the most during the pandemic are virtual or digital businesses. While brick and mortar businesses were filing bankruptcy, companies like Amazon and Zoom were experiencing double digit growth. While other companies were laying off their staff during the pandemic, Amazon became the biggest recruiter in the US and Europe. With more and more people and businesses going online, global technology giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc saw their revenue skyrocketing.
With companies struggling for both cash and skilled labor, going digital has been the ultimate solution. The pandemic led to a lot many new start-ups in the technology field. Be it Ed-tech (Education Technology), Fin-tech (Financial Technology) or Food-tech.
E-Commerce platform providers like Shopify, Wix, Woocommerce help companies to establish their presence and sell online, without even hiring expensive coders and eliminating the need of staff selling those products. Amazon with its fulfilment service program called Amazon FBA, not only give businesses instant access to millions of potential buyers, it also takes care of the warehousing, picking and packing, product shipment and delivery and even customer care. Everything for a very small monthly subscription fee saving businesses thousands of dollars in overheads and staff cost.
Out of all the businesses, the hardest hit during the pandemic were the businesses dealing with services which require physical connection such as gyms, beauty salon, chiropractic clinics, dentists etc. You can’t give anyone a virtual haircut, can you ? Well, quite obviously “you can’t” in literal sense. However, few business owners in these sectors, with entrepreneurial spark inside, started teaching online with live Zoom classes and online courses the process and techniques so that their customers could do it at home. Gym instructors started their YouTube channels and started taking online classes teaching aerobics and cardio to their customers. Salon owners started teaching the haircutting techniques, grooming and selling clippers on their website. This led to an explosion in e-learning market which is set to become $468 Billion by 2026. During this time, I started teaching others through my online course, how to sell their knowledge be it dog walking or cryptocurrency or parenting. Monetization of your knowledge is a big industry which is now helping not only the businesses but also ordinary people having a job.
Businesses dealing in physical products, could save a lot of money in terms of staff and other overheads by bringing their businesses onto self-hosted E-Commerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix etc or to public e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, eBay etc. Businesses dealing with services could save and even substantially grow their revenue by having e-learning platforms
Outsourcing is another great way to safe staff cost. If your company had an accounting department with a book keeper, a AI (Artificial intelligence) powered book-keeping software like QuickBooks or Xero could easily replace the job of a full-time book keeper with monthly subscription fee of as low as $30. These cloud based softwares could also connect with your business bank account which makes your transaction posting automatic from your bank account. These companies have their dedicated customer service departments as well available to serve you incase you get stuck anywhere.
Not only in accounting, the gig economy is growing so fast now, that you could outsource your every little responsibility to someone else and more interestingly, that person could be sitting in another part of the world. I personally hired someone online from India for 2 hours a day to do my online marketing while I am in the UK, with 5 H 30 mins behind. A personal assistant from Philippines speaking better English than me, could be hired in fractions of cost from websites like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, Freelancer.com etc.
Outsourcing, not only saves you money but more importantly the time, so that you as a business owner could focus on more important aspects of your business such as customer acquisition or business growth etc.
It’s time now for the businesses to adapt to the new post pandemic era. “Every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit”- Nepoleon Hill. I am confident that we will see multiple Billion dollar companies (Unicorns) in coming years out of this pandemic just like companies like AirBNB, WhatsApp, Instagram came out of the great recession of 2008.