books, Great People, mindset, Reference Guides, Youngsters

Books are a man’s best friend….so the saying goes.

For me books have always been a huge treasure where I have spent a huge fortune. Till I bought my tablet, physical books were what I bought and there are more than a 1000 books in my house and I have also given away another 200 odd books.

Since I bought my tablet I have moved towards buying books on kindle for 3 reasons, the space for keeping physical books has fallen in my house, I prefer to not use paper because it reduces our forest cover and last but not the least, it appears on my Kindle immediately. When I ordered physical books, I had to wait for about a week or more before I got the books delivered to my home.

Some books leave a very strong impression on me and I write about those in my blogs as I read the books.

Last few days I have been reading Steven Kotler’s The Art of Impossible. This is an amazing book. Its very dense with.a lot of knowledge packed in it with lots of data to back it up. If you like to read non-fiction books, especially in the area of human performance then, Steven Kotler is among the few authors I would highly recommend. This is another book which is going into my categories of reference guides.

Now coming to the main point of this post.

Steven actually gives out a Return on Invested Time of reading various formats of written material. I am giving his logic below because I have not come across any author giving such a clear and concise argument for reading a book.

As per him for reading

  1. a blog post which generally takes 3 min – the author would have spent about 3 days to build the content.
  2. an article in a magazine, that would take about 20 minutes to read, the author would have spent about 15 days of research
  3. a book which takes about 5 hours to read would have knowledge of maybe 15 ears of research.

While most blogs are free to read, include this one, you have to spend a little amount of money to buy a magazine, but you have to spend a decent amount to buy a book. The argument which Steven is placing is that for the 5 hours that you invest and the cost of buying, you are getting a bargain for the 15 years that the author invested in getting the knowledge in place.

I have never bothered about the cost of buying books as an issue because since my childhood, my parents inculcated the habit of not compromising on buying knowledge.

But this argument changed my way of looking at reading a book. With the 15 years of knowledge that the author puts in, you are accelerating your learning process so dramatically. That’s why most of the great people have reading lists and recommendations. However the learning would only if you have a growth mindset. Chances are that if you have a fixed mindset, you will not even pick up a book to read.

For the younger generation this could be an eye-opener. The only other way I can think of shortening your learning curve would be attending a live training where you can interact with the coach and other participants.

Let me know in the comments below if you also think alike.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

What do you want to achieve – from the partnership

B2B, ideal customer, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, Partners, single target market, Symbiotic relationship

I wrote 3 posts on riding the elephant – and how the relationship with an elephant can help you get through any forest (market).

What was not clear from those 3 posts was one fact – which elephant should you choose…..this is as critical as identifying the single target market that I keep talking about.

The elephant that you choose to partner with, should be focussed on the market in which you want to operate. If the elephant has a different area of interest compared to you then taking this elephant is going to take you into the wrong forest.

To be able to choose the right elephant therefore you need to ask the fundamental question – what is it that we want to achieve with this partnership. Once this question is clearly answered then it become easier to identify you partners that you want to work with.

This question gets answered even better when you have identified the single target market that you want to address, because then you will know if the partners that you are looking for has product or services for those customers that you want to work with.

If you want to target B2B customers in the enterprise space as an example then your partner needs to be someone who already has customers in the enterprise space, and who does not have a product or service which directly competes with yours. If the partner already has something that is similar to yours then they will never move your product.

Keeping the above example in mind, you then need to figure out how you will work with the various sales people of your partner and why should they take you to the customer.

While partnering is a very valid concept, there are a lot of human issues which need to be addressed. The bigger the target partner you are trying to work with , the more sales, pre-sales and marketing people involved, the larger is the challenge of engaging them and larger is the stamina you should have to wait for success.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Competition is a good thing – Part 3

B2B, competition, differentiation, Marketing, Product Management, Sales, single target market

I had written 2 posts on this topic in March this year. I got a lot of likes for those posts.

For all those of you who are in marketing and sales, you can look at competition in a slightly negative way because they they take your deals away or they feed all the negative news about your company and you.

The first aspect that you need to be clear about is who is your direct competition and who is your indirect competition. For a computer seller who is selling a spreadsheet program in the market – Microsoft and Google resellers could be competition directly. But a paper register and a calculator can be an indirect competition. Depending on the size of the transactions that are done, a paper register can be used to note the transactions and a calculator can be used to do the addition, multiplication etc.

So why is this important. You need to see from a customer perspective – what is the outcome you get for the customer. What are the various ways that a customer can achieve the same outcome using your competition.

So taking the example above you know that you cannot provide value to a customer who can achieve his transactions on a paper register. So that segment of the market gets eliminated.

Now lets look at the other end of your competition which is direct. For example purposes we said its Microsoft and Google. So if you are in marketing , product management or sales, your first agenda will need to be to identify the specs on how your product performs on non-Microsoft platforms. Put another way, you would like to enhance the qualities of the product on non-Microsoft platforms.

Which makes your target market segment that much more well defined.

Its always better to dominate a small segment of the market than to be a nobody in a very large market.

Whenever you are entering a market, I have always maintained, you have to start with only a well defined Single Target Market only. Only after you dominate that, should you look to expand.

Till next time then…..keep looking out for competition from all directions.

Carpe Diem!!!


Gratitude, mindset, possibility thinking, Uncategorized

I have written a lot about Karma and gratitude even if you don’t believe in God. I have generally used these things with the view that the Universe conspires to do good to people who do good for others.

In the last few days you would have noticed I have written a lot about the book by Steven Kotler , The Art of Impossible, that I am reading.

In this book I came across actual research data by Barbara Fredrickson, that spoke about positivity ratios and that it takes about 3 positive thoughts to nullify the effects of a negative thought.

What better way to get positive thoughts in your mind than being gracious about what you have achieved, being thankful for that.

There will always be things about which you can feel bad. Someone overtakes you on the road from the wrong side or the ticket clerk at the metro station didn’t behave properly. Our mind has the ability to spiral out of control with negative thoughts. More than the thought itself, its the emotion with which we think about the thought that causes the bigger problem.

When you are thanking God, the Universe or whoever for what you have, and where you have reached from where you started the emotions just can’t be negative. When the mind starts having gratitude multiple times a day, slowly the mind gets more restful I have noticed. Maybe its the positivity ratios which kick in. Once the mind is more restful, you start having better ideas for solving problems. Possibility thinking helps find more options to solve the same problem.

When you solve problems, there’s a dopamine kick which comes in which makes you feel even better and the positive spiral starts.

I first got introduced to this idea by Tony Robbins but didn’t actually follow it religiously. But I saw some videos by Dan Sullivan, in which he spoke about how people with a gratitude mindset are able tot create more abundance. That got me hooked on to this idea and since then I have been following it very religiously.

Till next time then, be grateful for what you have today.

Carpe Diem!!!