This article is second in the series, Idea To IPO (to read previous article click here).
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. Moreover, because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I was a child, my grandmother used to make us all pray on the dinner table, saying “Thank you God for the food, shelter and all the good things in life.” There is another side of gratitude besides spirituality. If you are focusing on what you have and grateful for that on the conscious level, your mind attracts more of those things. If someone is always cribbing all the time about the bad economy, low sales, friends, nothing works for him. That person will keep on attracting more of those sad situations in life. Our mind is a magnet, which gravitates towards what we think most of the time. I have noticed that people who are grateful for all the right things enjoy the best relationships, enjoy good health and be prosperous in life. The attitude of gratitude is a highly underutilized tool for having a great experience.
My personal belief is “what gets appreciated gets repeated.” Always try to find reasons to appreciate your team, friends, spouse, and children. Appreciate a lot.
Following are the few benefits of having an attitude of gratitude.
1. Grateful people are happy- Practicing gratitude ten minutes a day increases your happiness by 20 per cent. Gratitude improves our relationships, health, emotions, personality, and business.
2. Gratitude helps you sleep better- every morning when I write in my journal. I write what went well yesterday and what all I am grateful for. I am thankful to God for my health, my awesome wife, and family, my staff, my friends, and associates. I sleep 8 hours/day and have never had any difficulty sleeping. I am 60 years old, and many people say that as you grow, you become sleepless, but I still sleep like a baby and if sometimes I get less sleep due to some late night party, early morning flight, etc. I take a nap in the afternoon. I need my eight hours.
3. Gratitude makes us healthy- If we feel happy, we sleep well you will stay healthy. A disease cannot survive in any healthy body.
4. Gratitude improves our likability factor- Gratitude makes us more social, more likeable, enhances the marriage. It makes us more appreciative. People like our company. I have seen many people behave like auditors. They become fault finders. I don’t want people who criticize other people behind their back. Imagine they will do the same thing for you behind your back. Avoid them. You shall feel more optimistic if you practice gratitude.
5. Gratitude makes us feel great- According to gratitude researcher Robert Emmons, gratitude is just happy that we recognize after-the-fact to have been caused by the kindness of others. Gratitude doesn’t just make us more comfortable; it is happiness in and of itself! Gratitude makes us stronger, happy and healthy.
“You were not born a winner, and you were not born a loser. You are what you make yourself be.” ~ Lou Holtz
We all know the chicken and eagle story. Once an eagle’s egg rolled down from the mountain due to the minor earthquake and landed in the chicken nest. The baby eagle grew up among the chickens and started believing himself as chicken. Once he saw eagles flying and wanted to fly, but he thought that he is a chicken and couldn’t fly. Hence he lived the life of a chicken and died as chicken. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love others. You can’t give something you don’t have. In many parts of our country, the girl child is raised as inferior to her brothers, and that poor girl grows up with a poor self-image. She has no right to choose her husband, career and hence she lives the life of a chicken.
My management style is I look at the positive strengths of my team members. I appreciate a lot on their strengths and never miss a chance to appreciate them if they do something right. They are always charged up and feel special working at our company. Today my right-hand have been working with me for the last 30 years. I can go away for a year, and he will run my business efficiently. Once a school selected 20 students and told them we see great potential in you and you will be given individual coaching and attention so that you can be the toppers in the region. Then few teachers were selected and told them you are the best teachers and you are chosen to coach the best students. The results were outstanding the students topped in the region. Here is the catch. The students selected were not the best students, in fact, they were the average students. The double catch is even that the teachers were not the best they were also average too. Both students and teachers were made to believe they are the best, so they performed the best.
I grew up thinking that if you don’t speak English, you are not good. For a very long time, I had this poor self-image and inferiority complex. Why does the circus elephant standstill with just a metal chain around his leg tied to a peg? The mighty elephant is 500 kg and can break chain and peg in only one push. But when the elephant is small, he is tied with the chain to a peg and when he tries to break, it hurts him and he can’t. Hence he develops his self-image in that way. We all have mighty power inside us, but somewhere we are tied with limiting beliefs.
To have a positive self-image and belief system. I have noted down all my strengths and what I am good at. I try to find solutions around my strengths. I also note down my weaknesses and try to find out the root cause. Maybe something happened during my childhood I formed some opinions about myself. I work around those with positive affirmations and break each one of them. A person with the healthy self-image doesn’t rely on other people’s opinions. Someone’s opinion about you should not become your reality.
I try not to label my self, and I don’t make any negative statements for myself like I am not good at maths, I can’t remember the roads, I have a poor memory or its hard to earn money, etc. I call them hand brakes, and you can’t drive with a handbrake turned ON. I also write down my achievements every day no matter how small they are, it can be following my diet and exercise, or I made some big sale or signed some excellent collaboration. I always pat myself.
What is health got to do with entrepreneurship? Many entrepreneurs work so hard that they ignore their health. They earn a lot of money and later in the life they spend that money on hospitals and doctors and can’t enjoy that wealth.
I have seen when they are young they play a lot of sports and go to the gym, but once they become entrepreneurs, they stop all these activities, and soon as they become overweight. The habit of exercise at the same time every day must be developed. It can be just 20 minutes stretching but must be daily. Also, the habit of balanced diet goes a long way and help to keep you away from doctors. Once you gain weight, you will keep on struggling all your life to shed off that extra weight. I gained weight as soon as I became successful. I ignored balance diet and indulged in drinking, smoking and eating with zero exercise. Thank God I have no disease because of my Be Happy attitude. I have failed many times in setting exercise routine and balanced diet. Currently, I am off drinks and on a Vegan diet for 90 days starting from 15th May till 15th August to set my habits of a balanced diet and exercising. Hopefully, by 15th August I will be at least 10kg lighter, my goal is 75kg (currently I am 102kg).
“You can have everything in life you want if you will help other people get what they want” by ZigZiglar.
Networking is the single most factor leading to success sometimes. Unfortunately, networking is not taught in the schools or colleges. One of my dear friends Paritosh Pathak is the only Networking Coach in India. He happens to be my networking Guru too.
According to Paritosh Pathak, everyone should have three kinds of networks.
1. A charity/social like Rotary etc.
2. A knowledgeable like TIE etc.
3. A business network like BNI etc.
I learned real networking when I joined BNI in 2012. Before that my network was only a few customers and 2-3 friends that’s it. After spending five years not only I have a vast network, I can quickly write a whole book on the subject of networking.
It usually takes 3-5 years to develop a capable network. If your network starts to sell for you in your absence that means you are going in right direction. Just keep in mind Networking is about farming not hunting. It’s about forming meaningful relationships. It’s about giving not taking. It’s about adding value to the people’s lives and businesses.
Entrepreneurship requires patience. In the book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell said it takes 10,000 hours to get the expertise. There is no overnight success. Messy said it was my nineteen years of hard work that made my overnight success. I started in 1980, and it took me seven years to see first success and 15 years to reach the IPO stage. It was difficult at the start but, It was worth it. I have spent so many nights sleeping on the cutting table in my garment factory. Once, I didn’t have 50 paise for the bus ticket, so I had to walk 10km to home. My shoes had holes, and I didn’t have money to buy new shoes. Once I didn’t have any money to pay for my workers, and I didn’t go to the factory for two days. I sat outside the exporter’s office for 12 hours to get my payment so that I could pay to my workers. Nowadays with technology, education, network, and funding ecosystem, I believe its possible to establish a billion-dollar enterprise in less than three years.
If you work on developing all the above qualities, you are ready for anything in life. You will have a solid foundation to build a beautiful structure for your enterprise. I suggest you work on all the above religiously for 90 days. Be 100% compliant just for 90 days, and it will change your life.
Edited by- Rajat Babbar Connect