Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Success Decoded

I am always fascinated by smart people. You get to learn so much from them, it makes work life so much enjoyable.

I have been fortunate enough to work with the best of people in a decade long career. While I landed at Trilogy by chance (I haven't had heard about it before, being the dot com burst era nobody else was really hiring at that time), I had the opportunity to choose my people at my startup. I think we have done a good job - everybody has been awesome.

Observing Top performers out of smart people is fascinating too. At both places, I found some unique qualities in the Top performers:

Some people are good at what they do - it's like they are born to do those things. They have a natural talent to succeed at their job. Think of people like Sachin Tendulkar, Roger Federer and Michael Schumacher. They are quick learners. Having the right abilities definitely is an advantage.

People do unbelievable things when motivation level is high. They convert pain to pleasure to achieve their goals. I have found motivated people do better than the ones having natural talent - they work harder. Talent is meaningless without motivation.

Despite being talented and motivated, many people fail to deliver because they are not following the right "process". Somehow, the mental setup is not right, they just aren't ready.

Talent and motivation take you to only upto certain level. I have seen perfectly capable people underperform when the going gets tough, or when there are just too many different things, or it's a completely new situation. Ability to manage your time, prioritize your tasks, handle context switching, adaption, not burn out are equally valuable skills - the so called mental strength. Top performers deliver day after day. I believe this is the most important quality to be successful - the difference between a Tendulkar and a Sehwag.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

3 Habits That Makes My Life Better

As an entrepreneur, 3 things that I've found very helpful:

  1. Nice, long bath: Helps you plan the rest of the day, streamline your thoughts.
  2. Good breakfast: Owing to meetings and fire-fighting at work, my lunch schedule is quite haphazard. Good breakfast ensures I've energy left!
  3. No laptop at home: May not work for you, but I try not to carry my laptop at home. Not on weekdays, not on weekends. I check my emails on my phone though. Gives me two benefits. One - gives me some time with family. Startup life is hectic.Sometimes I am not able to take calls even from my wife. So, anything that give me some time at home is good. Two - gives me enough time to "think" about my startup, rather than keep "doing" things. My entire day gets spent in doing tons of things and hardly have any time to sit back and ponder over things. This gives me that time.
Been practicing these for some time now and very happy with the results.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Thing called Mental Strength

I am not very happy about my mental performance this year because for moments I didn't believe really 100 percent in victory. That's the big problem. Because when that's happening, you have fewer chances than if you believe. If you believe, you are running more and you are putting one more ball inside. So that's what I'm going try to change.
That's Rafael Nadal, emphasizing the importance of confidence and mental strength. As anybody in a startup will tell you, self-belief is one of the most essential things to succeed. You may have all the talent in the world, but if you don't believe in yourself, you won't reach the top. We have seen so many players ready to take on the world, but somehow are never able to reach the very top.

So, if you want to change the world, believe that you can. Kill those demons in the mind. Be ready to be no. 1.