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Things I learnt in my 2+ yr Startup Stint
The Journey:I joined DEN Snapdeal TV-Shop, 7 days before its launch on 22nd Sept’14 as Sr. Marketing Manager & the challenge was humongous.
And from all the areas:- The industry was new to me- This was my stint in marketing- And a business which was not yet launched.
While in our first year, we took the bull by its horns — chasing growth, & clocked a revenue of 400 Cr+, but then in second year only, because of external market and investor sentiment, had to chase profitability, but took it as a challenge and achieved it.
25 Months in the business, and I felt, I saw pretty much everything to everything, both Scaling up to achieve growth & then scaling down to a profit.
First part of the journey:While I joined the place as a Sr. Marketing Manger, but there was no one above me in Marketing, and hence, had to set up marketing function, hiring people, seeing which medium works to acquire customers, which mediums helps get re-call, launching a 360 marketing campaign, setting up metrics, SLAs, review processes, making sure the team remains clear & focused on what needs to done BAU & what needs to be chased in long run were few things.
My learning here was: Madness is important - not just work, but behavioral communication too, because it is infectious.
Soon after our first Diwali FY15, when we achieved our revenue peak, I was given another unknown animal - setting up our e-commerce business.
Second part of the journey:Setting up E-Commerce business, was again an interesting journey, where I learnt every nut and bolt of the business on P&L, operational level. Interesting because there was no tech/product guy, no operations guy or actually anyone, just me and one passionate Junior.
But it actually helped me. I worked I also worked on setting up system/product for the overall business, where all the learning while setting up e-commerce product came handy.
Launching the e-commerce biz, and growing to a size of 15 members in 1.5 months, and then scaling down to 2 members, was one hell of a journey.
My learning from this time period was: Passion beats unknown.
Third part of the journey:
Third part of the journey, was both the shortest (5.5 months) & the beat learning phase. I was made “Chief of Staff” and was working with CEO directly on everything to everything. In this period, I understood that setting up systems, functions, processes was much easy, but the most difficult problem of the business is people — Some times senior, sometimes junior, sometimes those who love you, sometimes those who hate you, sometimes those who are motivated, and most of the times those who are not. In this time, I also learnt about business plan, investment deck, raising funds ( we couldn’t raise external funds — but I atleast learnt the process).
Learning during this time was — when you have to fight people and they are against you or business, don’t fight people, but the reason because of which they are what they are.
Turning people positive towards business goal is the most important thing, then giving up on them.
Summary:Mentioned below are five key things I learnt, as an Individual from my 2 year stint at a StartUp, and what they fucking don’t teach you at BSchool.
And these are not just learnings, but more like rules, I have engraved in my behavior.
1. Be Bold in Communication:The problems, the in-securities, the issues, the love, the care, the feedback, sometimes just the obvious, to the seniors, to the juniors, when the biz has the opportunity, when the biz has problems.Just be brave, and say it…holding up doesn’t help anyone, not even you.(However, it doesn’t hold true always, there are cases when biz need to hold information to benefit people/biz — that’s seperate)
2. Never give up on People: People are people, and people are awesomePeople make or break businesses. The biggest buildings, the biggest businesses, the biggest economies as we see have been made by people.
I often say that in Biz — First thing is “Team”, second is “Seller/Supplier” & third is “Consumer”. Often in businesses, due to many reasons, we give up on people, because of expectation mismatch, but I believe that just be solved by Point 1 (Communicating expectations) People are people- Means we shouldn’t have too much expectations, of passion, accuracy & result from everyone. But when nurtured, they overtime become awesome.
Even when you hate someone or someone hates you, don’t give up on thm — Fight the reason and not the person — because if you fight the reason of hatred you will win the person, not just for some time, but for a long long time.
3. Be Optimistic & Opportunistic
a) Optimism/Hope is both the disease & the medicine. You can either hope that things will fall, and plan your actions basis that, or you can either hope that things will work and plans your actions towards it. I am not saying that you shouldn’t have a PLAN B, you should. But Plan B in mind often weakens the PLAN A in action.
I often plan for the worse, write it down in evernote or excel & forget about it, and keep workings words the goal with “high” on optimism, unless the assumptions change, its then when you need to modify both Plan A & B, and execute like wise.
Never give up. Even when others do not do their Job.
b) Be Opportunistic: Like Optimism, opportunity is also a bitch. Opportunity often lands in the lap of lucky 0.01% and for rest some lucky — they have to “find opportunity” & for other unlucky ones have to “Create the opportunity”. Being opportunistic helps, if like a hunter you always try and look out for opportunity in everything, and think of creating one if it being not there, then boss you already are a hero and success is guaranteed.
4. Try and do good even when no one is seeingThe good thing about life is, “… if you’re really honest with yourself about what you want out of life life gives it to you”.
And hence, this has always been my belief that keep throwing stone in the pond, even when no one is seeing, even when there is no ripple in the water, because sometimes, ripples take time & but they do come. Hence, keep doing good for the biz, help people, be open to feedback, give constructive feedback, listen to people’s problem, always vocalize solutions publically & problems individually.. Keep doing good, Keep doing right.
Live: Remember — there is just one life & it is this one. No matter what happens at the end of the day - cherish the moment. Just hold it and remember, how you will see this day (both success & failure) @ 70, and hence LIVE, live it to fullest.
Love: Love & smile are two renewable sources of energy, unless you have a constipated face. Hence, no matter what — keep loving the people in this journey, not because you want something from them, but just, because it will give smile to someone & make them happy.
Laugh: Be weird, as I was known, be crazy, it doesn’t matter what people will think of you, or how they will behave. Just laugh. Laugh over — your failures, your mistakes — of how stupid your assumption were when you thought that action plan or took that path. Laugh it over, it eases the emotions.
Lastly, I would just like to mention my mantra for live, because it compresses all in simple few words:
Dream — Believe — DoDo — Fail — Learn — Do.. & keep repeating.
P.S: In case of any feedback, or any observation, please feel free to respond or reach out to me at Satyaprem@nojoto.com
50 Healthy Resolutions That Aren't Losing Weight
It’s fair to say that 2016 wasn’t a popular year (to put it mildly).
But while we may be ready to embrace 2017 with open arms, there’s one mistake many of us will probably bring into the New Year: focusing on the wrong resolution.
If data published in 2015 is any indication, many of us will pledge to lose weight. However, the problem with focusing solely on the scale is that it isn’t necessarily beneficial or indicative of our well-being. Not to mention the fact that concentrating on a pants size may make us ignore all the other aspects of wellness (like self-esteem or empathy, for example).
Of course, if losing weight is imperative to your physical health, it’s necessary to complete those goals and follow a plan outlined by a doctor. But if you’re searching for a way to prioritize wellness, there are additional options.
We’ve rounded up some healthy resolutions that have nothing to do with dropping pounds. Check them out below and then vow to make 2017 your best year yet.
1. Sleep more.
Commit to those eight hours. Proper shuteye is linked to better mental health and a lower risk for physical health conditions.
2. Cut back on sugar.
It’s difficult but it can be life changing if you pull it off. Here are a few tips on how to give it up.
3. Limit sodium intake.
Dietary guidelines recommend consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams per day (but the average American may consume more than 3,400 milligrams in a day ― yikes!). Too much sodium is linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and more.
4. Start meditating.
The benefits of a meditation practice are boundless, from improved mental health to better concentration to a lower risk for disease.
5. Pick up crafting.
Experts say activities like knitting can ease anxiety and put you in a meditative state. And you get a scarf in the process? Score.
6. Spend time alone.
Introverts are onto something. There’s power in a little “me time.”
7. Plan a trip.
You’ll boost your mood instantly. Research suggests planning a vacation can increase happiness ― and just think, you’ll have an adventurous city or a white sand beach to look forward to after you book it.
8. Keep a journal.
This could be a book that gives you prompts or just an empty place to scribble out your frustrations. Studies show journaling can be cathartic for your mental health.
9. Go for strolls more often.
It’s actually a really healthy exercise, according to science. Hit the pavement.
10. Cut back on complaining.
Negative thought patterns can increase stress levels. Try a mindful experiment where when you catch yourself complaining ― or thinking negatively ― you counteract it with something positive. Here’s a little inspiration to get started.
11. Give up diet soda.
Let’s face it: The zero-calorie coke alternative is not doing anyone any favors. It has the potential to hurt your health and studies have found it doesn’t help with losing weight.
12. Compliment someone once a day.
And not just on their appearance. Genuine compliments can go a long way for both you and the other person.
13. Practice gratitude.
Studies suggest that gratitude can improve overall well-being and may even boost physical health. Try keeping score of what you appreciate every day. Need some ideas to get started? Here are 100.
14. Go to therapy.
Therapy can be an incredibly useful tool for self discovery or as a way to work out life’s challenges. If you’re dealing with a particularly rough period ― or just want to know more about your inner world ― mental health professionals can help.
15. Volunteer regularly.
Donating your time to people or an organization in need can do a world of good. And if you needed more reason: Research shows volunteering can improve your health. It may also increase your happiness levels thanks to a circular effect. Kindness makes you happy, and happiness makes you kind.
16. Drink more water.
Forget what you were told about drinking eight glasses a day and aim for hydration instead. Here’s a handy guide to know when you’re actually feeling parched (it might be happening sooner than you realize).
17. Cook at home more frequently.
You’ll end up getting healthier in the process. Research says homemade meals can help you skip out on excess calories.
18. Commit to a strength-training routine.
Building muscle can help protect you against injury and even sharpen your cognitive skills. Start small ― even just using your body weight ― and increase as you get stronger.
19. Talk to more strangers.
It pays to make a little eye contact. Research shows smiling at someone you don’t know could help increase feelings of social connection.
20. Say “no” more often.
Burnout is real and it can happen in a blink of an eye. Make sure you’re prioritizing yourself and not saying “yes” to everything because it feels like an obligation. Self care isn’t selfish.
21. Handwrite letters instead of emailing people.
Make an effort to communicate via snail mail this year. Handwritten correspondence is a lost art form ― but there are real benefits to putting pen to paper, from better creativity to a smaller risk of multitasking.
22. Schedule walking meetings once a week.
You’ll get far more out of it than if you were holed up in the office. And that added physical activity may just get your creativity flowing.
23. Use all of your vacation days.
Those who are lucky enough to get vacation time often don’t put it to use. A recent survey found that 32 percent of people used zero of their allocated days last year. But taking a break is super important for your well-being. Don’t feel like taking a vacation? Try a mental health day, instead.
24. Call your family more often.
Chances are they’d love to hear from you and you can benefit from it, too. Research shows calling loved ones like your mom can ease stress.
25. Cut back on material spending.
Money does not buy happiness, according to science. Take your hard-earned cash and use it for an experience instead. There’s evidence it will bring you more joy.
26. Try team sports.
The camaraderie is great and you’ll pick up a new hobby in the process. Plus, it’s ― you guessed it ― good for your mental health.
27. Learn a language.
Say “hola” or “bonjour” to a new life skill. Research even supports the theory that it’ll boost your brain.
28. Forgive someone.
Anger and resentment is like holding onto internal poison and can even harm your physical health. Life’s too short to not move on.
29. Make regular doctors’ appointments.
Research shows that ― for the most part ― it’s okay to forgo annual physicals if you’re generally healthy individual. But that doesn’t mean throw caution to the wind and ignore your body. If you’re sick or something is off, see a doctor. That includes specialists like dermatologists and dentists.
30. Donate to an important cause.
That same kindness feedback loop that happens when you volunteer may also apply in this case as well. Here’s a list of organizations that may need your help right now, in particular.
31. Read one book a month.
Research shows reading can boost empathy and emotional intelligence. If you’re committed to diving into multiple novels this year, check out this list of tips and benefits that will help keep you motivated.
32. Bring your lunch to work every day.
Trust us, your wallet will thank you. Take a look at this breakdown to see just how much you’ll save.
33. Practice self-acceptance.
It’s actually a key to a happier life but it’s a habit people rarely practice. Make your internal dialogue as kind as it would be if you were talking to your best friend.
34. Say a mantra every day.
Mantras can keep you grounded in the moment, allowing you to reap the rewards of mindfulness, and they could help you actually believe what you’re saying after a while. (Yes, you are beautiful. And yes, you should repeat that to yourself every day if that’s what you need.)
35. Wear sunscreen.
Skin cancer is no joke. Luckily, there are tons of moisturizers that contain a little SPF.
36. Eat more (good!) carbohydrates.
Psst, the healthiest people in the world actually consume a lot of carbs. (Yep, you read that correctly.) Check out how to incorporate more of these important nutrients into your diet.
37. Cut back on alcohol.
Sure, a little is fine (who doesn’t love a good glass of Pinot Grigio?). But the negatives outweigh the positives in the long term in this case.
38. Go outside more often.
Not only does it improve your mood, you get the added perks of exercise. Win-win.
39. Give up the snooze button.
Seriously, you’ll feel much better for it. And maybe you’ll finally become one of those successful morning people.
40. Floss regularly.
There’s a reason your dentist nags you about that tiny string. Clearing your gums of bacteria is necessary for oral health, so do what you can to make sure they’re in good condition.
41. Make your bed every day.
No act of organization is too small. And it may make you happier.
42. Don’t use your smartphone before bed.
The type of light that’s emitted from screens can disrupt your sleep and keep you awake longer. Try ditching your device at least 30 minutes before you shut your eyes.
43. Do an activity outside of your comfort zone.
There’s a whole life to discover on the other side of your routine. Not to mention the fact that doing something different may boost creativity.
44. Pick a theme for the year.
If you’re starting to feel like this whole “resolution” thing isn’t for you, try sticking to a theme instead. Instead of picking a goal, pick a word you want to abide by for 2017. It could be “brave” or “confident” or “compassionate.” Whatever you want to start doing ― or being ― more of.
45. Fix your posture.
Straightening up is not only an instant confidence booster, it can also prevent back problems and reduce stress. Your future self may just thank you.
46. Sign up for a race.
There’s something satisfying about crossing a real finish line. Running comes with a lot of physical and mental health perks, from lower risk of disease to improved mood. Why not celebrate a running routine with a tangible medal of your accomplishments?
47. Marie Kondo your space.
Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is the champion of the tidying method where you only keep items that bring you joy. Since then, the trend has gained traction and for a good reason. Not only does it keep your home clutter-free, there’s also a psychological health component to focusing on the materials that make you happy.
48. Cut back on social media.
Research shows that constant scrolling through a newsfeed can lead to social comparison, or the need to stack your life up against someone else’s. This can then lead to depressive symptoms. Take a step back from all of it and live your life based on how you feel ― not on how cool it’s supposed to look with a filter.
49. Spend time with people who think differently than you do.
Empathy, or the ability to walk in another’s shoes, is the foundation for a lot of positive perks. The more you expand yourself and open your eyes to different perspectives, the more open minded you become.
50. Love yourself.
Because you’re all you’ve got ― no matter what