Building a SaaS Product from scrach

Here is how to build a SaaS product from scratch

With a lot of buzz around SaaS (Software as a Service) Products, over a dozen products come to the market every day. Now if you wonder how you can shine in the SaaS regimen, here are some basics that will get you started on how to build a SaaS product right from scratch.

1. Find your niche

Choose a problem that you overcame or you haven’t overcome. Question yourself if there are others like you who have come across the same problem? Are you passionate about solving the problem? The desire has to be amply enough to push you 24 hours a day, 7 days week for at least two years with the perseverance to drive through many barriers. “37 Signals” was looking to manage all their internal projects under one place. They couldn’t find the right platform, hence they build their own tool and called it “Basecamp“. Today its used by over 100,000 customers.

2. Look for competitors

It might not be just you looking for a solution. There could be others who are or have solved the problem. In that niche, research all the foremost companies, their product, customer segment and figure out what existing companies are ignoring. Those are your opportunities for you to disrupt them.
Not everyone needs a Salesforce CRM. They are expensive, difficult to maintain and could only be afforded by Enterprises. Hence came HubSpot, FreshSales, Zoho etc. Each one has its own niche.

3. Look for customers

Figure out the pain points that the customers are facing with the existing products. Go to their support portal and see what their customers are whining about. Find a new use-case that would excite the customers. Focus on that very thing. That should be your entry strategy into the market, and that should be powerful enough.
Don’t assume that Microsoft or Google is the solution to all problem. There is no one size fits all.

4. Validate your Idea

Validate your product approach with at least 30-40 potential users and figure out how to influence them what would they get out of it. It’s not only about what you can offer your customer, but it’s also about why should they use your product.
The notion that someone will steal your idea is naive. You are the only one who can build your company. Share it with others, get more feedback in the early stage.

5. Get to work

Once you have the market insight, start working on it. Remember “there is no better time than NOW“. You don’t need the best equipment or the best talent or the best workplace or lots of investors to get started. Most successful entrepreneurs started from their garage, closet or a basement. You don’t need a lot of money or resources to start your business, you just need perseverance.
Salman Khan, the found of Khan Academy started recording video tutorials from a small walk-in closet using a blackboard and a mobile camera.

6. Build an MVP

Don’t try to build a world-class product. Instead, build a minimum viable product (MVP). Improve the product over time and keep improving. Build a SaaS product that is working as expected instead of trying to get every feature in the first release. Target the early adopters, they are hungry for new products and innovations. You will get genuine feedback from them.
Facebook was a social tool used by college students. Initially, it just had 40 users. As of today, FB has over 2.7 Billion active users.

7. Measure

With each release, test what works and what doesn’t work. A measure is a statistical analysis of your product. How many returning users do you have? how many new acquisitions have you had in the past week? What features is your customer complaining about? What features the customers like the most?

8. Learn

As time passes by more customers leave feedback. And that is your learning opportunity Improve your product using the Learn-Build-Measure loop.Get closer to the customer and that is how you learn.

Zappos customer service never goes thru a phone tree. There is always a human who picks up the call and answers the customers. Their representatives dont have a script to ready. They are offered the authority to talk to customers as they like.

9. Be Lean

Most entrepreneurs make this mistake, once they see a flow of cash and customer growth they doubling down on the team, recruitment and think that their overall growth will double. NO. The company “37 Signals” operate with only 54 employees and their annual revenue is over $78 Million as of 2018. Keep your team and expenses lean.

Your goal must not be to create a product, Create a Brand that has a sense of purpose

President Obama during his speech

#WhoIsYourRoleModel: 44th President of United States, President Obama.

This is the first edition of #WhoIsYourRoleModel and today we are covering President Obama, 44th President of the United States.

Story

Born to a Kenyan Black father and an American white mother on August 4th, 1961, Barack Obama had a tough childhood. As a toddler, he moved to Indonesia and was sent back to the United States in 1951, when he was 10 years old. He suffered a social stigma, born to a black father, spending his childhood in Indonesia, then raised by his maternal grandparents, one could just imagine how that must have been. In his words on how he felt to be an African American student during his high school sends a chill into our nerves today

“I went into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror with all my senses and limbs seemingly intact, looking as I had always looked, and wondered if something was wrong with me.”

Despite coming from a multiracial background, he broke grounds wherever he went and in whatever he did. In 1988, Obama was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He won a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio-book edition of his best-selling book ‘Dreams from My Father’ in 2006 and later the first African-American to become the president of united states. He also became the first president to voice support for same-sex marriage in May 2012

 

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Social Behavior

Social behavior is a key to anyone’s success, irrespective of who they are. Successful people tend to adopt a behavioral pattern that suits their personal brand and stick to the pattern for the rest of their lives. In this section, I will share the research on some of the key social traits of famous personalities.

  1. Personality Traits
  2. Personality Type
  3. Body Language
  4. Communication & Vocabulary

Personality Traits

The distinctive personality traits of Barack Obama are integrity, respect, fairness, citizenship, caring, confidence, and mindful decision-making. value of discipline  calm and thoughtful eye toward long-term outcomes  self-control to pay attention

Personality Type (MBTI)

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test shows the psychological preference of a person. I believe that Obama falls under ENTP. ENTPs like to think big, for instance, “Obamacare” that had a huge vision. They also approach challenging with global problem-solving methodologies. You could relate to his entire campaign message that was based on “hope” and “change”.

Body Language

The science behind body language is vast. Using certain proven techniques, human behaviors can tell tales about a person without any verbal interaction. During his speeches, Obama uses the thumb and index finger to emphasize important points, uses gestures like a wave of the hand to illustrate a spectrum of a time-span. These gestures sync very clearly with his verbal communications making the dialog real, authentic and trustworthy. This way of speaking connects with the people around who seek you.
President Obama smiles just enough, you can observe that all the time. He does not smile when he delivers his speech. This instates that his message is very important, so smiling would not be appropriate in this case.
If you observe his body moment closely, he does only when it’s absolutely necessary. While delivering a speech, he seldom moves in the podium. However while interacting with his fans or subordinates, he makes bold and powerful gestures.

What is your takeaway?
By carefully using the right gestures can make you look charismatic and lively to your audience. It can also make your verbal communication easier to reach your audience. Over Smiling can sometimes be seen as a sign of submission. Laughing loud can make you look aggressive. Leaders don’t over smile. Of course, it’s okay to smile every once in a while so that you don’t look cold. Beware of your body moments. Your audience can figure out if you are overacting or anxious by looking at your body moments. Keeping your moments in check and being casual will help others focus on your presentation rather than a distraction.

Communication & Vocabulary

Have you observed the clarity in Obama’s speech? He comes prepared with the message that he wants to convey to the public. His clarity of speech makes him appear confident, authentic, and credible. Obama makes great use of pauses. He lets his point sink in and to give others the time to consider what he is trying to convey. “Win the future”, “Greater together” “Shared sacrifice” “Make no mistake” “Let me be clear” are some of his favorites frequently used phrases. These phrases are all positive and strong and bold. He also leverages the power of storytelling to inspire people. Using stories as an anecdote deepens the messages someone is trying to spread.

Interested in Obama’s Vocabulary and most used words? Read More

Your Takeaway
Prepare well, Clarity & Context is the key. Try saying your messages with a story, that will have a deeper impact on our audience.

Fashion

President Obama always wears the same gray or blue suit. When asked about his fashion traits here is what he had to say.
“You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits, I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

Your Takeaway

Make fewer decisions on things that don’t matter. Spend more time on what matters.

Activity & Sport

Former President is a regular basketball player. He hits his personal gym for about an hour every day–doing weights and cardio on alternate days. He’s scheduled for the day begins as early as 7 AM.

Financial Background

Obama is a member of various corporate boards, has written books and paid salary during his presidency. Per Fortune Magazine, OBAMA MADE $20.5M Between 2005 AND 2016

  • 130k Corporate Boards.
  • $3.1M President’s Salary.
  • $610K Senate Salary.
  • $760K University of Chicago Hospital.
  • $250K Miscellaneous.
  • $6.8M from the book Dreams from my father.
  • $8.8M from the book Audacity Of Home & Of Thee I Sing”: A letter to my daughters.

Timeline

    • The President
      2008-2014
      On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama defeated Republican presidential nominee John McCain to become the first african-american President of the United States.On November 6, 2012, Obama won a second four-year term as president
      • The Senate
        2002-2008
        He lost a democratic primary in 2000, but won the US senate in 2004 and was swon into office on Jan 2005. In 2007 he announced his run for Presidency.

      • Marriage, Family & Poltics
        1992-1998
        Obama and Michelle got married on October 3, 1992. They moved to Kenwood, on Chicago’s South Side, and welcomed two daughters Malia and Sasha. He ran as a Democrat and won election for a seat in the Illinois State Senate in 1996. This registered his first poltical victory.

      • The Graduation
        1980-1988
        Obama graduated in 1983 with a degree in political science. After working in the business sector for two years, Obama moved to Chicago in 1985 where he entered Harvard Law School in 1988.

      • The Begining
        August 1961
        Born in Honolulu on Aug 4th 1961 to Ann Dunham & Barack Obama Sr
What leader should I analyze next?
Do you have a leader you want me to analyze? Whether it’s a world leader or a fictional leader if you leave their name and a link to a video in the comments I’ll consider writing a blog post on him or her!

Investing – 5 Ways To Earn Passive Income

Earn Passive Income

By the time you realize that the income from your 9 am to 5 pm job is not sufficient to run your family, pay your mortgage, school fees, summer camp and oh your sister’s marriage present, you already ran out of money. Don’t blame yourself if your primary job is not paying well. A survey say’s that 90% of the working class people are either not happy with their salary or with their job.

Passive Income is the money that you invest in something, and that grows in value by itself over time. Most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders get richer by having multiple sources of passive income. Today, I am going to walk you through 5 easy ways to invest your money. But before I get started, you must understand that, unless you put your money to work, your wealth won’t grow.

So let’s get started,

1. Investing in Real Estate

Is real estate a good investment? Yes. You have a lot of options when it comes to real estate, home, a piece of land or commercial space to rent are a few ideas. Let’s do the math and prove it right. Assume that you are paying a rent of $1200 for a two bedroom apartment. In five years, you will be paying a rent of $1500 assuming an increase in rent of 5% every year. By the 5th year, you would have paid $79560 in rent. That is a LOT OF MONEY!
What if you had paid the mortgage for a home worth $320,000? That would be around $1600 per month, 800 would go towards the interest and insurance and $800 towards the principle. So that would mean, you have paid $48, 000 for taxes and fees over the period of 5 years. Consider that your home value increases by 4% every year. In 5 years, your home will be worth $375,000. Therefore, you have saved $78,000 in 5 years.

 

Fundrise is a financial firm which invests on realestate on your behalf. You can avoid the hassel of buying a property by investing in fundrise. You can invest as small as $500 and invest more as you grow. Join me and 100,000 others who have invested. Use my referal link https://fundrise.com/r/42q8d and get started.

 

2. Invest in Stock Market

I have seen many people comparing the stock market to gambling. That’s a shame! Let me tell you the difference, its competitive edge. In gambling, the competitive edge will always favor the Casino. Every game is designed to profit the casino owners.

But the stock market investments is purely analytics, data insights and a little bit of common sense. Amazon sore from $300 per share in 2014 to $2000 per share in 2018. That is almost a 700% increase in 4 years. If you had invested 100 shares on Amazon in 2014, you would have earned $17,000 just by doing nothing!

 

Robinhood is an investment firm where you can invests on thousands of publicly traded companies including Apple, Amazon, Netflix. The best part is unlike other traders, Robinhood charges $0 transaction free. What is more, use my referal link to get a FREE STOCK.

 

3. Long-term investment in 401K, HSA, Mutual Funds, Provident funds and Bonds

Most employers in the US offer a match for the investment you make into your 401K account. Though these look complicated, all you have to do is deposit a percentage of your pay to these accounts. You get tax benefits, up to a certain limit and a compounding interest builds over time. Take advantage of the benefits, a small percentage, say 5% of your income can go into these accounts.
If you are not sure about Stock Market investments, consider Mutual Funds. Mutual funds are a collection of stocks, diversified in various portfolios which you don’t have to manage. Investment companies like, for instance, will handle everything for you. You will get a return on investment year over year of up to 15% or more.

4. Blogging, Adsense & Affiliate Marketing

Ryan is a 7-year-old boy who runs a toys review on youtube. Guess how much he makes? A whopping $11 million through ads and affiliate marketing every year. That is because Adsense and affiliate marketing are easy money. There is surely something you are good at, like computers, cooking, gardening or traveling. Here are simple steps to get started:
i) Now that running a website is damn easy, get a domain and a content management platform to host your blogs. Or choose a platform like youtube or podcast where you are comfortable. Choose a niche you are good and write a post, make a video or a podcast every week.
ii) Enable Adsense and marketing ads on your site. Once you started creating content.
iii) Make your site searchable on Google, social media and other search engines. Learn about what people search for on the internet. Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to get started.
iv) Maintain the site, keep updating posts using the right keywords. Learn a few basics on SEO and content optimization. All you need to spend is 1 hour every week.

That is it. As your blog gets older and your website is searchable, your ads and affiliate marketing clicks will start you getting money every time a visitor clicks those links.

 

If you are interested in setting up a blog and want to learn about hosing a website or wordpress site, I can help you with that. Send me a brief note and I will set up a session with you to discuss more.

5. Dropship e-commerce store

Drop shipping is getting a lot of attention lately. You don’t need to set up a supply chain or manage an inventory for setting up an online store. All you need is a bunch of suppliers who have products to sell. Drop shipping concept is where you set up an e-commerce store on a platform like Shopify, Woo Commerce or BigCommerse, and list the products available from your supplier. When a customer places an order on your site, the order request automatically goes to your supplier. Your supplier then ships the order to your customer.

If you are already running a small business and need help with improving sales or looking for a mentor to advice or ask a question visit Get Mentored page apply for a mentorship program. Its FREE.

Most approaches briefed here though said easier than done, eventually, in the long run, will earn passive income without having to work on it 24×7. The techniques that I have listed above to earn passive income are not just suggestions, rather they are proving to work for me and my friends. To earn passive income is not difficult, it’s instead procedure which takes time initially but once a routine, its a guaranteed way to success.

 

Green-your-business. Sustainability Consultant

Greening Your Business – Your Sustainability Consultant

You need a Sustainability Consultant

Making your business eco-friendly and sustainable, benefits the environment, saves you money and drives customers. I am an avid nature enthusiast. We have been practicing zero waste for years now. I can be a sustainability consultant for your business. There are great ways to make your business greener.

Consumer awareness about the environmental impact has never been widespread like this before. Therefore, they are willing to pay more for products and services from sustainable and eco-friendly companies.

Thereby, partnering with me, you can scale back on waste, reduce carbon footprint, promote your business as eco-friendly, and drive more customers.

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Tech Consultancy - Choosing the right tools & technology for your business,

Tech Consultancy – Choose the right technology for your business

With over a decade of leadership experience in IT systems and services, laser-focused on e-commerce, retail, supply chain & logistics and up to date with the latest technology trends, I have so much to offer for your business. Being an architect myself, I have designed 100s of cloud systems and infrastructure to scale the business by millions.

  • Have trouble choosing the right CRM?
  • What are the affordable/free marketing tools?
  • How to digitize my retail business?
  • Do I need an IOS/Android App, who can help me?
  • Should I go for a UI/UX developer, to build my website/product?
  • Where should I host my server, Is cloud safe?

Technology is my forte, and I can help you identify the right tools for your business that would reduce your cost, improve your sales and saves time thru automation.
[su_quote cite=”Satya Nadella, CEO – Microsoft Corporation”]

Information Technology is at the core of how you do your business
[/su_quote]

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Branding for your business

Brand Identity – Branding your business

What is Brand Identity?

Every business needs a brand identity. I have had the privilege to work and consult for billion-dollar companies as well as many small-scale startups. Without a brand, your business can never grow. Many startups and small business ignore branding and tend to focus on operations and sales. No wonder why 90% of the start-ups crumble within the first year and sometimes in just a few months. As a matter of fact, branding is more than logos and taglines. It is an emotional connection between you and your customer. In this article, I will walk you through the 3 key processes involved in defining your brand identity.

Brand Discovery

In simple words, discovery is all about answering the question “Why does your brand exist?” Let’s ask the same question again with a twist. WHY does Microsoft exist? Of course, its mission was to place a PC in every home. But that is “WHAT” Microsoft does, it’s not the “WHY”. Bill Gates wanted to Empower people and organizations all over the planet to achieve more productivity. It’s not about the technology, it’s about people and what they can do with their technology. And that is the “WHY” fact that made Microsoft one of the leading companies today. To answer the “WHY” you need to understand your target market, strengths and unique selling propositions. Let us go thru some of the key aspects of discovery.

Brand Story – Why you do what you do?

Brand Story is about you, why you do what you do. The goal is to connect with your customers who can relate to or have experienced your story. Our brains are hardwired to stories, hence a lead to trust, comprehension, and receptivity. “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell.” ~Seth Godin Founder of the eyewear retailer Warby Parker says he lost his glasses on a backpacking trip and couldn’t afford to replace them as a grad student as they were expensive. That drove him to upstart a company to tackle the problem of expensive eyewear. Airbnb has challenged the hotel industry to create a marketplace in which homeowners can list their property for consumers to discover, and book unique accommodations for unique travel experiences.

Brand Strategy/Positioning- What are your short-term & long-term goals?

You need to set strategic goals, focusing on a defined market. Once you figure out that then you can focus on the message. For Instance, LLBean products focus on family outdoor enthusiast. For those who don’t know, LLBean is a Maine based retailer specialized in outdoor apparels and equipment. If you observer they ads, posters and images, there will always be a group of happy people. That is their message, “Made for the shared joy of outdoors”.

Brand Voice/Tone – How you talk and interact with your audience?

Every brand has a personality, it can be lively, positive, cynical, or professional. Cultivate a voice that delights your customers. Target, for example, is upbeat, celebratory and friendly. Louis Vuitton brand voice is elegant, glamorous traditional. Brand Experience – What does your customer feel about your company? This is the future of marketing, designing a sensory experience for your customers. Starbucks is no longer just a coffee shop. It’s now almost a third place after home and work. They offer a sense of warmth where people make connections, hold business meetings. Wholefoods, on the other hand, stacked with loads of local goods, gives you a local neighborhood experience. You see local countryside towns listed all around you.

Brand Design – How you look and perform?

Statistics say that over 65% of us are visual learners. Use the power of visuals to convince your audience. With the brand strategy, you arrived at in the discovery phase, its time to put the strategy to work. It’s not all about choosing a logo or a punchline. it’s much more than that, it’s your companies identity. It involves a process where you choose how your convert your brand positioning to design. Starbucks, for instance, has a recognizable logo, has a clean design representing quality. Their green color brings a soft, cozy and comfortable environment. Their store design is traditional that reflects a place where people meet, connect and friends gather. Carry your brand design across all your channels like brick & motor store, E-Commerce, Posters, Advertisements and even with the employees and customers.

Brand Marketing – How you sell your brand?

Discovers avenues & channels for your brand to perform. Frame the most efficient distribution strategy for a content to hustle. Give your brand a wider stage to play leads and amplify the message. No matter how good your product is or how amazing your visuals are if they don’t reach the right audience, your product will not succeed. Market your product in the channels where your audiences are. It’s critical to reach the customers who believe in what you believe and what your brand stands for.
Think Like a Kid

“Think like a Kid” – The Power of WHY

Think Like a Kid

How often have you come across kids asking the questions that start with a why? Why is the moon white? why should we pay bills? why should I go to school? Why should I do my homework? Kids ask why often because they are learning, improving their cognitive skills. From my memories as a kid, my mom was patient enough to answer every possible question she could, no matter how many times I ask her.

Five Whys

When you are in trouble or trying to solve an issue or learning something new or just curious, remember this: “Think like a kid”. This is a proven fact that most problems get solved if follow the “5 Whys”. 5 Whys is an iterative questioning method used to traverse the cause-and-effect links underlying a specific problem. Imagine this scenario in an IT world,
Q1: Why did the server go down?
A1: The server peaked the CPU usage and crashed.
Q2: Why did the CPU peak so much?
A2: The CPU was not scaled to handle the volume of requests.
Q3: Why was the CPU not scaled?
A3: This amount of users were not expected
Q4: Why did the number of users exceed our expectation?
A4: We were listed in the Forbes 500 for the best workplace.
Q5: Why did we not know that before?
A5: The Brand team did not communicate that we were selected by Forbes.

In 70% of the cases, we will have the answer by the 3rd iteration of Why. The “5 whys” method is a powerful tool that can be applied to any principle for that matter.

“Why” is not only used for problem-solving, in fact, its a key branding strategy. If you are running a startup or a small business owner or even a huge corporation, unless you identify why your company exists, you will never succeed. Companies lose their market when they forget to realize why they exist. Nokia is a very good example. They dominated the market by 41% in 2007, not long after Apple introduced their iPhone, Nokia crashed and disappeared into thin air. Nokia had a better camera, better technology and had a better-experienced team than Apple, still they failed to communicate why they existed.

As Simon Sinek said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Apple’s message was clear, they challenged the status quo, “Think Different”. Anyone who had the same mindset of being different became a fan of Apple and they lived up to the promise.

Earning million dollars a month won’t give you happiness in long term. There are people who have enough wealth to last next 10 decades, still, they go to work every day. They know why they do what they do. if you don’t know why you are doing what you are doing, its time to revisit that question, “Why are you doing what you are doing ?”. No matter what you do, be it a junior associate or an executive or a CEO, if you do not know why you are doing what you are doing, you are not going to be happy. If you are not happy, you are not going to be successful. Many think happiness evolve around success, that’s wrong. it is the other way around. Success revolves around Happiness.

Final Thoughts

A pan seller in a local street of Aurangabad decided to make the best pan in the world, today, after 33 years in service “Tara Pan Center” exports pan even to international destinations like Saudi and Dubai.

Thyrocare CEO Dr. Velumanu did not have Rs. 2 to take a group photo when he was at 11th Grade, today Thyrocare is worth 2000+ Million in INR.

As a young guy, he distributed daily news papers to meet his daily needs, became the president of India in 2002, Dr. APJ Adbul Kalam, knew why he existed. He exhaled his last breath while delivering a lecture at the Indian Institute of Management Shillong on 27 July 2015.

There are infinite success stories to share, but it’s your turn to answer the question, WHY! What motivates you to go to work or run your business every day?

Time Hacks - Act Smarter Live better

Time hacks – Act smarter live better

Time Hacks – Act smarter live better

Have you tried registering a car or a new home on a Tuesday? What would be the reaction of the seniors in your home? Given the sentiment of time, Tuesdays are the most an inauspicious day of the week. Is that a myth or is that real? Well, I dont know that but believe me or not time matters and it matters the most.

Ask a chef, a cricketer, a runner a comedian, A journalist, a marketer or an entrepreneur and they will all say the same thing “Timing is everything”.The year you pass out of college, the year you get a job, the year you change jobs, The time you go to office the time you attended meeting the time you get back home and the time you hit the bed, timing plays a key aspect.

This might surprise you but let me explain this a bit in such a way that makes sense. Don’t worry I am going to speak astrology here.

What timing works best for you?

Timing is not a one-size-fits-all thing. It varies from one person to another, some people are larks who are early risers are mentally very active in the morning, have a trough around the noon followed by another peak early evening and exhausted by late evening. Some are late owls, they start the day late reach they peak early afternoon followed by a trough during the late afternoon, another peak and finally hit the bed pretty late. Have you seen writers start to write when its quiet at night and sheepish all day? Well, they are very energetic during the night, their peaks, troughs, and rebounds are totally different,

Many kinds of research say that 70% of the people are owlish, so who are you lark or an owl? Not sure? Here is an easy exercise to figure that out. Every other hour try to answer this question

How am I doing?

  • Very energetic
  • Energetic
  • somewhat energetic
  • Not so energetic
    Tired
  • Exhausted

So if you chart it out for one full day you will figure out what your Peak, Trough and Rebound points are around the day.

What tasks are best suited for each phase?

Peak

This is the time when your mind is alert and very responsive. If are looking for a perfect time to do analytical tasks such as analyzing, going through strategy process, learning something new, this is it. This might not be the best time to find a problem resolution or to think creatively. The reason, your brain is active alert and quite busy, this is called cognitive distortion. You need a calm mindset to be creative or to find a solution.

Midpoint between Peak and Trough

For larks, the time around 11 am to 1 pm is the best time to take critical decisions. Our brain is neither overactive nor tired. Chronotype tests conducted on a group of 400 chess champions where both larks and owls indicated a common pattern. They take very careful and more precise decisions during the day and they choose to take the risky route later in the evening which are 50% inaccurate.

Trough

Good for administrative tasks this might not be the time to take critical decisions, in fact, a research concluded that most decisions taken during this time tend to fail. If you are looking to do administrative work such as answering routine emails, calls, booking appointments etc, then do it during a trough

Also Naps, I have had a lot of people say that a nap during the day is not a good habit, ditch it! Most productive people take frequent power naps. A perfect nap time of about 20-25 mins and a coffee can do magic. Try it.

Rebound

This is the time when your are recovering from the midpoint. THis is a good time to resolve insight problems, brainstorming and tasks that require creativity. Our cognitive abilities fluctuate throughout the day.

This pattern is not universal, its just that larks tend to perform better in the morning whereas owls do a better job later in the day. Another interesting fact that Dan Pink the writer of “WHEN”, revealed is that lars are usually born in between October and April while owls are more likely to be born during summer.

Are you looking for a crash course on creativity or a personal consultant for a career, well-being or depression? Feel free to drop me a line here.

 

Depression Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Depression hurts, Can I come out of it?

I had a friend reach out to me to help her with the depression. This is not uncommon, in fact, in the United States alone there are at least 3 million people who are consulted every single year. And the number seems to be growing each year.

Some people tend to get confused between anxiety stress and depression. While stress is a response to a situation,anxiety is more of a reaction to the stress itself. Depression is lack interest and manifestation of low mood and feeling.

What causes this and how can that be treated? Well, There is no one reason, it can range from work pressure, peer pressure,relationships,  marriage, family, Abuse, addiction to substances like drugs, illness or even genetics. Depression is complex.

The most important thing that I look for in my clients is they’re realization of depression.  Unless and until the patient realizes that they are under depression and they need help, it is very difficult or even impossible to get them out of the situation. I have heard stories about patients being medicated without their knowledge.  some cases Antidepressant medicines are the mixed in the food they eat or in the juice the drink,  but those exercises become unsuccessful and the patient does not recover.

The basic issue with depression is hormone imbalance. Boosting the secretion of some of the mood stabilizers or “happy hormones”, Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytoxin, Estrogen, Progesterone depression can be brought into control. Depression can be cured naturally, provided that the person realizes what he/she is going through and has the will to get out of it. If not, its not that easy, or even impossible.

It might be too early to identify what kind of depression someone might be going through without a detailed behavioral analysis.

Phase 1 Change in lifestyle

First, Trying to change the daily routine a bit. The patient should (I repeat, “should”)

1) 30 mins of strenuous activity 5 days a week. Your pulse rate should bump up rapidly. You hear your heart pumping? Yes right about there.

2) Food – Low carbs, low or no sugar and more egg, nuts & seeds, fish and probiotics(yogurt, kombucha), coffee. Eat the right food, these foods have the potential to boost the secretion of the hormones like Serotonin.

3) Sunlight, Expose yourself to a lot of sunlight. Captivate the healing power of sun. Stay in places where it’s bright.

4)Positive environment,  it’s difficult, but try to speak and see and be around positive people and thoughts. If need eliminate negative people from your walks of life.

Most patients see a huge progress within 3-4 weeks. What if this is not helping?

Phase 2 Take therapy sessions.

Depression not only hurts the one suffering from it, it also hurts relationships. Mindfulness techniques like yoga, mediation and therapy sessions can help with depression, regain a better & healthy lifestyle. Experts need to be consulted, so here are some of the therapy you need to try to go for

  • IPT – Interpersonal Psychotherapy
  • CBT – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • ACT- Acceptance and commitment therapy

 

Phase 3 Consult a doctor for anti-depression

If none of this helped, its time to try medication.  Antidepressants medications are mood boosters that stimulate the mood hormones with the help of chemical reactions. Although they have side effects, in the long run, you will regain a better life.

Do you want to talk to someone? I can help you, feel free to contact me.

Ask your children the right question

Father: What do you want to become in future?

Daughter: I want to become a Doctor!

What is wrong with this discussion? Well, the question itself. Human beings are social animal, we tend to follow the trails of another human. This is one of the most popular questions often asked to children. The question itself leads to answer a self-thinking paradox and most times it ends up with a profession like engineer, doctor, lawyer or even politician. It fails to lead children to a “sense of purpose” . It fails to question their purpose of existence in this world.

However if the question is modified to “What do you want to do for our society/community/humanity in future?”, it changes everything. This inquisition will make them realize that they have to do something for the society. It will make them think about others rather than themselves. Now the answers you get will be different.

“I want to help the needy”,

“I want to protect the country”

“I want to save lives”.

Plant the selflessness seed at an early age. This world is filled with  lots of hate, selfish and greed. Children can change it. Today innovations are at its peak than ever. SpaceX is building a mission to move people to Mars. This is all about continuum of humanity.Make them realize their “Sense of Purpose” before its too late. Ask them the right questions!

 

What do you advice you children the most, “Do NOT cheat anyone, be loyal.. blah blah”

 

If you are teaching or I should say lecturing your kids why not to cheat and do good to others, think again. What is the difference between humans and all other species? Here are some of the fallacies around this:

“Humans can think, other species cannot?” – Really? Ravens or Crows have higher IQ than many humans.

“Humans have the 5th sense i.e feelings, others don’t” – This is insane, ask your pet lovers about this

“Humans evolve” – Animals and other species evolve too, Scientists are discovering 100’s of new species every single day.

So what is the real difference? Humans can imagine and their survival instinct is  “Thandiram” or TRICKS. Humans are the only species capable of this. Humans tricked dogs to guard them, elephants, bulls to work from them and even tamed the ferocious lion for entertainment. The problem arises when humans start tricking other humans. Cheating is a part of human psychology. Kids as young as 2 years old learn how to trick and cheat. So teaching them not to cheat or trick is just inhumane and doesn’t make sense.

I am not asking you to teach your kids how to cheat, we don’t have to do that. The right thing to do is teach them how not to get cheated, the defending mechanism. Its a controversial debate, but from experience you will eventually come to a conclusion that being cheated is worst than cheating. Teach them the right thing.