Tuesday 16 January 2018

Make Your Own Lane: Be Useful; Be Resourceful

If you know by now - that your high scores, degrees, experience and skills that got you here is likely not going to take you there, where you want to be – you are reading the right blog.

I touched upon craftsman and passion mind set here

I have no idea what type you are however what I know for sure is you have had some education. 

Education, Knowledge and Learning - Google these words to read their definitions because it is only then you will know

a) Being educated does not mean you are knowledgeable
b) Having the knowledge does not mean you have learning
c) If you know something and not using that knowledge for personal or greater good, what does that knowledge mean to you?

When you are learning something new there is seriously no need to drown in the details initially. If you get the fundamentals right, you will not do activities mechanically – you will think, evaluate and then apply

You should avoid these three R

Rush:          An inexplicable urgency to complete what you are learning

Revise:       Knowing absolutely well, if you did not get the output right after your learning for the first time, you can always revise

React:         Just to prove that you did learn, you begin to defend your work

You should instead adopt these three R

Respond:    Think before you comment. To think, you should be able to listen first.

Repeat:       Practice what you learn several times not to aim to be perfect but to make it a habit or your second nature. If you repeat mistakes, you will be good at it. If you repeat

Rationale – Logical thinking. Reason brings purpose to what you do and why you do

I know I am jumping topics and there is a reason I am doing that. This is what most adult learners do. In fact I did that the whole of last year in the name of learning.  

a)   Trying to learn something that is not relevant to my real work (which is as good as surfing through face book) – The topic I am trying to learn is great, interesting, hot, trending and I felt a sense of accomplishment after I gathered some idea about the subject. However it did not further the project I was working on. So, I can call it research in my calendar to keep track of my daily activities, but it was actually just taking a break.

b)   I wrote about WIGs here. Do you have your WIGs right? Is online income one of them

c)   What you learn for fun is fun – You are part of Whirlwind or daily grind 

d)   What you learn for work is work – You are working for your WIGs

If you lose sight of the purpose (Goals, say online income), the learning objectives are defeated, even without you knowing about.

If you miss your learning routine and road map even once, the power of habit is defeated 

To grow you brand, authority and income online you have to be useful, be resourceful.

If what you do for your client is not useful, your knowledge, education and learning hardly matters. It is just your vanity metrics
If you fail to follow client's instructions, the assignments have to be revised due to your comprehension issues, you are wasting client's time and bandwidth.

Go back to the three Rs above what you need to avoid and focus on the three Rs to adopt - to make the most of what you know and what you learn 

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Thursday 11 January 2018

Make Your Own Lane: What Is More Important – Passion or Craft

Follow your passion
That is old school now.

In fact the following have been our slogans for a while now

Find your true North
We enable people find their IKIGAI

It still is. Just that what you need to find before that - is a skill that you want to be good at, a craft that you want to work on.

Cal New port in his book So Good They Can't Ignore You highlights the basic difference between craftsman mindset and passion mindset as follows:

The craftsman mindset focuses on what you can offer the world.

The passion mindset focuses on what the world can offer you and thrive

Being good in what you do

Making a living from what you love to do actually sound great. However you tend to love the work you do when you become good in whatever you do, become aware of your work's impact on people, business, environment and the outcomes of what you do.
Being competent in what you do
You do not become passionate about anything over night. Those who work on their craft, long enough to be good or best in what they do - often turn to become passionate gradually about what they do.
Studies highlight competence as one of the key factors to feel motivated for your work. When you master a craft, passion is its byproduct. It is not really the other way round – If you are passionate, you automatically do not become good in what you do.
Being happy
People who have passion mindset tend to focus on what the world offers and what their work offers – the attention is towards seeking which raise expectations and disappointment as it makes you aware about what you do not like about the work, and even worse if the expectation is not met, as hoped.
In Cal Newport’s words you need to build up rare and valuable skills—career capital—to offer in return, when you want a great and satisfying job.
The magical number
Researches  and psychologists claim, true expertise, the idea of excellence at performing a complex task requires minimum ten thousand hours of practice.
Before I let you introspect how many hours have you invested to learn any one of the following skills:
Business writing
Creating presentations
Writing business plans
Planning a white paper
Designing a website 
Closing a deal 
Travel writing
Digital Marketing
Creative writing
Logo designing
You got the point by now.
You could be sitting poolside relaxing in an Indian food joint or Café or enjoying the view of greenery from your balcony in a home stay not because your trip is sponsored by the travel magazine you write for, not because you are passionate about traveling or about writing but because over a period of time you became good in writing which fueled your passion for both - writing and travel.
There's a ton of effort to make before you get to that point – find out what you are good at, what you can be good at – and if you are ready to practice for that many hours - the magical number.
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Monday 8 January 2018

It Is The Work And Deliverable That Matters, Not The clock.

Remote: Office not required

That’s the book summary I was reading yesterday while having breakfast –

This is an amazing book written by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. So this is highly recommended for those of you who are considering remote work this year as corporate professionals, freelancers or first time entrepreneurs in SOHO or COHO.

This book will makes sense even to large corporations who want to give remote work an honest, serious and mighty effort to save costs and enhance productivity. Corporate can test this option with senior resources who have been with the company for years, whose efficiency they are sure of, who they believe can be location independent and remain equally productive or may be even more.

This can be a great retention strategy as well.


I seriously used to have this sinking feeling in office. In fact I had this feeling the whole of last year – What did I do the whole day?

Being aware of what you are capable of doing and assessing by the end of the day - what you actually got done triggers that feeling.

Too many interruptions

Too many distractions

Too many breaks

v  Meetings
v  Managers
v  Emails
v  Forwards
v  Social media
v  Phone calls
v  Watsapp messages

With each and every interruption and distraction, a knowledge worker is compelled to move out of his or her thinking zone and it takes considerable time to be back and take it forward from there.

Trying to get meaningful, creative, critical, thoughtful work done requires deep focus, attention, thinking and most important - long stretches of time, which is a huge challenge today, in the 9 to 5 scenario.

Time in office and transit literally gets wasted. It is about time  business leaders realize it is the work that gets reviewed and judged, not the location or duration. 

Pre Hiring

When I took over social media management for an international client (US being in different time zone) we, as a virtual team offered to do a short assignment for two weeks to test frequency, bandwidth and quality needs for long term engagement.
This saves our precious time to write lengthy proposals and also client’s time in scanning portfolio, reviewing profile and conducting SKYPE interviews


BECKON Aspirants go through a standard drill. Their training is mostly on live project – either they own the project or become active contributors of a large project.

They have to set a reasonable schedule, micro learn a lot of things and no activity is quite considered as learning till they can quantify outcomes or highlight impact or change of habit.

Project Leader

The BECKON coach does not manage people. He/ She manages their learning curve, the client and the end results based on the work carried out by the team

Virtual Team

This hot group comprising of BECKON Aspirants is self- driven with the understanding if the quality of work suffers based on their contribution, they will obviously not be trusted with any more projects in the near future.

Building A Routine

While working from home full time provides freedom and flexibility, without a structured morning and evening routine or defined boundaries you are likely to have serious productivity issues – That familiar “What did I do the whole day?” feeling is bound to be back to bother you.

Floating lifestyle does not mean floating goals. It is to have the goals constant with some variable factors around those –work time, location, duration etc.
Go back and read the list of distractions above. Many beginners think responding to those as “Work”. There is a difference between catch up, follow up and “real work”

Working Anywhere

Once you have a routine and basic work principles, you can work in solitude or anywhere that has a WIFI. Just in case you miss human interaction, try any of these:

Co working Facility
Local Café

5 to 9 PM

There is nothing wrong in clinging to the safe path - The office. Your passion may not lead to your first million – Just that when you love what you do and it is aligned to what you always wanted to do, your progress is faster. You can begin with a few hours every week.

Face time

One of the reasons, I have been away from corporate for the past years is the mandatory need for face time. There are plenty of mentally stimulating assignments there that can be carried out as a virtual team - Bid Management, Training, research, product development, content strategy, coaching leaders, Business planning, Go to Market Strategy, Content marketing. 

The enthusiasm to execute is smothered with face time mandates. I personally cannot take one more meeting with zero value add. None of my international clients insist for calls or meetings. I do not encourage either. The good old mails and messages serves our purpose well.

There can be absolutely no second opinion about this –

Remote work is here to stay for a very long time, or forever

It is your call if want to be part of the early adopters or late followers.

Are you getting ready to work from home during weekends to establish a secondary income?

Do you want to let go of the golden handcuff and have the freedom to create your own market?

Are you ready to settle into this new rhythm?

Image Credit: Canva Design
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Thursday 4 January 2018

Do Not Lose Your WIGs This Year

Sometimes multiple pursuits, many clients, shuffling between different industries to execute orders can eat up your bandwidth completely. You need to have some structure around what you are doing and why.

You most often miss that if you do not have the big picture in front of you - Your widely important goals

So just take the bull by its horns this year – Classify activity (whirlwind*) and productivity (Wildly Important Goals - WIGs*)

*Further Reading:
1] Covey’s 4 Disciplines of Execution


It is during one of the coaching sessions last week that I realized; many BECKON Aspirants were also facing the same issue – They do not seem to get results for what they are doing.

That is precisely the question: What are they doing?

a)   They are multi-tasking. Basically that divides your attention, single mindedness and focus
b)   They are trying to learn too many things casually
c)   They is an urgency to know more than to learn more
d)   There are some days, when they are doing nothing about their critical goals. Other days they are overdoing it.
e)   They are thinking and talking a lot about what they want to do however not doing much or completing anything


If I club the key ideas of the books** I read today it is easy to pin point exactly what is wrong with most of the activities that we do in a project

a)   They are not leading you to the desired outcome.
b)   You are taking much more time than it is required due to divided attention and distraction which makes you automatically conclude that it is time consuming project.

**Further Reading:
1] Getting things done by David Allen and
2] Zen to Done by Leo Babaota


Five basic things you need to remember to be more productive

1] Do one task at a time
2] Simplify goals
3] Avoid distractions
4] Focus on your MITs first (Most Important Tasks)
5] Build one habit at a time.
Tools, devices, gadgets and applications are facilitators to increase productivity

Evernote can make your life easy with a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly calendar to organize your life, however cannot do the work for you.

Twitter, Facebook, Pin interest, YouTube can brand you and your services however cannot bid, execute an order or close a deal for you

People tend to the easiest task first. That needs to change to build a habit, after all discipline is just doing something even if you do not like it.

***Click here to open your Payza account to receive your online income***

Wednesday 3 January 2018

You Are Already Rich By $10000 On The Third Day Of The Year.

Give this a quick thought.

- Your association
- Your team
- Your tribe
- Your hot groups

It all boils down to who you hang out with.

I hardly picked up any projects last year as the focus was to work with new learners, find resources to team up with for larger projects, multiple pursuits and be part of a process that can be sustainable. 

When you test frequencies, you actually waste your precious bandwidth on people

-      who are still on the lower edge of Maslow’s pyramid
-      who are easily distracted by consumerism and social media trends,
-      who prefer to talk about what they want to do in life, rather than do it
-      who have an excuse instead of a reason
-      who focus on what they cannot do instead of what they can
-      who prefer to spend their savings on materialism instead of investing on self-development

I have met people who are very excited about new projects however when there is a learning loop involved, you can see drastic change in attitude. I never quite understood how output or future achievements can change if input is the same.

-      No new learning
-      No new skills acquired
-      No new experience
-      No habit change
-      No reading
-      No ideas
-      No self-evaluation of what their goals and purpose of life is
-      No understanding about what they are capable of and their competence

If I conduct a seminar or a workshop today regarding work from home opportunities; online income; surveys; data entry jobs, telecommute options, remote assignments, laptop lifestyle – I will have the hall booked in a week’s time.

That is the first problem.

People invest roughly 25 years in education and then look for an income opportunity. How reasonable is it, in case of alternate income the expectation changes drastically when most participants look for immediate results, without efforts.

The following is definitely not enough to quantify your personal outcomes

-      Attending the workshop – Free or paid
-      Buying the reading / coaching material – Free or paid
-      Attending coaching sessions – Free or paid
-      Talking about the pursuit in a variety of excited tones – to self and others
-      Following instructions
-      Planning to do
-      Preparing things to do lists.

Most pursuits that are aimed for monetary benefits alone most often, in a sense of desperation, die a pre-mature death.

The key factor missing is -"Action" leading to desired outcomes

The sad truth is they consider everything they do - including surfing face book, watching YouTube, a marathon phone call with a friend as - "Action"

Based on that, they even begin to expect results without investing time in learning, changing inputs, habits or practicing.

Case Study 1

In March last year, I receive a message from a friend who urgently wanted 4/5 slides formatted by our virtual team during a weekend.

After I agreed, I realized due to an ongoing festival, the virtual team will be busy with their families or travelling to their home town, so I personally executed that task considering the urgency.

-      A month or two later they needed a pitch deck for their company
-      Then fleshing up an outline with researched content for speaking assignment
-      Then came the need for another presentation
-      Some research and data entry work was also done by the virtual team

Case Study 2

In January last year, two of my contacts bought my booklet and then referred two of their friends.


Let us assume for illustration purpose the cost of these assignments is just $200

Now how many contacts do you have who are clueless about your skills and services who can be potential clients? They will thank you their whole life for your timely assistance during their crisis management.

That’s business and revenue waiting for you.

Quick Action

-      Check your social media currency
-      Even if 50 people require your services on an average for the same value $200 – you have $10000 to be tapped.

You probably love this idea and want to get started right away
You probably hate this idea and will be hunting for me for having proposed this.


Financial transactions and business with friends can be potentially dangerous – It may ruin relationships


If you take undue advantage of the their trust


If you think of their interest before you think of yours

So it all depends on you

Now read this blog all over again to get the key themes right

-      Learning
-  How will you change your inputs - skills, time, habits, association
-  Take action and practice

Just reading a blog will not get you started. You do not need a coach at this stage. You need a purpose, mind set and network.

***Click here to open your Payza account to receive your online income***