Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting started on Social Media? Five tips for you!

If you are one of the thousands who are just about to start their journey on the Social Media highway, and are eyeing a serious payoff from your efforts online, here are five powerful and direct tips to help you make your journey truly rewarding!

Let's fish!
Social Media is an extremely powerful, useful and evolving monster. It is huge, defies limiting definitions, and can cut both ways. If mastered properly from the beginning, then it may be extremely rewarding in the mid to long term. If done without a consistent thought, then efforts are likely to result more in frustration. And since the ocean of social media is teeming with all kinds of resplendent fish, it's important to learn some basics of fishing!

Here goes!

First Power Tip:  IT TAKES TIME

If you have just started building your serious presence on online platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogger, YouTube etc., then remember the first golden rule - it takes significant time to develop rich, deep profiles that will interest a steady stream of followers. It just does not happen overnight. In that sense, social media property development resembles body building. It grows with time only. So do not be too impatient and even if you are, do not be frustrated with results too soon. Wait, and keep fertilising and irrigating your properties regularly. Incrementally, you will see growth. So, for example, your number of Facebook friends may grow much faster than the number of LinkedIn connections. That's how it generally is. So relax and let it happen.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Spiritual management of traffic stress

I live in a beautiful mid-size town - Indore (MP) - that has an amazing sense of traffic. People create their own rules, and  live strictly by them. Some such rules that I have encountered are:

  • Move when the lights are red, and stop when green
  • Stop ahead of the 'stop-line'
  • Criss-cross the road without warning
  • Never cross the road at the zebra crossing

Many more ingenious versions of these exist in my nice little town.

Now as I am a law-abiding citizen, this gets me really worked up badly. I get angry when I see that a lot of citizens are simply, blatantly, and without a sense of remorse breaking all traffic rules. I start cursing them, and swearing at them, and ultimately have a bad headache.

A practising manager's spiritual pursuit
of equilibrium amidst chaos
And the beauty of it all : nothing changes! In fact, it gets worse by the day :)

So I have found a cure for this huge internal strife that goes on everyday I drive in my town. This intelligent formula is what I call "A practising manager's spiritual pursuit of equilibrium amidst traffic chaos". I will be submitting the writeup of this theory to one of the new IIMs soon for a technical paper presentation, under the modern evolving HR theme (the older, more established ones may not entertain me). Perhaps one of the leading newspapers will also feature me on their front page, with a catchy headline.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

When not to take advice seriously

Live it to know it
If you are a start-up entrepreneur, you have faced it frequently. Advisors of all hues and shades - well-meaning and otherwise - telling you what to do and how to do. Even when no advice is sought, there will be many who'll not miss out on the opportunity to advise you; there seems to be some kind of a pleasure in trying to show the path to a start-up entrepreneur.

But beware ye Entrepreneur!

If the advisor is not of the same fraternity, discount his words heavily. Do not take them too seriously. And for sure, do not act on such pieces of wisdom immediately. Think hard before you accept any such wisdom as gospel truth.

There are good reasons for my saying so.

Only those who are in the active role of an entrepreneur - especially the start-up ones - face the following realities:

  1. Fear of death : If the business model does not work out, and the revenues do not flow in, it could be sudden death with no second chance in the immediate future. All the dreams, the presentations, the excel-charts vaporise instantly
  2. Fear of growing unprofitable : The business may be pulling in revenues, but the profits may just not be happening, thereby making the mid-term prospects of the venture suspect. No one may be interested in funding you anymore
  3. Fear of losing everything one has : If the business collapses, then a lot of emotional investment that happens in it goes with it too.. sure you become wiser, but the pain is harrowing. A daily dose of "we told you so..." is likely to follow
Only an entrepreneur who has lived through the daily pain (and pleasure) of facing these brutal realities knows how things get done under such pressures.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

When professional meetings are a pleasure!

There are various experiences that come our way, when we meet people. Especially so in the professional world.

I add value - do I?
We spend our most crucial resource - time - in meeting others, and sharing ideas, thoughts, secrets and expecting to learn from them.

One of the most interesting forms of meetings is an
open-ended industry-discussion. The participants wish to discuss the present state of the industry they are in, and speculate on the future direction of the same.

It turns out that there are three kinds of experiences one can get, in the course of such professional meetings, depending on the quality of the people.

I. The donkey bray:
This is a rather unfortunate waste of time as the other person(s) have little value to add to the discussion going on. Either all are clueless, or one is not and the rest are. If only a couple are good, it creates a complete imbalance in the discussion as invariably, many will be left out. If no one has any clue, it's a total waste.

Cause: Idiots all around!

Outcome / Solution: Pray to God, end it fast, and run.