I can’t tell you the number of times I’m rejected at work.

I meet so many different kinds if people whom I wish to explore to collaborate with, intend to offer our services to as well.
It’s ego breaking. When things don’t materialize.
I sit to reflect on why things happen the way they do.
I also question what was missing from my side and what more we could have done / do to learn and add value to our own processes.
I’m still learning.
And what’s always struck me as being helpful for our work is asking, listening, sometimes ( many times ) going back to the drawing board time and time again.
I used to feel terrible about it. Now I use that to keep me going.

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #stilllearning # womenentrepreneurs

For more information on Vibha Women

http://www.Facebook.com/ vibhawomen

The author is an Executive Coach and Social Entrepreneur

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Rembrandt van Rijn has been known for his versatility in art and his creative depictions of history through visual media.

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He never traveled outside the Netherlands ( then called the Dutch Republic ), but he was influenced in a big way by Old Masters like Lastman for instance.
In today’s day and age, Old Masters come in the form of Patrons, and patrons don’t have to be fragmented or compartmentalized when it comes to who they are what roles they play in your life too.
– Even the most menial job you might be given or doing can be your great source for developing a skill you think might help you in your line of work.
– Your boss, your mentor, your senior ( maybe all 3 in 1 as well ) can be a rich pool of learning for you to learn from, ask questions and also gain insight into their journeys too.

– Do you have a role model in your field ? Someone you can study and learn from. They may no0t even be a part of the living anymore, but their story and their journeys live on , for you to trace back, to undersatnd patterns, to deeply and consciously get in touch with what worked and what didn’t. And then to explore those principles in your own time and space.

Can you think of other ways to leverage on what has been to spring board you on your way, give you a boost of confidence and also gain insight into what was done earlier ?

For more information on Vibha Women and what we do for women entrepreneurs look us up on:

Facebook and Twitter : Vibha Women

 

 

The author is a Social Entrepreneur and Executive Coach

twitter: CarolineVibha

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There’s a massive sea of change unfolding for many many women over the last few decades

A few decades earlier in countries that have high Western influences in them, and more recently in countries like ours.
I interact / collaborate / coach / learn from a lot of women and the need / search to make a mark or identify is high. This is not to say women want to compete with each other or with men.
I interact / collaborate / coach / learn from a lot of women and the need / search to make a mark or identify is high. This is not to say women want to compete with each other or with men. Competition with the outer world may not be the focus. But more about women really coming into their own, for themselves.
For some women it might continue well past them becoming mothers; transitioning from a role in Corporate India to opting to either resume or becoming entrepreneurs in micro / small sized businesses.
The initial phase of transition / exploration with her identity, can be daunting for many.
What will happen to the family ?
Are the kids going to suffer due to neglect from me as a mother ?
How do I catch up with the world ? ( bevause there have been massive changes since she took a break )
Will my family support me ?
What do I do if they don’t ?
I need seed capital.
What if I fail ?
Will my idea be rejected ?
Will I face rejection ?
If I do fail, what happens next ?
Also with this growing need to explore and discover, many are afraid to be seen as feminine. Like ‘being feminine’ is weak or flighty, or lacking strength.
Femininity wields tons of strength harnessed over years and years of experience with life. After all experiences teach all of us, regardless of gender. It’s upto us to ask – ‘What did I learn from this ?’
What are your thoughts on discovering more about yourself ?
About how gracefully embracing femininity can be a constant source of strength in your decision making and taking action ?
How can each of us engage, to support this change, that in many many subtle and more obvious ways, is having an impact on the family structure and function, on ways we all collaborate at work, on the economy and relationships at large ?

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #womeninleadership #womenentrepreneurs

Are you giving it your all?

 

Setting up a venture is uncannily similar to giving birth to a child. In both cases, there is a gestation period, though the duration may not strictly be nine months in the case of birthing a venture. In both, you are getting into totally uncharted waters; in both, there are upheavals; there is pain; there is exhilaration; there are questions, doubts and dilemmas; there is discovery of a totally new way of life; there is discovery of a totally new YOU; there are pangs associated with the growth of the baby.

All this means that in order to successfully give birth to your venture and to keep growing it, you have to stay completely invested in the entire journey, step after step. You have to totally focus on the needs of each moment and try to do the right thing. Are you at the stage where the idea is just a germ in your mind? Focus on fleshing it out, crystallizing it and getting validation for it. Do you need to now expand into new markets? Then reach out to more people, try finding new contacts that will help you get there. Are you trying to incorporate your venture? Then, get information on the different kinds of organizations and their pros and cons and apply your mind on what will be right for you. Do you need a website that showcases your venture to the world? Find the best possible person to do it for you and then guide him/her through the process.

Of course, none of this is really easy. There will be struggles. Finding the right information or contacts takes time. And if it happens to be in a field about which you don’t know much, it becomes that much more difficult for you. After all, you want to ensure that you get only the best for your venture. Also, you will have to juggle priorities, especially if you are an Indian woman. At the same time that you are trying to be a businesswoman/entrepreneur, you may also have to be a daughter, a mother, a wife.

Be that as it may, please realize that all of us are in the same boat. In order to get to where want to reach, all of us have to paddle upstream often. So really, it all comes down to this question: ‘Are you giving your venture your everything?’ Are you totally focused on doing the right thing for it? Or, are you allowing distractions and obstacles to diffuse your focus? Are you allowing them to take over your life, to bog you down? Are you, in one way or the other, making excuses?

Think about it for some time and be brutally honest with yourself. Because, the answer to this question can make or break the deal for you.

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Chase excellence, and customers will chase you.

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One of the biggest lessons I learnt early on in my career is that it is vital to be excellent in whatever you do.

This applies equally to any sphere of activity, anything that you do. I have observed (in my own life and in that of others) that it is important to first identify what you are good at, what you have a flair for and then simply keep getting better and better at it. This means that rather than take up many different things and try to do them all (and hope that you’d succeed in them and make money), it is better to sharpen your focus on the one or two things you can do well. The key word here is ‘focus’.

We live in times of overload. There is information overload, choice overload, competition overload, confusion overload, distraction overload, everything overload. And as God is my witness, there is mediocrity overload.

In this context, it is very easy to get railroaded by things that won’t really get you anywhere in life. It is also very easy to get lost in the sea of humanity.

Which is why it is important for us to beat this ‘overload’ tendency by focusing. By saying a loud ‘NO’ to anything that doesn’t make sense to us.

In these times of overload, the only way to stand out is to specialize in something, become the expert in something. This is all the more relevant for an entrepreneur. All entrepreneurs have to hustle, irrespective of what they offer – hustling is a reality for us. But, it is important to hustle on the bedrock of domain expertise. You may be offering financial consulting, software products, landscaping, catering, fashion accessories, sports equipment, whatever.

The point is, are you a specialist, an expert in your field?

If your answer to this question is ‘yes’, you have a great chance of differentiating yourself from the crowd.

You can command a price premium from your customers with great confidence; your customers are more likely to keep coming back to you and to refer you to people they know. All this will positively impact your venture.

But, if your answer to the question is ‘no’, you have some more ground work to do. You have to learn some more, speak to experts in the field, take more customer feedback about your offering – in a nutshell, you have to upgrade yourself and your offering.

To summarise: ‘Pursue excellence in your field. And customers will automatically start pursuing you.’

 

Ganesh Vancheeswaran is co-founder of Vibha Women. He is also an author, branding specialist, freespirit, mountain man and occasional nitwit.

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For more informatin on Vibha Women check out our Facebok page: http://www.facebook.com/vibhawomen

Or write to us: reach@iamvibha.com

 

 

 

 

Owning It – It really is More Than a Title

Should leaders ( everyone is a leader in their own right. Anything we are responsible for, turns out, it becomes ours to own, ours to deliver and ours to also learn from ) be OK NOT KNOWING ?

I mean, we are living in a day and age where fundamentals in business and / or even in a corporate setting can make our lives easier if we equipped ourselves with ‘knowing the HOW TO…’

Whenever I hear folks say – I don’t know and walk away, to me that tells me
– This thing you’re doing? It just isn’t THAT important to you
– You wanna pass the buck on
– You think you’re ABOVE it ( Heaven knows how – pun intended )

And then we whine, complain and shout from the rooftops about how ‘ Noone’s helping me’.

Are you serious???

If this ‘thing’ really really matters enough
– You WILL make it happen
– You will learn
– You will not be ashamed to say , ‘ I DON’T KNOW’
– You will push yourself out there to get the job done

Some of you reading this might think this sounds pretty dictatorial. It’s cool. i’ve really been labelled worse…

But, palming off a job, procrastination and just plain ol’ shoddy work is just unimpressive.

I think as entrepreneurs, we are responsible 24/7.

Why?
Because its ours.
Because we wanted it bad enough to get it off the ground.
And because we owe it to ourselves to finish what we started.

 

 

The author, Caroline Fernandes, is an Educationist and Social Entrepreneur

twitter: Carolinevibha

Caroline Fernandes

Seriously, Intelligence is Over-Rated.

I used to wonder where the point of getting good to great would happen.

I mean, how do you know when you’re getting really really good at what you’re doing?

Simple. You’ll find people, a steadily growing number of them actually, will want to meet you. Not because you’re known or something, and yeah, that happens to happen anyway, but because what you do is getting the results people want.

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So, we are seeing a lot of tense hesitation with women when they transition between where they are, to where they need to be. The Real versus the Ideal states.

We find that all this is to a very large extent, a state of mind.

Through our interviews, discussions, coaching and events, more and more we are realizing women do not take the step into the unknown, simply because it’s the unknown.

Sure, you’re probably thinking how is this different from the way men think, correct?

Correct. To look at it from the surface it is human nature to resist change and resist it we will. Excuses, delays, avoidance and denial flood our minds and stop us dead in our tracks, sometimes self-indulgence in opting to be mentally paralyzed too.

But, studies have shown that when it comes t0 us women, these challenges tend to take on a slightly if not grossly skewed shape. We have a gender based lens that enables us to perceive events that lead us to go into self- deprecation. We bring ourselves down, and filter situations from this world view.

In due course this takes us into a loop which stops us from progressing to getting to that ‘ really really good space’ aka, becoming experts at what we do.

Some of of the basics that can incrementally lead to disengaging this thought process are:

  1. Developing a clear Leadership Vision
  2. Self- Confidence Building
  3. Understanding what Success Means to us
  4. Networking
  5. Influencing and negotiating
  6. Others

We invite yoou to take notice of the fact that core skills around what you do have consciously not been mentioned here, as we consider that a given for success.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we at #VibhaWomen plan on addressing these facets via our workshops that will work in tandem with more sharing of thoughts and experiences that you can read here as well.

 

Join us either at our workshops or read more about this here shortly.

We also invite you to share your own thoughts around this.

More to follow, see ya soon.

 

The author is an Educationist, Social Entrepreneur and Coach

Twitter: #CarolineVibha

#iamvibha #vibhawomen #carolinecaresfernandes

Caroline Cares Fernandes