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

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‘Everything in my life including where I am today is inter-connected’

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Rekha Kurup is a down-to-earth, profoundly evolved person. She also happens to be a part of Vibha Women’s mentor panel. I have known her for a year now and am happy and proud to watch the time that her brand is speaking out, loud and clear.

She facilitates Vibha’s anniversary celebration with a deeply meaningful workshop for our members this February 13th. Read on to catch a glimpse into this strong woman’s mind and heart!

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I see myself as a boundary weaver, women-centered spirituality/feminine leadership coach, a feminist yogini and a rising daughter called upon to stand tall bearing the fruits of her ancestry and weaving her way forward – among other things. 🙂

I was one of 147 Women leaders from around the world chosen to be part of the 2015 Class of the VVLead Fellowship Program from a highly competitive pool of over 1200 outstanding applicants. In Jan 2016 I have transitioned into a VVLead Alumni – part of the Global VVLead Team. I am an avid reader and also a writer. I published my first book (a research study) in December 2014 in India titled Rising Daughter, Silent Mother and Fading Grandmothers. Available on flipkart, amazon.

I have cherished every journey of my life from being an Computer Engineer over a decade long career in Silicon Valley of California to volunteering with non profits to organizing a variety of peace building events to being a mentor for youth and adults to building partnerships and bridges between community groups and more. My deepest calling was always to be of service to the community.

Being in California deeply nourished that desire as I volunteered vigorously and passionately in different capacities in partnership with the Schools, Universities, NGOS, City and County. I was an active volunteer with the Art of Living Foundation, International Association for Human Values and several other ngos. When life presented the opportunity to shift careers in 2005, I chose to quit my high paying IT career to humbler beginnings in the nonprofit community. It was supposed to be a sabbatical for 6 months to a year but then never could go back into a regular paying 9 to 5 job. I volunteered for over 2 years with universities, local schools – teaching stress management, mentoring, capacity building, peace partnerships, organizing events/seminars/discussion forums and more.

In late 2008 I took on the role of Executive Director of the YES! for Schools Program in California (youthempowermentseminar.org) which extended to nearly 5 years. Along with the National Director, William Herman, we built the program ground up – envisioning, goal setting, recruiting, training, campaigning, fundraising and more. Our collective effort built a phenomenal team as well as movement across the country that impacted and is still continuing to impact thousands of lives of students, educators in the United States. During that time I saw up-close the impacts of patriarchal urbanization and the direct impact of sexualization and objectification on the bodies and sexuality of men and women – especially women and girls.

As a backdrop to everything going on, the traumatic collapse of my own decade long marriage (2010). Everything happened in a way that was deeply awakening and made me question everything – women’s relationship with her body and sexuality, her purpose separate from the roles she plays, her inability to recognize as well as respond to abuse in marriages, gender perceptions based on cultural and social conditioning, “do”s and “don’t”s of feminine identity, the age-old dogmas defining womanhood, the shame, disgust and silence surrounding body and sexuality, and most importantly the direct and indirect influences of mother-centered and father-centered cultures on body, sexuality and self.

I knew that there was more to me as a woman than I have been told or had access to because I experienced it in powerful embodied ways and yet in the living culture – images of that power were visibly absent. So I set out on my next adventure that took me to Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) for my Masters of Art in Women’s Spirituality. ITP and California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) are the only two schools in the world that have a program that allows women to rediscover women-centered spirituality, leadership, spiritual feminism and more. It changed the entire course of my life and gifted me my purpose.

Now for the Aha moment!

My life is filled with AHA moments I think for as long as I can remember. Every AHA moment has moved me to the next level of my life. So this AHA moment brought me here where I am today. It happened when Theorist and activist educator, and co-director of the Women’s Spirituality program – Judy Grahn, interviewed me prior to enrolling me in the program. During the interview she asked about my matrilineal Nayar roots of Kerala which I was not very particularly connected with and not connecting with my empowerment and purpose. However little did I know that my life was going to shift phenomenally. Dr Grahn informed me that for the last 20 years she as well as the co-director of the program Dr. Dianne Jenett have had a close association with Kerala’s earth-based spirituality, and have done considerable research, and in fact, it had been their deepest wish and longing for a Nayar girl to come to the program and there I was sitting right in front. In the past there had been just another Indian girl in the program. So me a Nayar girl sitting in that room for that interview was really a surreal happening. It was meant to be! That interview as well as that program brought me back to my ancestry in a way that I never imagined. It has also set the course of the rest of my life and what I do today. Women-Spirituality M.A program gave me the opportunity to investigate, re-inform, gather, discover, reclaim, remember, and re-member that phenomenon that is Woman and the magic she embodies, is born with, is connected to, is capable of creating and invoking in others – in ways that I was never aware of.

Today I work with women from around the world to revive that wisdom rooted in their own ancestry, lineage, culture, and more. Women hae experienced deep healing, empowerment, awakening through the various offerings of the she stands tall project. In 2013 I decided to end 14 years of my life in California to explore transition to Bangalore, India. In 2014 I knew that I had to be in India and revive this wisdom that seems to have gone completely underground from the visible social culture. This is a sentence from my book that captures some of my experience:
“I was beginning to realize that my feminine body and sexuality served no purpose outside marriage, belonging to a man, or becoming a mother. Although fully clothed, naked, and erotic images of the Goddess adorned temple walls and palaces, these images did not have any relevance to the living bodies of women in my culture.“

 

 

On her Target Audience

In partnership with my mother, Balamani Kurup, I have launched The She Stands Tall Project LLP in Bangalore, India whose mission is to create sacred, open and safe sisterhood containers that support the personal, relational and transpersonal exploration of the Feminine. Our vision is for women (and girls) to become catalysts of transformative change within themselves, their families, their communities and the world. We do so by educating, empowering and engaging women to reclaim, redefine, and re-inform the various factors that positively affirms a woman’s relationship with her body, sexuality and self through the investigation, discovery, documentation, revival and re-creation of practices and methods that support and nurture the development of a gender egalitarian society.

It is a massive vision and undertaking and definitely, a beginning and bringing together of women doing similar work around the world. Together we can shift the patriarchal roots of culture and social organization.

On Embracing Challenge

Challenges have been numerous in different disguises, guises, faces, shapes and sizes. 🙂 Every challenge is a doorway to greater possibilities, an adventure, an opportunity to own the realization that I am more powerful than anything and everything that can come my way.

There is a deep wisdom that seats rooted inside of me that pulsates with everything in this universe. I am not an independent being but an interdependent alive vibrant being interconnected with everything on this planet. When I am focused on the greater good of the entire web of life – challenges cease to bog me down – they merely are milestones for pause, regrouping, relearning and beginning again with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. I meditate, breathe, and ritualize through every aspect of my life with intention, attention, faith and surrender. I live my life inside out consciously, compassionately and connectedly and know that I am merely an instrument of walking my purpose on the earth at this time. When that changes I will know and I will be ready to transition to newer pastures in this body or another.

On Marketing 

Predominantly Word of Mouth. Those who have experienced a women’s circle with The She Stands Tall Project never forget it and they spread it and bring more into the circle. We also partner with other organizations, schools, institutes and others. The faculty, alumni of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology are also one of the strong advocates for the work and help spread the word.

On Inspiration

For that first I need to understand what anyone means by business. Most business that I see and have seen in todays world are about self-centered profit – disconnected from those around. It has become about force, domination, self-success, power and fame. So I definitely donot subscribe to that idea and paradigm about business. 🙂
My parameters of success are connected to transformational impact in terms of people, life, society, earth, environment, and more!I follow a feminine business paradigm for my work in the world and there are many who inspire me that direction: Joanna Macy, Starhawk, Shilop McCleod, Anne Blumenthal, Jennifer Berezan, Luisa Teish, and many more! Women who are doing phenomenal work in the world in shifting it, transforming it, and also making money and putting money back into the world!

Advice for Entrepreneurs

Let the entrepreneur in you have a deeper vision for yourself, the community, the earth, the environment and the world, and let that vision move, create – your work, services, product. May your entrepreneurship create, recreate and reniform solutions in the world, for the world and with the world – let it not become the source of more problems, conflict and unrest. Build your entrepreneurship on values that inspire deepest human qualities.

 

For more details about business

Website link: theshestandstallproject.com Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSheStandsTallProject Linked: https://in.linkedin.com/in/rekhagkurup Twitter: https://twitter.com/KurupRekha Company Page: https://www.facebook.com/sthreestandstall Email/Phone number for Business enquiries: rekha.gkurup@gmail.com | +91-9972490513

 

The author is a Social Entrepreneur and Learner

Twitter: CarolineVibha

Caroline Fernandes

20 inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs by the ones who never gave up

Have you ever asked yourself if entrepreneurship is worth all the stress that comes along with it? You sometimes wish that you hadn’t taken the proverbial “road less traveled”.

But what we all actually need is a little push. Some inspiration. Something that sets your heart racing and gets you back on the saddle.

A handful of inspiring quotes from the ones who never gave up to the ones that won’t either!

Let us know what keeps you motivated. What are your favorite quotes? We’ll be glad to hear from you!

Anu Krishna, CMO of Citrya Innovations and a passionate writer talks about entrepreneurship, focussing on customers and value creation and how iEmerge will eventually replace the business card as it exists today

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

In our continuous effort to inspire entrepreneurship, we start the year by bringing to you the story of Anu Krishna, CMO of Citrya Innovations in our #ShareYourStory series


AnuKAnu Krishna studied finance, worked on audits in a variety of industries and later made the hard decision to put her career on hold as a mom.

In her second stint, she re-engaged in a different avatar as a writer doing a 2-year program at Writers Bureau, UK, and being published in a variety of places. The writing helped Anu discover her passion for communication, her innate need to engage with people and create great associations which led to engagement with operations and marketing in the last few years.

Here are some of her published works (in Deccan Herald and on YourStoryClub) on diverse topics that make for highly engaging reads – Romancing Venice , Circle of Life , The sweet tale of a bitter fruit , Magical Rhapsody and Musings of a strange night which became the most popular short story in September 2012.

Anu Krishna currently leads the Marketing and Communications at Citrya Innovations. 

We asked Anu to share her story with Vibha and she gladly agreed.

Tell us about your association with Citrya? How did it start?

I wouldn’t claim credit for starting the business but having been part of the process, I can speak for it. Uma and Krish got together to start Citrya before I came on board. In their stint at a multinational companies, they had built a wonderful new product and saw its success from ideation to world wide acceptance over 2.5 years partnering with so many people worldwide. It taught them patience, commitment and perseverance which is what product building is all about.

We got together and felt we can make a huge contribution to the Indian eco-system and felt like we had the right mix of attitude, commitment and expertise to do just that. But this endeavor needed great people and when the partnership fell in place, we decided we had all the right ingredients for success.

What excited me about Citrya was the huge focus on making technology work for people rather than the other way around.

Tell us more about Citrya Innovations. Who are your target customers?

We are a complex business, but our focus today is on personal identity.citrya LogoSmall

We want to initially supplement and eventually replace the business card as it exists today.

We are creating what we call a Digital Presence Card branded iEmerge to signify the emergence of a comprehensive persona.

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iEmerge Card

The card builds your personality and does not just treat you as a phone number. It allows you to display your work and understand you as a persona which, as we all know builds businesses. The card is digital which means great reach through social media, shareable, convenient to store into your contacts and easy to access ensuring you will never forget a contact or be forgotten, unlike today, where 90% of business cards are discarded.

This is also environment friendly which we like and to encourage that, we are giving away FREE cards. You can get yours at http://tclr.co/cp.

Our target customers are Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, Job seekers and businesses who have a need for analytics.

What are the challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?

When we started, we started out to change the world as everyone does. We started building a complex infrastructure but quickly realized that the market needed very different and simple technological solutions to solve everyday problems. We pivoted and evolved technologies that would conquer complexity and Make Life Easier for people. What better example and what better place to start than the ubiquitous business card!

We resisted the temptation to pick up services as a means of revenue stream, and also defer investment initially to build the customer base and core value.  These are not easy to do when you are in your initial stages.

We would advice every entrepreneur to do just that – focus on customers and value, and investment will happen.

How do you market your business?

Our product markets itself. Every iEmerge card shared is seen by another potential customer. We currently use word of mouth and social media.

Do you have any business role models/books that have inspired you?

Steve Jobs inspired us in many ways than one. He believed in giving customers what they don’t yet know they need rather than collecting requirements and meeting them.

What is your advice for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?

Simple. Entrepreneurship is about conquering fear. Lots of people will tell you that this path is difficult. Make no mistake, they are right.

But dreams are never easy. If you dared to dream, garner the strength to listen to and learn from the advice you receive and not be discouraged by it! That will ensure you live your dream and not someone else’s!


Don’t forget to get your FREE iEmerge profile at http://tclr.co/cp

If you are interested in finding out more about Citrya Innovations or upgrading to higher plans for iEmerge card, please use the links below

Website

http://iemerge.citrya.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/IEmerge-Presence/1602845886605896?ref=br_tf

Email: info@citrya.com

Phone: +91 8971368800


We thank Anu for sharing her story with us!

Please comment/like/share the story if you have found it inspiring!

How a social entrepreneur followed her passion and is empowering other women achieve financial independence

Caroline Fernandez

In our first ever Share Your Story series we put the spotlight on Caroline Cares Fernandez.

Caroline is a social entrepreneur working towards empowering women. Vibha – Women Empowerment for Entrepreneurship, a quarterly event aimed at empowering small business women entrepreneurs, is her brainchild. Caroline is also a fitness enthusiast and a keen yoga practitioner.

Here’s Caroline sharing her business story…

Give us a little background about yourself.

I’m a Goan by birth, global citizen by choice :), curious cat, mother, avid learner and a passionate creator. I dabbled in corporate with 13 years experience as a Behavioral Training specialist. I’m a BSc nurse by profession. But all this was telling me deep inside – I had more to explore about myself.

What was your AHA moment? What made you start your own business?

As a kid I have felt like doing things that others are either afraid to do or don’t do. Perhaps that maybe called rebellion but I think I just wanted to be me.

There’s no real AHA moment, but it was a gradual study on what I have liked and have been passionate about. Through a few situations that brought me down on the personal front, I realized that if I need to get somewhere – I am the only who can get me there!

Tell us about your business.

I am blessed with a great team of women, who are from marginalized section.

Ten years ago I promised to do something to empower many women, because of the factors that got me down. I realized there surely would be other women who must never ever lose hope, come what may! My women earn a livelihood, and I think that’s the strongest way a woman can feel empowered – through financial independence. Together we develop bridal gowns.

The brand is Santana by Caroline. We design & custom-make white wedding gowns,hand-made boho chic wearables and cute cottons too!

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What are the challenges you’ve faced and how did you overcome them?

I didn’t have any formal training in fashion, design or any related experience at all! People thought I had lost my mind when I started my venture because my background was in science, health and corporate. That’s nowhere near fashion or design. I persisted, primarily because I felt this was something that really interested me and I wanted to explore.

Then there was the issue of initial investment. Gathering funds to start was a struggle. But I think it’s always great to take baby steps – no matter how large your vision of your company is. That way you can change direction or scale your present steps quickly.

Fear of failure had always been on my mind. We made a ton of mistakes too. I actually feel so grateful to have had great customers who were as explorative as me. Plus I never withheld from asking people when I didn’t know something. Saying you don’t know something opens up a world of learning and also helps connect you to a great network of people!

Do you have any business heroes/books that have inspired you?

Virgin’s own – Richard Branson has got to be on top of my list! His larger-than-life approach towards things, his awesome ability to engage with people at every level and empower are some of the things that have been on my mind for a long time and part of my own evolution. I read a lot of relevant books on development and Stephen Covey was one of my first mentors (via his books) 🙂

What is your advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I believe we are born for greatness! Do not be afraid to fail. Laugh a lot – especially at yourself, it works! I make a lot of mistakes; I also try to keep my ego aside every morning 🙂

Where we can we get more details about your brand/product?

You can follow my brand here:

Website: www.santanabycaroline.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santana-by-Caroline/496310780408436

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SantanabyCaro

Email: santanabycaroline@gmail.com

Phone: 09980574013/ 09611456972