You know that feeling of uneasiness you get when you try something new, something different, something that you’ve never done before – that will lead you onward towards your goals ?

That fear ?
It’s OK to be scared and it’s OK to recognize that that feeling has been stopping you all this while.
This is our comfort zone.
It is the space we prefer taking because it reminds of of being safe and at ease.
Take time to understand that EVERYTIME you reach out to do something like this, you will feel this way. You will want to cower down and curl up and shy away from anything that causes disturbance to that comfort zone you live in.
But to really really get to that goal ?
That is, at some point, going to require YOUR conscious effort.
It is going to ask you to STEP UP.
To do things you have NEVER EVER done before.
To shed that shell and take that step to do what is burning deep inside of you.
It is scary. And those fear are honestly never going to go away.
Because once you have conquered it – you have the next level of fear and comfort- zone- breaking to breach.
So don’t you think it’s time to get comfortable with your fears ?
Even in the Gita, it is said to get LOST in the process. And that the effort is more important than the goal itself. leave it
This way, when we get lost it in it, we revel in the fact that we took that step.
This also helps bring down the stress we allow to build inside of us , that we use to beat ourselves down, when we haven’t yet reached our goal.
It’s OK.
It’s OK to not YET reach it.
And it’s OK to recognize that. Take all the time you need to do so
And then you keep going. And revel in the process, acknowledge the fears. And acknowledge your action DESPITE your fears.

Have an ambitious, fear- filling, process – pleasing 2017 people.
Loads of Love   

 

The author is an Executive Coach & Social Entrepreneur

Twitter: CarolineVibha

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

download

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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These women were brought up in a culture steeped deeply in discipline, focus and the will to continue.

I am reminded of the ‘Bloom where you are Planted ‘ adage. It’s usually tough yet ironically simple to start exactly where you are, and then keep going. Crazy paradox huh. We’ve known of tons of businesses that started out of garages and then others that began owing to some adversity, gap or simply exploratory genius.

WINGS CO FOUNDERS

 

Amongst other entrepreneurial traits, perhaps fate too, synergistic-ally brought these two go-getters together to create WINGS.  WINGS, in it’s extended form means – We Inspire Grand Success – WINGS!

Although many times over as a trend, we at Vibha Women have chosen tpo speak of the venture, our primary goal in sharing these stories, is not to highlight the business, rather the inspiring grit and resilience these many many women choose to carry with them to venture into the world of startups.

Read on to know more about Payal Talwar and Priyanka Kumar.

Payal: A Miranda House alumni, I am an M.Sc, B.Ed and an MBA. I am an IFC certified trainer and am also an NLP master practitioner from NFNLP, US.

Priyanka:  Even though Payal and I have both gone through the same certifications together, before that, we were pursuing different things. I have been a student of psychology (from LSR, DU) and psychological counselling. Both of us are from the Army background.

 

On the Starting Point of WINGS

Payal: Both Priyanka and I could sense the frustration our fellow army wives felt.  These highly accomplished ladies are generally unable to pursue their own vocations due to their husbands being posted at far flung places – which offer no work opportunities.   This resonated with what we felt. We realized the need to create a platform which could provide them projects they could be a part of wherever they might be posted; give them a sense of being gainfully employed.

 

On Determining their Target Customers

Payal: Our business is about providing service – through training programs, content development, content reviews and building an online social media presence for companies. Our target customers are corporates and educational institutes. We also aim to reach out to individuals through open workshops.

 

On facing Obstacles

Priyanka: One of the major challenges has been marketing and business development. Initially, it was just the two of us managing everything.

We were unable to do justice to business development effectively. Now that our team has expanded, it is easier – though of course, there’s always more scope!

Also, regular cash inflow has always been on our mind.. 

 

wings workshops

 

How do you market your business?

Payal : We are in the business of helping our clients. We believe that our work speaks for itself.  Most out our clients have given us business only because we have been referred to them by other clients. We just focus only on quality, and our intent of serving them.  Business happens. 

On What Inspires them : (S)heroes, Books?

Payal : Priya Kumar, Ashelsh Rao (our NLP coach), Priyanka – my partner and lifeline!

Priyanka :  J While doing business we both use ‘Go Givers’ as our guide.  It has been authored by Bob Burg and John David Mann

What is your advice for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?

Priyanka: It’s a long haul – be prepared, be consistent – results are slow but sure. Take stock every now and then and be willing to adapt/ open new avenues.

A few more details about the business

A team passionate about spreading our wings and soaring to touch the skies, constantly challenging ourselves to rediscover our potential in the untiring quest for excellence – and enjoying the process to the hilt, is how we would like to describe ourselves.

We like to call our workshops ‘SELF-REVAMPING CLINICS’ filled with dialogue & dance, learning & laughter, creative madness and mental mobility, all in equal measures.

We are into providing training, building social media presence and developing and reviewing content

Website link

www.wingsteam.in

Facebook/Twitter/Linkedin/Pinterest/Google+ links

https://www.facebook.com/wingsteam.in/

Email/Phone number for Business enquiries

payal@wingsteam.in                                                  9899514419

Priyanka@wingstaem.in                                             8587099331

Radhika@ingsteam.in                                                 9489378165

Wingsteam@hotmail.com

 

The author is an Educationist and a Social Entrepreneur. To get yourself featured, feel free to email us on

reach@iamvibha.com

Twitter: Caroline Vibha

Caroline Cares Fernandes

 

A business must either solve a problem or satisfy a need. Pustaka does both!

A great business idea is nothing but finding a solution to a problem that you as an individual face and know that there is a market for this solution. Your idea gets validated when others facing the same problem are excited about your solution and are willing to pay for it. 

In our Share Your Story series that aims to showcase women entrepreneurs, we are excited to share the story of Pustaka!

Nivetha Padmanaban is founder of Pustaka, a one-stop ebook shop focused on vernacular Indian languages.

Thanks to Nivetha for volunteering to share the story.

nivetha

My native is Madurai, Tamil Nadu. I graduated MCA from Madurai Kamaraj University in 1998. I worked at various IT companies for 15 years and worked for 9 years with ThoughtWorks, Bangalore. My stay with ThoughtWorks gave me good exposure in all verticals and few of my ex-TWer friends quit and started their own startup. That is how I got to know about startup world and the challenges in that world. The challenges involved in making the startup always attracted me. Being a TWer means it involves lots of travel and I saw this problem of non-availability of regional language books for Indians living in other countries. We are solving so many complex problems for the client and I thought why not solve our problem using same skills and technology. So I decided to start this venture to experience the startup world and provide a technology solution for book lovers.

The gap

I love to read books in my native language (Tamil) more than any other language. Since the age of 10, as soon as I pick up a book, I forget the world around me. I terribly missed them whenever I travel to other countries. Friends living in other countries also shared the same pain. That’s how I decided to start my own venture on ebooks focused on Indian languages.

After the first article about us, I received many mails from different countries appreciating the effort and idea. I always knew there is a gap, but I realized the need is much more than I thought.

About Pustaka

pustaka logo for web

Pustaka aims to be a one-stop shop for readers of any language of India. We hope to digitize some of the rare literary works so that these priceless collections can be preserved for the future generations. But underlying all these ambitions is our burning desire to enable readers to have ready access to books that they want to read no matter where they are.  An E-book shop for vernacular Indian languages. These e-books are available for purchase as well as lending.

Pustaka boasts of books in Tamil, Kannada,Telugu and Malayalam languages by well known authors such as Subha, Pattukottai Prabhakar, Kalki, Vimala Ramani, Yandamoori Veerendranath, E Santhosh Kumar, Sivasankari, Kommuri Venugopal Rao, Shyamala Madhav and many more!

Overcoming Challenges

My business involves lots of manual typing work, where one has to manually type the complete printed book into Word to create the ebook. I am dealing with 4 different languages and thousands of books. I tried so many options including outsourcing, part-time employees, full-time employees etc. Finally, I addressed this by delegating to college girls from poor family backgrounds. This income helps their family and fund their studies and they are very committed. I am happy that this small income helps them to continue their studies.

Traction

Pustaka is still new and I am trying various marketing strategies to reach book readers. To be honest, I still have not found the strategy which works for me. But, I understand this is something which I have to keep trying till I find something that works for me.

My Role Model

My friend Savita Rao who is no more. I learned how to be self-confident, the importance of self-respect, to make bold decisions, to sometimes ignore people and move-on, the importance of keeping your dreams alive and many many more aspects of life.

Dear Women Entrepreneurs

Women form half of the population, which means that much potential is untapped.

According to me, women are natural leaders, they have great focus, very passionate at what they do and good at handling multiple tasks at the same time. Women can achieve much much more if they understand their potential.

My only advice is, there is no good or bad time to start your own. Start NOW, then you will find ways to solve the problems as and when it comes. In this internet era, mompreneurs has various opportunities which provides the flexibility they want.

“Fail Fast” is the mantra which I follow all the time.

 


Spread the word about the story by liking/commenting/sharing!

We encourage our readers to check out Pustaka’s website and social profiles for more details!

Website: http://www.pustaka.co.in/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PustakaDigitalMedia

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pustakabook

9 NIFTY WAYS TO BOOTSTRAP YOUR BUSINESS

Bootstrap

One often hears people complain that they do not have enough capital to start a business. Sure you need money to get your idea off the ground but do you really need venture funding or bank loans when you barely have any customers? Remember, it’s not easy to attract investors if you haven’t gained traction first.  

Do not be discouraged. It’s better to start with less capital than to invest a large amount when you are starting out.

Enter bootstrapping.

Here’s a little background about the term. As per WikipediaTall boots may have a tab, loop or handle at the top known as a bootstrap, allowing one to use fingers or a boot hook tool to help pulling the boots on. The saying “to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps” was already in use during the 19th century as an example of an impossible task.”

Bootstrapping

image source :sxsw.com

Bootstrapping in business parlance, means starting and growing your business with little or no capital. The entrepreneur attempts to build the company from personal funds or from the revenue generated by the new company.
Needless to say bootstrapping is also HARD WORK.

We rounded up a few bootstrapping tips you may want to seriously consider

Validate

All ideas are amazing! However what matters is if people are willing to pay in return for your product or service. Research the market, check if someone else is offering something similar or find out the pain points that are not addressed. It’s easier to monetize when you are offering a solution that is currently not available. Ask people if they would be willing to pay for solution. If yes, get them to pay.

Find a partner

Doing it all by yourself can be intimidating and stressful. Find someone (friend or family) who shares your passion for the idea and is willing to join as a partner. There are many who are keen on joining a startup as a partner but not everyone will have the necessary skill or resilience. Pick wisely. Look for complementing skills. Be transparent about what’s in store.

Crowdfunding

A great way to test your idea and get funded to build a prototype, is crowdfunding. There are various platforms such as Indiegogo and Wishberry that help you promote your idea to a larger audience for a commission. Watch and learn from some of the successful campaigns before you launch your own.

Home office Vs Store front

Time to convert that dining area (in case you don’t have a garage) into your office. Irrespective of whether your offering is a product or service, setting up an office or store front is a big no unless your business necessitates it. You don’t want to burn your pockets paying rent, electricity and other maintenance charges when you are bootstrapping. If you do need a office, try affordable co-working spaces. It may turn out to be an advantage networking with similar like-minded people.

Marketing

Oh damn! Where do I get the money from for advertising and PR? Fear not. There are other inexpensive ways to promote your business. First and foremost being your customers. If your offering is remarkable your customers will be your brand ambassadors.

Digital marketing is another low-cost marketing channel. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Blogs, SEO, Email marketing etc can be used effectively to grow your business. Remember that you don’t need to be on all the platforms. Find out where your target audience is and then put a strategy together to attract and convert them. Digital Marketing involves nurturing and providing something of value before you expect a sale. Reward your customers for introducing more users/customers to your business. It’s a proven customer retention method.

Cold-calling and speaking engagements are other tactics to promote your business without having to spend a huge amount of money.

Don’t hire. Outsource. Or better Do-It-Yourself!

Unless absolutely necessary, do not hire. Outsource design/development work. It also wouldn’t hurt to learn to code if you have to build a prototype. You don’t need to be afraid to learn something new.

Do your own accounting and business development.

Track expenses closely. Be thrifty.

That MacBook Air/iPhone 6 can wait. So can the posh office.

Avail free online services to manage communication/storage/tracking. Gmail, Google Drive/Docs, Dropbox etc have sufficient free stuff to get you through your initial stages.

Cut personal expenses where possible. Remember the quote

Entrepreneurship is about living a few years of your life like others won’t so that you can live the rest of your life like others can’t

Track all the expenses like a hawk. Don’t use your personal account. Open a business account. You must know at all times what your pending receivables are. Closely track what is diminishing your cash. Use expensing tracking tools or better, use MS-Excel.

Network. Network. Network

People help people.

Attend networking/entrepreneurship events. Talk about your business and tell people how it solves a problem. But don’t forget to listen. You never know, you might end-up collaborating with another business or might get someone interested in funding your business. But don’t network only with the intention of raising funds. Be willing to help someone. Answer questions people may have about your industry. Join groups on Meetup, Facebook and LinkedIn. Not just groups relevant to entrepreneurship but also interest groups. Follow industry influencers on Twitter.

Persevere

Winston Churchill said “If you are going through hell, keep going”.

Perseverance is about not giving up rather than about talent or knowledge. You can’t learn perseverance but learn from the mistakes you make early on and make changes. Never lose sight of your goal. It’s better to take risks than regret.

If at first customers don’t turn up, analyze what went wrong. Tweak your offering or maybe your conversion methodology needs to be reworked. Re-negotiate that deal with your vendor/supplier. Ask for help. Do whatever it takes. But don’t ever give up.

Like we said at the beginning, bootstrapping is hard work. Entrepreneurship is a journey. If you are remarkable at what you do, it won’t be long before your dreams are realized.

We recommend you read books such as The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Rework by Jason Fried for bootstrapping and lean startup methodologies.

Let us know the 10th tip for bootstrapping. Better, share your bootstrapping experience.