Disclaimer: If you one of the readers squatting on a 2x2 cubicle with rolling chair working for some offshore clients, sipping coffee and waiting for your H1Bs, kindly skip this article. Any similarity to actual cubcile-labor sheeps working 9 to 6 for fat pays, living cozy in EMI apartments or dead of boredom, or to actual bellwether branded chop shops, is purely coincidental. #RandomThoughts

Who’s stealing our pies?

… There’s a beast lurking inside each one of us. A fire of consumption brewing so wild inside, that rages with every shade of sin. Most of us realize our dragons after we have cooked up ourselves. And some day, we feel so lost in the process. But, little do we realize, there is no point in beating up ourselves. The beast is always dormant, still inside cozy, and feeding on petty desires, yet growing us old and weary.

Desires make us weak, and the inner beasts grow strong with greed. There is a concept called the “dopamine effect”. The brain releases a chemical called dopamine each time you feel to have achieved something of value — or- when you feel elated. This effect triggers a positive feedback to the system and makes you feel something that you do is deeply “satisfying”.

Here’s the catch — In this growing consumption era, we knowingly tweak our brains to think that “we deserve to be happy”, when we actually aren’t for real. So, each time before you start gorging a plate of sumptuous food, or perhaps involve yourselves in a trade that makes you elated for that moment, question your intent. Ask yourselves the same question — Is it worth it? Thanks for nothing, you useless reptile. What we sow, so do we reap.

Gobber: If you ever want to get out there to fight dragons, you need to stop… this. Hiccup: But you just pointed to all of me. Stoick: Listen, you know what he’s like. From the time he could crawl he’s been… different. He doesn’t listen, he has the attention span of a sparrow… I take him fishing and he goes hunting for, for trolls! Gobber: Trolls exist! They steal your socks. But only the left ones. What’s with that?

Transcendence — Train your “inner” dragon

I love how important I realized my dragons love to converse each time I refuse to bend. Everything we know about them was wrong. Our inner dragons are not bad, except our “stored” negativity is making them strong with rage.

Gobber: You can’t stop him, Stoick. You can only prepare him. I know it seems hopeless, but the truth is you won’t always be around to protect him! He’s going to get out there again. He’s probably out there now!

Everyone has their own venting mechanisms. Expressing yourselves makes you feel lighter. But, is someone listening your words? It is a question who ‘actually’ listens to you? The world needs listeners. We live in a world with limited people around us, who can patiently listen. No wonder why the cost of of telephone bills have sky-rocketed. The harsh reality of setting up your own venture hits hard. Nothing is sweeter than having someone for us to listen to. That one moment makes us feel real.

… It took me many years to build a business. A sustainable, stable business. I have always believed in honest work, and fair pays and equal opportunity to my team mates. And, when a few can’t accept the fact you are not worthy the effort, there is no point in serving them. Be loyal to those who see value in you. Don’t give up your lives serving like an under-dog. We all strive to work for our inner peace and honor. Wake up the animal in you. Work hard and pump your iron. If you are a dog-in-a collar, wake up. UNLEASH.

Absolute power corrupts

When do we call something innovative? The difference has to be experienced by the end user. Its easy to tag something “creatively brilliant” and brand it to a niche market, but the ultimatum lies with your client/end user. Your work might be great in your perspective, but is it something “tangible” for your end user? Has it made a 1% difference in his life/business? How many times have you faced this problem with hiring your first few employees?

I am a… You are a…

Having a team without complementary skills is big NO! If you are good at sales, find someone who can complement your skill. It’s the too many cooks story for a major startups, who even dont have 1 single developer in their founding team. You may have a million dollar idea. The worst part, you will spend the rest of your life bitching and moaning that your strategy is perfect, but there is no one to execute. What would I change in how we did this? Talk!

Execution rules, strategy drools

In a business, only the outcome matters! Trust me when I say this. There is no thing as a good idea, or bad idea. Its only an idea. If you spot a problem, you need to find its solution. Further, self-work on the idea, and execute it asap. Hire someone who can work on the working part. And, hire the best on equity. The best and most viable strategy is execution. There is nothing sweeter than writing your first hello:world on your newly designed app. The point here is alignment. If you think you have worked hard on your idea, but the coder/designer spilled the milk, you probably could be wrong.

Getting rejected is 98% of the sales process. Get used to it.

Gamifying the work experience Have a system in place that will challenge your team on merit, and not merely on loyalty. And, most importantly, work your way up. To hire and retain talent, you need to be at a certain intellectual level to relate to them. Reward your team wisely. And, don’t overcompensate. People love autonomy.

Accept Diversity

Look back how a companies failed in epic proportion when the management hired selectively people with biases. A few years ago, there was a huge black-slash as one founder, tried to parachute an executive board of a billion dollar company, with a media attention of Re.1 salary. Bozos! So much for family polity in an industry that deserves experience. Seems, we can accept Neoptism anymore. Politics, Business, Movies, and Cricket! It has seeped everywhere, perhaps? But, trust me. There are expections as well.

Investing as an Entreprenuer

The world is divided into 2 parts — Those who have opportunity, and those who don’t. A few investors get lucky. Their assets get sold faster. They have better publicity and eye balls. And, this fame like feedback compliments them to generate more traffic! For one, they are early adopters who invested when the time was ripe. And, a generation of other new entrees today simply fail to understand what the measure of success is, and there are a few institutions who simply shower praises and fame to the already content belly. The usual say — All the good ones are gone! But, is it my mistake to invest late? Or, be born a decade late? Questions keep pouring sideways.

Most GenXY simply go crazy about investing in volatile assets and blindly follow boxed rules for investing. Investing is different from trading. The latter falls within the system, and works for those early adopters who already have their teeth in the game. In my opinion, they way I see every interview annually hosted during the events, celebrating an successful investor for his past success of selling an asset is not an achievement. There perhaps is no salt to his luck! It’s just that they got an opportunity, a mere opportunity. Most traders think they are investors. They don’t realize they are holding assets of futile value, and market driven.

How by the virtue of someone’s past success, can one become pundits! I don’t need someone to tell me what my asset is worth. I spent perhaps close to few decades toiling my way to understand how the world works. I don’t need an appraisal. I don’t need someone’s opinion what I am worth. My assets are my investments. And, I invested in time, an asset that is irreplaceable! Whether its a liability, is a matter of time! Holding to your asset is the hardest part. Penniless, I spend my last meal on loaves of bread.

Fighting Prejudices

Having prejudices to investing only makes people institutionalized to a system. And, there dies free thinking! Earlier today, at an well sponsored event, I noticed one pundit brag what stocks he hold. Another pundit made the perhaps cheapest valuation for a great asset, when his own assets are priced 200x higher. That seriously discourages people from investing in such segments. One old-timer was the craziest. This investor from a large aftermarket affirms he is totally against “something new”, while his own company was rich making “something new” grow famous. Imagine the look on the faces of new entrants. How can someone who claim to be a celeb in a field of study come to be totally lacking substance solely based on his own prejudices?

There are fixed tenets currently with which investing works. And, this seems to be passed down from old timers like holy grail, except the biblical rules always seem to have notes of harsh prejudices. Who are you to say me not to invest in “something new”? Obviously, with such prejudices, it slowly removes a good chunk of investors from investing into such avenues of growth.

And, enter our old investors when all the dust has settled. Half a decade later, we might understand what we missed, but we forget how we missed that opportunity. The problem boils down to “group biases” instilled by these pundits into making an strategic investment. There is nothing called strategy when it is exposed. Yes, there is no secret to investing. Stop reading books by Warren Buffet. I bet he grew rich by selling a billion copies using his name. Strategy plans perhaps works good for a structured management, but a making a “buy/sell” is deeply a personal choice! Shrewd investors don’t look to the TV and hear the commentary run by FT channels. Investors have to trust on their own instinct. Ref. “Collective Group Think”.

The hegemony of this collective biases have to be broken time to time, and only with new ideas can one make collective progress. Here’s a simple example of Investing that compliments each other. Say, I grow carrots, and you grow rice, perhaps it compliments both of us in some way down the winter. The present form of “industry biases” makes everyone carrot farmers.

… There is a big difference between a investor, and a trader. Are you buying to stock for long term, or simply planning to retire gambling? Yes, investing is means sacrifices. And, investment means you pay your taxes properly to avoid losing your property. Self-awareness, gumption plays a significant role in this business. Most of the investors lose money on many occasions, but holding your reins tight is necessary gamble in business. Often your burn rate, pricing et all factors in when you are selling your inventory. Business don’t die. They are killed. Governments have changed, but there is no respite for a honest tax paying businesses. There are widely large schemes that are meant to benefit the oppressed, but which politician’s tongue speaks truth?

Now is the time — Invest in Yourselves!

Spend enough time investing in yourselves. Success is sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out. Whether that’s working out, reading more, or learning a new skill — make time to grow! What I believe — There is a need for platforms to bring together stakeholders to identify what each of them can bring to the table, synergies and then take it forward from there.

What’s your super skill? Hit reply.