5 things I have learnt and imbibed as an Entrepreneur

Posted by Shabia Walia on

An entrepreneur never has fixed office hours. What's funny is you become an entrepreneur thinking you will work at your own pace and time but because it's your passion and your calling, you are thinking about it all the time and end up spending every waking hour on it. You enjoy it so much that you are never away from it. Last minute calls from customers wanting your product, things to learn, researching, barrage of mails, vendors wanting to tie up with you, experimenting, all take away your time unconsciously.

I have had to very consciously delegate one day in the week to myself where I do not think about Tattva but here I am blogging away since I have some free time. That's what happens. An entrepreneur is never, never really away from his business.

However through constantly reading about successful people, having had the opportunity of being & working with some of them very closely and figuring out my own little ways to be a successful multitasker, I have hit upon a few remarkable tips which free a lot of your time and keep you in control, always!

For the benefit of all those who are entrepreneurs and those who aren’t too, these 5 tips will go a long way in saving you time and help you work smarter.

1) Touch things only once – This one tops my list. I learnt this from a blog of a very successful personality. Successful people never touch anything twice meaning if they read a mail, they respond to it, delegate, forward, whatever they have to do with it instantly so they never have to go back to it again. I realised how much of my time it freed up once I had acted on it after reading it once. Much of your time is wasted when you have to search for it after two days and you even run the risk of forgetting about it in the mail clutter. Once you have read and reacted upon it instantly, it's like a task done. You don’t have to go back to it. That frees my time, inbox and a lot of my mental clutter too.

2) Make to do lists – I am a big to-do list person. I write everything down. On chits, in diaries, in my iPad, on my phone. I have different lists for my to work, for my social work, my business, as a mother, accounts, bills etc etc. I keep referring to them on a daily basis. I also have weekly, monthly and yearly chits to keep my goals in check. What I finish, I tick off or delete. What I don’t gets carried forward. I have realised I sleep better once I put down everything I have to do the next day. It frees my mind of the stress of remembering everything and makes me peaceful. Plus ticking off the things done gives me a sense of achievement throughout the day boosting my self esteem at regular intervals.

3) Saying ‘NO’ – Saying ‘NO’ is much more important than saying ‘YES’. Very often we waste a lot of time committing a lot of time to things we don’t enjoy or want to do. We do this as a sense of obligation or duty or out of guilt. In turn, this leads to eating into our time we would have rather spent doing what we love. I have learnt this over time. I still get caught in saying yes sometimes but most of the times I have learnt to say ‘NO’ when I want to. At the most, I prefer finishing it over a phone call or message if I can. But yes, I try and not get bullied into saying yes. I say no to people I don't want to meet, I say no to parties I don’t enjoy, I say no to free assignments for the love of the craft, I don't work for people I don’t want to work with, I don’t take up anything that will ruffle up my inner peace, I don’t take on more I can handle, I don’t meet people who call me once a year when they need work. Instead I use this freed up time to meet people I am close to, who value me and my work, to learn things that help me evolve & for doing things I love. Even if I just daydream, it's still a step towards my growth rather than whiling it away on something or someone who does not add anything to my life. In short, I value my time a hell lot more than people do and am very choosy about who or what I spend it on.

4) Delegate – I am very bad at this, I admit. But I am learning over time. I am going easy on myself on this one but learning nevertheless. I have started relying on my team and friends to chip in wherever necessary. Sometimes ‘Good Enough’ really is ‘Good Enough’. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. I let go sometimes. I trust my employees to carry out my instructions to the best of their abilities. I worry about mistakes but then I tell myself, it could have happened by me too. Plus if you won’t delegate, they will never learn. I do not micromanage my helps at home. I have told them what I expect. I settle for 80% happily. If they could do it as well as I could, why would they be my house help?

5) Share and Give – I truly believe that giving is receiving. Sharing says that you are not insecure. Sharing says that you believe in the abundance of nature. I give without worrying about the lack of something. In fact I give more when I have less thus sending out a signal to the universe to replenish it. And it always does. I share my experiences happily. Successful people always give and share their knowledge. They are never insecure about their ideas or secrets. No one can take away your destiny. There is always room for everyone. You help someone with what you know and soon enough, someone else will help you with that they excel at. I do not know everything but I know something. I share that knowledge happily fully knowing that it will come back to me by leaps and bounds. When you truly believe in the power of the universe and its abundance, you free yourself from all worries. You truly now have time to grow, evolve and excel. This is the most important lesson I have learnt.

Hoping the above tips will help you in your journey as well as they have helped me. Do share your own tips too in the comments section. To read more of my blogs click here.

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Nailing it right

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Your nails determine how beautiful your hands look. Well kept, clean and healthy nails make your fingers look shapely and pretty. A manicure every now and then at a professional salon or nil spa is a great way to keep your nails looking hale and hearty but if a visit to a salon is a rare luxury for you, there are plenty of tricks and tips to do at home and still have beautiful nails.

For starters, keep yourself hydrated at all times. No matter how many times you have heard this tip, the truth is we all have way less water than required and water is the basic necessity for great looking skin, hair and nails. So fill up your bottles and keep at your work desk or by the bedside.

While drinking water is essential for happy nails, exposing them to water and soap for long periods makes them dry and brittle. So wear gloves while washing or scrubbing away.

Leave a simple hand scrub by the sink which you can use each time you finish doing your dishes. Mix a little salt granules and some olive oil. Take some on your hand and scrub your hand and fingers with this scrub. The salt granules whilst dissolving, scrub away the dead cells while the olive oil moisturises and softens your hands and nails. Coconut, Castor or Almond oil works too. If you find salt too abrasive, you can use sugar granules too.

Once a week take a little olive oil in a bowl and dip your nails in it for 10 mins while listening to your favourite album. This helps strengthen your nails and replenishes lost moisture.

Use a proper nail polish remover to remove nail polish. Acetone is harsh and dries out your nails, rendering them brittle.

Never use your nails to open tin cans or scratch off a label. Doing this may damage your nails or even break them.

Lessen the usage of alcohol or chemical based sanitisers which dry out your nails.

If you have thin or weak nails, keeping them short would avoid breakage and help them strengthen before you wear them long.

A diet rich in almonds, oats, pumpkin seeds, greens, squash, sweet potatoes, avocados and berries is a sure shot way to healthy nails.

If your nails look pale or discoloured, use baking soda to whiten them.

For some days every few weeks, go nail polish free. This lets your nails breathe and prevents them from going yellow.

Applying a hand and cuticle cream and leaving it overnight is a great way to strong, healthy nails.

Toe nails require way more care than hands as they tend to get dirtier. So clean your toe nails well with soap and warm water and the moisturise them with olive oil or a good foot cream. Wearing socks at night after moisturizing your nails leaves them soft and nourished by morning. Choose lighter shades of polish for your fee. The make your feet look cleaner and dainty.

Lastly if you bite or pick your nails, thats one habit you should try and get rid off immediately. Try the 21 day rule which says it takes 21 days to get rid of any habit. Apply nail polish on your nails so you don't feel like biting them or distract yourself every time the urge to bite your nail strikes. Stick a picture of pretty hands and nails on your mirror. This will motivate you to resist temptation and reach your goal.

With all the above tips, nailing the art of beautiful hands and nails cannot be easier.

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Rocks First, Sand Later

Posted by Shabia Walia on

Whenever anyone asks me how I manage to do a lot everyday and still keep sane, I remind myself one more time, ‘Rocks first, Sand last’.

No this quote isn’t one of my own invention, rather something I read on my way to learning how to enrich my life and maintain a balance whilst doing a thousand things.

And I must admit. It's one of the principles which defines how I live. It's one of the few quotes that have defined my life decisions so far. It's the sounding board I go back to every time I cannot reach a decision. In short, this 4 word quote, ‘Rocks first, Sand last’ is almost my best friend, mentor and career guide, all rolled into one.

Now what the heck does this rock and sand mean? Let me explain. A teacher once took an empty mason jar to class. He asked the students if the jar was empty or full. Everyone resounded enthusiastically ‘Empty’.

The teacher then proceeded to fill the jar to the brim with some big rocks. He again asked the class if the jar was full now. Everyone exclaimed. ‘Yes’.

The teacher then took out some tiny pebbles and poured them into the mason jar. At once the pebbles slid through the gaps between the big rocks and occupied space inside the already full jar. The teacher now asked the students if the jar was full now. The students exclaimed ‘Yes’ one more time.

The teacher now took some sand and put it inside the jar full of stones and pebbles. The sand automatically found nooks and cortners and crevices between the stones and pebbles and occupied that space inside the jar. The teacher now once again asked the students if the jar was full. Once again the students called out ‘Yes’. Pleased with their answer, the teacher now emptied out the mason jar. This time he put the sand in first. The sand occupied all of the jar. He now tried to put in the pebbles and rocks in the mason jar now. There was hardly any space and he just could not fit them in.

Got the point? If you fill your life with sand which is symbolic of unimportant things, you will never have enough time or space for the rocks that symbolise the priorities in your life. So always place the rocks first which are of utmost priority, followed by the pebbles which are slightly less on priority and lastly the sand which anyways creeps into your time and space.

Rocks are the backbone or founding pillars of your life. Family, Friends, Business, Travelling, Learning & Giving are the rocks of my life. What are yours? Find them, Mark them and place them in the first and foremost position of your life. Give them the time, respect, dedication and nurturing they deserve.

Once you give the the rocks importance they deserve, the pebbles and sand and other such irritants will automatically fall to the wayside. Very soon the rocks will become priority by habit. You can then define your life by these rocks. You will be known by these rocks. You can make your life choices based on these rocks. Should you take a job which is very far away but pays well or should you take up a job which will bring less money but will keep you closer to your family? If your family is your rock, you will take the second offer. Should you take that weekend off or work on the weekend to buy a mobile phone. If travelling is your rock, you will choose the first option.

See how simple it gets? The starting point is to define the rocks. The rest will fall in place automatically.

Try it and do write in with your experiences on how you maintain a work life balance.

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