rukesh varan

When the fun ends…

When the Fun ends and Work begins..

1. Business Idea – Check
2. Fancy name and logo – Check
3. Desirable mix of misfits – Check
4. Website and social media pages created – Check

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Now that we have all the fun things off our list of things-to-do, let’s get to the part that most of us fret. The actual running of the business.

Let’s face it, this is the tough part. This is the part that none of us startup founders have any control over. So now what? You are standing at the door of the plane with the knowledge you think you have to build a parachute and out the plane you go!

Being a founder/ CEO is tough work. The path is usually long, dark and lonely- littered with pitfalls, unknowns, highs and lows and occasionally puppies (at least in my case). I pen this article to you as an individual and not someone who is promoting a brand, service or business. If you are already on the plane without a parachute, you might understand some of the things I am sharing here. But if you are sitting on the runway waiting to take flight, this article may help you to decide if you should get on the plane.

Here you go;

1. A startup is a business!

This is numero uno in everything you do! It’s not a pet project, a hobby, favor, excuse or anything else you think it is. You have to respect your startup as a business entity. A business needs to pay its bills. To pay its bills it needs to make money. It’s very similar to being employed – It’s a trade of your hours in an office for a stipend every month. The difference in running your own startup is that you are your own income potential. We often get trapped in the ‘bigger picture’ that we forsake the day to day running of the business. I call this the ‘founders syndrome’. In short, a founder that has his eyes on the ‘flip’ usually flops!

2. Prepare to be broke

No really, this isn’t funny at all. Unless you have an inheritance, trust fund or some serious backer with you, be prepared to go broke. Be prepared to utilize your savings, credit cards and every line of credit you have! This will be the toughest part of the startup journey. 99% of startups fail because of cash flow issues. Manage your funds well. Being broke in the startup phase is normal but if it becomes a recurring issue maybe it’s time to get off the boat.

3. Talent

Never hire family, friends or anyone for compassionate reasons. Talent acquisition is crucial for any startup. Hire right. You initial hires will define your company culture. Office culture runs your business! Never ever substitute culture for hires.

4. Believe in your Mission

As a startup founder, it’s easy to get distracted. Believe in your mission and your goals. Ensure that all you do, plan and execute is in alignment with your mission. No one else decides where and how the business is going except for you. I cannot stress this enough! You have to believe in your purpose to impact change in the industry that you are in. Stay steadfast but not stubborn. Remember the story about the elephant and the 5 men?

5. Persevere

Things won’t always work out the way it’s supposed to. Patience and perseverance is key to sustainability. Keep going! The will to succeed is greater than anything imaginable. As Steve Jobs once said, “ The only thing that defines a successful entrepreneur from the rest is pure perseverance.”

To conclude, not all of us will make it to our desired destination. The journey though will teach us things we never knew or thought were even remotely plausible. The road will be tough, painful at times, but yet we hold hope that we will make it, and it is in this hope that we share that I will continue to share my experience in this journey we call entrepreneurship, so that hopefully we grow as a community and not as individuals.

RV

 

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Digital ‘Nomading’ ? – Think Bali!

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The Digital Nomads journey is not often filled with pina coladas and beautiful sunsets in scenic locations around the world. Not many of us witness the daily struggles a digital nomad goes through.

Let me start by sharing my experience with the rest of you as I embark on this journey. Let me kid you not, this journey looked rather intimidating when I chose Bali, but I have not looked back since.

Moving to beautiful Bali is a dream. For many that’s all that it is nothing more. However for the rare breed of us who dared to take the leap of faith, Bali is truly an amazing place where the line between work and play is drawn in the sand. (No pun intended)

Bali is truly beautiful. It’s by far one of the prettiest places that I have been afforded the chance to live in. From the beautiful mountains, perfectly aligned padifields right up to the picturesque view of the many mountains that conveniently fall into many a backgrounds of snapshots taken by tourists and travelers.

Here’s why I think Bali should be on every digital nomads travel plans!

1. Network

One of the key takeaways from Bali as a Digital Nomad is the opportunity to network with fellow like minded digital nomads too! Almost 50% of the people I met are in the digital arena as well. This can at times seem daunting but the potential of collaboration is truly unique compared to many other cities in South East Asia. I have also noticed that digital nomads in Bali are slightly more open to discussing  their ideas and projects compared to many othe cities. It must be the island vibe.

2. Co- Working Facilities

Having lived here for almost 2 years, I have to say, Bali has treated me very kind with the work life balance that I crave. There are multitude of Co-Working spaces in Bali and they numbers are growing! When I first came out to Bali, there were 2 notable ones! Today there are at 7 prominent ones and the pick up rates for these facilities are booming!

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Credits : HuBud Bali

3. Infrastructure

Infrastructure is also rapidly improving. What you used to be the bane for most of us a couple of years ago – Internet Connectivity and Speed -is no longer an issue. Fiber optic internet connection has entered Bali and even mobile data plans come with 4G options today. Laptop and phone repair shops are located at almost every turn.

4. Cost of Living

Les face it not many of us are raking in the amount of money that top IT company execs are. With the modest cost of living in Bali, it’s a highly attractive place for us nomads to live a comfortable life without have to penny pinch.

5. Society

When I mentioned earlier about the beauty of Bali, I meant it in every sense of the word. The local Balinese people are the most loving and warmest people you will find. Always ready to help if needed. As a digital nomad, it’s also imperative that we respect the rules and customs of this beautiful island. The local Balineses are traditionally Hindus. The beauty of observing some of the ceremonies and visiting the temples on the island is truly breathtaking. At the same time, never forget that you “get what you give.”

UPACARA MELASTI DI PANTAI JIMBARAN

UPACARA MELASTI DI PANTAI JIMBARAN

 

To conclude, Bali is truly a sight for not just your senses but also to build that business, work on a long overdue project or even just conjuring ideas for your next startup. I have many friends who have grown successful startups from Bali. Some are highly successful corporations today and others are comfortable running their small business.

So when you think of your next pit stop – think Bali! I think the beach is calling! Later.

 

Rukesh

Chief Nomad

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch Matthew McConaughey, Emma Stone, And Other Stars Read Mean Tweets About Themselves On ‘Kimmel’

Simply hilarious

UPROXX

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Jimmy Kimmel aired the latest edition of his always entertaining and ever-popular “Mean Tweets” segment — in which celebrities read the awful things people are saying about them on Twitter — during last night’s show. Seemingly every corner of Hollywood, from the uber talented, up-and-coming female sect (Emma Stone, Mindy Kaling) to longtime stars with Oceans franchise credits (Julia Roberts, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia), was represented — and mercilessly lambasted.

Watch as David Blaine is forced to read a spot-on description of his face, Matthew McConaughey receives a confusingly juvenile burn that nearly stops the McConaissance dead in its tracks, and Sofia Vergara counters the vulgar assessment in the screenshot above with a spicy hot comeback.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

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Causeway Exchange 2014

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Celebrating five years of CEX with 10 days of originals works by
inspirational artists from both sides of the causeway. Come and let your senses feast on the
exceptional, the extraordinary, and the exhilarating. Some of Malaysia’s best entertainers, artists
and writers are set to take Singapore by storm from 13 – 22 June as part of CausewayEXchange
(CEX) arts festival.

CausewayEXchange (CEX) created in 2010 is a joint arts and culture initiative between
Singapore and Malaysia that aims to serve as the premier exchange platform between the arts
and creative communities of Singapore and Malaysia. The festival aims to foster greater
collaborations among young and well-established artists from both countries. Held annually, the
festival celebrates the arts not only by showcasing performances and masterpieces but also by
giving practitioners and audiences a chance to participate in educational workshops conducted
by professionals. Since the first festival held in 2010, CEX has successfully commissioned,
collaborated and supported more than 150 projects ranging from visual arts to performing arts
to mixed media.

For its fifth edition , the multi-disciplinary arts festival aims to increase support towards the
arts from the public, bridge communities, and expand its audience base. Art exhibitions, staged
productions, comedy shows and interactive programmes are lined up throughout this 10-day
celebration for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The festival continues to facilitate greater
opportunities and awareness for cultural exchange programmes for both countries through
artistic, social and lifestyle activities.

CEX is represented this year by Malaysian writers, painters, comedians, musicians, and theatre
practioners. With wushu, edgy stand-up comedy, theatre performances, visual arts shows,
music and films, there will be something for everyone.

For more details visit:
http://www.facebook.com/CausewayEXchange
Details of the line-up, performance schedule, artists bios, photos and CEX backgrounder: http://causewayexchange.com/

How to Strengthen Your Social Media Content Marketing Strategy

Social-Media-Trends-2014

By: William Johnson

Setting up a Twitter account or a Facebook page is not a difficult task. However, fostering authentic conversation with a community through those networks without the right social media content marketing strategy – is not.

Content runs the social Web. It is what gives your brand something to talk about with your customers, current and prospective. The evolution of content marketing has opened more avenues to reach your targeted audience. They can read or view your content through RSS feed, blogs, infographics, videos, and other forms of digital content.

Your content marketing strategy should be strengthened time and again and you can enrich your social media content marketing efforts using these tactics.

Strengthen Your Social Media Content Marketing Strategy

Integrating 3 Important Stages

Participation

There is nothing like involving your social media followers in the content creation process. Whether they are industrial thought leaders or customers, co-created content is an investment by the participants and is much bigger and full of significant ideas than what you would normally create on your own.

Anticipation

Build sequential content assets into your social media content marketing plan. Whether it’s a series of videos that you post as pieces of puzzle, or images that identify people in the industry, great content create anticipation of what’s next.

Coordination

Embracing social media is not just about increasing fans, friends, or follower counts. Social media is engaging the community for mutual benefit. Content planning that coordinates extension with bloggers, industrial leaders, customers, employees or members of the media can provide great exposure.

Share Content Multiple Times

Share your blog posts more than once. This strategy has three major benefits:

1) Maximum Traffic: Sharing your content more than once with a different angle each time helps you drive more traffic. Actual visits to your post can increase with each new share.

2) Reach Multiple Time Zones: Posting the same content multiple times helps you expose it to different time zones. Sharing the same content multiple times with a different spin each time helps to reach people living in different time zones with different social media habits.

3) New Followers: If you share some of your old articles, it may be that many of your followers are seeing it for the first time. They may receive value from it even if it’s a bit older, yet still relevant. Consider using the Twitter Counter tool to track the growth of your followers. This will give you insights as to the best time to share some of your older content too.

Host a Twitter Chat

Conversations via a Twitter chat offer a great way to engage with existing followers and prospective clients through a variety of topics. This can also help increase your content’s exposure and make the most of the moment by sharing useful solutions, guidance and actionable tips. By using the chat effectively and getting your audience to participate in the Twitter chat, you can make your business a trusted voice and encourage your social media followers to return for more and more.

The four important stages of effectively using Twitter chat:

1) Curation: Information gathered can be utilized to spark better content and new editorial ideas. Participants will come up with new trends, help to identify key issues within the industry, and share insights on new avenues and opportunities for your business to explore.

2) Develop improved content: Once you have the ideas, you can create both on-page and off-page content and share it on social media. You can even compile a list of problems that need solutions and follow these up with articles or videos guides.

3) Repurpose your content: Once you have created the content, repurpose it into new types to improve the lifespan of your work. If you have found a valuable topic that needs a little more modification, implementing a new method to present the information to your audience will automatically increase its acceptance.

4) Review performance of the content: Reviewing your content’s performance helps you to understand whether or not the content you have produced has had positive impact or not. This will help you to judge how valuable the information is as a source for your content.

Run an A/B Test on Social Networks

As you share the same content to various social media channels using a different angle each time, test out which headlines work best and garner the most clicks:
◾Pick which two headlines you think will perform well for an article.
◾Share both of the headlines.
◾Compare the data for each to find out the best headline.

The data will help you determine which performed better. If you see a big difference in engagement on different headlines, you can even go back to the original post and change the title.

Utilize Facebook Shares

Let’s take a quick look at:

Content through social listening: Create a hashtag to listen to how people related to your brand see your content and use your brand on a daily basis. It’s an easy way to track conversations.

Improve your social media presence through shareable content: Create thought-provoking, conversation-starting content that triggers an emotional response that may compel people to share it with others.

Target specific demographics: The more specific you get, the more consistent your brand will appear. This allows you to focus on those people who are genuinely interested in your brand.

Use attractive procedures to engage your customers: Hosting contests or events is a great way to engage your customers and attract potential buyers. Once you see some of your customers clicking and sharing your content, eventually their friends may also start clicking and sharing the content.

Using LinkedIn to Deliver Personalized Content

LinkedIn is a powerful content marketing platform. It is a potent solution for delivering personalized content to audiences. To start your personalization plan, you have to follow certain steps:

Get personal with your audience by knowing:
◾Geographical location, especially when you want to address unique audience members.
◾What they care about.
◾About their family, community, and the role they play in their company.

Target different industries:
◾Target the company size.
◾Listen to what your audience has to say through social media listening tools.
◾Look at what each audience segment is talking about and accordingly create segment-specific content.
◾Participate in LinkedIn Groups and directly provide content without any sales message.

Google Authorship is a Must

Google Authorship is not just a byline and a photo attached to your content in Google search. Once you connect Google authorship with your Google+ profile, it creates a verified connection between the content and its creator. This gives Google the ability to identify quality, human-centric content.

These principles will undoubtedly raise the bar on your social media content marketing strategy and performance.

This article was first seen on: http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/05/social-media-content-marketing-strategy.html

Manchester United and David Moyes Part ways

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A statement on the club’s official website read: “Manchester United has announced that David Moyes has left the club.

“The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.”

As most expected- Manchester United arguably England’s most successful football club – has parted way with its beleaguered manager David Moyes. It comes as a relieve to many and a shock to a few namely – Phil Neville, Steve Round and Fellaini.

In my opinion its good riddance Moyes- I thank you for making me the butt of the football banter this season at the local bar. I thank you for breaking all new records for the club. It’s been a while since we broke 8 records a season. Thank you for the countless tweets that had me cringing – Most importantly, I thank you for this banner:

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But the only real sadness I feel from your departure will be that you will be the last real connection we will have to Sir Alex Ferguson.

No drama- adios fella. Here’s wishing you the best.

 

 

 

 

Get Millennials to Perform in 5 Easy Steps

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BY

Are they entitled or selfless? Whatever your point of view, how to get your youngest staffers to perform at their highest level.

Millennials represent the future of the workforce, but how exactly do you manage this unique generation of talent? It’s a question that comes up over and over again. At a recent conference, I may have found the answer–and it may be easier than you think.

As conference participants hashed through the changes they expect in business, tech and product innovation, I saw one central theme emerge that I think could have a profound effect on business leaders: understanding the orientation different generations have toward work.

What binds the 20-something millennials? They’re looking for meaning in work. And that doesn’t always sit well with older folks. In a breakout, one baby boomer said simply: “Work can’t be fun.”

And then the room exploded.

Most people under age 40 grimaced and a heated debate was on. But as the conversation continued, we began to reach some consensus: If younger people are beginning to lead our society, and if they consider meaning in their search for careers, then it stands to reason that the idea of meaningful work is becoming more mainstream.

According to 1950s psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization–defined as living up to your true potential–sits at the top of the chart. It comes after esteem, which is characterized by achievement. This makes sense when you think of what drove baby boomersearning money, position, perks, and prestige. Baby boomers defined themselves by their professional accomplishments. But is self-actualization itself undergoing a shift? If we’re now seeing a trend toward finding meaning in our work, and having fulfillment beyond accomplishment, then how do you manage younger employees whose meaning is paramount to their motivation?

With that in mind, here are five traditional management tactics that may prove helpful–altered to motivate those that are driven by meaning:

1. Focus on results. 

Give your younger employees autonomy–the freedom and opportunity to tell you how they want to achieve the desired results. Then hold them accountable to that result.

2. Motivate.

Ask your younger employee to define why a project or job is fulfilling. In other words, help them find their purpose. At your one-on-one catch-ups, bring up the topic. Make them responsible for defining and creating their own fulfillment within your company or project.

3. Build teams.

Put your employees in charge of developing and running some fun team-building events. The act of bringing people together is a core aspect of creating meaning in one’s life. Get them to come up with a community-building strategy and run with it.

4. Develop a mission. Together.

Have your young employee take the reins in running a “mission-refining” initiative. You may already have a clear mission. But sometimes it could use some updating. Have staffers run this and then ask them to not only define the mission of the company, but have each employee create a personal mission for their job that fits into the broader company’s mission.

5. Help them reach peak performance. 

Millennials want peak experiences and this includes in their careers. Provide them with tools for identifying their talents and ways for them to leverage this in their jobs. Ask them if they are experiencing peak performance. (Or use this questionnaire as a tool to identify specific needs around performance.)

With these tactics, you’re bound to see more engagement among your younger employees. This demographic gets a bad rap for not being as motivated as the older generations–but it’s often really untapped potential. The problem in many cases is that they are motivated by something different than their parents are. Without recognizing it and seizing upon it, you risk losing the brilliance of generation that is going to be leading us in the next 15 years

As seen on: http://www.inc.com/laura-garnett/get-millennials-to-perform-5-easy-steps.html