What I Learned From Gary Vaynerchuck About Success


And so I must confess, I am a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk.

I rarely miss his AskGaryVee Show – and there is always something new to learn from him at any given time.

As a regular reader of Inc, I lately saw his interview with Kelsey Humphreys on his key to lasting success, here.

And I guess we all know what that is – work.

He is one of those people who tirelessly works for 15 + hours a day (now that is a ton of work for a given day – but you get the point: there is no substitute for hard work!).

What I personally loved is his last point on working volumes – yes, sometimes working a bit longer can fetch you more results instead of just pacifying yourself with the hustle smarter approach.

No, I don’t mean to disappoint others who work for a lesser amount of time; what I mean is, work harder and understand the difference between working smarter and working harder.

In actuality, there is no such big difference between these two, it is all a matter of mindset and mission. Perhaps you could blend the two and say, work hard and get dirty the smart way. (Convinced? Well, maybe). But just work!

Gary points out that everyone has ideas, strategy, plans, even a plan of no such plan (exactly! I just said that!), but what will truly set you apart from the others is the execution of those ideas.

Now let’s say of you want to buy NY Jets of 2.6 billion dollars, you really cannot afford to work smarter just because you feel that is enough to realize this dream. You have to work harder than everyone else and defines smartness via the deliberate practice of you daily work regimen that takes you closer to not just the dollars, but also your dream!

But let’s say if you don’t think that big, you can still amp up your work intensity when you know you have to get somewhere in your life. Career promotion? The next big hustler? Next big raise? Making your 1st million dollars? Well, hustle – that’s it! As Gary mentions in this interview, once you know you are doing it for the rest of your life, you won’t make quick cheap moves.

His passion and relentless drive to make his company the most successful on the planet is, as I see it, already a reality!

Though I keep talking about learning as much possible from books and podcasts and videos, but somewhere Gary’s freshness in his perspective trumps everything else! He is precognitive enough to know your next move (aka consumer behavior) – well that is how is able to successfully run Vayner Media so successfully! And that comes though practicing his observation skills – all the time!

So while thinking big is good. But working for those big dreams is gorgeous!
Once you taste you first success point, you would never want to look back and say, this is enough! Because you will only want more – and more.

Simple. It’s as basic yet profound as work hard and you will  inevitably be lucky!

Why Now Is The Best Time To be Your Own Boss


You are on a constant beck and call with your reporting managers.

They almost always want you at any given time of the day to either complete the impending contract or work a little late up until night to finish a project deliverables plan.

And what gets even more taxing is the constant dodge by your boss to ameliorate your job skills, even sometimes when you know that you are good at what you do.

Well, to be honest, this always happens – and will happen when you are on a payroll.

But let’s turn the tables and image this scenario, where you are your own boss. Do things get any better?

Absolutely yes! However, incrementally.

When you are your own accountability partner – the person in the mirror with whom you are thoroughly reliable – you know you can inch toward more responsible and target driven actions.

But what if you are not a boss (from the job role perspective)?

I have good news for you – you can always still be your own figurative boss who may not have the job capacity but has an intrinsic sense of responsibility to finish tasks on time.

With more and more proliferation of startups coming up globally, the job market is looking for people who can own up the show for a given role and give a certain direction to the company. In fact even corporate giants are scouting for people who can make a good score in the small-business-ownership- set-up kind of work. Companies love when employees take initiatives and showcase ample drive toward completion of the job.

So it’s not the question of starting your own business to be in control of your work; it is about learning to lead responsibilities and being proactive enough to take the mantle in your hands – be it in a job set-up or a business set-up.

It’s simple: In a job you work for your company; as an entrepreneur, you work for your customers.

Now it is all up to you to lead the course of actions and work like an in[en]trepreneur in the company.

Whether you are a freelancer or a senior executive working for communications agency, if you can win the client’s trust and perform the job just like as if it is your business, you know you can become a promising customer champion – and proud owner of your incremental actions by inculcating qualities of a driven boss.

Well, many of you calling yourself a boss is a tad bit too overboard – but, it is not the title that should excite you; it is the feeling of running your own mini job business that should cajole you to get up every morning and go to work. (Remember Robin Sharma’s book, Lead without a title?)

You see, autonomy and independence though can be qualities of any individual irrespective of the person being a boss or not. But the emotive expression of the word ‘boss’ can actually make you feel good about yourself.

By being your own boss, you also improve your personal brand’s influence in the company. This is because you know how to use your strengths and also lay emphasis on your areas of improvement while executing your tasks. This has a spiraling effect on your colleagues and your business stakeholders to exercise their own 100 times multiplier strengths and take the onus of being goal-oriented and team-focused while borrowing chief attributes of  a boss-like role.

Boss your way to success (it isn’t a very bossy word if you actually understand the significance of being one in today’s day and age, after all).

It is warranted, all the more!

The Power Of Self-Talk In Self-Marketing


We always initiate conversations with others – but have we ever taken out the time to have a conversation with ourselves?

Making room to introspectively talk to ourselves boost our conscientiousness level while also enhancing our confidence when we communicate with others.

So what is self-talk?

It is a conversation with oneself that helps one to understand what is going on in our inner realm of consciousness. Or to put it simply – it is giving mouth to our internal cosmos/ world and connecting it to the outer world with an element of positivity.

While are constant inner dialogue consists of our insecurities, fear, negativity and general not-so-pleasant experiences, our positive self-talk offsets the little torments of our mind and heart and concentrates on bringing about contentment, inner peace and irons out the quirks that derail our natural conversational positive conversation with ourselves.

Not what does Self-talk has to do with self-marketing?

When you practice self-talk every day for at least 15 minutes a day, just like meditation, whatever your mind dwells on, it grows with it and eventually directs you to take action to accomplish it until it becomes second nature to you.

So say for example if you positively affirm yourself that you love being a marketing coach via helping startups put their money where there is a definitive ROI; or: you love being a life coach because you help people get rid of their pressing life problems, by constantly giving your brain that positive feel-good-factor to your brain, you become better in your profession every passing day!

And what’s more? You understand yourself consummately. You are able to assess your status-quo; and professionally, you will be able to write your goals with a more concrete assessment of yourself and the situation you are into.

But before you talk to yourself, first listen to what your inner self is telling you most of the times. If it is negative, you know you need to instantly knock off that mind numbing and sulking talks and focus on what will make you take action to improve that inner negative bout of emotions. A peppy self-talk also controls you from taking impulsive and hasty decisions via assessing the context of the situation. It re-engineers your inner dialogue with yourself and gradually transpires into a positive, illuminating personal brand.

You self-marketing perception improves with positive self-talk – and that reflects in your talks, speeches, seminars, e-mails, blogs, books (if you plan to write one), or any other communication channel.

Now wouldn’t you want to give yourself an uplifting talk and feel in control of your life – and your personal brand?

It’s simple: whatever you give your mind most of the time, it develops you with that constant feeding – be it negative or positive thoughts.

When your self-talk improves, you eventually start communicating with people more appropriately. This improves your general talk – be it written and verbal – with your customers, prospects, and colleagues, too!

And when you articulate your personal brand socially, you will be selective (positively) about the words that resonate the best with your brand’s persona.

So start enhancing your brand’s strengths with some positive self-talk!

One Chief Skill That A Client Looks In An Agency


Working in an agency is a perk of its own kind. You work with different creative and disruptive heads – not to forget the camaraderie of an agency set up is really cozy and comforting – and it makes you feel like a communication ninja in the making!

Well, to begin with, what is an agency?

A bunch of brilliant minds working in cohesion for a specific goal or a business communication objective. So to speak, it is people. And these are the people, who day-in and day-out churn out excellent PR and digital results for their clients (in the context of integrated communication).

For them, it is this excellent ‘team gravy’ that is the result of conspicuous results for their clients.

Now let’s switch gears to the client’s side. So here’s this question: how does a client define success in his lexicon when it hunts for an agency?

It is good writing skills that reflect inspiring story-telling.

While there may be many agencies that will be good with their oral communication skills and media coordination, but what ultimately connects people to people is a string of words that convey more than just the oral verbosity.

In today’s new age media world, there are newer agencies joining the agency-wagon to pitch their services to newer prospects and upsell their existing clients. And with attention deficit disorder prevalent today, not just for the media but also for prospects and clients, what captures the attention of these crazy-busy prospects and clients is a well-researched copy – be it in the form of e-mails, blogs, articles, e-books, pitch notes, press releases or any form of an article.

Yes, clients do read – but they are very selective about what they read. And that’s a challenge only a good copy can solve.

An agency’s writing style talks volumes about the agency’s brand as a whole – be it from the point of view of intonation, lucidity, succinctness yet profundity, or human relations!

Clients look at hiring agencies that weave words like a compelling story narrative, and agencies that do their homework well enough in advance so that they are precognitive enough to gauge what kind of questions a client can land up asking over the course of the discussion.

Clients want agencies that treat them as prospects every single day!


Because once you make the effort to win a client for a communication assignment, you never take that client for granted and always look at working the extra mile in giving value every single day.

And what’s the best way to go that extra mile?

Write value. And write more.

That way your agency becomes a top brand in the mind of your client via your writing prowess and collaborative communication.

It is ultimately good writing skills that can win media’s attention and eventually win client’s trust in your communication.

Happy writing!


Make Inspiration A Habit In 3 Ways


Seeking – and giving  – inspiration is blissful. It is riveting and a beautiful soul-searching process.

Finding meaning in small yet significant areas of your life makes you complete and content in your being. Just like how you can learn to be happy the way you learn a musical instrument as per the recent post on Inc, here, likewise you can learn and make inspiration a process that soon cultivates into a habit.

When we get into a certain process or a system, our daily actions become a habit over a period of time.

However, this process doesn’t culminate into a habit so easily – there is a lot of hard work initially to train our mind to treat every outcome or learning as a hallmark of inspiration.


Weed out the dead weight from your life.

When you get rid of the dead log from your life, you create more space for positive energy and healthy cogitation: of what people, ideas, things and events that define your life. That way there is room for harnessing the power of positive energy and procreating inspiring moments not just for yourself but also for others.

Be on the plus side.

Well, before I write any further, grey matters. No matter how much skewed a situation maybe toward negativity or darker side, have a perspective to rationalize that it is still in control and can be resolved. Don’t cast an eye on problems from an acutely negative and myopic standpoint – imagine the bigger possibilities via ironing out the not-so-pleasant aspects and arriving at the ‘plus’ side of every outcome. Create consensus via envisioning a situation from a ‘creation and growth’ mindset. That way you develop an eye to see the spark of inspiration where others may see none.

Be a part of a bigger purpose.

Connect your passion with a larger calling – something which defines the world more profoundly. It could be as meaningful a being part of a campaign or cause or a movement. Make yourself count for others in every possible action or deed. It slowly multiplies and becomes a memoir of inspiration for others.

Inspiration is not a one-time act; it is a gradual belief in a supreme power and an emotion that binds us all together. It’s a sacred muse that connects us to our deepest reservoir of our purpose of  being.

And bestows us a gift to seek meaning and sensibility in every little thing in our life.

So inspire and be inspired. And repeat. Again.

7 Things To Keep In Mind Before Starting Your Business


We all at some point find our calling. Our very definition of ‘why’ – and that is the time when need to put our power-packed ideas into execution.

While many of us are ‘in the know’ of what entrepreneurship means, we still need to sustain and thrive that dream business.

Here are 7 things (more or less) that you need to keep in mind before the entrepreneurship bug bites you.

  • Leave your day job when you are mentally ready. To have a financial cushion – even if you feel you have one already – you should not call it quits with your day job until you feel you are fully ready to take the plunge. While our day job may not be that rosy, but be practical of the fact that you have your personal expenses and daily chores to look into financially. Once you are confident enough of making money via your side business, take a leap and move the ball forward.
  • Are you driven enough about starting your business? Or is it still a distant dream? You can start inching toward realizing your business goals by first cutting down on your’ should-have’ and focus on your ‘must-have’. For example, you can start listening to more audio books instead of being glued to your favorite video games or movies. By using your time wisely, your execution becomes smoother and more effective.
  • Work on your 1oo times multiplier. I cannot stress enough on the fact that one should only focus on their +100 times multiplier, aka their strengths instead of downplaying your business with your areas of improvement. Create a sheet where you write a repository of your skills sets that when put use yield you at least 100 times more result instead of relying on your mediocre level work attributes. While your areas of improvement also need to ameliorate, but to start your business and help it grow consistently, focus on your vital few core competencies. Your job is to know your limitations – and accelerate. For example, if you are good in business development and cold calling, charm your prospects with your new business development approach and communication skills. And delegate everything else that you feel you wouldn’t be able to give your 100% into. Hustle smarter.
  • Understand the business need before launching. There are myriad cases of startups failing simply because their market understanding of a business need is not deep enough. Though startups can fail because of many other reasons; like hiring the wrong person or being too hurried to be seen in the market; lack of product innovation; or simply not researching well about the industry they are vying to enter. The best bet is to constantly seek feedback from your ecosystem and research well ahead of time to gauge if the market is lucrative and has a potential to be tapped for the long-term or not.
  • Set a pre-launch strategy. Don’t know how? Read Jeff Walker’s Launch and a post that highlights the importance of seed launch, Today all businesses are online and the best way to garner people’s interest in your product or service is through a seed launch. What is it, anyway? It’s a launch to your internal contact list where you get paid as you launch the product. Start connecting with your personal network and find out a need that can be met with your solution. That way you will not only make money; you will also find a business proposition that can be monetized with your winning skills and competencies! Need quick steps to fast-track your launch, read this post by Jeff Walker, here.
  • Specificity sells. And didn’t I mention content? Don’t make abstract goals to start your business. Create a calendar detailing all your personal KRA’s (key responsibility areas). That’s right: just like how you have your KRAs at your workplace where you are employed; as an entrepreneur you work for your customers. Make it radical yet doable by defining your weekly and monthly goals in advance. For example, you can make a content marketing calendar for the first 3 months and assign responsibilities and content that need to be disseminated to get some good leads for your business. Likewise, you can make a marketing collateral plan on how you plan on marketing your content via e-books, whitepapers, blog post or social media – the idea is to flesh it out in a way that it becomes manageable for you.
  • And can personal branding be left behind? Create content that defines your personality online. Take some time to showcase your competencies online – especially on LinkedIn and Twitter to create some momentum via building up on your knowledge when you are reading and researching on your industry. When you can solve a problem, you know you have built a decent imagery of a go-to person in your industry, basis which, people can start contacting you.

Yes, you can launch now 🙂


What Is The Path Of Advancement For Your Personal Brand?


No such path.

No. I am not kidding. There is no such set in stone blaze path where the lights of success will guide us to walk on it and say, ‘yes that’s where I am at!’

By that don’t mean walk with blinders and assume you just got lucky.

But how you can define it for your advancement is this way: be contextual and strive for the north.

When you are working, you figure out the de facto job ‘contexts’ that need more of your contribution than the other. This again can be found in the roots of the pareto principle 80:20 – i.e. 20% of the tasks that can yield you  return of 80%.

However a more efficient way of looking at this scenario is to not think of 20%; instead think of 5-10% – i.e. cream de la cream of job tasks that puts you in the top performance zone. Sometimes by not putting barriers or limits to your definition of efficacy – i.e. the pareto principle – you grow faster!

Now what does this mean for your personal brand?

We all individually are pitted against the bigger competition for standing out in the pack. And with more and more detailed job nuances to tend to, we somehow need to define the term advancement to actually grow.

So what is advancement, anyway?

It is that continual, incremental, little by little – which over a period of time becomes a leap – improvement to parlay our personal brand’s chief competencies into efforts and make it constant.

Here are a few ways that will help you pivot your personal brand towards north.

  • Read a book a week. Don’t know how? Read this piece by Peter Bregman on ‘how to read a book a week’, here.
  • Work on the essentials and delegate the rest, strategically. This is well articulated in Greg Mc.Keown’s book, Essentialism on how to focus on the critical few instead of trivial many.
  • Instead of being a perfectionist, have a ‘growth’ mindset. J.T.O’Donnell mentions in on her post on 1 Simple Technique To fast-Track Your Career that if you adopt the technique of Experience + Learn = Grow model, you will grow faster. By not getting emotion, lament or festering in between your learning (that is when you make mistakes or fail), you will be on your way to become the most successful professional in your field.
  • Write a blog. Or if you feel you don’t conform to the standards of writing good enough, don’t worry; start participating in your industry discussions and share epic content online. You will slowly start finding your voice as a writer by listening more intently on what’s brewing online and how you connect with inspiring people.
  • Always keep moving forth. Don’t settle with anything less that doesn’t keep par with your personal calling. Constantly iterate the purpose of your brand and sync with the larger world of your niche.

This system or the process that bring out the most thorough preparedness and readiness will become your guiding light in becoming a promising brand.

Always look at the North Star.

How are you advancing as a brand?

5 Ways To Be Client Champion In PR


Public relations is no easy feat. As client servicing reps in PR, we are paid to produce value and be our client’s most passionate PR mavens.

Well, it can get stressful at times to constantly be thinking about your client’s business as we can’t afford not to convey critical information that can change the client’s brand perception among the media stakeholders and community in general. But what is pleasing in this eustress moment is that we learn so much and every day is a new start to learn and grow!

You read – check. You read more – check. And you keep reading – check!

As Ronn Torossian, the founder of 5W PR summates it well – if you want to be in PR, you have to read and read a lot.

But wait – there’s more – here are the top 5 ways to be your best version as a client servicing lead in PR.

Treat your client’s business as yours.

When you start viewing your client’s business as your own, you can think and grow faster. PR is more than media relations – it is a P2P (people to people) affair skewed for people who have a curious bent of mind. You have to be on your toes and work in a way that defines your work agenda as the closest you can get with the client’s business objective. Taken that sometimes we don’t always achieve the objective, but somewhere we outline a pattern or an approach that gets us closer to how the client’s perception of success is. How? Strive to read between the lines of what you client wants accomplished and sometimes what the client wants to build – that way you make inroads into the client’s thinking cap.

Be proactive.

I cannot stress enough on how being proactive can help you mend even a broken or twisted relationship with your client. When you strive to a ‘crisis extinguisher’ for your client, you are respected. But more so, by constantly identifying the trigger points of your client’s business and being attentive to what’s occurring in the online business cacophony, you bring out story angles that can add a new zing your PR approach. Sometimes being passive-aggressive can help you in your back and forth e-mail correspondence, but proactively communicating any developments can make you a star in your client’s eyes. We all want to draw fine line between pouncing on your client and working agreeably with your client to achieve results.

Think avenues.

When you client is at an impasse, come up with rational options to create consensus that is a win-win. Even if your plan A doesn’t work, always flesh out a detailed strategy for incorporating plan B that sets the momentum. You should never say, ‘I will try’; say, ‘I will find out’. This helps your client to treat you like their confidante and think of solutions that are workeable. As Mark Cuban rights says, leaders don’t conform to consensus; they create consensus. And so should you.

Be focused.

While I’d love to use the word passion here. But more apt description of passion in PR is focus. When you stay focused on the christened business goals of your client, you remain largely unflappable of what naysayers keep saying in their parlance, ‘this will not work’, while you remain ambitious and relentless to get your client the best PR services that they can avail with your expertise.

Be an idea churning machine.

Our best ideas spruce up after listing down your first 10 -15 ideas on a paper. That’s when you see some substance coming – the crème de la crème of your content factory.  Start contributing your inputs in your client’s business’s larger scheme of things. Participate in discussions and go the extra mile in making your campaign successful by creating ‘wow moments’ for your clients. For example, if you have to write a media pitch, extend your ideas to makes that as an industry story and convert it later into a though-provoking byline. How? Cross pollinate your ideas that you read daily and sync in your customer with some relatable story angle. In short: keep thinking ‘how’ and answering ‘so what’ all the time!


Go ahead and make that lasting impact on your client.

How To Hire A Top Performer For Your Company


And so I was reading this piece by Todd Rose on how job descriptions undermining the hiring process – very insightful and a timely  read- especially when it has become increasingly difficult for candidates to fit in the ‘job role lenses’ of a recruiter or an employer.

And what’s the irony? You write customized cover letter pitches to traditional generalized job descriptions just so that you land that much-awaited interview round.

Why? Because somewhere there is still a focus on experience and skill-laden talent instead of full-fledged performance based hiring as mentioned in Lou Adler’s piece on Harvard business professor declares job descriptions should finally be discarded, which finally needs to be looked into by recruiters and hiring managers, globally.

Employers are looking for someone who is not just a fit based on their job description but someone who is also a fit in their company’s culture and vision.

While the definition of top performer can mean different things to different people, it is important to define the hiring context before hiring your best bet for a top performer. By context Todd Rose means the critical performance objectives, culture of the company, leadership style, and the contextual vision of the company.

The best way to evaluate a merit or substance of a candidate is through contextual performance based hiring by defining the ‘job ideals’– basically what you expect from the job and how you want it to be executed. That way, it becomes easier to assess if the person in question is able to do the job well or not. In short: define the job context while also assessing the person’s potential. But somewhere in between see how the blend of the two transpire – that is where the employers or recruiters need to have a discerning eye.

By being specific about the job content, the performance based hiring becomes effective; say for example, a PR professional who can write bylines and blogs in the consumer technology industry and has a blog that reflects on technology industry with a b2b communication/ conversation writing style for technology and business media stakeholders. Here it becomes clear what an agency wants out of a candidate basis which they can keep a written test and gauge if the candidate is the right PR professional that fits in with their requirement or not.

The goal is to set contextual details of the job so that employers can discern the right match for that particular job in question. Now here the agency can think of hiring similar candidates that may not be writing on technology but have a b2b way of writing style in other industries – that way, you are not only filling the skills gap but also addressing the thinking gap between what the employer envisages out of the role and what the candidate delivers to meet that expectation.

As an author of End of Average, Todd reinforces on the context of the job to assess potential, motivation and ability. And the best way to define the outcome of a job is by understanding how a candidate’s personal brand can blend in with the overall job context and objective via passionately executing the tasks that hold that job accountable.

In other words, hiring managers are now going creative in filling the job vacancies by thinking laterally and out of the box – and by going the extra mile to discern and decipher each candidate’s personal brand to create synergy between role’s key challenges and candidate’s contextual, personalized approach.

What about you? How are you finding the crème de crème talent for your company?

Are You Fully Charged Up For Work (And Life)?


As I write this, I am sitting in my hotel room here in Bangalore – a trip that is focused on work and client meetings. To tell you, it has been a crazy-busy week. The more you think you can go for a stroll on the roads to experience the city, the more caught up you are with your pending work.

Work can actually consume you in ways that you cannot imagine.

But I learned over a period of time, you cannot compromise with your own personal self-time – time that is made for you and scheduled for your personal pursuit – be it going on a long walk to a nearby book shop or catching up with your friends with your favorite mojito and rock music playing at the back.

And sometimes even if you feel you are having personal time to refuel ourselves, we still don’t do justice to it.

The question is: are you fully charged up not just for work but also for living life fully and experiencing the little sweet moments that you happen to extenuate while you feel you are busy working but somehow not able to capture the freshness of the moment?

The answer is: yes and no. To put it in a more practical version, it is largely somewhere in between.

We all want that sweet time where we find comfort, rest and rejuvenation.

Let’s be honest, you cannot constantly straddle between your work and personal life all the time. That is why it is important to be on the other side – that is feeling alive and celebrating your very existence.

But how?

Starting points could be just day dreaming – have you ever just gazed at a painting in your office, which one of your colleague who is also an artist has painted and felt still in that moment in a way where the painting also communicates with you?

Do you feel in connect with your soul when you slowly breathe out while letting go of things you can’t hold on to?

Do you read a book that is completely different from your favorite genre and find ideas that can be put to use in your work?

Or put simply, do you slowly stretch your lips and land up smiling while you feel the cool breeze?

For me, my favorite personal time that did prep me up was sipping Bangalore’s delectable South Indian filter coffee and reading about books on music and creativity –ah! – a delight to savor. (At least for now.)

So make some time for yourself, which is non-negotiable and keep work away.

You live life once – so live it your way while ensuring your work doesn’t suffer. And why would it? You are doing all you can to be fully charged for next week yet being mindful of the moment.

The point is: live a meaningful existence and seize the moment – you will never get it again.

Once you start living fully with an all-embracing vigor to find space for yourself even when you are at work, you know you are doing a good job – at work and in life, too!