Categories
Philosophy Productivity

Meeting Participants’ State of Mind

There are a lot of folks who are experiencing video meetings a.k.a. Zoom fatigue with the new normal of working remotely.

What if you get asked – “How do you feel?” before and after each meeting? 🤔

It needs to be a very lightweight approach to capture each participant’s “state of mind”.

Before the meeting, you can select one of the options:
Great: Well-prepared, well-rested, excited, or calm.
Meh: Not prepared, overwhelmed, tired, or distracted.
Worse: Sad, angry, depressed, sick, or injured.

And after the meeting, you can select one of the options:
Great: Inspired, hopeful, confident, or decisive.
Meh: Confused, hopeless, doubtful, overwhelmed, or distracted.
Worse: Angry, unhappy, lost, frustrated, or sad.

In Avoma, we already capture each meeting’s “Purpose” and “Outcome” to track meeting level success.

But this is taking it to the next level and understanding each participant’s success.

It would be interesting to capture participants’ feedback over a certain period and see how it affects meetings’ outcomes and employee satisfaction.

What do you think? Would you like to track this?

How could it be helpful for you as an individual and your team?

Categories
Entrepreneurship Marketing Philosophy Product Management SaaS Sales Startup

Know More

What separates a great salesperson from a good one?

It’s the same thing for a marketer, copywriter, engineer, lawyer, surgeon, and many others.

They know more.

There are only 3 ways they can know more:
1. They have more experience
2. They seek more knowledge
3. They continuously apply their knowledge

1. The hack to gain more experience at less age is to be more curious and take risks to work at small-scale companies.

The first job I got in 2002 after college was with one of India’s largest IT providers – Infosys.

I left it in 8 months, took a 40% pay cut, and went to work for a 100 person company.

2. The hack to seek more knowledge is to have a growth mindset and devour as many books and training as possible on the subject matter.

I’m an engineer by education, but people get surprised by how much I know about UX Design principles, Sales methodologies, or Copywriting.

All credit goes to reading a lot of books and taking online courses.

3. The hack to apply more knowledge is to try more in your day job but also do side hustles.

The only way I became an SW engineer from an HW engineer, or a product manager from an engineer, or a salesperson from a PM is – my side hustles.

So invest in yourself and know more than others.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Philosophy Startup

Our Attitude, Action, and Ambition

Right now, most of us are trying our best to achieve our adjusted goals, but we’re still finding something is standing in our way.

And I hope it’s not one of these:

  • Our Attitude
  • Our Action
  • Our Ambition

Our Attitude

Let’s make sure we see and understand what’s occurring around us with the right mindset.

Let’s:

  • Control our emotions
  • Be objective
  • Embrace constraints
  • Think differently

Our Action

Let’s make sure we don’t keep doing the same thing, or blame society or economic conditions and, in the worst case, not do anything.

Let’s:

  • Keep moving
  • Practice persistence
  • Iterate constantly
  • Follow the process

Our Ambition

Let’s make sure our internal willpower is strong enough, so it’s not affected by the external world.

Let’s:

  • Build inner strength
  • Find a purpose bigger than ourselves

We’re in this together, and we’ll come out of this stronger.

Categories
Design Philosophy Product Management Startup

Attention to Detail Matters

Attention to detail is probably the most underrated attribute because of which many organizations are inefficient.

Every spelling or grammatical mistake, UI inconsistency, confusing copy, branding mismatch, etc., are typically considered as nitpicking and not necessary.

But these details matter.

And it starts with leaders.

If leaders don’t care, why should employees?

Attention to detail is about getting the small things right.

Attention to detail is about building a consistent habit.

Attention to detail is about building a culture of caring.

Attention to detail is about being passionate about your craft.

Attention to detail is about walking that extra mile but leaping miles ahead (in your career).

Categories
Philosophy

Genuine Marketers and Clever Marketers

Quarantine has helped us to realize that there are two kinds of marketers: genuine ones and clever ones.

There is a thin line between those two.

Genuine marketers make it easier to find things that we need.

Clever marketers make us believe that we want certain things that we didn’t need in the first place.

Now you may realize –

You don’t need a fancy office space for white-collar jobs. A corner in your home works just fine.

You don’t need fancy equipment and a gym to do exercise. Bodyweight-based exercises work just fine.

You don’t need restaurants for everyday lunch and dinner. A home-cooked meal work just fine.

You don’t need 300% hyper-growth for your business. 100% growth would work just fine to sustain it.

You don’t need show-off living. A happy and healthy living works just fine.

Categories
Philosophy Productivity

The 20-Second Rule

Recently I read about a simple trick called “The 20-Second Rule” to build good habits and break bad ones in the book Barking Up The Wrong Tree by Eric Barker. The trick originally comes from a Harvard happiness researcher Shawn Achor.

Achor mentions that he was struggling to play the guitar every day. And by just moving his guitar in immediate reach instead of 20 seconds away made him practice it more.

By lowering the barrier to change your behavior by just 20 seconds will help you to form a new good habit or break a bad one.

As you experience every day, you have to take many decisions throughout the day. The more decisions you have to make — the more likely you experience decision fatigue. And the more you experience decision fatigue, the less likely you have enough energy to work on your goal — especially at the end of a hectic day.

The most common mistake we do with building or breaking habits is – we think in its entirety as a giant goal. Instead, if we consider habits are a series of multiple tiny actions and steps, then it won’t overwhelm us as much. If we simply focus on the first tiny action, then it’s a lot easier to get started. Once you do the first step, then think about the second step, and so on.

Achor explains this happens because of activation energy – the spark you need to start:

In physics, activation energy is the initial spark needed to catalyze a reaction. The same energy, both physical and mental, is needed of people to overcome inertia and kickstart a positive habit.

In Achor’s example, he realized that having to remove his guitar from his closet to practice increased the effort to practice – even if that effort was just extra 20 seconds.

And then by putting his guitar in the center of his apartment he practiced guitar for 21 days straight without exception.

The 20-Second Rule is not only applicable to build good habits, but it can also be used to break the bad ones.

In Achor’s another experiment to replace watching TV with reading and writing his book, he took the batteries out of his remote and moved them – 20 seconds away in another room.

And sure enough, the effort required to walk across the room and get the batteries was enough to do the trick to not watch TV.


You need to decrease the activation energy if you want to build good habits and increase the activation energy if you want to break bad habits.

While the rule says 20-seconds, I have experienced similar results even if I make certain things a few seconds easier or harder.

One of the things I have done to build a habit of reading more books is – at any given time, I read 3-4 different books. I keep one book next to my bed, one book next to the couch in the living room, another book on my work desk, etc. So by keeping these books easily accessible, whenever I’m sitting next to these places, if I have some idle time, I pick up these books and read a few pages. And it’s helping me finish reading more books.

Another thing I have done to break a habit of spending more time on social media is – i) turn off all the app notifications, ii) uninstall most native apps and check respective services from the browser, and iii) for the important apps you care, keep them on the second screen (not on the home screen) and in a folder (not as independent apps). By making it a little difficult to access these apps in one-touch, I consume social media a lot less.


Building good habits and breaking bad ones isn’t easy. Hopefully, implementing this little trick will make it easier for you.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Philosophy

How To Keep Going in Life when You Face Rejections

Heard about this formula to keep going in life when you face rejections after rejections from Joe Gebbia on a Tim Ferriss podcast:

SW² + WC = MO

Which stands for:

Some Will (like what you do) & Some Won’t (like what you do) + (but) Who Cares = (just) Move On.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Philosophy

High Vs Low Self-Confidence: Which Is Really Better?

Last week, I had brief interactions with 2 different entrepreneurs – one came across with very high self-confidence and another came across with somewhat low self-confidence.

Normally these differences are not so stark to notice it, but in these cases, I immediately noticed it as the former came across more like – arrogant and delusional, and the latter came across more like – humble and pessimistic.

My first thought was – is one better than the other?

We have been told by motivational speakers that having high self-confidence is the key to success in life. But based on my limited information available on the public internet about their financial success, both seem equally successful.

That got me thinking, what’s the correlation of someone’s self-confidence with their success. Initially, I looked at it only from a financial success perspective, then quickly realized, that’s a very narrow way of looking at it.

In addition to financial success, some people might also care more or equal about other factors in life like relationships, friendships, legacy, etc.

Another factor is – some people are not always authentic. They may show themselves as someone else than who they truly are.

I think there are 4 kinds of people:

  1. People who have high-self confidence, and also display high-self confidence
  2. People who have high-self confidence, but display low-self confidence
  3. People who have low-self confidence, but display high-self confidence
  4. People who have low-self confidence, and also display low-self confidence

Let’s dive into these in detail –

1. People who have high-self confidence, and also display high-self confidence

  • These people often come across fearless, but also arrogant and delusional
  • They have high self-confidence due to their past success, but that quickly turns into “I know it all” mindset
  • These people don’t seem to be more open to feedback from other people, listening to other perspectives and ideas
  • Because of these reasons, my hypothesis is they may not have many true friends or long-lasting relationships – people who are around them for their financial success and status

2. People who have high-self confidence, but display low-self confidence

  • These people often come across confident, ambitious, but also self-aware and approachable
  • They seem to be more open to listening to other people’s ideas and feedback and because of their humility, more people seem to relate with them and often have open and authentic conversations
  • They tend to under-promise but end up over-delivering
  • Because of these reasons, my hypothesis is they have true friends and long-lasting relationships, and people genuinely care about them and want them to be successful

3. People who have low-self confidence, but display high-self confidence

  • These people often come across humble, self-aware, and ambitious
  • They are authentic about their confidence in personal circle, but fake it in professional circle
  • While they doubt their abilities and have more pessimistic views, they prefer to come across positive in achieving their ambitions, and because of that, people are open to give them chances and willing to help them
  • They seem to over-promise but fall short on delivering some of their promises
  • Because of these reasons, my hypothesis is they have true friends and long-lasting relationships, and people genuinely care about them and want them to be successful

4. People who have low-self confidence, and also display low-self confidence

  • These people often come across more pessimistic, less ambitious, and unsuccessful
  • They often doubt their talent and skills, and it often causes other people to also not believe in them too
  • They have more pessimistic views about feedback, ideas and advice other people give them
  • My hypothesis is – they struggle to build long-lasting relationships as while people genuinely care about them and want them to be successful, eventually they stop helping them when they realize their advice is going in vain

In the end, it seems neither of the extreme conditions is great (#1 and #4), and it’s better to be more balanced (#2 and #3) – i.e. it is better to be a little less confident in certain situations even though you are very confident and at the same time, it’s better to be a little more confident than what you feel in certain other situations.

Amongst the better ones, I think it is better to be someone who truly believes in themselves and have high-confidence, but continue to practice being humble, self-aware and open-minded by displaying low-confidence.