Nicole, another speaker from our 2015 Blogger’s Summit shares her story and gives some great advice about getting yourself out there. In starting her company she not only gave up her old job but completely changed industries as well! Talk about brave and ambitious!
By Mitali Rakhit
Do you ever feel stuck? Do you feel frustrated with the way things are going, but also powerless to change it? Well, I did too. For 22 years, in fact, until I took the following 5 steps to turn everything around and get back in the driver’s seat.
- Stop Blaming Others
When I felt like I had lost control over my life, it was because I had relinquished it to other people. Friends, parents, professors, or a significant other can all seem to be pulling on the strings of the marionette that you think you are. However, no matter how much it may seem that others are at fault for what is happening to you, the truth is that you are the one acting on your thoughts or their reactions. Therefore, only you have the power to alter your behavior and perceptions. Why let other people dictate how you should live? The choice to live by your own terms is in your hands.
- Stop Waiting
There were many times when I remember sitting around waiting for things to happen. Hoping that someone would call me back or magically be able to read my mind. Keeping my fingers crossed for an entire summer that my preceptor at work would notice all the long hours I was putting in without ever advocating for myself. I became much happier and confident once I found myself initiating rather than waiting. Becoming the actor instead of the observer was one of the best changes I have ever made in life to date, and it has only led me closer to the life that I want.
- Start Adopting a Growth Mindset
Adopting a growth mindset is not only a key factor in achieving success monetarily, but also mentally and emotionally. Look at everything as a learning experience. I once had a disgruntled entrepreneur insult my physicality and company idea at one of the first networking events I had ever attended in NYC. I was obviously taken aback and hurt at first, but on the train back to New Haven I had a stark realization about the direction of my company that came from taking one of his cruel comments as a point of constructive criticism. This thought process turned Vilasify into a much better product than what I had originally intended it to be.
- Start Separating Yourself from the Situation at Hand
Which leads me to my next point, you must start separating yourself from the circumstance you are currently in. You are not a reflection of what someone is saying to you or an event. The universe is constantly in motion through ways we cannot always understand. You are your own individual entity that is completely separate from everything that is happening around you. If someone says something or acts in a way that you find unpleasant, always remember to take a step back and re-evaluate. It may be a very Buddhist way of thought, but detachment is a great way to keep yourself sane in tough times.
- Start Asking for What You Want
I have always found that I have gotten the best results from asking for what I wanted. Whether it is a meeting with a CEO, a promotion, or a personal connection, asking for what you want is the best way to make sure you get it. Even in the off chance that you do not get what you originally intended, most people will respect your drive and initiative enough to offer you an alternative. In addition, you will never be left wondering “What If…” and can position yourself sooner to take advantage of the next opportunity that comes your way. As my childhood nanny Greta always said, “One monkey don’t stop no show!”
When her situation and her health left her searching for a new direction she was able to take her life into her own hands. A happy and fulfilling life was her ultimate goal and through self-exploration, self-affirmation and yoga that dream was suddenly attainable. But who am I to tell her story? Listen to her amazing story on Soundcloud and hear it told by Fern herself!
By Mitali Rakhit
I never really thought of myself as the next Voltaire, but I figured I would take a stab at writing and start fielding the thousands of questions I am getting from young entrepreneurs looking to start their own companies.
Here are the top 3 pieces of advice I would give:
- Prioritize your goals every day.
It can be hard enough to turn the alarm clock off at 6 AM let alone think about making any kind of list. However, writing something down implies a sort of commitment to making sure it happens. Write your goals down at the start of the day and note everything you want to accomplish. Check back in around 6 PM and note the progress you have made and reprioritize if you need to. Then check again right before sleeping and verify that you have accomplished what you set out to do. If not, make sure to add them again to the new list in the morning.
- Partnerships, partnerships, partnerships.
This is the best way to grow your company and build a following. Cross promotion is one of the most ideal and effective ways to grow your customer base and also build long term relationships to grow your network. You have MANY strengths that you are probably not aware of but that someone else can see and benefit from. The same goes for the way that you may view them. Why not offer to help out and grow together? Two heads are always better than one.
- Focus on incentive alignment.
I think this can be applied to life beyond business as well. You are never going to have a successful relationship with a business partner, spouse, family member, or customer if your incentives are not aligned. Both people have to be benefiting from the relationship in some way or another. This may not always be tangible either. One person might just feel good from being around the other or from having someone who will just listen to them rant. The concept still stands though, both people are getting something positive out of the situation. Try to think of incentives like stars, once they are aligned, everything is sure to work out in your favor.
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