Monday, December 7, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I am not going to talk about
- How to lie well and sell at high price.
- General Tips and Tricks on how to make safest deal as you all know that making CASH transaction and that too DIRECT, IN PERSON is the safest. You can take a look at craigslist or some similar sites for more tips.
- Ascertaining the value of the item
- Don't furnish the actual amount you are intending to sell it for. The buyer is definitely going to bargain and never going to settle for the actual furnished amount. Even if you are in urgency and quoting the lowest possible price. Do adequate research and fix a price range. The quote price should be the largest value of the range. This is not a deceiving technique but a necessary step to deal with the buyer's mind set to bargain (Sometimes very irrationally).
- Don't ever mention that you are in a urgency to sell it. There is a good chance you will be taken advantage of.
- Take some photos of the items in adequate angles (in case of furniture) or provide as much details (like configuration details in case of computer) and furnish it to the potential buyers as saves time for both you and the buyer.
- Know that only a very interested buyer arranges for a meeting and visits you to check out the item you are selling. So, Don't ignore them. Give more weight-age to such buyers compared to those who close the deal just over phone.
- If the item is in warranty, HIGHLIGHT it. If it was bought new, HIGHLIGHT it
- Always have a strong reason for selling. Make them aware that you are not selling it because the item is defective. (In my case, I had to move away from my place and i could not carry it with me where i was going).
- Stick to and make it clear to the potential buyer, "First Come First Serve" especially for those who close the deal over phone. As the last minute doubt makes them not buy and you end up loosing other potential buyers.
- Stick to Spot Payment, Full Payment!
- Remember: The deal is not made until it is made. Only when you get the full cash in hand, you can consider it a done deal!
- Give least priority to those who just leaves a comment and never calls. There are lots of people who just quote a price without any intention of buying. If he had any interest in buying, he would have called you.
- Finally, Have a friend with you while making the actual exchange of the item for money. It helps with your morale while tackling the last minute bargaining.
Having said all that, it is best when you do it honestly so that neither party feels ripped off.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Have you ever thought that "If only my mom is more understanding..." or "If only dad could learn about internet..." or "If only my parents are more adaptive..." ?
Sometimes, it is frustrating that our parents are not very adaptive as we are. Isn't it? Well, you know what? Tomorrow your kids are going to think the same way about you. You might be thinking you are very adaptive and forward thinking. But you’re only partially true. You are adaptive only compared to your parents and not to your selves. Sometimes your are not adaptive enough compared to your friends or peers.
Let me tell you a small story. Small, but true story.
Recently my friend went through confusion in deciding something. He was saying, "I am searching for a cook, but I am not getting a proper one. Interviewed a lot of them but they all have disadvantages - Either they do not cook my style (south Indian), charge too much or does not agree to my convenient time. Well, I am getting tired of this and don't know how to choose". So, he got stuck in the deciding-state for so long that he ended up hiring NO cook at all, even though he needed one.
So I said, "If you're going to be staying in the same place for more than 3 months, then take a cook that costs more, but is agreeing in all other aspects. After all, you and your roommate together can afford the cost, even if it is slightly higher than standard rates". Yes it is a simple thought but because of his trained thinking he just over looked some of the advantages and forgot to see the situation from a better perspective. Advantages with this new agreement, are that:
- He gets meal every day
- He avoids eating outside and hence less money spent on food
- Eating without having to search for a different and better place every day.
Here, the advantages outweigh the only disadvantage (which is a little extra money) over a long term.
The Problem and The root cause
It’s not that my friend was poor in cook-interviewing. He was just stuck in his old way of thinking. He was adhered too much the general convention that "paying more than this-standard-rate is too much" and showed almost no focus on the other factors of his problem.
Because he stuck too much to the standard-rate concept and shied away from paying a little bit more, he ended up not having a cook and also,paid extra money unconsciously by eating outside, for a while.
Adapting means reconsidering the relevance of age-old advices and then acting upon them.
If you’d asked your parents advice on personal finance, they would start with “saving” and go on to “No credit cards” and probably end with talking about “savings” again. But, that advice is kind of outdated. You probably already know that and are doing lots of other things with your money like mutual funds, investments, bonds, insurance, credit cards, balance-transfer, etc along with saving. And, that's what is smart for this age. Your parents advice on saving were relevant only to their times as the earning style was different back then. Entrepreneurs were less and discouraged. A stable day job and savings was the best strategy then. But times have changed where work-from-anywhere is the new hip. I am not an expert in Personal Finance, but you should check out Ramit Sethi’s iwillteachyoutoberich.com. He's got some cool points to speak on money.
You can’t continue to keep having the conventional mind set and approach the daily problems. Our society and the world around us is evolving and we need to adapt. The sooner, the better! When unsure, just try and focus on all possible factors involved in the problem and brainstorm with a friend. Even the most obvious and trivial ones.
In my friend's case, he just needed a little bit of "long-term" thinking and reminding-of-some-things-he-already-knew. And in a little time of our conversation, he realized he needed to change his thinking style to solve his problem and arrive at a desirable outcome for long term. Hence he hired the cook paying him a little extra and is benefits and is happily living ever after [Heard that now, my friend and his cook are teaching each other more cooking].
My own story
I was brought up in a middle class family background. My take on money, while I was growing up, was fairly conservative just as I was taught to be. I was very careful even spending 10 bucks. I could say that this general conservative idea towards money continued even in my college while I was not earning and was depending upon my parents for money.
As I started earning, the amount i had in hand started increasing way more than what i had in college and I was still stuck in the same old mentality (even in places where i could have easily been more lenient with money). This showed up while i was purchasing a gift for my sister and I was with my very good friend who chose a way costlier (and much better) gift than what i bought and that too she chose it for my sister. I felt bad because I knew my sister deserved it and I was able to afford that better gift. I adapted to a new mind set then and there. I realized that I had been a little conservative when it came to money and decided to change and get a better perspective to improve my mind set. That was when I went ahead and shopped a lots more of stuffs for myself (and more for my sis too).
Some places where you can adapt to a new mind set
Just like the above cases, there are many places in our lives where we subconsciously stick to the old mindset and think from that point of view, which when upgraded to latest version could get better results. Here are some things where you might not be state-of-the-art adaptive:
- Choosing a place to stay
- Credit Cards
- Multiple Credit Cards
- Shared Internet connection
- Learning the local language
- Acquainting with various types of books (even the books you don’t agree with)
- Practicing on Laptop Finger touch pad and not just relying on traditional mouse
- Meeting new people
- Finding the dream career
- Picking a religion (There are many other religion and have you ever dared to try other religion before? I hear that Buddhism is pretty cool).
- and so on...
A small case study
My mom (before 3 years): "Internet is too hi-fi. I am not made for it. And by the way, I forgot the password for the email account which you set me up 2 months back."
My Mom (now): "why don’t we hang up the phone and do skype chat? And, where are those photo attachments which you said you'd send in 10 minutes?”
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it. - Benjamin Disraeli
These are 2 contradicting quotes. Aren't they? On different levels both are correct. The first one motivates me for taking action. The second one motivates me for writing. I shall explain below.
What is Blog?
Wikipedia defines it as "A blog (a contraction of the term web log) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video."
It is the easiest and simplest way to express your creative ideas and sharing (expressing) it to the world. Just like music, painting or dancing, I think writing an art, a form of expression. It has manifested into many forms such as Books, Blogs, Twitter, etc.
Blogging vs. Other Journaling Techniques
Journal or a diary is where you record your personal thoughts, ideas, happening or feelings. There are many ways of writing a journal and many advantages to them. Simplest being, Solving problems – if you write your problems down (rather than retaining in your mind), you gain more clarity, thereby a step closer to solving the problem. Blogging is a way of journaling.
The advantage of blogging compared to other forms of journaling is that, presenting of the ideas creates a mild pressure for you to work on an idea for a longer period of time and actually completing it. Earlier, before my blogging days, when I had an idea, I rarely recorded it. Even if I had recorded it, I didn’t have enough push to pursue on the idea later or I was just embarrassed to look at it and work more on it. I could not get the motivation on the idea back. But now, if I have an idea, I immediately note it down. Later, I choose on the various idea bits that I have and work on them because I am going to present it to an audience [Sometimes I assume that I have a huge audience]
Even if you don’t have audience (now), the reason that it will be presented in public is enough to work on it and finish it. I am not saying that that reason alone is enough. But, that surely is an important reason to give you a nudge in right direction.
For me, Blogging is the first step towards efficient journaling.
Self Exploration: Tool for Unearthing Your Creative Talent
Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that went for a long time and you got insights and ideas through the course of conversation that you were surprised to know that you had them in you?
Have you experienced great ideas popping up in your head while reading a book?
What happened to those ideas? They just float away. This has happened to me many times. There were some topics/ideas that I was very much interested in and wanted to explore more on it. But, the next activity consumed upon it and eventually, I dropped those ideas as I lost touch with the emotional splendor that the idea created when I first conceived it.
As I mentioned before, when ever I have an idea while talking to someone or reading a book, I immediately make a note of it – a small piece of paper, type it up in a notepad, compose an email and send it to myself, or sometimes I even record it or tweet it. Later I go and work on those ideas to convert them into blog posts.
Blogging helps me to consciously choose on an Idea and explore on it with my current knowledge on the subject. It urges me to do active research on the subject and gain more knowledge rather than reactively spend (waste) time watching TV. [I say ‘waste’ because I later regret having spent time on TV].
If you keep blogging regularly, you are in constant touch with your creative self, Creative either in the ideas or while communicating it or both. It’s an interesting experience. Try it
If you keep constantly digging within yourself, you will keep proceeding closer to your heart and find out what is in it. I think it is better explained in this article: How to find your life purpose in about 20 Minutes
Share without Care: To create happiness for yourself & Value for Others
Until recently before I started blogging, I believed that I did not have anything worthwhile to share to others that they could gain value from it. That thinking got me nowhere in my desire to become a writer. I did not write a word, but the feeling of emptiness because of not writing remained.
So Instead, I thought, I would share whatever I can assuming it is going to be of greatest use to a huge audience that is going to read it. I just changed my perspective of looking at the problem. And that did the trick, gave the motivation I needed. At least I am able to create something as against creating nothing and this process has made me immensely happy in the past few weeks. And about the value creation to others, I still don’t know if I could provide some big value to others. To find that out, I have to share what I can and see how it helps others. I have decided to wait on it for feedbacks.
But, I believe this: No matter what situation you are in, if you are a person who is not dead, you can provide value to others.
The awesome part!
It’s generally said that, if your content is good, you can attract more readers, the more the clicks on ads, the more revenue you can generate through Google Adsense.
I have taken the first step towards it. I signed up for Google Adsense and my approval came through 4 days back.
I earned $1.39 in the first 2 days. It was an awesome feeling.
I have just started on revenue generation and not going to focus much on it yet. Anyway, I am doing more research on it which I shall share in the future.
Motivation & hunger to learn
The more you write (blog), the more you will consume your ideas. The more you consume ideas, the faster your resource gets used up. You will start to consciously pursue for ways to generate ideas. You need to take in a lot of input in order to generate output.
Books, movies, Blogs are the main sources of input for me. I have been reading Robin Sharma’s “The Greatness Guide” and there was a chapter of his book based on him asking a bottle of water to the the air-hostess. Indeed, it was a very short but it was a very educational chapter.
I see myself getting more engrossed in consciously searching for topics and doing research for my blog post. In the process, I am learning a lot.
I don’t have to write on how the “internet” and “being online” is stunningly awesome. If I have to tell you, open your orkut or facebook account and you will get it. A blog is more like that, except it is more tailored towards expressing what you are doing as against asking someone. If you are a kind of person who spends time in above mentioned kind of social networking sites, then it’s a safe bet that you like expressing yourself. Just try blogging and see how much fun it is.
There are lots of interesting people and ideas involved in the blogging that are waiting for you to join them.
There are certain tips and ideas I had implemented to fuel my creative flow and generate some ideas. My favorite blog post by Scott on the topic – how to increase your creative output is very insightful.
There are some other tips (other than what is mentioned in the link) that have used some of them to keep myself motivated. I shall write that in my next post.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I am no more an "IT Proffessional". I have been a Software Engineer for 2 years in
I have had lots of moments when I hated my job but could not get out then because of so many reasons; fear, lack of clear vision about my life and financial ties being some of them. Finally, I overcame all of them and I took the decision that I wanted to take. I quit.
I have mentioned some of the most predominant reasons here. I hope this gives insight to those in college (or not just them), thinking of joining a similar kind of job.
1. A Stupid Theory on Productivity & Time Management
We are at a time now that it has become an unwritten rule in Indian IT environment that, we need to spend more time than what was actually agreed upon. [Mostly you end up working somewhere more than 25 hours extra in a week]. The saddest reason for the manifestation of this kind of an environment to prevail is that, most of the managers stupidly equate productivity just with time spent in office.
It is one thing for you to get involved in work too much because it challenges you in a very interesting and growth-oriented way that you forget to eat food in time or stay late night to focus & deliver the project within the timeline. It is completely another thing if you are forced to do that. You are pushed in a situation where you end up working like a slave even though you had other things planned – Weekends included.
With a schedule like this, you don’t get to manage your time, as your time is not always yours to manage.
2. Good Work is rewarded with more work
Mostly, even if someone finishes the work ahead of time, they wait till the end of the day to report it to the Manager. This is because the fear of more work allotted which would eventually consume lots of time making you to stay late.
This kind of unproductive strategies could be reduced if the manager respects his employee's early task finishing and rewards appropriately. Instead, the managers load them with work without any consideration of the time lines and the employee has to end up staying late.
This does not improve productivity, neither yours nor the employer's.
[With some managers, the above mentioned tactic does not work after a while. I used to work with a manager who liked to retain people till at least 8:30 PM by giving more work. Fortunately, I moved away from her, to some other project. I heard that the time increased from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM. She was a true sadist]
3. Motivating the donkey
Money, (often a raise in salary) is perceived as a motivation factor. However, the major motivation factor used on the employees is fear. When I say fear, it’s the Fear of losing the job or fear of losing the bond money that was agreed upon while joining. They instill that fear upon you, to keep you whipped. So, there is just no happy and cheering motivation to work.
Lack in motivation here affects the overall energy levels, making the whole day bad.
4. Too much micro managing
Its too frustrating when the managers try to manage and scrutinize every second of your time, assuming that is going to add up to the productivity.
You might not believe if said that once I was asked an explanation for taking too many toilet breaks. What can I say then? I have extraordinary capability to pee?
- And, hovering just behind while you try and get the work done.
- Asking for status every half an hour, when both of you know that it is going to be over not before the end of the day.
These are just some examples for too much of micro managing
5. Feeling Dissatisfied even after delivering a project
Any work coming out of an employee who is made to work out of fear, obligation or compulsion will always be in poor quality. Now, imagine a project you are involved where majority of team members are such employees.
Mediocre project delivery is just an eventuality, even though you were not one such employee.
Mediocre project delivery is just an eventuality, even though you were not one such employee.
6. A balanced a lifestyle? Keep Dreaming!
The way to have a balanced life style is compartmentalizing the 2 major and different areas of life: Work life & Personal Life. But, when a conflict arises, i.e. when both work & personal life need immediate attention, the priority is automatically given to work (because of) and slowly the work encroaches the personal life’s territory.
With all the above points considered, your balanced life style becomes a far-fetched goal.
It’s a sad truth that your lifestyle depends upon what kind of manager you get.
7. Diminishing attention to physical fitness
There is very less or no physical activity in the job. Also, as the job pressure slowly takes over, even a regular physical activity like going to gym gets tossed off often, eventually ending up with a big tummy and much regretted fat ass.
If I kept continuing this, I am sure to face an illness before I hit 35.
8. A Boring Society
The work environment isn't fun anymore. The conversations with your colleagues become mendacious, phony and boring.
Initially, when I joined, I enjoyed the diverse population that I interacted with and the various curious minds. But, slowly the interactions get constricted within a closed circle of people and more pretentious. Even though the fun part was there, it was drastically reducing.
The interest in meeting new people gets saturated so soon because, after one point there is nothing new and only repetition of what was once new and interesting.
9. Balls to competitive growth
This point might be little naïve of me and it happens probably everywhere.
The scenario is such that, if a person is good in his work, then, he/she is always trusted with the most important & critical work. The learning curve is reduced and soon you become an important employee.
This seems a good and best way to move up in the ladder.
Well, you are wrong. That’s not enough.
You have got to be a good sycophant too (some times, just that is enough) to have better visibility, to have a better movement up the ladder.
Even though there were many perks being in the job, they all either vanished or eventually got saturated or transformed into some other desires, either way, making that place no more reasonable for me to stay.
What am I going to do for money? I guess I am pushed more towards aligning myself with my true desires and finding & doing the right thing and (possibly) making it lead to financial
Sunday, May 24, 2009
This is about the 2 day trip to Sirsi and Yana. I have made this as short and sweet as possible. If it’s lengthy, that is because I’ve tried to capture most of the exhilarating moments that we had during that trip (or simply because I am a bad writer)
It started when Deepak told that he was visiting
Day 1 – Sonda & Around
Reaching Sirsi (Time: 7.30 AM)
My first impression of Sirsi was not that great as the first lodge we approached was closed down because of some financial troubles! And, the next one did not welcome us very well. Anyways, we got a room for 2 people for Rs.145 for 1 day. Some signs of happiness started appearing.
‘Boring’ is the first thought that comes to my mind when I think of temples. And Sonda temple didn’t do much to change it. But, it did transform Deepak to a religious man. And, I tried to keep my spirits high as well. Deepak was involved with all “religious” activities while I was ogling at chicks (at least I was trying to). Finally, the free lunch (God’s Prasad) was announced, we were all served. And that’s all I could remember about that!
The short Pilgrimage tour around Sonda (Time: 1:30 PM)
After the Sonda temple, we went on a small tour which the local tourist department had arranged for Rs.50 which covered the following places. These places are really good with lakes and forest surrounding them.
& vyasaraja mutt. Lakshmi Narayana Temple Venkata Narayana Temple.
- Sahasra Linga (1000 shiva lingas have been made on the rocks on which the river flows. On a rainy day, the lingas are just covered)
- Swarna valli mutt
- Tapovana (half KM walk through forest which lead to rocks on the path of a river where a certain sage who had witnessed GOD in Horse’s form had done some carving for sitting and keeping his stuff, etc).
The Evening in Sirsi (Time: 6:00 PM)
We returned to sirsi, freshened up, had some snacks, made enquiry for bike renting for the next day and had some talks on the walks.
Day 2 –
The Bike Ride to
We started our bike on a chilly morning with 3 liters of petrol and 30 bucks/hour tab with hopes and expectations for adventure. As we went on, we rode through those narrow roads, villages disappearing, forests getting denser and thicker on both sides & the roads transforming into hair-pin bends and Ups & downs. The thrill kept on increasing with both of us wanting to and switching over to driver’s seat often.
It got really scary at one point when we stopped to take a leak. forests were dense on both sides. The road was completely lonely. We both wondered, if we would dare to take that during dark.
Then came the
Any famous mountain (or even a rock for that matter) in
There was a way into the cave of the mountain. Being the adventurers that we are, we went in and tried to trek by divulging from the usual path hoping to reach the top (and may be pee from there?!). Anyways, that was not possible as the any possible route the top seemed closed which was later confirmed by locals that came by later. We came back to the starting point, taking some pictures along the way. We had our breakfast (tea and biscuits) in that shop, and got some information about nearby falls and started towards it.
The vibuthi falls (Time: 11:00 AM)
Vibhuti falls is 10 KMs further from
This journey was even more thrilling and exciting, mainly because we were headed towards waterfalls. We traveled further down to pass through the
No people around except us. And, I could not find any litter which made me feel like we wandered where not many people (tourist people mainly) had.
We first got down in the pool-like area between the stream and the water falls. Trying to get away from the fish biting, we moved here and there in the shallow rocky water.
By then, another group of tourists (more than 10 people) had come. However, they took off soon without dipping their feet or wetting their head. We got off the water and decided to hike further along (and through) the water fall towards the top. We crossed another small water fall, up stream and went further up and reached another fall.
Of course, as inspired photographers, we took lots of pictures with some crazy poses.
Even after spending an hour in the shallow waters and hiking for a little bit to notice some crazy rock formation and crystal clear waters, I was not satisfied without getting beaten by the forcibly falling waters. So, I chose a small rock from which water was flowing and decided to get in there. With no idea about its depth and with all the fears of skidding and falling (due of the algae), I took 1 step at a time and finally, I was there, in the middle of those falls and it wasn’t very deep. But, the beating was very harsh on my heads and back.
It was only matter of seconds before Deepak joined there. We both felt that it was the best moment of the trip!!
Even though we had planned the trip with more people and different plans, we both thought the trip came out to be a very interesting and fun.
Certain things got reinforced in my mind
- When you open up your mind, adventure enters.
- No matter how the plan deviates, just choosing to have fun time makes all the difference.
- There is a lots of adventure yet to be covered in western ghats!
Monday, March 30, 2009
While I was watching that scene, I was actually expecting how Kate was going to reply to that kid, even though I was following the story. Weird Curiosity... eh?. Anyways, later, I was just imagining, what if Kate had actually tried to explain honestly to that kid why she was fighting. The conversation could have been something like this.
Zoe: So, whey are you guys fighting?
Kate: I told Nick that he betrayed me. And, he did not agree with it.
Zoe: What did he do to betray you?
Kate: Well, He was doing a good cooking and was handling my kitchen in my absence. But, I think he lied to me saying that he wanted to learn from me. And, I think he went behind my back and tried to rob my job. And, later he said that he has been offered my job.
Zoe: So, you are only sure of him being offered the job and not sure of the reasons and you are assuming them.
Kate: True. But, he was doing things that was threatening my job.
Zoe: Did you ask him about the reasons?
Kate: Yes. But he disagreed about the reasons. He said he did not betray me. But, I don't believe him. And that is why we are in a fight.
Zoe: So, You don't trust him?
Zoe: OK, have you lost your job? Has he taken your job.
Kate: No & No
Zoe: Seems like he was not lying as he not taken your job which was the basis of you assumptions.
Zoe: So, why are you still angry at him?
Kate: I don't know. Now I realize, I couldn't take it that Nick was succeeding and I feared that I might be replaced as Nick was advancing in his talents. So, I got angry at him.
Zoe: So, you got angry at him because of your insecurities?
Kate: well, yes.
As you might have noticed, Kate was wrong about the reasons which was why the fight came up. Until she had this [imaginative] conversation, she was convinced about the reasons. If only, she had this conversation, she could have called up Nick and patched things up.
Now, from the above conversations please note the following:
- Most of the time when we get in a fight, its better to revisit the whole scenario, to actually get to the root cause of the problem. So, try to have this conversation [with a Zoe of your choice] whenever you have had a fight/row with your friends or close ones.
- Your Zoe character might not necessarily be a 12 year old kid. You might not be well received if you try that. But, it could be your friend who is unaffected by the problem/fight. Or you can have the conversation with yourself.
- At the whole conversation, if you are still convinced, then your fight was meaningful. But, most of the times, you will gain many insights about yourself in the middle of the conversation itself.
- The outcome of this kind of After-fight-brain-storming might actually help you get a perspective and help you get over your ego and actually resolve a fight.