Monthly Archives: September 2018

Killing the Fear of Public Speaking

KILLING THE FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING

Communication is two way even if you are addressing an audience standing on the stage. Good public speaking skills are a part of it and below is a narrative from an entrepreneur who went ahead to build her talent of speaking in front of an audience.

 

 

The first presentation I gave for in my post-grad program to a diverse cohort of batchmates was something I’ll remember for life. It was not just bad, it was pathetic to the core – I fumbled right at the start, I forgot what was on the slides, the flow was not visible, nor did I manage achieving anything out of the presentation. I was ashamed and took it to heart, until a friend suggested that I should have rehearsed maybe. That one input was tip of the iceberg but it helped me find out all things required to get public speaking right. In an entrepreneurship setup, talking and communicating effectively to individuals and groups of people alike is just a part of the day. If you are looking to up your game, these quick tips might just work for you:

 

 

Wake up, stand up, stand up for your right – The song was a rage in the 70s but if the millennial entrepreneur were to do something like public speaking, taking it head on is how they would intend to do it. Stall your fears of addressing an audience. Do this first by reaching there – showing up is almost half the battle won!

Beauty lies in the Eyes of the Beholder – Holding attention of people is a challenge yes, but that one look is all it takes to get people to listen to you. Direct eye contact which shows conviction and passion is how a winner does it.

Sculpted not Scripted – Your content needs to be a dialogue and not a script. Rehearse as much in different tones and formats, have a proactive approach to what the audience would engage in, whether through questions or responses or simple nods of agreement.

Would you like your Humour Dark or Light – It’s amazing how the most straight faced people also share anecdotes and experiences, giving their presentation or performance a different feel. If you don’t consider yourself as someone with a funny bone, try using the critic bone – dark humour is even more fun when least expected.

Insta- Interview – Getting to interview people is a sure shot way of breaking free from your own boundaries. Speak to your local grocer, retail owner or uncle and get a story out from them. Now go and relay that story to a friend in a manner that only an entrepreneur can! Better still, try that in a room full of people and see how you become comfortable in the entire process.

Gestures that Speak – The way you and your hands move while addressing a public says more about you than the content being given out. Make sure you engage people through the right use of your body language, depending on the objective of your speaking program.

Deep breaths for the Butterflies –The nasty butterflies which spring up everytime we know there is a room full of people to be addressed! There’s only one solution to them – take deep breaths just before you are about to begin. Ten of them work perfect and would take you through the entire talk.

The above are not exhaustive, neither for an entrepreneur nor for a fresher. There’s a lot more that goes into the making of a good public speaker. But having the basics in place is definitely a start. For more on this reach out to our Public Speaking Coach at MIDAS Ms. Shaheen Maniar or write to us at info@midas.com

 

Break from Monotony – A Day Out with MIDAS Entrepreneurs

Following is a diary entry of MIDAS Entrepreneur Akanksha Ladkat from her Bootcamp at Mulshi with her fellow batchmates and mentors. The excitement builds up as the bootcamp activities unfold.

“A big shout out to whoever thought an exciting excursion would actually be a part of the making of an Entrepreneur. While we experienced adrenaline rush though various camping activities in the two days at Bootcamp, there were learnings from my class that kept popping up like the cartoon strips in my head. Here’s a quick account of what actually happened and how my entrepreneurship tamed mind viewed it. 

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone –  Our alarms went off at 4:15am. We had spent the previous day shopping and packing our essentials and excitements in camp bags. On a Friday September morning, 28 dozy heads along with four guiding mentors headed to Mulshi dam. In the lap of nature, at the foothills of the lush Sahyadri range, MIDAS students found a new way of becoming an entrepreneur. However, the ultimate question that hounded all of us at this unearthly hour was – “How does a bootcamp shape an Entrepreneur in making?”

Our day began with white water rafting going downstream in grade 2 and 3 rapid levels on the Kundalika River. This is a 12 kms stretch with dam-controlled water. We were dressed in our helmets and personal floating devices with our paddles in hand as if it were war. Energies ran high with everyone taking the training seriously and hushed tones of a race was already floating around. Competition and the need to win can give rise to super powers inside you that you were not even aware existed.

While some questioned if swimming skills was a must, some even questioned if there was a possibility of not coming back at all! Everyone overcame their fear and hopped into a raft, with a go pro perched on the instructor’s helmet ready to capture our memories.  As we slowly completed each rapid, there was a sense of accomplishment in the air. Our arms were synchronized, paddles cutting through water. We splashed around, floated, sang songs and pushed each other around with a smile on our face like kindergarten children. We followed all safety instructions and stayed close to our raft even when we were in the water. All of us literally took the plunge in spite of prior reservations. This is an important quality when it comes to Entrepreneurship. The river is our industry, our start up is our raft, and all that is left to do is prepare, train, believe in our raft and take the plunge.

 

 

Disconnecting can sometimes bring you back in connection with your actual self – Tired and drenched, we left for our campsite. It sat beautifully facing a valley. The mountains outlined the hazy fog and every inch of our view was green. Fortunately, none of us were informed about the cell reception situation. All our phones were soon useless and because we did not know, we did not spend the bus ride burying our heads in them. At times, Ignorance is Bliss. Our camp instructors who conducted an ice breaking session and a few activities received us. The first activity was the ‘roller coaster’. Divided in four teams we had to transport a marble from point A to B using pipes. Of course, it wasn’t that simple. There were some rules involved, for example, the marble cannot back roll. We set our targets but failed to achieve them altogether. After discussing what went wrong and strategizing correctly, we met our targets. We discussed learning outcomes after every activity. Team building, trust, patience, attentiveness are only few of the entrepreneurial qualities we learnt through games. We realized more of what we possessed as qualities and had taken for granted until now. 

Another activity which called ‘Save the world’ had the same groups, where we would take turns to tap on numbers 1 to 50 with the first 5 alphabets to be tapped after each multiple of 10. The purpose was to complete as many cycles as possible within 2 minutes. The first round was chaotic with a lot of miscommunication and cross directions to each other. Most groups had allocated numbers according to locations (sides and corners of the rectangle). We learnt to think on our feet and improve our observation skills. The entire group completed one cycle at an astonishing 23 seconds, showing the improvement in our communication skills from round 1. After a steaming cup of lemongrass tea and ‘kanda bhajjis’ we played light group games like Hunter, Rabbit and Wall & Parda-hai-Parda to learn how well we know each other. We were done for the day and gathered around a ‘coal fire’ to sing songs and chat with each other. We shared tents and bundled up in our sleeping bags, falling asleep to the lullaby of heavy rainfall.

 

 

The following day, our scheduled hour of physical training and walk got cancelled because of the constant rain shower. We deviated from our planned schedule but ended up going for our 14 kilometers hike a little later. The path we had taken was recently trekked by the Indian cricket team. The trek was beautiful, with a slippery path due to recent rains urging us to be more careful while climbing. The trek was a true fitness test for all of us. The peak gave us a breathtaking view with only nature surrounding us. We also learnt that the area we were in, housed 165 different species of birds that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. After all, exploring the unknown territories may sound intimidating in the beginning, but in the end it’s all worth it. Its amazing how the environment around you is a proof of concept, that people have tread the same path before and that more things exist in the same vicinity which you would not be aware of. Just like how an entrepreneur is always ready and adaptable of new spaces and environments. 

 

 

The trek taught us to push through even when we had moments of weakness. Isn’t it what the true spirit of entrepreneurship is? It not only helped us build our willpower but also gave us a sense of achievement at the end of the day. The bootcamp was placed perfectly at the end of stressful weekdays and before a long weekend. It was a first for many, aiding us to discover ourselves, push our comfort zones and learn basic survival while bonding with our classmates. We returned to MIDAS with brimming smiles and a box full of cherished memories and deeper connections. “

We would love to hear of your escapades which helped shape you up as an entrepreneur. Write in to us at info@midas.com

How to Keep Your Age-Old Family Business Afresh with New Ideas

Family Business Management

Ever wondered how Mukesh Ambani would have fared if he hadn’t diversified to telecom from the petrochemical family business? One of the major problems why more than 70% family businesses fail is not that they were not equipped with the right resources, be it team, money or power. What they did lack was a string of ideas and the possibilities which follow any idea, that can be transformed into reality. But why is it so difficult for people already in business, to come up with innovative solutions for age-old problems? Why is our comfort zone of tried and tested approach always superseding the experiments of doing something new and better, not just to solve a problem but even to accelerate the existing way of working.

 

 

We list down how easy it is to generate ideas. What we need from you is an affirmation that yes, it isn’t so difficult after all, to create a string of ideas.

Identify the issue at hand – “Wheels of the bus go round and round, round and round” does this rhyme remind you of how the typical family business is thought of? Don’t reinvent the wheel but certainly make it in line with the times. Mostly all issues in a family business revolve either around technology or the team. Identify which is the bigger plague, and it could be more than these two, and move towards solution seeking approach.

 

Ask the right question – Once the problem or the growth-blocker is identified, frame the perfect question which you think is really the root cause of business issue in the first place. This is a very critical stage as all the following activities depend on how well this question is framed, in order to derive the best set of solutions. Identifying the key problem is the first step towards coming up with a solution. The question is almost always not “how can we resolve this” but instead it’s more of “how to achieve our business objectives”.

 

 

Brainstorm – This activity of brainstorming can either be very taxing or a complete revelation. Before starting, frame the problems in hand, draft a clear agenda of the whole activity and go outdoors with lots of chart papers, markers and sticky notes. Make sure you are accompanied by like minded people who have the ability to think productively and creatively. Brainstorm individually first, keeping the framed question in mind, and come up with as many possible solutions to the problem. The key is to not filter anything at all, and just pen down everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn’t sound logical. Ideas come in a wave, they start slow and then build up, eventually fading down over time. So make the best use of that half an hour and go all out. Discuss each individual’s list and shortlist those ideas that bring you closest to the solution.

 

 

Assess your compatibility – Every idea is not for everyone to execute. Identify the right people to accomplish the tasks for you. Compatibility of the idea to the entrepreneur or team member is as important as having the right idea in the first place. You wouldn’t have wanted Steve Jobs to be responsible for coding of Siri instead of overseeing the design.

 

 

Execute, refine, repeat Action is the key. Now that you have the right idea, the person and resources identified to address a situation, go all out and implement. Structure the solution, plan it, have the objectives well defined by answering the “Why, What, How and Who” for your business. As you go along, review and revise as per situations, repeat the process again to see the long term viability of this solution.

 

 

Ideas are a plenty, the mind is a treasure box for them. You can look at a business, situation or person as it is or generate exemplary ideas to unearth something new and different. MIDAS is an entrepreneurship ecosystem that enables students and entrepreneurs to think with all their faculties and in all possible scenarios. 

If you think your time has come to generate path breaking ideas for your family business, we are here to help!

Simply drop us a mail at info@midas.com

Starting a Business is like Giving Birth to a Child

STARTING A BUSINESS

“Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, but the hardest thing in the world to do.”

Vishal Shah, CEO of MIDAS India, builds on the analogy of starting a business to raising a child.
Oh yeah! Tell me about it! Being a parent to a 15-year-old, I am living the above quote. I have had this unique opportunity to be involved in shaping businesses & entrepreneurs in my current role as a Business Coach at MIDAS. After having worked with over 50 start-ups I began to see the similarity between starting a business & bringing a life into this world. So, let’s start, from the beginning.

Conceiving a child is no different from conceiving a business idea!
Like most young couples today will tell you, planning a child is no small decision. Neither is the decision to start your own business. As both need a lot of effort. Not to mention that the phase before conception comes loaded with the pleasures that go into conception! Yes, just as one must do to conceive a child, an aspiring entrepreneur too, indulges in the inevitable process of making love to all their ideas, hoping that “this” time it will fructify into a “positive result. One must try a variety of things to achieve the desired outcome. This is what we like to call “IDEA GENERATION” at MIDAS.

Fertilizing the egg is akin to validating your idea! But, just like not every act of making love results in the conception of a child, so is the case with the ideas. It is our belief that not every idea is destined to be a business. Like in the process of conceiving a child, only one of the millions of sperms will fertilize the egg, the scenario with ideas is no different. The egg in the case of businesses represents the “ripe” opportunity in the marketplace. An idea can be translated into a business only if it is “validated” in the marketplace. This journey of ideas racing against each other in your mind & eventually one getting a thumbs up from the marketplace is a process we call “IDEA VALIDATION” at MIDAS.

And just like a fertilized egg results in conception, a validated idea results in an idea being transformed into a “business idea”. In both cases, we are now PREGNANT!

Prenatal-Care is what we call “Incubation” in start-up terms!
And now that we are pregnant, utmost care needs to be taken to ensure that the child receives the right kind of nutrition & attention to facilitate natural growth. Basically, everything that needs to be done to convert the foetus into a healthy child. Exactly what needs to be done with a validated business idea! This phase is what we call INCUBATION at MIDAS. Everything required to translate your validated business idea into a viable business is done during this stage. Just as prenatal care involves regular check-ups by the doctors, regular exercises recommended by the experts following a disciplined diet plan, so is the case with start-ups. Here the doctors & experts are replaced by what we call “BUSINESS COACHES” at MIDAS. They ensure that all adequate measures are taken with respect to company formation, intellectual right protection, financial plan, marketing roadmap & most importantly a go to market strategy to acquire the early adopters for your start-up.

My water just broke! This is when a start-up completes a successful pilot launch!
Yes! The time is now near. You know that all your efforts, the pains of nurturing the child over 9 months are now about to bear fruit! Similarly, after setting up the foundation blocks of the company, we at MIDAS make each start-up conduct a pilot launch to ensure we identify & debug the finer details before we go for a full-fledged commercial launch. And, just like once the water breaks, it’s time to go to the hospital, similarly, when the pilot is successfully completed, it’s time to go to the market!

The magic words for a parent – “IT’S A GIRL!” & the magic words for a start-up – “YOU’VE GOT YOUR FIRST  CUSTOMER!!”
I still remember the day I held my daughter in my hands for the first time … A feeling that is unmatched. Her little hands & feet moving around trying to get a feel of the world outside the womb … Her eyes rolling in delight as they felt the warm rays of sunlight for the first time … Always an unforgettable moment for any parent…

So is the case with the launch of your business. Whereas there are different ways of defining a business launch, we at MIDAS believe that your business really comes to life the day you acquire your first customer. Your product or service is finally, out in the world to fend for itself. The umbilical cord is well & truly cut! And, so the journey from individual to parent & student to founder, culminates with the birth of a child & a business respectively. But, as all parents & start-up founders know, this is only the beginning. This is only the first step. A long & eventful life awaits both the child as well as the start-up. Both life and business is unpredictable but we as parents & founders need to play our part, ensuring that we nurture & bring up the child & start-up, well.

If you wish to know more about starting your own business, feel free to –