5 Questions To Answer Before Starting A New Career

 

change

Some jobs are a big drain on you, they simply cannot be repaired. Whether you have lost the drive or you simply feel unfulfilled in the job or business you currently have, may be it is time to think about something new. If you feel embarrassed to talk about your work with others or if you can’t imagine to be at the same place few years or decades down the line, it is the time to make a move for the second inning.

Let’s admit many a time we make some bad decisions, but it is never too late to correct those mistakes. I have seen people feel embarrassed  to acknowledge their mistakes resulting in their being stuck at the dead-end jobs. But if they accept these and start on a new journey, they will definitely be able to avoid a situation of continue living their mistakes and hating their life for next 10 or 20 years.

Yes it is a very difficult decision to leave the known territory and start something new, but it will definitely increase the chances of finding something that you really love.

It gets even more difficult if you have to make such a move in your midlife. You have responsibilities on you, your situation is complicated but the biggest obstacle is that it is emotionally difficult for you. You fear the consequences, whether you will be able to make it big or just end up being a laughing stuff for the others.

Well it may just be time to stop hearing to the noises and start hearing to your heart. What you love to do is most often actually your strength.

According to the Gallup studies that has surveyed more than 10 million people worldwide on the topic of employee engagement, studies indicate that people who focus on their strengths are six times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.¹

But before you think you are ready to make a move, it is important to have some serious introspection. You don’t want to be in the same state of despair again. Before you take the leap, start with some brainstorming:

What do you want to accomplish?

Identify your core beliefs and true love, so that you don’t change from your current job to another job that you hate equally bad. This could be severely detrimental for your confidence and self esteem. Most of the people find it difficult to specify in very clear terms about their real passions, so take your time in identifying your true beliefs. Be absolutely clear about what you are looking forward to in the new job before making any further move.

Are you prepared to take the hit?

Any thing that you start or the career-change process will not make a smooth sailing. The whole situation will evolve slowly. There will be new obstacles in your path that you had never thought of before. You may be required to take a cut in the salary, your friends and family may not support you or you may lose some of the status you currently enjoy. Are you prepared to take the hits on your face with chin up. If not, think again, you may be better off in the current job than any new venture. Only if you move to a job that you are really passionate about, you will be able to face the difficulties.

Do you have the skills?

The marketplace today is very competitive and if you take a plunge without assessing whether you have the necessary skills that are required in your new job, it will sure turn out to be a recipe for disaster. Invest in knowledge first, take some online or evening course while continuing in the current job. This will make you skill-ready for the coming challenges.

What value can you add?

World is filled with mediocre performers, if you also work like them then making it big will remain only a dream. Think deeply about the value you can add that the current players are not offering. whether it be speed of delivery or better quality product at the same cost, you should be absolutely clear the manner in which you will be able to add value to everything you do. Think about improved customer service or the convenience you can deliver.

Do you take on a partner or go solo?

You would want to have a feeling of security if you go in the new career along with some partner or have a mentor. There are benefits of different ideas, contacts, work division and accountability when you have a partner or a team. You will gain new perspectives and gain valuable advice. A mentor can help you get necessary knowledge and skills required and help advance your career. However this partnership should be based on mutual trust and respect, and also be a win-win proposition for both parties.

It is never perfect at the start

You won’t get all the answers in the beginning and it is almost a given fact that you will screw up somewhat at the start. It is not possible to be perfect in unknown, but you can always course-correct and find the right track for you. While it is important that you don’t take a crucial step of career-change blindly, it is equally important not to get too busy with analyzing and making the situations perfect to jump in. Trust me nobody achieved perfection with thinking alone. Have faith and take the leap, your destiny may well be calling you.

Related article: 9 Success Factors For Growth

References: 1. Strengths Finder 2.0 from Gallup – Tom Rath

Love Life Of Pisces

Pisces Love

With a capacity of natural understanding which is not obtained from books or study, Pisces are intuitive and understand the meaning and truths of life better than others. They are very selfless and have a great strength of character. The ruling planet Neptune makes these people more intuitive then others and with artistic bend of mind.

Being a water sign they strive to have deep emotional bonds and empathy towards others. They tend to be dreamy, romantic and very passionate, but their approach to love can at time be very contradictory. Pisces love to be in love and can have unreasonable expectations seeking security from their partner. At the same time their freedom is dear to them and they have a general dislike of dependence on others. This nature of their’s can greatly puzzle their partner.

This is a compassionate sign. Pisces in general are caring. Because of their creative nature they are very expressive and would want their family members to be the same. People close to them should take care about their sensitive nature otherwise they can turn moody and can get hurt easily by others. Most vital for them in all relationship is heart to heart communication.

Pisces can be pretty poor in judgement and in life they may find it hard to decide whom to trust and believe. This may leave them quite vulnerable and they may be victimized. It is better if they assert themselves and ask their partner directly about their needs.

In their relations, Pisces are very faithful. They possess great fidelity and loyalty because love for them can never be about self. It is about devotion and submission to one’s partner. They are usually very gentle but at some time may become quite obsessive. A romantic relation for them has to have spiritual depth. They don’t take kindly to rejection. When in a relation they will be deeply connected with their partner and will never be superficial with them. They will be caring and generous lover who like to shower their loved ones with gifts. For them love is all about giving rather than receiving. Pisces people always want to maintain harmonious relations and for this they can adjust and forgive.

They tend to avoid arguments so usually they are the submissive partner. In love they often ends up imitating the values, style and even beliefs of their partner. They desire a partner who can protect their vulnerabilities and never manipulate them. One of the biggest limitation in Pisces is their sensitiveness. This may get them distracted from their path and make some grave errors and fall in the trap of self pity or some addiction to drinks or gambling. A dominant partner is better suited for them because that will keep them rooted and away from their habit of getting involved in vices, which they are quite prone to, when they suffer some setbacks.

When it comes to sex Pisces can be the master of seduction, but for them it goes beyond being a physical thing but more of a connection between two souls. Their passion takes a jump with the proximity they feel with their partner. Role playing, romance and imagination are the enjoyable experiences for them.

Pisces have a great loyalty to their partner. They are easy going and adapt easily to others. Due to their inherent quality of understanding they get to know what their partner need. During difficult times they will stand rock solid with their partner and will help them to best of their abilities. They feel so attached with the problems their lover is facing that at times they themselves get into troubles in the process of helping them.

Because of their dual nature of remaining dreamy and sensitive, they are prone to addictions and bad eating habits. They are highly driven by emotions and often find it difficult to hide or control their emotions. They can have some sudden burst of emotions of anger or happiness. Their biggest fear is that of being rejected or alone. Pisces need an anchor, a guiding person in their life who can keep them rooted and motivate to utilize their inherent intuitive nature and imagination in positive and productive manner.

Related article: Love Life Of Aquarius

Rags To Riches – Lakshmi Niwas Mittal

Mittal

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal was born on June 15, 1950 in Sadalpur town in Rajasthan to a traditional Marwari business family. He is the chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal, the world’s largest steelmaking company. Called the Steel Baron of India or sometimes Carnegie of Calcutta, he is an Indian born who is settled in United Kingdom. In 2017 Mittal has been ranked as world’s 56th richest man and 2nd richest Indian.

Early Life

Lakshmi Mittal studied at Shri Daulatram Nopany Vidyalaya, Kolkata from 1957 to 1964 and later graduated from the St. Xavier’s College, University of Calcutta with a degree in accounting and business. In his college days he used to help his family in running a small steel business, Nippon Denro Ispat. In 1976, realizing the limiting policies and potential in India, the 26-year-old Mittal moved to Indonesia and opened his first steel factory Ispat Indo there.

Career

Right from the beginning of his business, Lakshmi Mittal had a vision to be a global player. The highlight of his success remained his ability to buy the loss making companies and then turn them around into profitable ventures. He started acquiring companies in Canada and Germany, but his biggest breakthrough and very strategic investment came when he acquired Karmet Steel Works in Kazakhstan, part of former Soviet republic at that time sharing its border with China which witnessed a huge surge of steel demand in those days.

In 2004 he formed Mittal Steel through the merger of Ispat International and LNM holdings. In 2006 he took over European Steel giant Arcelor at a cost of approximately $33 billion and merged it with Mittal Steel and formed Arcelor Mittal. It is only company in world to cross 100 million tons of steel production. His steel empire employs more than 3,00,000 employees and is present in 60 countries worldwide. But due to falling prices and reduced demand, company’s operating income and profits had been falling consistently. Only in February 2017 company announced its first annual profits in five years.

Personal Life

Lakshmi Mittal is an Indian citizen based at London, United kingdom. He is married to Usha Mittal and is blessed with two children, son Aditya and daughter Vanisha. Mittal is known for his lavish lifestyle and his buying palatial houses and daughter’s marriage remained some of the most talked about events in their time.

In 1996 he received the ‘Steel Maker of the Year’ award from New Steel. In 2005, Forbes ranked Mittal as the third richest person in the world. In 2006 The Sunday Times  named him “Business Person of 2006”, the Financial Times named him “Person of the Year”, and Time magazine named him “International News maker of the Year 2006”. In 2007, he was considered to be the richest Asian person in Europe. Indian government awarded him with Padma Vibhushan in 2007. He received ‘Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award’ in 2008 from Forbes magazine. In 2017, Forbes ranked him as the 56th richest person in the world with a net worth of US$16.4 billion. He is also the “57th-most powerful person” of the 72 individuals named in Forbes’ “Most Powerful People” list for 2015.

Related article: Rags To Riches – Phil Knight

 

10 Ways To Make Employees Productive

Office01

In order to succeed, productivity remains the lifeblood of any company. If you could figure out how to make your employees more productive and efficient then you can significantly increase the profits of your company and may well become a major player in your category. It is very difficult to make employees productive and efficient but in today’s work environment when meeting deadlines and getting work done are extremely critical, it is very necessary and prudent to give enhanced attention to this area.

To keep your employees motivated, happy and at peak state for enhanced productivity and boosting performance take care of these few things:

1. Lead From The Front

People will follow you quite naturally if you have the personality that inspires them. For a motivated and inspired team, leader has to be charismatic. As a leader you should be able to show them a clear vision of where you want to go. Try to develop a culture that is collaborative and values each team member. It is vital that your team sees that you live the life you preach. Lead from the front and you will be amazed how the productivity can take a quantum jump. Be a visionary, show them the way and then quietly step aside and let them accomplish the tasks on their own.

2. Set Clear Goals

Most of the times employees are able to achieve remarkable things when they have clear goals to focus on. It is said, ‘you get what you focus on.’ Just take care that the goals for your employees are specific, measurable and with a timeline attached to it. The goals that you set for them should be realistic. They should not be too low that they don’t inspire them, at the same time they should not be too high that people think them to be too stiff and don’t find them attainable.

3. Make Them Feel Important

Take good care of your employees. As entrepreneur Richard Branson says, “Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of clients.” When you take genuine interest in their interests and personal lives, they feel more like part of the big family and when employees are happy, they in turn will make all efforts to make company productive.

4. Make Them Feel Secure On The Job

Yes, it is one of the most neglected aspect of the corporate culture these days when profits for the shareholders are more important than the job security to own employees. But it is to be understood that the employees who feel secured and comfortable in their job; who know they have the back of their leaders are far more productive and innovative in their work. It is better to select candidates after due diligence rather than hiring and firing casually to the detriment of the company.

5. Acknowledge Good Efforts

The most productive employees are those who are happy and motivated. One of the most effective way to encourage your employees for their efforts is to acknowledge them and do it early. Once workers feel they are appreciated they will work with enhanced vigor. For rewarding people you may publicly recognize them or provide some financial incentive or a raise. Remember that deep down everyone wants to be appreciated and feel important and a true leader knows How To Motivate Your Employees. When you satisfy this need of the people, they develop a strong bond with the company and work with much more enthusiasm and conviction, which in turn leads to higher productivity and efficiency at the work place.

6. Focus On Ongoing Training

One of the strongest desire in all people is to grow and progress. Offer your employees the opportunities to improve their skills and capabilities by arranging coaching, courses, and workshops. This will also help the company as employees become more talented which brings more efficiency in working. Many organization tend to save on the expenses by not looking into this vital aspect of skill development, but this could backfire and make the workforce redundant over long period of time.

7. Give Feedback

For enhancing productivity it is important to give timely feedback. Develop a culture of periodic performance review, through which you can provide information to your employees about what they are doing right and what needs to be corrected. Keep the communication two way where you also ask your people about the areas where you can help. Show them that you are also open to critical feedback and value the opinion of your people.

8. Say No To Favoritism

Never ever let your employees think that they are not treated equally. A leader who has his favorites in the team will soon have a team which will be split on personal levels and soon it will reflect poorly on the productivity front.

9. Offer Them Life Balance

In today’s fast paced life everybody is stressed and if the office offers the employees an atmosphere or work conditions where they can find respite from such pressure, they are sure going to love it. Allow your employees some fixed number of days to work from home or flexible hours. Offer child care facilities and maternity benefits for the female staff. These steps have been proven to decrease absenteeism and improve productivity.

10. Equip Your Office Right

Comfortable and pleasant atmosphere, correct supplies and decent everyday work equipment are some of the basic necessity that you need to take care of, to optimize the productivity of your office. Do not give your team any excuse to be inefficient. If the work atmosphere is airy, well lit and fresh, it creates a feeling of joy in the team. Output of such people is definitely going to be far better compared to others who work in some substandard office.

Only those employees go the extra mile for their customers and company who feel they are essential part of the team. When they are treated well, valued for their talents and given chances for growth, people get into an entirely different frame of positive mindset. This naturally helps to increase employee retention and increased efficiency in the company.

Related article: Best Ways To Retain Your Good Employees

How To Make Employees Accountable

Accountable

One of the most important aspect of management is to hold its employees accountable. If you are unable to hold employees accountable then be prepared to have a stagnancy in your business. For higher productivity in any organization responsibility has to be shared between all employees. Employees who are accountable will deliver on the commitments and those who are not will give excuses.

Task of a leader is clearly to hold his people accountable without resorting to aggressive methods that reduces motivation and further decreases performance. Keep in mind that most of the people want to remain responsible and achieve their goals. But many a times organizations gets trapped in the culture of mediocrity and most often it starts from the top. If the bosses tolerate poor results, it starts breeding the culture where employees lose their sense of accountability.

If you want your employees to be accountable take care of these few things:

1. Hire The Right People

Accountability starts and ends with the talent of the people we hire. Right from the beginning do not accept the culture of mediocrity and hire only the people with the best talents and skills. At the same time management will do them good if they don’t allow mediocrity in their senior employees too. If the new employee sees that everyone else at the job is working to best of their potential and are held accountable, they adjust to the environment accordingly. On the other hand the new employee who comes bubbling with enthusiasm and energy will quickly fizzle out if the culture of the organization do not reward merit of its people.

2. Define Expectations Clearly

It is known to all that communication is the key to productive workforce. Spell clearly to your employees, what are your expectations from them. When employees have a well defined job profile, their productivity takes a quantum jump. It is advisable that you get these expectations documented. Make it a two way conversation and let people write them down themselves so that they get full clarity. Ask them to give their own strategies and how they will judge their success. It will be useful if you make them understand how their responsibilities are in line with the corporate goals. When held accountable to specific and measurable performance employee motivation and productivity increases.

3. Supervise Regularly

Out of sight is out of mind, and it holds true for enhancing employee accountability too. If you don’t supervise regularly, not only your employees, but you also will lose sight of the goals. It is advisable to keep an eye on your employees on a consistent basis. Allow enough freedom to your employees that they make their own decisions in the areas that affect their work. Don’t define how you want a task to be completed but define what and why that is significant to the company. You need to be productivity focused while still allowing enough breathing space to your people that they enjoy their work and don’t suffer burnout. Don’t attempt to micro manage their affairs.

 

4. Reminders And Follow-Up

A good leader is like a gyroscope that is useful for maintaining orientation and direction. Whenever you find some of your employees are going astray, it is time for you to intervene. This require a lot of patience and practice. Remind them about the final outcome that is required and how they need to correct their behavior. It helps if you incorporate these reminders and follow-ups into a system. Periodic performance reviews are essential for increasing employee efficiency.

At the same time it is equally important that you make it clear that you also are willing to grow and change with them. Any critical feedback that you receive regarding yourself, should merit equal attention. Let your employees know that their opinion matters. Ask them how you could help them get to their goals. This culture of open dialogue and feed back will help the company in increasing accountability and continued development of the workforce.

5. Be Transparent

To maintain accountability in the team, leaders are required to be transparent about the responsibilities, success and shortcomings. Use data and analytics to hold your employees accountable. Workers should know clearly that they are judged against solid measurable data rather on the whims of bosses. A business that relies on analytics and intelligence always breed the culture of accountability.

6. Disciplinary Actions

There are situations when despite giving adequate opportunities, support and feedback there are some employees who do not correct their behavior. Disciplinary actions become necessary against such unproductive employees, though this needs to be the last resort for a great leader. When taking such an action, take care that you reprimand the employee for their unproductive or faulty behavior and do not say something against them personally.

An organization with the culture of accountability makes clear to its people the consequences of not being up to the prescribed standards. Disciplinary actions become necessary in many cases and you as a leader are required to make the company policy in such conditions very clear, so that people know that they are being penalized because they have failed to follow company norms. Once the norms are in place it is equally important that you don’t just announce but implement them too. For high efficiency get rid of lethargy in the employees and show that you are serious about the outcomes. Remember many a time it is not the people who we hire but people whom we don’t fire cause biggest damage to business.

These all steps work together to enhance the culture of accountability in the company. You as a leader must ensure that you follow all these to avoid a situation where team feels demotivated instead empower your employees so that they think themselves as the integral part of the company and take all the responsibilities for the desired outcome.

Related article: How To Motivate Your Employees

6 Pillars of Successful Business

Pillars

All successful businesses are based on the solid foundations of age old principles. New ideas, commitment, attitude and perseverance are all very important for the success and growth of the organizations. In the context of the challenges faced today, we need to shun the easy steps and short cuts. Today is the time for us to reinvent ourselves. For a successful and sustainable business we need to bring our focus to the core principles. We have listed here some important pillars of the business that you can take care of:

1. The Leader

Any business that goes on and become big and successful owes a lot to the man on top. Great leaders are rare and any company which is blessed to have a great leader at the top will succeed for sure. A leader is the visionary who sees in the future and gives a direction to his company. He is the one who create the big picture. The fundamentals and the values that company follows irrespective of the conditions and circumstances are the brain child of the leader. He is the one person who ensures that these set of values are not to be compromised at any cost.

He guides his team and develop success mindset in them. Leader has to be honest who is fully transparent in his actions and practices. The trust a great leader is able to generate in his people is the main driving force in the growth of the business. A leader who is firm, honest, visionary and lead by example is the great motivation for the employees who are prepared to give their sweat and blood to the organization. Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Leader

2. The Manager

A leader is one who is visionary but for the day to day working any business require to have the services of a good manager; A person who is responsible for the actual implementation of the strategies and vision as decided by the leader. The manager is the action man but he is more often concerned with the short term priorities of the company. He is required to oversee or administer the operations he and his team is responsible for.

A good manager should understand that he is measured more by his ability to get work done by the team than by doing the work himself. He is required to have the skills of genuinely praising the deserving person and effectively reprimanding their behavior (not the individual) if it is not aligned to the vision and policies of the company. He should have the necessary skill of delegation important work to his staff and then follow up on a regular basis to ensure time bound completion of the tasks. Delegation helps manager to leverage his resources and devote more of his time depending on the importance of work. Best managers are always proactive and have clarity of goals. They possess the essential 3 Qualities of an Effective Manager

3. Customers

Customers are the back bone of any organization. A business that does not take good care of its customers is doomed for failure. Keep in mind that it is all about them. For any company to be successful it has to see with the view point of its customers. Their needs and values have to be most important and it should be ensured that those requirements are met at very reasonable cost point. Stand out from the crowd and tell your customer clearly how your company is distinctly better in meeting their demands.

Every organization has its own customer base which has the capacity to make or break the company. It is always advisable to stick to your existing customers and think in terms of their satisfaction more before reaching out to the new customers and markets. Customers are most loyal to the businesses with which they can relate individually.

4. Treasury

Finance is the extremely important resource for any company to survive and grow. The strong treasury is the backbone for any organization. When finances are concerned remember bottom line or the profits are more important than the top line or the turnover. As the famous quote goes, ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity but cash is actual king.’ The liquidity or the cash position gives the company a tremendous edge as they are able to take advantage of any new opportunity that comes their way. If a business is not cash rich it will not be able to grow with these new opportunities.

A good business leader has the sense that they are not seduced by just the numbers but they keep a strict vigil on the actual profits and liquidity. Cash flow implications of any deal has to be very carefully worked on before starting and getting struck later in the cash crunch.

5. The Team

The team or the foot soldiers of the company who actually do the tasks are another vital pillar for the company. It is said that there is a difference between building a team and creating teamwork. A successful business will keep big focus on developing good teamwork. The team members should have the sense of unity and enthusiasm to make good of the opportunities that comes their way. When individual team members see themselves a part of a bigger unit they are able to create synergy where the sum is greater than the parts. When properly managed teamwork has the capacity to bring out the best in individual team members and increase the strength of the organization.

A good business ensures that its team members are taken good care of and they feel like family. A bonding has to be developed for higher productivity and response from the individuals. To develop this camaraderie and keep the team motivated, leaders need to make them feel secure in their job. Team members when they believe that they have the back of their management they get creative and their capacity to work with higher output increases.

6. Consultants

Another vital pillar for any business is the consultants it hires. Most of the time the managers of the company have a single way to look at the problems at hand. When a company hires outside consultants it brings in a fresh perspective to the table. The professionalism and competitiveness is increased.

Many a time there are some specific challenges and situations in the business for which there are no qualified people on the company’s payroll. At such time solution can be best provided by outside consultants. Also these professionals can give their expert opinions on the various ideas that are organically created in the organization itself. Management consultants can provide information and opinions that may be critical to the success.

Businesses in this age are constantly changing and the business owners have to remain totally alert to the these requirements, but if these few segments or the pillars are taken good care of, then success and sustainability of organizations is very much ensured.

Love Life Of Aquarius

Aquarius Love

Known as the house of dreamers and friendship, Aquarius born are shy and quiet but very energetic. They have deep feelings but are not very articulate and expressive about their emotions. They don’t rush into the relationship and tend to keep their lover at arm’s length. This may be their way to protect their feelings but it gives the other person mixed signals.

One of the most independent signs of the zodiac, Aquarius is a loner and quite unpredictable on top of that. They have conflicting character that not everybody is able to understand. Aquarius are free spirited and they get tremendous stress if they do not get adequate space and liberty. They love their freedom so they hesitate to settle down into traditional domestic bliss. Relationship for Aquarius is as much a mental thing as much it is physical. For them love is about meeting of minds and the ability of two people to get together when times are turbulent. Friendship has to be the key component of any romantic relationships for them.

Aquarius see world as full of possibilities. They believe in innovation and intellect of people. They have pleasant personality and have a large social circle. They have good vision to see into the future and to do the deep thinking, so required, they relish there alone time. But Aquarius can also be very sensitive and thus rarely get attached to their relationships. Only intellectual stimulation keep them interested.

The ruling planet Uranus give these people great intuitive skills but may also give them some eccentric side. They have a wide circle of friends. Aquarius love to socialize and are pretty good at networking. They love to be surrounded with people and are devoted friends. At the same time they read character instinctively and thereby can see through people easily. Due to this they are not in a hurry to settle into a relationship and at time even treat their suitors with apathy. They prefer the company of people who are intelligent and witty just like them. If you are in love with an Aquarius person then it is important that you take interest in their pastimes and interests. Do not push the relation and allow it to mature over time. Aquarius develop trust slowly over time that is why till they don’t feel comfortable they may seem just cold and detached.

Aquarius are not very articulate about their emotions but their mind is often bubbling with new ideas to do something unconventional and different. They would express their love by bringing originality to romance by buying gifts or with some interesting weekend get away.

Aquarius have a liberal attitude to sex and sexuality. They love the change and challenge the traditional ways even in the domain of love. They are not averse to affairs and one night stands. But once they find their heart’s desire, they tend to be quite faithful and possessive.

 

From the outside most of the times they seem quite frank and jovial but inside they are quite oversensitive and many a time they feel lonely in life. They get comfortable and compatible with people born under the sun signs of Gemini who themselves love variety and are unpredictable. Another good mate can be Libra having just like them the common trait of love for the physical beauty. A relationship with Leo can be fulfilling with mutual respect for the partners.

Related article: Love Life Of Capricorn

 

Rags To Riches – Phil Knight

Phil Knight

“Play by the rules, but be ferocious”

Born on February 24, 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Phil Knight is the founder of Nike. His success story is not exactly a typical rags to riches story. His father, Bill Knight was a publisher of Oregon journal and earned decent amount to raise his family providing all the basic comforts and education of his children, so Phil didn’t started as dirt poor but the success he achieved was not due to resources but because of his never say die attitude. As he said:

“Make history or be a part of it.”

Early Life

Phil Knight graduated from University of Oregon in Eugene and earned a master’s degree from Stanford. He completed a yearlong service in U.S. Army at Fort Lewis and Fort Eustis. Right from his youth he wanted to leave a mark on the world and as he wrote in his book Shoe Dog, he wanted his life to be play. In his final classes while studying, he wrote a research paper about shoes and soon it became an obsession for him. So much so that he decided to start a career in selling shoes for which he sold his car and got the rest financed by his father.

Career

Phil Knight gave wings to his ambition when he started importing tiger shoes from Onitsuka shoe factory in Japan. He initially named his company Blue Ribbon. For the first few samples he borrowed 50 USD from his father and started his company with his running coach Bill Bowerman as partner in April 1964 from back of his car. In the first year itself the sales were $8000. For Knight it was not selling but believing in the product. Blue Ribbon grew fast and within two years they opened their first ever retail store. During this initial time Knight attracted an inner circle of employees who were extremely dedicated and equally passionate like him about running and shoes. Though they were tight on budget most of the times, they were high on enthusiasm for what they were doing.

Ironically the banks did not want to finance him as the growth in the sales was fast and it impacted the cash flow. They wanted that he sacrifice growth and go for stability, an idea which never found favor with Knight. He used to say, “Life is growth. You grow or you die.” Since he did not draw any salary in first few years so that he didn’t became a liability on the Blue Ribbon, he worked part time as accountant at Price Waterhouse. This also helped him in learning how companies sold their things and what were the trouble areas. This education became very useful in running of his own company.

There was always a challenge that their supplier, Onitsuka was most often behind schedule for the deliveries and their first priority was their local market in Japan. At the same time they were looking to appoint some other distributor with more financial muscle. The problem grew severe and forced Knight to think about something that can end his dependence on the Japanese company and in such circumstances Nike was born.

Knight renamed Blue Ribbons as Nike after his Japanese suppliers went back on the agreements. He sourced other factories for quality shoes and poured all his expertise and innovation in the new brand. The company grew leaps and bounds due to dedicated and passionate employees and customers. By 1980 it attained 50% share of the U.S. athletic shoe market. On December 2, 1980 Nike went public. Today Nike has an extended product range including various sports shoes, apparels, sports equipment and street fashion.

Personal Life

Knight married his coworker Penelope Parks on September 13, 1968. The couple was blessed with two sons and a daughter, Matthew, Travis and Christina. In May 2004 his elder son Matthew died due to heart attack while scuba diving. Soon after Knight resigned as CEO of Nike on November 18, 2004. His younger son Travis is an animator and CEO of animation company and studio Laika.

Knight has been active as an philanthropist. He donated US$105 million to Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2006. In 2016 Knight-Hennessy Scholars graduate level program was started with his US$400 million contribution. He has also donated to Oregon University, UO Athletic Legacy Fund, Oregon Health and Science University

Knight has received several accolades for his philanthropy and other contributions in the field of business and corporate leadership. He has also written his memoir with the name ‘Shoe Dog’. In November, 2015 Forbes named Knight as the 15th richest person in the world. His net worth as of June, 2017 is 24.9 billion USD

Related article: Rags To Riches – Andrew Carnegie

The Power of Persistence

Persistence

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently – Henry Ford

Successful people are usually blessed with many qualities but the most important among them is the quality of persistence. It requires that one remain on course even in the face of all adversities and opposition, not to be demoralized by any difficulties or hurdles. Successful people never give up.

History is filled with people who failed innumerable times, but driven by their vision and passion they persisted against all odds and finally got the taste of success. Take the examples of Colonel Sanders, Thomas Edison, Howard Schultz, J. K. Rowling, Michael Jordan and many more like them. They all have one trait common among them and that is the power of persistence. These are the people who had the tenacity to stand up every time after repeated failures they faced, but they never accepted defeat rather they learned from them.

Here are some of the steps to develop persistence:

1. Set Clear Goals

At the very outset be absolutely clear about your goals. What is that you want to accomplish and even more importantly why do you want it? When faced with obstacles, which everybody does for sure, your reasons will pull you through. You need to have clear, unambiguous goals. It is always advised that you write them down so that you can refer to them on a regular basis, preferably daily. Your goals will act like the lighthouse to show you the direction during the storm of difficulties and adversities.

2. Plan Out The Path

Before you start with your task it is wise to have a plan ready. Planning beforehand prepares you for the efforts that you have to put in. When you are in the thick of the things and overwhelmed by the challenges, it is very difficult to think rationally but if you already have plans chalked out, it makes the job so much more easy. Keep in mind that there are always multiple ways, even thousands to do the same job. Be prepared, anticipate obstacles and have contingency plans with you in advance. Keep reviewing your progress analytically and adjust your approach accordingly. If you persist with your endeavor in this manner you will be successful, for sure.

3. Just Do It

Nothing could be said in better words than how Nike says it, JUST DO IT. Take action towards your goal without any procrastination or any fear. Nothing will be achieved unless and until efforts are done towards the fulfillment of your goals. It is always better to start with an imperfect plan and adjust it as you move ahead rather than not doing anything at all in search of a perfect plan. The world we live in is continuously changing and everyday there are new challenges and we need to adapt accordingly, so don’t wait, just make a start.

4. Develop Positive Attitude

Huge volumes have been written about the importance of the development of positive attitude. Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, positive thinking won’t let you do anything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will. Our attitude towards work determines our approach and efforts. If we are positive and hopeful, we will be more energetic and focused. On the contrary if we are fearful or think negatively we are sure doomed for failure. It is said that we become what we think.

5. Seek Help

There is no shame in asking for help. Seek advise from those who are experienced and have done it before you. You can save great time and effort if you get the benefit of other’s expertise. Bear in mind that you don’t need to invent the wheel again. Learn from other’s experiences or from books, this may give you a head start. If you get to know about their struggles and how they came through, it will give you great courage to persist when you face the difficulties.

6. Focus

One thing that has a huge bearing on increasing your power of persistence is your ability to focus. All activities that you do are not definitely productive, many things just keep you busy, and due to this in the long run you get frustrated when results are not achieved. Successful people persist because they have this unwavering focus on the goal. For your own benefit depend on the famous Pareto principle. It says that 80% of our results come from only 20% of activities. For significant success it is important that you find out what are your vital few tasks that gives you maximum quantifiable results. Stick to those vital tasks and success will be yours. As Dr. Steven Covey has advised in his book Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, to focus on the activities that are important though they may not be urgent right now. He described them as quadrant II activities. Learn how to make best use of 4 Quadrants Of Time Management  Make it a purpose to first focus all your time and energy on these vital few things.

7. Motivate Yourself

In your journey towards the goals, rest assured there will be some occasions that will test your patience. Develop the habit to motivate yourself with positive literature and affirmation to keep your morale high. Nothing can be accomplished with a demoralized spirit.

If you follow these steps, it will lead to the development of the power of persistence in you. Keep in mind that without persistence your achievements will be insignificant compared to your true potential. Failure is not a permanent state, if you have the tenacity to get back on your feet when life knocks you down with it’s challenges, then you already are a winner.

Don’t lose heart, don’t ever give up for you don’t know how close you might be to your goals.

Related article: How To Have A Winning Attitude

 

Love Life Of Capricorn

Capricorn Love

One of the most goal oriented sign of the zodiac, Capricorn take everything as a serious business, and for them personal relations are no different. They are careful with their affections and take a long time to open up, before showing their passion and charm. Capricorn in their heart knows that nothing comes to them easily, so once they have decided on their partner, they are extremely determined and with the persistence of a goat they climb towards the peak slowly and work to woo their chosen one.

Capricorn have a very strong sense of responsibility right from their childhood so for them, Love also is all about bond and trustworthiness. It is very important to them and their primary requisite in relationship is stability. They most often go for a long term relationship and cherish the trait of loyalty in their partner. They care a lot about their partner and would do anything to protect their loved ones from harm.

Guided by their element, Earth, Capricorn are rooted and traditionalists in general. They have respect for age, culture and success. They avoid taking risk and want to stick to tried and tested ways and people. Most often they will marry the person whom they have known the longest. They don’t go after the flashiest person in the party rather they look for someone who is intelligent and serious. They are homely people who don’t open up to anybody easily. On most occasions, it will be their partners who will make the first move.

Highly ambitious and self made, the Capricorn are status conscious and are attracted by rich and successful people. More often than not, they marry into wealth and power. They prefer the qualities of intelligence and character in their partner rather than looks. Capricorn are so much goal oriented that they want a partner who will share their goals and help them achieve success.

Capricorn many a times delay settling into a permanent relationship as they are very ambitious. People born under this sign have a strong mental force and have great motivation to succeed. They don’t like to commit till they get what they want to achieve professionally. They are practical people and very calculative. They believe that the financial and professional stability is the foundation of steady relationship. Their goal is to remain in control of everything from their surroundings, to career as well as their relations.

Capricorn is often seen as cold and unemotional but they do have a soft and gentle side to them, hidden inside that hard and stern outer look. But this gentle side will become visible only to those who gain access to their inner circle. Moreover this control on their emotions is a positive, in a way that they don’t have a bad temper and are usually not moody. Capricorn is not an extrovert and fun person to be with, but he is not a boring person either. They are delightfully charming, knowledgeable and intelligent. They are ruled by Saturn and may have a wild streak underneath their hard exterior. Quite often they are adventurous lovers in the bedroom.

Capricorn people are extremely protective of their family and friends, and have a warm heart not only for own people but in general towards other’s sufferings. They will remain very sympathetic, caring and helpful to others. Keen to own up their responsibilities and fulfill the aspirations of their loved ones, people belonging to this sign are the ‘rock’, that their family relies on. Capricorn desires to command respect and never try to dominate their partner. They are loyal and dependable, who rarely go into some kind of flirtatious relationships or one night stands.

Capricorn have a cool head with immense patience. With these inner strength, they try to hold steady the relation in the face of any crisis. Due to this they have compatibility with host of other zodiac signs, but they get along nicely with people under the signs of Cancer and Virgo. They also have more than decent compatibility with Aries and Libra.

Capricorn want to be winners in all they do and same holds true for their romantic relations. They find it difficult to cope up with a heartbreak though it may not be visible on their face. They can hold a grudge for long. A very important lesson for them to learn is to let go, relax and be selfless in love.

Related article: Personality Traits Of Capricorn