Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2012

Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to everyone whose birthday is today. It only comes around every four years.

A special leap year birthday.

I wish all of you the best in whatever you do. Also a happy birthday message to my friend Ernie Chen over in Taiwan.

Ernie Chen, on the right, a fantastic guy.

–          Jahan Choudhry.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I’ve done it!

I stated I would write 34 blogs this month: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/target-34-posts-this-month/

In the process of doing so I’ve quadrupled my daily number of hits to the site.

I have achieved my goal of writing 34 blogs this month, a doubling of my 17 blogs from last month. I have as we say in business-speak “raised my productivity” by 100%.

You only get what you put in. Nothing comes for free, nothing meaningful that is. As I said in the beginning of this month: INPUT = OUTPUT. If you don’t work or do anything, you get nothing and if you work hard (doing the right thing that is) you will see the results. I was disappointed by the behavior of myself and others who upon a new year starting would be full of enthusiasm and resolutions, only for that all to dissipate within a few weeks if not days. I wanted to maintain the “New Year High” on to February, which I’ve done!

Happy 2012 by the way!

There are still 10 months left. Carry out your new year’s resolutions.

However though I have driven to my destination, the drive could have been far smoother. Though I got there in the end, I left it pretty late and had to end up doing 8 blogs in my final day, i.e. today. That should not have happened. I am at fault there and that will be something that I need to work upon.

I reached my destination, my target of 34 blogs this month, but the ride could have been smoother!

Image source.

I remember Jeyna Grace commenting on my blog and saying that 34 was a lot. However I’ve done it. For those of you who are interested, this is Jeyna’s blog: http://jeynagrace.wordpress.com

What am I going to do now?

I’m going to type one more blog, wishing certain people a happy birthday, as this only happens once every 4 years. Then I am going to start preparing for my trip to Malaysia, as I fly to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Image source. 

Thank you for reading.

–          Jahan

 

goldsher3 (1)

 

http://www.goldsher-jewellery.co.uk

Read Full Post »

In this blog I’d like to talk about USPs. Yes, I said USPs and did not mean to type a “B” instead of a “P”. I wasn’t referring to a USB port or stick, but mistakenly typed a P.

A USB stick.

 
USPs

USPs stand for Unique Selling Proposition. There are however other variants which basically mean the same things such as “Unique Selling Point”. So what are they?

A USP is the reason why someone should go to you, or buy from you and not someone else. To give a simple example there are two shops selling bread. Let’s be imaginative and give each of the two shops names, let’s call the first shop “Shop A” (very original, I know) and the other one, guess what what? Yes, you are right, “Shop C” (actually you were planning to say B and I knew that so I changed it to C).

Shop A: Sells brown bread.

Shop C: Sells brown bread.

Brown bread, with honey.

The prices are the same. The quality is the same. The service is the same. They are right next to each other, so the location is the same (* however believe it or not a “small” thing like that can make a huge difference, if shop A is on the right and there are more customers are in the right side of the street or neighbourhood, he will statistically get more customers, as people in general prefer ease and convenience even it means avoiding going an extra yard, this preference for easiness is also sometimes alternatively called “laziness”). Eveything about the two shops is the same.

Then one day Shop C stumbles on to a secret and exclusive supplier of white bread. He then starts to sell white bread in addition to the brown bread. Who will more people go to? Shop C obviously. The white bread is his USP. It is what makes him different to others, so that you will go to him. It is what he can give, that others can’t.

White bread, Shop C's secret weapon to triumph over his rival shop A.

 Image source.

USPs, especially in a competitive niche can be the be all and end all of certain businesses. Also even if you are successful, you may still need to create new USPs when new competition emerges. So for example, a new shop opens in the area called “Shop D” and it sells brown bread, white bread and donuts. Shop D will get more customers than A and C, so shop C selling white bread is not enough and he must seek another USP.

Donuts, which neither shop A or C offer thus drawing customers to a new shop, called shop "D".

Image source.

Your USP can be:

– Your price, you give great prices others can’t.

– Your quality, your quality is simply better than others.

– Your product (as in the example of the bread shops above) you sell something no one else can.

It can be many other things, even the fact that a famous celebrity, let’s say Tom Cruise, visited your shop and took a photo with you is a USP and believe it or not will influence people to visit you than others, since you have that extra “something”.

– Jahan Choudhry

Read Full Post »

Many of us have seen romantic movies or TV programmes where some of the characters may say lines like “stop playing with my heart, I love you” and other similar things. There is also another phrase which you might hear, which is “Don’t play mind games”. In this article I am going to encourage you to play mind games. Hang on Jahan! Are you going to tell us to mentally torture people, confuse them and toy with them? No, far from it. I would strictly advise against those types of “mind games”.

Audrey Hepburn in the Hollywood classic "Breakfast at Tiffany's", a tale of love and emotions.

 Image source.

Images from the classic film with satirical captions.

The mind games that I am talking about are of a far more benevolent nature and don’t involve you doing anything to anyone else or their feelings or their mind. I am talking about mental mind games to keep you mentally healthy and sharp.
 
 
Mental health.
 
Many of us attach importance to physical health. Many of you reading may be regular gym goers or do some other exercise. Some of you may covet having a “great body”. For women it may be curves, for men it may be having a six pack or great biceps.
 

Physical exercise should also be supplemented by mental exercise.

 
However whilst people do care about the way their body looks, they don’t care about how their brain looks. Why should people care about the way their brain looks? You may you ask this question. However as we age, we start to mentally age and we can even develop dementia and other problems. To protect you from that and generally just to produce the best from you, to make you sharp and be the best at whatever you do, be it a businessman, sportsman, professional, student, you should play “mind games”. These mind games can be things such as simple mathematical sums, puzzles, playing chess, answering riddles, anything that stimulates your mind and exercises it. I spoke about this topic before in this blog.
 
Neuroplasticity.
 
Just as we can change our bodies from being one shape to another (I do not believe in anyone being ugly, but just different shapes) so from someone who is obese (a medically recognized problem) to having a slim body with great curves or a six pack, we can also change the way our brain looks. This is called “Neuroplasticity”. Plasticine is that stuff some of you may have used in school to make things. You will remember it was very flexible and could be shaped. Neuroplasticity referers to how you can change the appearance and nature of your brain by exercising certain parts of it regularly. So for example when you engage in solving mathematical problems you exercise a certain part of the brain,  in the same way when you go to the gym you may exercise your biceps. In the long run, a “good looking” brain will not only make you the best that you can and help you to be the next Steve Jobs, but it will also help you against long term medical problems such as dementia or Alzheimers.
 
So in conclusion, do play mind games!

Read Full Post »

In this article I am going to write about facebook and it’s use for business and networking, and at times I will be brutally straight as I want to be authentic. In the long run people appreciate authenticity than standardized feel-good things which lack depth, realism or truth.

Facebook was originally designed for university students to keep in touch with each other and has now even become immortalized in the form of a film, namely “the social network”. Facebook also clearly state when you use their service that you should only add people that you know and they are very responsive to complaints of spam, abuse or unwanted friend requests. I think they have been very successful in that. By and large I find facebook a very friendly place, and this is when you bear in mind that the internet has all sorts of websites, hate sites, bitter arguments in forums, harassment and even emails with death threats.

However adding people that you have not met personally but whom both of you as consenting adults wish to communicate with and share ideas and other things would generally be regarded as fine. In “antiquity”, in the days before the internet (yes some of you may remember those long gone days) people would have “penpals”, people whom they would write letters to in foreign countries and become friends, sometimes even going and staying in each other’s houses. If you do not wish to remain in contact with someone whom you added for networking purposes, you can simply ignore them, remove them or even block them. Ultimately you could issue a complaint about them, not that it would ever become that serious with people seeking to network online for business purposes.

Penpals, more common in "antiquity" (pre-internet age).

 Image source.

I, as of today have 4,749 facebook friends (i.e. contacts) and you can check this if you go on facebook and type my name “Jahan Choudhry” as my entire facebook is open to the public.

Wow…amazing Jahan!…No not really

What an amazing “achievement” you may think. No far from it. Anyone and I literally anyone can do it. There are a number of ways. One is to join user groups where people seek to network and add people after a private message introducing yourself and requesting you to be able to add them.

My message was this: “Hello {name}, I am networking with new people online and would like to connect. Nice to meet you. Thanks”

That was it. Most of the time people on facebook are friendly, especially those who are deliberately seeking to network for business purposes such as those in things such as network marketing and respond positively. If they chose not to accept, that was completely fine and their personal choice. Don’t harass people or spam! I knew someone who was 20 and did not have a job and accumulated the maximum number of 5,000 “friends” far quicker than I did. He had no business, no money, no university degree, so this is something anyone can do, providing you do it consistently. Anyone can do it. I met someone else who is a visiting university lecturer and was a senior City of London executive who has far less than the first person, but who has achieved far more in real life and who has achieved far more than me as well.

Facebook allows you to add a maximum of 5,000 people, Myspace allows you tens of thousands!

How useful have I found it?

Out of the nearly 5,000 people who have added me (yes most of them actually added me as they saw I had lots of mutual friends of theirs, but the first 1,000 were mainly people I added. After that it took off by itself with users adding me, which is far better and avoids any warnings from facebook about unwanted friend requests), I have only interacted (not met) with two people whom I found quite helpful. The fact is unless you can help someone in some way, or give them something even if it is something interesting to read, you won’t be able to do much.

The benefits however are:

– You can “interact” with more people in a shorter time, than physical networking and going to events.

– If people like something you do or did, they can share it with others at the press of a button unlike meeting in a real event.

– It is free unlike a lot of physical networking where you do have to pay.

– Once you meet one good person they can refer you to others.

– You can learn lots of interesting things from links shared by others.

– If you comment a lot people will start to notice you more.

Disadvantages:

– There is often more of a real connection with in person networking. This is only normal and I believe is right. Anyone can be “anything” online. So the trust factor is an issue.

– With in person networking people are more likely to give their time or help with someone whom they can see than some anonymous person typing behind a computer.

– People will only readily gravitate towards you or help you, if you can help them, or if you are established. Success attracts people.

You can also create facebook pages for your company and business. Facebook is just one social media out of many that can be utilized. I myself, personally have not taken it that seriously after I reached my target of 1,000 contacts whereupon people then started adding me themselves. However I could have done more, if I established meaningful connections with people. Establishing a meaningful connection with people is more important. It is better to have 300 business contacts whom you can mutually help and have a sort of “friendship” with than 5,000 people who are just pictures and a name.

So why did I even go on facebook in the first place?

The answer is so that I could share my blogs with people. How useful has that been? Well in my best day I got 19 visitors to my blog from facebook, that is from around 4,700 facebook contacts. It may not seem like a huge sum, but as they say pennies make pounds and pounds make millions.  In the future I will share more information on how to utilize facebook for those wishing to use it for networking. I spend the majority of my time online, on my blog or other things and not facebook which is a very much side-thing.

Facebook to blog conversion.

As I said in the beginning of my blog I am here to provide authenticity and not false glamourous stories of glitzy success, however facebook can definitely be utilized more effectively than I have chosen to do it.

– Jahan Choudhry

Read Full Post »

I have done 30 blogs this month out of a grand total of 34.

Each blog must be a minimum of 300 words.

Each blog must be written in my own words with original, meaninful content i.e. no copy & paste or “paraphrasing”.

Let me just recap on the 9 blogs I have just done since my 20th blog which was this: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/my-20th-blog-this-month/

So here are they, the 9 blogs since then.

1st blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/some-books-given-to-me-by-a-friend/

Word count: 360

2nd blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/target-of-34-blogs-13-more-articles-in-3-days/

Word count: 365

3rd blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/self-accountability/

Word count: 712

4th blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/anchoring/

Word count: 536 words

5th blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/my-lucky-break/

Word count: 533 words

6th blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/i-have-written-5-blogs-in-one-day/

Word count: 383 words

7th blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/youtube-videos-2/

Word count: 579

8th blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/andrew-matthews/

Word count: 360

9th blog: https://jahanc.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/being-narcisstic-is-good/

Word count: 408

So in total that should come to an amount of 4, 236 words in the space of 6 words. I have 4 more left to reach my total of 34 which I have said I will do “by hook or by crook”. Now using such a term implies a degree of certainty, self-confidence or even perhaps downright arrogance and failure to actually do that will result in embarassment, which is partly one reason I actually boldy stated that. Self-accountability can sometimes means enforcing punishments or penalties on yourself if you fail to achieve your targets. In this context the penalty is that you, my reader, can locate the blog where I said I will post 34 blogs this month (4 left today) by “hook or by crook” and then say “You failed. You were wrong, despite your bold claims”. I think you would be perfectly entitled to do that. Sometimes criticism produces the best out of us rather than sweet compliments or nice words. The reason is obvious, because it allows us to know what our flaws are, rather than be oblibvious to them and then seek to fix them. So 4 more blogs left after this.

– Jahan Choudhry

Read Full Post »

Being narcisstic is good!

Being a narcissus is good!

I am proud to say that. I am a “narcissus”.

Actually led me qualify that, I am not a narcissus in that I think I am better than others or look down on them. In fact that sort of superiority complex is very dangerous and will most likely lead to life teaching us some humility. The term “narcissus” derives from a story in Greek mythology of a young man who was exceptionally good looking and ended up going to the river and seeing a reflection of himself, so enamoured was he with what he felt was the sheer beauty of his image that he stayed there, not leaving it and ended up dying and then being transformed in to a flower. I am a narcissus in the sense that I am a handsome Greek man, or a flower.

A narcissus flower.

So now you know that I am not Greek and I am not a flower, and you also know that I do not look down on others and in fact think it is, as I said “dangerous”, as I personally know some people who were arrogant and even internally looked down upon others only to be humbled later on in life and being afflicted with the same problems they had. How then am I am narcissus?
 
How am I a narcissus?
 
I am a narcissus in that I look at myself and appreciate myself. If a husband looked at his wife and complimented her on her beauty, and in no way disparaged others is there anything wrong with that? Far from it. So what if he himself looked at himself and thought he was handsome, or admired his positive qualities.
 
I encourage everyone to “accept” themselves for who they are (read my blog on self-acceptance) and to practise “abundance” (read my blog on abdunance) and celebrate themselves, praise themselves, admire the good qualities about themselves, whilst not:
 
1. Being blind to their faults and areas of improvement.
2. Looking down on others, or even being too concerned with them at all.
 
Many people feel unloved, have low self-esteem and seek to try and rectify this through external validation of others. No, don’t. First accept yourself, love yourself, admire yourself. So I am a “semi-narcissus”. I will elaborate more on some of the points in later blogs.
 
 
– Jahan Choudhry

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »