4 Must Read Books for every Entrepreneur

Work Life Balance

07 December 2016

4 Must Read Books for every Entrepreneur

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Entrepreneurs are always looking for mentorship. Books can be great mentors. They are written by leading experts or are about them. The inspiration that one can garner from good books is immense.

Here are four must read books for all those aspiring to start their business:

1. Zero to One

Author: Peter Thiel

zero-to-one-book-cover

“Creative monopoly means new products that benefit everybody and sustainable profits for the creator. Competition means no profits for anybody, no meaningful differentiation, and a struggle for survival.” – Peter Thiel, Zero to One

Optimism is required as a budding entrepreneur. This book has a great amount of it coupled with some great advice. Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal, in his book pushes an important concept: think for yourself. According to him, the world has reached a point of technological standstill where everyone is trying to better the same product or service and staying at 0. Rather, new inventions should be made by thinking for yourself so your company can go from 0 to 1.

Another concept covered in his book is that of a mini-monopoly. Before releasing your offering to the world, it needs to be established, accepted and made popular amongst a smaller community and niche market. One this small monopoly has been set, then only can you move on to the next level. Facebook would not be as famous if it hadn’t taken over the Harvard campus and if Zuckerberg hadn’t fixed the bug issues first.

This 200 page book certainly has the power to make you feel motivated to get started on your company right away!

 

2. Losing My Virginity  

Author: Richard Branson

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“I can honestly say that I have never gone into any business purely to make money. If that is the sole motive then I believe you are better off not doing it. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” – Richard Branson, Losing My Virginity

Richard Branson’s autobiography can make anyone believe that entrepreneurship is nothing but a fun, adventurous journey. His honesty about his personal life and humility about admitting that all the ideas were actually not his alone will leave you knowing him on a deeper level. He even admits that the name ‘Virgin’ was also coined by someone else!

Richard Branson has always explored avenues which have both fun and money involved. At the age of 16 and suffering from dyslexia, he found his calling as a businessman when he started his own school paper called ‘Student’. It survived until he realized that he was too dependent on the postal service. Moving on to his own music store, record label and then airlines industry, Richard Branson has always gone with his gut feeling.

His main motivation has not only been to have fun but also to prove the others wrong and show them that nothing is impossible. His biting adventure from surviving bankruptcy, opening businesses in exciting sectors to round the globe hot air balloon rides is extremely gripping.

This 600 page book certainly has the power to make you take calculated risks and just have fun!

 

3. The Obstacle is the Way

Author: Ryan Holiday

the-obstacle-is-the-way-book-cover

“It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life—that’s persistence.” – Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle is the Way

Many entrepreneurs feel fear in the face of obstacles. This book will melt away all your fears by giving examples of leaders who have been overcoming obstacles all their life. It will make your adversities seem like speed breakers as you read about the mountains personalities like Amelia Earhart and Steve Jobs needed to overcome.

Each chapter covers a business principle and an eminent personality who used this principle. There are many things to learn from the book. Change in perception by asking yourself and others what you can do in a situation where you may feel helpless to practising effective stoicism are some of the tricks you will imbibe.

This short book certainly has the power to help you face your fears!

 

4. Originals

Author: Adam Grant

originals-book-cover

“Being original doesn’t require being first. It just means being different and better.” – Adam Grant, Originals

A variety of thought provoking perspectives can be observed in this book by Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton University. His observations such as procrastination is the consequence of your brain’s need to improve the idea till the end is completely supported by Martin Luther King’s I Have Dream Speech and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Many such observations and learnings can be seen in his book. He believes that the status quo must continuously be challenged and improved. The world needs to improve.

He cites examples from politics, sports, business and entertainment. He teaches how to recognize a good idea and the fact that many ideas need to be executed in order to establish a business that is wildly successful.

This 300 page book certainly has the power to change your thought process!

These four books will help you face your fears, change your perception, take risks, have fun and get you motivated to start right away. Adding them to your library will be a definite value addition!

These 4 books can change your perspective towards handling your business. But a productive work space is essential for you to find your inspiration. Choose from shared office spaces across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

5 Work Practices that will Stay with Us Post COVID-19

Work Life Balance

27 July 2020

5 Work Practices that will Stay with Us Post COVID-19

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As the world order continues to change, pushing us to a whole new system of working, it has given rise to new trends and practices that will define the future of organizations. Employers will need to rethink operations with a new perspective, make it more purpose-driven, explore newer possibilities, and harness the potential of this new system to work and make it effective. From employee management to process planning, performance evaluation, and customer experience, major business functions are going to see a new day.

Some of the major long-term changes that are imminent are:

Being Digital-first

Businesses have been toying with the idea of transforming themselves to fit into the ever-expanding digital landscape. Now, it has become more of a need than a want. Particularly the customer-facing service industry has woken up to the critical benefits of being digital-first. By integrating cloud-based operations, process automation, machine learning, etc., businesses will not only improve their functions but will also manage their costs better, boost productivity, and balance human and tech resources.

Complete digitalization of day-to-day work practices will continue, whether it is in a physical or virtual office space. Daily functions like project management, customer/client interaction, evaluation, feedback, etc. will also see heavy usage of digital tools in the coming years.

Decentralized and distributed workforce

In the wake of the pandemic, businesses have learned that distributing your human resources will only make your business stronger. The virtual work environment will continue and provide more opportunities for temp roles, independent contractors, stay-at-home parents, etc., thus amplifying the culture of remote working. This will allow businesses to expand operations across geographies without any hefty establishment costs or entry barriers. Thus, the new workforce will be diverse in their skills and can support customer/client needs across different locations, eventually boosting production volumes.

Increased focus on employer branding

The new generation workforce seeks transparency, inclusivity, and security. And now more than ever due to a major health scare. Employees today want to be part of an organization that pays attention to their lives and not just job skills. Organizations which openly communicate about the physical and mental impact of the current situation will stand out to be the progressive ones. Focusing on establishing an employer brand that nurtures and nourishes its human resources, amid all odds, will also attract top talents when hiring and help retain them.

Transition from readiness to resistance

While operational efficiency is essential, resilience is needed to sustain the efficiency. And resilience comes from agility. As of today, companies that have made themselves adaptive to change are stronger than ever and are the ones who can thrive better in the future. The agility of business functions comes from cross-functional training and expanding skillsets of your workforce. There will be more emphasis on skill upgrade and flexible work practices so they can thrive despite disruptive scenarios.

Evolved work ethics

The pandemic has brought to light a lot of ethics concerns with respect to work practices, organizational decisions, and overall employer-employee experience. This has been a learning period for all, and organizations are now realizing its impact on the bottom line. In the coming time, we can expect to see more well-defined work ethics in terms of awareness and being proactive to health and safety, work-life balance, and improved organizational culture.

Some of these trends can be seen as an impact of current circumstances, while the others are only a step- up from earlier practices that were long due, only accelerated by the changing times. No matter what the cause, the effect will only be of an evolved work landscape.

How to keep your team connected when working remotely?

Work Life Balance

20 July 2020

How to keep your team connected when working remotely?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

In the wake of the global pandemic, many organizations are now working remotely from their homes. While the work environment has changed, the need to keep it running smoothly hasn’t. In fact, constant communication, especially within teams, has become more necessary than ever. Despite innovative tools and techniques, people still feel something is amiss in the new set up. Whether you are a seasoned remote worker or a WFH newbie, virtual team management could be a challenge and yet is vital to ensure that the new work setup is a success.

Here are a few tips to make your internal communication more effective and teams more collaborative.

Make the most of communication tools

While working from home, one of the major issues that both employers and employees face is staying connected constantly. Thanks to online communication tools that issue can be easily dealt with. As of today, almost every office operation can be managed using collaborative tools for project management, communication, meetings, and more. You might not have the flexibility to talk across your desks and get an instant response, but you can still recreate the same system using instant group messaging tools like Slack and Google Hangouts. To make the most of team meetings, use video calls and conferencing apps instead of audio-only options so you can maintain your original team environment.

Be responsive at all times

Whether you are a team lead or manager or just a team member, being responsive is vital to stay connected to your coworkers and ensure that work is flowing smoothly. However, since WFH keeps you away from a visible office environment, it can make you lax. To avoid that, be online at all times and respond to queries and approvals instantly, so your team knows you are around and available. It also helps in resolving issues and addressing problems without any time lapse.

Set meeting schedules

WFH or virtual office is still pretty new for a lot of people. To streamline the workday, it is important to set a schedule and maintain a routine, just like you would in a physical office space. If you used to have a daily team meeting at the start and end of the day, then continue to do so, only inform your team in advance and stick to the set times, unless, of course, there is an emergency.

Be proactive

Being proactive is the key to an organized work practice but more so when you are away from your team and other coworkers. When taking breaks, inform your team members, so everyone is aware and know when and when not to expect you. Encourage the same from other team members as well.

Be inclusive

Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation. People might be working remotely, but they still have the need for socializing and sharing their day-to-day events. Encourage people to interact with their work buddies as much as possible. If feasible, plan group lunches on a video call and use the time to talk about things of common interest and bridge the gap that often comes with a virtual work environment. From problem-solving to brainstorming creative ideas, do it as a group, and bring the human touch to your team communication.

Making your team members feel connected and included at all times, especially in these challenging circumstances, would only ensure better coordination and thus higher productivity.

6 Must-Have Remote Work Tools to Help You Work Seamlessly from Home

Work Life Balance

24 June 2020

6 Must-Have Remote Work Tools to Help You Work Seamlessly from Home

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

Although the idea of virtual office space and remote working is no unicorn in the professional landscape, the Coronavirus pandemic has pushed us to adopt this culture more widely and seriously. And now that it has become a norm, it’s important to master the practice and use the right tools to increase productivity and continue to work efficiently.

Here are some of the best remote work tools to have:

TeamViewer

If you need basic desktop access, this is the perfect tool to use. With instant file transfers, clipboard transfers, and video-enabled interactions, you can easily replace your physical office space. Maintain social distance and yet be present for your team. TeamViewer is available for Windows, OS X, iOS, Linux, and Android, and it is free for personal use.

Slack

Contrary to its name, this communication platform will never let you slack on your work updates. You can create workgroups, lock confidential messages, alter message retention for security, and integrate it with your Google Drive, Dropbox, and Mailchimp for instant file transfers and uploads. It also allows you to enable instant notifications on your email or phones while you are away from your work desk.

Zoom

Video conferencing is now made easy with apps like Zoom. It is best for teams that require frequent meetings. It’s an open-source app, available for all devices, so you don’t have to spend a dime. You can enable chats while conferencing and ensure 360-degree communication. Zoom meetings are now password protected, which makes it more secure than ever.

Drawpile whiteboard

Sometimes, while briefing, it is easier to draw it out than talk or write. Whether you miss scribbling notes in a meeting or pen down creative ideas, Drawpile lets you present your thoughts graphically. It also fulfils the need of a whiteboard in a meeting room. It’s real-time, allows collaboration from other connected users and is great for designers, planners, and work that requires artistic application/visual presentation.

Basecamp

Ever since it was launched, this web-based project management platform has been a go-to tool for people working virtually. With key features like task management, instant messaging, email, team collaboration, file sharing, message scheduling, creating reports and more, it makes your day to day office tasks easy and efficient. For an annual cost of $99, and available for unlimited users, Basecamp also makes it worth the investment.

Toggl

While instant communication and seamless project management are essential in a virtual workspace, it is also important to keep track of how everyone is utilizing the available time. Toggl works as a time tracker to assess the work hours spent and find out how productive you have been. It is great for time-bound projects, and it’s a free tool, available for all devices.

Whether you are working out of your home office space, or in a co-working space, these essential work tools and software will keep you connected to your teams and make your remote working as much effective as the physical one.