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.

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.

Why WFH+WNH is Touted to be the New Norm

Work Life Balance

28 May 2020

Why WFH+WNH is Touted to be the New Norm

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

The world, as we know it, is changing and the effects are going to impact us for a long time to come, especially how we work. With organizations already implementing Work from Home and other remote working options, the global work culture has largely changed.

As the initial brouhaha of the migration of the work infrastructure subsided, people are realizing the benefits of remote working. Despite initial physical and emotional adjustments with the new work practice, both companies and employees are now in favour of telecommuting.

Could this be the future of the workspace? And if yes, then how can companies/professionals manage their workforce remotely?

For starters, WFH does have multiple advantages like convenience, cost benefits, and needless to say, a better work-life balance. Studies have shown that a home office radically cuts down an employee’s monthly costs, including travel, meals, and office wardrobe. Imagine saving that entire percentage of your income and also being able to work in a space you are most comfortable in!

By saving the travel time, one can utilize the same for work or personal needs. Also, as you spend more time at home, it lets you spend more time with your family and yourself, without compromising on valuable work hours. It enhances the work-life balance that every professional struggles to achieve today.

However, it is not just employees but also the companies that benefit from the reduced costs. If a company has more than half its workforce operating out of their homes, it can cut down on its establishment cost by transitioning into a distributed working model. With reduced overheads, it will boost organizational savings, which could be redirected to developmental initiatives.

Along with major benefits, WFH does bring with it the issue of proper infrastructure and support that one requires to work effectively and smoothly; power outage, internet issues, connectivity issues, and not to mention, the lack of a professional office environment are a few issues that could be of concern.

Ergo, with the help of expert infrastructure partners, companies can provide the right tech solutions, IT support, connectivity, physical infrastructure that will help their employees work better, smarter, and stay productive. Organizations can have a multi-pronged approach of working at home, near home, probably at a nearby coworking space, and a head office as a viable solution. This will allow seamless remote working enabled by tech support and a fully functional office setup.

It is time we accept the fact that even if work-life resumes soon, it will never be the same. And even when we start exploring the outdoors, we will see the evolution of entirely new work culture of ‘Distributed Working’ – WFH + WNH (Work Near Home) + Office.

This newer model retains the practice of working from home, and yet allows professionals to be in a well-designed work environment, supported by proper infrastructure. It’s imperative that organizations assess their employee and managerial wfh sentiment and suitability to gauge the organizational readiness as a whole for work from home effectiveness.

Our latest product offering awfis@home is designed to cater to these organizational needs. It assesses employee, manager and organizational readiness, provides customized solutions for physical and IT infrastructure along with an integrated tech platform for employee management.

The impact of this all-new work practice could also go a long way in building a work culture that respects and encourages every individual’s needs, promotes trust within the team, sets clear expectations, and ensures accountability, by emphasizing more on communication than ever before.

Post lockdown, the new and improved is what we need to prepare for, for professional success, business growth, but most importantly, for the health of the society at large.

 

How is Generation Equality Shaping Modern Work Culture?

Work Life Balance

13 April 2020

How is Generation Equality Shaping Modern Work Culture?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

This year, for Women’s Day, UN Women had an interesting and stimulating theme called #IAmGenerationEquality. The celebration of the fact that the global community is becoming more and more equal becomes a big silver lining hope for the future. The impact of this generational shift can also be seen in patterns of employment, the evolving work culture and future development prospects.

Equal pay, equal contributions

The hiring process and pay scales are no longer based on one’s gender, skin shade, age or looks. Your work speaks for who you are, and that is all that should matter. Reports show that with time, the world has managed to take positive steps forward in eliminating bias based on stereotypes and pre-set norms. This has successfully contributed to an environment that lets everyone perform to their best abilities.

Increased perspectives, increased sensitivity

Earlier, ideas and actions were being governed and directed by members of a particular community. However, the shift towards a more group-dominated approach has benefitted businesses and individual growth immensely. Egalitarian work culture and team composition permit ideas and thoughts to bloom, exposing everyone to a wide variety of information. This not just ends up in profiting your business but helps the teammates look at things from different perspectives. A unidirectional view is no longer at force. It is all about teamwork!

Coworking culture: The future of ‘Generation Equality’

A coworking space becomes particularly helpful for women who are planning to start a business while keeping the costs low. The atmosphere set here, the entire coworking lifestyle harbours creativity and productivity, both centric to run a successful business.

How can you make your workplace more equal and sensitive?

Here is a checklist of a few steps one must actively practice and encourage:

1. Be cautious of the language that you use. Sometimes bias slips in during casual conversations.

2. Educate your support staff and help them get over stereotypes and biases.

3. Have an equality policy and assure your employees that unfair treatment will have consequences.

4. Celebrate people and their uniqueness to help them feel involved and valued.

5. Organize team-building activities to make your team bond and respect each other.

6. Say no to casual sexism. Equal respect for every team member is a must.

7. Be empathetic. People from different communities could be facing different challenges, make sure that you are listening to them and working towards finding solutions.

8. Give everyone a fair chance to speak. Nudge someone who you think is under-confident about speaking in a meeting.

9. Pay special attention while hiring. Make sure your workforce represents diversity.