Thank you for Changing my Life

Swash.JPGAs an entrepreneur, I started a company called SWASH (Skills, Wit and Attitude are shaped here) in 1997.

I designed a few courses to help children, adolescents and professionals to build confidence, ignite their motivation, and hone their public speaking skills. Apart from life skills and soft skills enhancement, I offered them my eyes to observe their heartfelt emotions, my ears to listen to their unsaid stories and my shoulder to lean on in distress.

Having trained thousands of participants in last fifteen years, I felt like asking them if SWASH still meant something to them. Three days ago, I closed my eyes and tried to remember as many names as I could from various years (from 1997 – 2007) .

I wrote around thirty names in under five minutes and posted a small note to them on Facebook. (I searched twenty of them on facebook, sent a friend request which was accepted within a minute. I was already connected to the rest)

In the note, I asked them:

  1. When did you join Swash (at what age) / What were you doing at that time?
  2. Do you remember how you felt at Swash? Do you still follow what you learnt?
  3. Do you honestly believe that a guide/coach can influence you forever?
  4. Did I touch your life, enrich it in some way or waves of time have wiped off all of it?

I wrote it because I missed my students so much. I wrote it because I wanted to know if life coaching really helps.

To my surprise, I received sixteen responses immediately which were all liners like

“I cannot forget you ever Ma’am”

“You are the best mentor I ever got, thank you for making me feel special once again.”

“A Pranam and a big hug to you, Madam”.

They all promised to send detailed answers (already got 5 this morning) but their immediate responses warmed my heart and nourished my soul.

Have you ever felt the same warmth and contentment?

It doesn’t hurt sometimes to ask your loved ones what you mean to them.

Swash

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook

Also read her best articles here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Start up called Marriage

MarriageEveryone is raving about startups as the new poster event to cling to.

We have always been aware about our problems. As we are running out of options, we have to try find smart, new solutions to the weary, nagging old problems.

The new start up Gods are emitting gyan – Be passionate about your idea, give it everything and take risks. If you fail, laugh at yourself and pine for more passion next time.

A start up is defined as an undertaking that has recently begun operation, is working to solve a problem where success is not guaranteed.

A marriage is pretty similar to a start up when two cofounders walk down the aisle or take saath pheras. The cofounders try to find the solution to the oldest problem – how to find love, how to keep falling in love with the same person over and over again, how to stay happy & enriched as scaling up happens with children coming and expectations rising.

The startup called marriage has cofounders who are the main investors and prime customers too. With passion, perseverance and patience, the cofounders can reduce the failure rate of this startup.

This startup is unique as the success rate is highest in the first go. Roughly, 40% of first marriages go kaput in the US, while nearly two third of second marriages and three fourth of third marriages fail. Interestingly, in business start ups, likelihood of a second startup to succeed is more than first and a third start up has more chances to succeed than the second one.

Though it is difficult to get this data in India, it would certainly be a pleasure if the success rate of first startup in marriage remains high. (According to www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-12094360 the divorce rate has doubled in India in last five years)

Borrowed from Business start ups, some mantras for success of this startup called marriage are:

  1. Team First, Ego Last: Both the Co-Founders need to remind themselves that they are a team with collective interest and individual egos need to be cut to right size. Every individual is opinionated and self contained these days. If they are marrying late, the personalities are rigidly chalked out and there is little space for flexibility and adaptability. As they are high on financial independence and low on time and patience, building up team spirit is difficult. Unless a marriage startup decides to work as a team, the failure is round the corner.
  1. Innovation and Vision: Before starting, the Co-Founders or Partners need to ask themselves – what makes them click together? Can they visualize a long term future?

The stereotypical marriage in India with strict role boundaries like a homemaker woman and a breadwinner husband needs an overhaul. Excessive expectations from one partner in a marriage do not work anymore. A serious innovative upbringing is required by parents especially for boys who cannot expect their would –be- wives to look after them as kids. A balanced upbringing is needed where the girls and the boys are taught to shoulder domestic and professional responsibilities equally, where parents of both cofounders are equally respected, where aspirations and ambitions are equally welcomed. A change in the mindset regarding expectations from marriage will be a bigger innovation than an uber or a flipkart.

  1. Conscious Scaling up: Though businesses consider speedy scaling up as a customary sign of growth, we see quick cash burning and a super quick folding of businesses too. It is very important to scale up after putting conscious thought into it.

To scale up a marriage is to have children or start a business together or getting into activities that require complete involvement and investment into each other.

Both the partners should ponder:

  1. Do we want children and are we ready to become parents?
  2. Are we ready to pool in our financial and emotional resources to build something for lifetime?
  3. Are we ready to meet new challenges everyday which might try our patience and mutual trust?
  1. Meet the Mentors: Incubators, accelerators, angel investors, venture capitalists guide the start ups through their immersion programs and investment. They provide significant help in energizing the start up ecosystems.

Similarly, it helps to take guidance from counselors, like minded groups, parents (if their startup was successful) and senior happy family owners. It is always better to prepare for the new roles – of a spouse and eventually, perhaps of a parent. When we prepare for every test, every interview, every start up meet, why not prepare for these roles that we would play for lifetime.

Observe the veterans who have been betting successfully on the marriage pitch for years, talk to happy parents and content grandparents who have invested themselves consistently into their family accounts.

  1. Create a Culture: Culture refers to the ideas, customs and social behavior of a particular person / society / organisation.

Each organisation believes in some fundamental values, core principles and acceptable norms.

Each marriage should gradually build up a cumulative deposit of knowledge, experiences resulting into formation of beliefs, attitudes and values to grow into a family with valuable, dependable, social relationships to bank on.

It will be heartening to see more of these startups succeed.

Startup

References:

  1. http://www.ndtv.com/offbeat/this-startup-bets-up-to-10-000-that-your-marriage-will-end-badly-1256309

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Dr. Swati Lodha is an Author, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Parenting expert based in Mumbai. Having written Bestsellers like Come on get set go  &  Why Women are What they are, her book on Parenting will be published soon. Currently, she is running Life Lemonade which offers unique Training Programs on Life Transformation, High Performance Leadership, Women Issues and Parenting.

Connect with Dr. Swati Lodha on Linkedin, Twitter @drswatilodha Facebook 

Also read her best articles here!