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Of the last decade and the next

So I turned 30 just 2 days  ago; and I’m writing this post talking about what my 20’s turned out to be like and what I’m committing to in my 30’s. More than being a post, this is a dedication to a lot of people who made the decade what it was suppose to be. I know that the last decade has been great because when I sat and looked back at it I realized that not once did I get the thought of “I wish” it was different or I had done it differently. I was happy looking back at the last decade because I realized that everything that I have done in the last decade, I did because I wanted to do it. I was not forced or rather I did not let anyone force me into doing anything that I did not want to do and honestly, that is what being in your 20’s is all about. It’s about putting ourselves in a position of owning everything we do – the decisions, the mistakes, the failures, the successes, the journey.

I consider myself lucky because I had the right people around me by the time I turned 20. I had friends who did not just hang out with me to have fun but spent time with each other knowing our dreams and do what ever little was possible on pushing each other towards achieving them. I had the freedom from my family to make my own mistakes, learn, do better and achieve success. More importantly, I had a mentor just before I turned 20, the person who introduced me to NLP, a tool and set of skills that would give me the ability to change and design my own life. My mentor actually helped me realize what I truly wanted for myself and then coached me to have the courage and ability to do something about it. I remember when I had just started Sankalp Academy with my wife and then girlfriend Kiarha, Ashlesh (my mentor) took a walk with me and told me “there will be times where things may not seem to work and achieving your goals or dreams may seem really hard, You just stay at it and I know you will find a way to make it work, Just stay at it!” If it were not for those words, then Kiahra, myself and the academy would have never been able to come this far. My mentor gave my past decade a brilliant kick-start and along the way I met many more people who kept pushing me forward. Whenever I needed something, I had someone around to help me with it. When I doubted my capability, my sister Priyu made me realize and believe that I could actually do anything very effectively and powerfully. When I felt down and lacked strength, Kiahra showed immense amount of patience in giving me the support and strength to bounce back, when I behaved like a victim, my friends Varun & Swati kicked my butt.
When I started Sankalp, I did not even know how to send a good professional e mail and my friend Niki always came to my rescue. Niki even designed our first logo, our first letterhead and our first certificate template. Now you know why I consider myself lucky.
There are a lot more people to acknowledge but that would require a lot more posts. However, a loud shout out to my mentor Charles for making this journey even more effective and a lot of fun and of course to mum and dad for having the faith.

Coming to a very important point, I had stepped into my 20’s with a clear outcome. It was not about all the clichés like just make money, buy a house, a car etc etc. it was about making a name, an identity by making a difference and I am so happy and content that I was able to do that. I got listed as an expert on entrepreneurship & leadership in many publications, got good media visibility and acknowledgement and also authored a book that became a best seller. I had heard many times before I turned 20 that the 20’s would be about making a name; you can make all the money in the world as you keep growing but your 20’s will be about building character. I’m glad I focused purely on that and everyone around me helped me keep that focus. Of course they were a lot of challenges in the journey, but that is what made it better and made me better. If it were not for the people who let me down and made my life hard, I would have never known how strong I could be. So even to them, thank you for being there and playing the role that you did, for it has helped me be more, do more & achieve more.

So for any of you who are in your 20’s now, make this decade of your life about building character. It will turn out to be better than what you can imagine. Purely speaking out of experience ☺.

Now coming to the next decade. I surely have a lot more roles to play now than I did when I turned 20. I’m a husband, a father, a mentor, a consultant and a lot more keeps getting added to the list. Instead of listing down my dreams and goals for my 30’s, I’m just going to share the out come. Since my last decade was about making a difference it only makes sense for the next one to be about making a mark and facilitating growth. I don’t hope but I know that I will bring immense growth and I will create impact and leave a lasting mark on a lot of lives this decade. This decade, I will be a role model for I have a lot of people counting on me to grow and add value. This decade I will make you even more proud not just as an entrepreneur, a leader or a mentor but as a person. Many people have played great roles during my last decade and a lot of them will play even bigger roles in my next one.

The last decade was great and I’m all geared up for the next one!

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Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs make in Sales

Over my two decades of experience in sales, I’ve worked in various industry verticals

interacting with different circles of people. It all summarises to a simple fact that you are either selling a

product, service or a concept. We ought to realise that selling is not just a commercial

activity, there is much more than price, payment terms and delivery!

Sales is an important activity that every business owner has to recognise and acknowledge.

It is not the last stage in the business. You are in business because you have sales!

We all have heard the famous maxim: “A greatest sales person can sell a refrigerator even to

an Eskimo”. Well this is the old theory! The current world demands; “You have to sell what

the customer wants, and not what you have!”

Business owners and organizations have to change the way they handle customers in

today’s highly volatile market. The old techniques of selling are changing and the

organizations have to be innovative and think differently from competition to sustain the

onslaught of the business.

I have collated certain essential selling ideologies that most sales people and sales

organization either get incorrect or don’t implement:

1. Not selling the solution

Individuals and companies buy products/services only with the sole intention to solve their

problem or improve productivity. Sales people spend too much time on the offer rather

than assuring the customer what the product can do for them and how it will benefit them.

When you sell the solution, the product or service gets sold automatically.


2. Excessive dependency on the “sales presentation”

I have seen sales people spend hours creating colourful presentations with data, graphs,

charts and then become so dependent upon the slideshow and other details, that they are

no longer aware of vital buying signals the prospect is demonstrating. Remember personal

meetings are an opportunity to build the rapport and not to demonstrate one’s

presentation skills. Personal meetings can take your business to the next level based on how

you build your rapport.


3. Price is not the deciding factor.

I have not come across one customer who selects a product/service just because it is cheap!

No one buys a price, ever! I have been in sales my entire career and have seen customers

use the term “your price is high” just to buy time or to gain advantage on negotiations.

There is no such concept as “higher price” or the “least price”. It is just the “right price”. So

don’t be jittery when someone says your price is higher. Take that objection as a step closer

to closing the sale.


4. Overlooking the influencers

Are you barking up the wrong tree? One mistake many times we do is to put too much

attention on the decision-maker and missing the influencers. You will agree that most of the

decisions are based on certain influences from others. Ask the customer, "Who else other

than him will influence decision making or that you would like involved?” Find out why they

are important to the decision and what is most important to them. Always remember, two

heads are better than one!


5. Not knowing the customer well

Although business happens between two companies, in the deeper context, the business

actually happens between two individuals. You are selling to the person first and then to his

company. Hence, one of the primary determinants of success in sales is to be

knowledgeable on customer likes, dislikes, and preferences. Building a rapport with the

customer and continually using exploratory queries to find out more about them can help

you find a common chord. This is foundation of great relationship building, which can

ultimately help you close the sale.


6. Not updating skill sets

What sells today is obsolete tomorrow. During my mentoring sessions, I find that

entrepreneurs invest very less time to update their skills sets. Self-development can be

possible only through books, articles, videos, podcasts, or attending professional sales

training. Successful sales professionals attend sales seminars and workshops and make it a

habit of reading about sales practices on a regular basis. Reading newsletters and visiting

websites that help in improving the selling skills is also a healthy practice to follow. In the

present age of information and technology, the customer is well informed and aware about

your competition more than you know. Hence be well informed.

Selling is not an Art! It is Science!!





You can contact Ravindra on

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The Importance of a mentor in your life

I grew up hearing to the sloka “Guru Brahma Guru Vishnu Gurudevo Maheshwara” which in Sanskrit meant Guru is in all forms of god. During my early education I lived up to learning from every teacher and had high respect for each of them. The key to learning is an open mind and hard work. So, I did both which helped me get knowledge powerful to lead a life. I had amazing teachers and my respect to all of them through all phase of life. But since I am sharing about a mentor, there is very key difference between the two.

Key difference between Teacher and a Mentor

– Teachers are instrumental in imparting knowledge which is key to be aware about the subjects in life but a mentor makes you take action on the knowledge to let you have experience of your own to lead

– Teacher shares the content so you understand, but a mentor will ask you to give an example of your own.

– One Teacher will teach a group of students, but a mentor does it one to one.

– Teaching is a job, but mentoring is a role with responsibility.

– Teacher will give you grades but mentor will bring out all the shades in you.

So, through my journey of starting 2 business ventures Honeymoon Havens and MarkYourTrails, I learnt the importance of having a mentor in life. Its been a roller coaster ride for last 5 years and I must admit everybody needs a mentor for sure. So, for all those who looking to have mentors would suggest its key to have right mentor.

– He who can understand you completely.
– He who is not making you feel comfortable but is focused to create results for you.
– He who makes you do more than you can think you can.
– He who will make efforts to evolve you through a process than just talks.
– He who speaks less and make you do more.

So, go out there and make a decision of having a mentor who can help you walk the path to reach your goals. All the best..!!! Learn, Experience, Succeed.

Chetan Yallapurkar
Honeymoon Havens &

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Does Being A Topper Take You To The Top?

Being a topper my entire life, I have indeed made me and my parents proud. But at one point in time, I had to ask myself, “Is this all what you are?” I had never stepped out; I had always been surrounded by my school books, tuition classes and lecture notes. Stepping out for me happened when I first attended a workshop on NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP) after which I was able to get a glimpse of what life could be outside of academics. NLP gave me the power to tap into my own inner true potential. Understand that uniqueness in me. I had just started going for fests when I learnt NLP and it helped me grow immensely by leaps on bounds as a confident individual. I became more powerful and confident while on such competitions. My journey that began at the first NLP workshop ensured that I was no more…just the topper in academics. I discovered a whole different side of me that had so much to offer me…other than academics. I discovered Photography, Festing, Dramatics, Nature, Adventure, Languages, Writing and Coaching were things that made me happy. Things that gave me power and a true feeling of accomplishment.

This was when I had the real answer to the question, “Does being a Topper take you to the top?” It didn’t! Stepping out and understanding the real me, things that actually connect with me, things that I know I’m happy doing, those are the things that indeed took me to the top. I was no more under the false impression that marks were everything. This one decision of mine to step out and work on my personal development has worked wonders for me and today, along with being an avid photographer, a nature & adventure enthusiast and a pursuer of languages, I also am a topper and I truly feel that I am at the top … in the actual sense!

It is high time everyone understands today that getting the best scores in class, obtaining a bachelor’s with distinction and completing a master’s from a world class university isn’t what’s going to make one the best. In fact, if you look at most of the successful people today none of them were toppers in class. All of them started young and most were dropouts. Look at Bill Gates, Steve Jobbs, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson, every one of them were dropouts. None of them bothered about a typical school education and they stepped out. I don’t expect you to dropout. Warren Buffet didn’t but he stepped. He bought his first stock at the age of 11. He started young. I started at 16, you can too!

Let me tell you, it is completely in your hands to step out, grab opportunities of growth and development and be open to learning. This is what will take you to the top. So when do you think is the perfect time to step out? I’ll answer that for you. NOW! Don’t stick to the routine. Do what you love and you’ll be happy!

To all parents out there, is your child actually at the top? It’s time for you to allow them to take the first step towards doing what makes them happy and powerful! I’m sure you don’t want them to be at the top of a delusional mountain, right? You want them to be successful in life and have a great future? Correct? The encourage them to step out and grab that future. Now! 

Sagar R Gangwani

Ideation Coach.

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Take it on your EGO!

Every teacher was once a student. Every professional was once an amateur. Every champion was once a novice. And every winner was once a loser.


Loss, failure and rejection are all part and parcel of life. All inevitable. But staying down and bouncing back is not. Every successful personality knows that you fail a lot more times that you succeed. And during times of failure people take a decision. A very important unconscious decision of either staying down or getting back up and fighting. But some people take this decision to a whole new level… of not just overcoming the failure but completely turning things around for themselves:


Amitabh Bacchan, for example, a man who is loved for his voice was once rejected by an All India Radio Station because they did not like his voice. Today he holds a Trademarked Sound to his voice.


Michael Jordan, who didn’t make it to his high school basketball team ended up becoming the greatest player of all time. Today he’s not only the greatest, but also a self made Billionaire.


The Beatles, who were rejected by a recording studio because the studio believed their music was “not in time” ended up selling over a 100 million copies of their music. Today they’re considered the best band to have existed.


All these people failed initially. Some of which might have been major setbacks or even breaking points for some people. But these guys all had something common that made them who they are in our minds today… EGO. Each one of them had a certain attitude to deal with what was flung at them. Without this attitude, none of these winners would’ve become winners in the first place, they would’ve stayed as losers. Their ego is what set them apart and helped them rise from the ashes and conquer the world.


Now call it arrogance or attitude… it is all at the end of the day linked to ego. And if these leaders hadn’t taken their losses, rejections or failures to their egos, we wouldn’t have even heard of their names.


So next time life throws something unexpected  at you, shove it all back with your ego. Because it’s one of the best boosts available. And remember… it is not a bad thing taking losses to your ego. It’s exactly what will set you apart from the rest.


Maanav Kapai – Adventure Coach


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Leadership – The Badass Way

Leadership is often associated with the protagonist in any story. These traits are developed by getting inspired by various ‘Heroes’ if I may call them. However, after thinking about this for a long time, something crossed my mind, “Is being a Leader only about being on ‘the good side?’ Is it always inspired by positive stuff? Can only ‘Heroes’ have the spark of leadership within one?”….Maybe not!

So it’s time we re-look at a few badass villains – who though were defeated, did have something that kept them going! Yes, that’s what I want to pick up from them; ‘Being Badass!’ Here’s a list of the villains that I learnt from:


  1. Cruella de Vil – Dalmatians: She was indeed a mean witch and did a lot of bad stuff to the dogs there but on the flip side what I admire about her is her urge, her obsession and the rush she had to be the best one and get the best things in life. Her craving for Dalmatian fur coat, though weird, is interesting. I think this is one quality all leaders must have – the rush and the urge to get the best.







  1. Megamind – Megamind: Apparently an intelligent alien super-villain, Megamind continuously kept being defeated by Metro Man, time and again, but not once did he give up! He comes up with idea after idea and determinant, he fought against Metro Man. Now that isn’t the actual point here. What I picked up from Megamind was actually over a conversation with my mentor about how important it is to have Flair! And hands down, one of the best villains to model for flair has to be Megamind. According to him, what separated a Super Villain from any other lay villain was…..Presentation! Have you developed your own flair? If not, give this a thought!



  1. Mother Gothel – Tangled: An exceptional influencer is what I see in her. How easily she is able to influence her adopted daughter, Rapunzel, just by singing her the song “Mother knows best”. In my opinion, leaders must have this ability to understand and influence peoples’ thoughts and the situations around to get the best possible results.






  1. Maleficent – Maleficent: Even after delivering a curse on Princess Aurora, she herself freed her from the curse, and at the end of the day, someone who Aurora thought was the ‘good guy’ turned out to be the actual ‘bad guy’ (King Stefan). In Leadership, there are always two sides to the coin; there’s always another point-of-view. Your perception of the truth cannot be the absolute. As a Leader, it is important to be aware of both or rather all the possibilities.



  1. Felonius Gru – Despicable Me: Gru, the most loved Villain heads the entire troop of the Minions, to whom, he is God! Everything Gru did, right from adopting the girls, to stealing the moon and even battling out Vector; the Minions were by his side whenever he required so. As Leaders, one thing that stands out is the ability to ask for support whenever necessary. Gru never shied away from doing so and thus was able to gain tremendous support from his Team; and in doing so not only did he achieve a lot, but also had great fun!




  1. Sher Khan – The Jungle Book: Despite being born with a crippled leg, Sher Khan has pride and regards himself as the rightful Lord of the Jungle. In my opinion, this pride and ego is required to a large extent to be successful! He would’ve never got so close to Mowgli if he wasn’t that proud. Having pride is often misunderstood as a negative quality. Pride isn’t negative, misuse of it is. Pride helps a great deal in shaping what you think about yourself.




  1. Hopper – A Bug’s Life: This guy is truly interesting. He plans ahead. He knew very well that the ants would easily out number all grasshoppers in the colony. He had already taken into consideration everything that could possibly go wrong. He planned ahead. This is what I admire about him. A leader must plan ahead. Have various ideas in mind and explore all possibilities. Every one of them might not work but that’s where your flexibility comes into force! Plan ahead but be flexible in the plans!


These were just a few of the defining qualities of these villains that inspire me and the list just goes on to include Scar from the Lion King, Kaa from The Jungle Book and so on!

Leadership is about experimenting and that is best seen in these villains. Yes, those who try to be Badass! Pick on the one quality that they obsess about that makes them who they are. Makes them a leader that has others falling in line. That’s what got them at the top of the pack !


Learn it …the badass way!

Sagar R Gangwani

Ideation Coach

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The Importance of Visual Content in Business Today

A few days back my external hard drive containing important data relating to my scripts crashed. All I did was just see a video – ‘HOW TO RECOVER DATA FROM HARD DISK’ on YouTube and easily recovered my data from hard disk in no time!

That’s just a simple example of the power of visual content in our day to day life.

Even in the business marketing world, visual content plays a major role in the success of one’s business. No business today can be successful without involving visual content as their major marketing strategy.

So why should we align ourselves to visual content?

To answer, we need to know that there are 3 types of learners :

  • Visual learners – learn by seeing
  • Auditory learners – learn by hearing
  • A mix of styles

Research has shown that we remember visual images much easier and better than just words and hence, the largest portion of learners are Visual Learners.

So in this digital world, visual content is dominating over text in marketing one’s business or product.

What are the kinds of visual content used in marketing?




4.COMBINATION of all above

Popular social media channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Vine play a great role in visual content marketing strategies. It can be seen that an image or video on these social media platforms get more attention (likes, comments, shares) than that of text.

Its easier to reach a large number of people with these simple social media tools, but to create an impact, the quality of the content always matters. So the business owner has to choose the right people /agency to visually market their content as it makes their fortunes or lose it.


Here are the few visual content statistics proving that its the boss of marketing in today’s world:

  • 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.


  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.


  • 39% of marketers believe that more of their budget should be allocated to the acquisition or creation of compelling visual assets.


  • Shoppers who view video are 1.81X more likely to purchase than non-viewers.


  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.


  • Between April 2015 and November 2015, the amount of average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 billion video views per day to 8 billion.


  • Syndacast predicts 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.


  • Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.


  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images.


Seeing is believing. Get into visual content marketing to leverage maximum benefit out of it.


Santosh G

Creative Director

Avyakta Films

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How Beliefs Shape who we are

If there is one thing I’ve realised in my journey as a coach, it is that sometimes the best learning is found in the most unexpected place.

There is one particular topic that has been very intriguing to me from the past few months and it all started in the middle of a heated debate.  The debate was a result of a conversation with my mentor about how everything was going wrong with the world. While I kept talking about all the things that are horrible, my mentor kept talking about things that are going great. Determined to prove my point, I kept coming up with example after example of the awful things we witness on a daily basis. And that is when it happened – he stopped me right in the middle of the conversation and asked “There are two things you can believe in – Either that everything around you is awful and leading nowhere or that great things are happening or just about to happen – What do you want to believe in? because what you believe in is what you will receive.”

As ideal and utopian as it sounded to me at that point, I decided to give it a try. The next time I was in a conversation about how we as humans are destroying nature to the point of our own extinction (Yes, we have such conversations!) , I firmly held my ground and expressed that there would never be a point in time where we would completely destroy what’s around us. We’re a species with immeasurable intelligence and we’ll evolve to make things better for us. Today, my facebook timeline stands testimony to the number of articles and pieces of information I’ve come across after that day about how technology has evolved to create better environmental and living conditions!  I received what I believed in!

My faith in this theory was further confirmed by two real – life incidents I heard from Mr. Muniallappa, an army survival trainer who helps with our Adventure Leadership camps.  On one of Mr. Muniallappa’s expeditions, a trekker unfortunately was bitten by a completely harmless, non venomous snake. The  trekker was extremely petrified about the snake bite even though he was reassured multiple times that it was harmless. The trekker passed away in the next few hours.

The second story I heard from him was also about a trekker but on a different expedition. A man from Russia had come down to India to explore the adventure sports available here. On the trek, the man was bitten by a King Cobra which is an extremely venomous snake. The instructors knew full well that they had very little time to act. They gave him first aid and rushed him to the hospital.  The man not only made it to the hospital alive, he lives today, 6 months after the incident. Such is the power of belief!

The more you believe in the results that you want to see, the more likely are you to find those results. When you want to succeed, you need to take your focus away from stories of failure, politics and corruption and focus instead on how people faced challenges and succeeded. If you want to make a relationship work, stop dreading about things that can go wrong and think about experiences you want to go through together and grow. If you want to be rich, move your focus away from the dwindling bank account to the ways in which money is coming your way!

Like my story began, you have two choices – What do you choose to believe in? What you believe, you receive.


Shiksha K Sharma

Communication Strategist

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