An Email from Tucker Max to James Altucher

I have read James Altucher’s ‘Choose Yourself’ twice recently. First I bought the book in Kindle since the price was almost nothing but after having read it I knew I would like a paperback of that in my library. So once I got the paperback, I read it again. And as Nassim N. Taleb once said, “A good book gets better at the second reading. A great book at the third. Any book not worth rereading isn’t worth reading.” Altucher’s book did get better at the 2nd time and I enjoyed it a lot more than I did the first time. While JA was trying to make a point about being emotionally healthy by staying positive and not to engage our thoughts with haters he narrated a personal experience. A well known pundit once tweeted that one of his books was crap. On being asked about the comment she admitted to her dislike for the title which resulted in that tweet although, obviously, she hadn’t read the book. So James went ahead and wrote a blog post about it. And out of nowhere he got an email from one of his readers, which I would like to share with you guys. The email went:

     “I assume your blog post was mostly tongue in cheek about the feedback affecting you in a negative way. But if not, then please take this compliment to heart: From one very successful writer to another. I love your blog. Yes, it has its quirks and stylistic issues, but it is utterly original and compelling, and that is an attribute that is incredibly rare. There is so much writing out there, and so little of it is worth a shit – but your blog is one of those that are worth a shit.

     I subscribe to like 25 blogs in my RSS feed, and yours is one. And I don’t even actively invest –  I could care less about your financial advice.

     Please keep doing what you are doing, and please don’t let the cowardly commentary from the ignorant sheep and trolls get you down. There are a ton of us out here that read everything you put on your blog, and thoroughly enjoy it, but we don’t tend to speak up one way or the other, because we are normal people with normal lives. Who even writes Amazon reviews? I have entertained millions of people, literally millions, but from Amazon reviews you would think my job was to punch babies in the mouth. That’s the shitty part about the internet, and anonymous feedback, is that you tend to hear from extremes, those that either love you more than reasonable, or those who are just spreading toxicity.

    Fuck those people. You do great work, and I really appreciate it.

     I hate to sound like a weirdo Buddhist, but the only thins that really matter in this world are the relationships you have with the people you love, and the meaningful things that you do. Haters don’t fit anywhere into that. Don’t devote any mental space to them.”

The email was signed:

“Tucker Max”

The reason I wanted to share the email with you was the point TM was making. Almost each and every one of us have haters in our lives and no matter what we do they would always be hating. Only way we can defeat them is by denying any metal space to them. Not even engaging our thoughts with them, let alone alone engaging ourselves with them.

8 Reasons You Should Avoid Working for Desi’s (read Pakistanis abroad)

A lot of young Pakistanis when go outside of Pakistan either for study or work, they try to find work with other Pakistanis, may be because they are in another country for the first time ever and it gives them a sense of protection and belonging. I am going to warn all those people from doing that. Do not look for work with Pakistanis abroad until or unless you absolutely have to and you have no choice. In that case make sure you sign a written contract and get minimum wage at least. You may say I am generalizing a bit but that’s just how I feel. I wanted to get the word out there. To let people know who don’t, yet.

1) They are not polite

This may seem not very important to you but trust me it does matter a lot. Please, thanks and sorry are three words that go a long way. But our desi brothers, no matter how long they may have stayed in England or Ireland, have vowed never to use them. What I deduce is they think these words are for inferior to superior usage. And in the case of you working for them they are definitely superior. The guy I once worked for wouldn’t even say hello in the morning when he would show up and leave without saying bye. He never really communicated to me unless he thought I was doing something wrong. And in which case he would talk to me as if I have taken his business to bankruptcy in one day.

2) Negativity prevails at the work place

I am a firm believer in keeping a positive attitude towards everything. But I guess the places I worked at, it was all about negativity. All the time, me and the co-workers would be worried what if this went wrong, what if that went wrong. And that thing actually did used to go wrong. Law of attraction works faster in negativity. Or you can even quote Murphy’s law here. And after that we had to face the wrath of our master and each one of us would feel shit.

3) No appreciation and a lot of patronizing

Okay I must admit I get put off by patronizing straight away. You can tell. My face just drops and I am not happy from that moment onward. If you are like me in this case you wouldn’t want to work for someone who patronizes which most of desis do. I don’t blame them for that because I am not sure If they realize that they are actually being condescending on you. And on top of that you get no appreciation. I asked one of my co-workers once that why don’t we get any appreciation? And he said appreciating what we do means we are doing a good job and bosses don’t like to accept that because they think then the employee has a chance to ask for a pay rise. I was surprised by that answer.

4) There is only one way towards X

If you are working for a desi and you try to be a bit innovative at the work place you would be considered being too smart and not doing what you are supposed to do. Well to be honest, it even happened in Pakistan. When I was working there, I remember how I suggested we should have a separate register or record for something and my boss told me off straight away by saying ‘do as you are told’. So yea if you are actually putting in effort trying to improve things, you would end up feeling dumb and useless.

5) No guidance

I started jobs where I was completely new to that particular kind of work. I mean even if you know the work it takes you some time to get used to the place. But I didn’t even know the work and it was made clear before I actually started working, but still I was expected to do the job right from the very first day. And if I didn’t, which was the case most of the times, I would get to hear that I am useless for him. And there is no organizational order. Anyone can have a go at you for something that went wrong because of you ‘obviously’. Once it was so bad that I actually went into the gents and cried and then washed my face and came back. That’s me.

6) Blame comes on you

If you are working with your boss and you both are working on a project, if something goes wrong the whole blame comes on you. Because he is biologically designed to put the blame away. And you work for him, so you can’t really dare to actually say anything in your favour.

7) Master and Salve

You may think I am exaggerating but you get treated like a slave by our desi guys. Or that’s how I felt. They ask you questions about your personal life as if they have a right to know. You can’t say anything back when he is talking, you work like a donkey and still get no appreciation, he even starts making decisions that you think is your right to make and when to everything you start saying yes as if it’s by default , it looks to me more like a master and slave relationship.

8) You will get paid peanuts

Yes. Most of them pay well below the minimum wage. They will pay you in one currency but count it in another. Which I find extremely ridiculous. And always pretend as if they are over paying you and doing you a favour to keep you working for them.

 

I can really keep going on about it but I think I have made my point.

Employees are King?

Did I pick the wrong title? Because we all know customer is king, right? But let me share with you what I think.

Most important asset of any business is it’s human capital. I believe employees are usually undervalued. But we all know that employees are fundamental part of a business. And they are essential for a business to function properly. But unfortunately, mostly the businesses look at their employees as liabilities not as assets.

What we have failed to realize is that when it comes to successfully running a business, it takes dedication of a team, a single person cannot make it all happen. Unless your business is very small, you can’t do it all by yourself and run a successful business, you’ll need plenty of advice and encouragement. So team effort is important. And team effort will come only when your employees are dedicated to work and it will happen if they feel valued and respected.

And employees are important because they are the ones who stand between your product and your customers and ultimately they are the ones who’ll make a promotion fail or succeed. They will develop relationship with your customer and also are the ambassadors of your company. While overworked and dissatisfied employees are less inclined to create a positive customer experience. So it’s important for a business to value it’s employees and make them feel respected.

You can still agree to disagree :). Have your say in comment box.

Commitments Are IMPORTANT!!

Do you fail to keep commitments? Or did you ever notice how many people fail to keep commitments? This is a growing problem in our society especially when it comes to beloved politicians and the kind hearted businessmen.

It is said that keeping commitments is the single most important factor in an individual’s success. Without commitments, there’s nothing to work for. Commitment means you have your words and you are ready to take responsibility for what you say. To commit is to solemnly undertake to a certain purpose or a line of conduct. And backing out should be out of question.

But sadly, thats not the case around. People back out of what they say and they don’t even feel sorry for that. And this shows how important commitments are for them. Today my friend and I were supposed to see someone for business purposes. We had to prepare for that. We did. And I won’t go into details but it took us a good amount of time. So we were all set to leave for the meeting and my friend’s phone buzzed- ” I am out of town, we’ll meet up tomorrow.” This message wasted a whole day effort.

We still will meet up tomorrow. But the thing is we should respect others and their time as well. People have plans and they like to move according to the plans, if you don’t. And if we cant stand by what we say, we should rather avoid. And thats better, trust me.

Do Not Depend on People

First off, my apologies for last three days. I didn’t write. And I found another reason why I should hate College. I was so happy before the semester started. I had scheduled classes only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But turns out that my bio teacher(Yes I have to take biology as well, i know it sucks) is making a schedule that ‘suits’ him not students.

I really wanted to write about this topic. I know it would just take a paragraph or two to say what needs to be said. Lately I have been thinking a lot about how we sometimes start relying so much on others. And ultimately end up hurting ourselves. One thing is clear. The world is selfish. But that doesn’t mean we should start behaving selfish to everyone. You just need to be a little careful. And by that I mean try not to depend on others.

Why I wanted to write about this? Because I think I have been too dependent on some people. And when they decided to walk away, it was a little hard for to gather myself and move on. So its better at first not to attach expectations to others. And when I say do not depend on other people, it means both in your professional lives and personal.

I am sorry if that sounds cold to you. Does that? I think it does. Well I’m not gonna remove it because I really wanted to write about it. Sorry I’m just being honest.

Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
Samuel Beckett

Dear friend, this is the first and probably the last time I’m writing on this topic. The thing is, so much have been said and there’s no need for another post especially on a blog that just got 400 hits. But still, lets just hope it helps. :)

When we are kids, the idea of failure is presented to us as a nightmare in our lives. So when we are grown up we don’t want to fail in anything we do. But when you learned how to walk, you fell over. Over and over again. May be you hurt yourself sometimes and also cried a little. But you learned to walk finally like you already knew it. Wouldn’t it be great if all us keep up this way of thinking about failures? I vote Yes!

Instead of being too hard on ourselves, after failure, we should rather give ourself a break and think about what we have learned. You might have got a bad grade at school, or your ego keeps tagging you as a loser, or may be you think it’s not normal and you are too old for this stuff. Let me tell you again (I mean you already know it), all the greatest figures in the history failed at some point in time in their lives but they learned and used it in succeeding. Henry Ford put it most eloquently: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently”. You can’t learn if you don’t fail. If you put effort and you fail, celebrate it because you have learned something you wouldn’t have if you succeeded. And if you think you didn’t even put effort, then there must be a reason. Find out that. I mean if I will ask My daughter to major in Biotechnology while she likes Literature, she’s obviously gonna fail.

And most important thing about failure is that it makes you stronger. You are able to handle things that you weren’t able to before. So watch Michael Jordan’s video and Cheer up! Happy failure :)

There is a Difference Between Helping Me and Wasting My Time

I dedicate this blog post to all those ‘marketers’ or social media ‘gurus’ who love to write E-books and give them away for free to later claim that they have a ‘giving attitude’.

Giving attitude doesn’t mean you start giving crap to people and expect them to respect you in return for that. I happened to read an E-book today, it wasn’t a very long one though (I like to finish books I once start reading, I know its stupid sometimes but I can’t help it, sorry). And the moment I was finished reading the book, words that came out of my mouth go like ” Thank you blah blah blah for wasting my time”. And then I thought for a moment that she did actually waste my time. But I read her book and thats what she wanted people to do, mission fulfilled? Yes, may be. So what happens now? Now that I’ve read her ‘master piece’, I might not wanna go to her blog again, never read her tweets or even end up unfollowing her. Yah.

So my appeal to you is, if you are a blogger, marketer or a social media guru and you also like to write E-books, please keep few things in mind.

  • Do not write an E-book if you don’t know the stuff you are talking about, learn first.
  • And if you do know something but you don’t wanna give it away for free, don’t write just for the sake of writing a book.
  • Do not copy and paste stuff, people are smart.
  • Anything pointless is annoying.

I thinks thats about it.. Did you ever read an E-book that you think wasted your time?

Job is Not a Solution, Start Your Own Business

” Small-business innovation is key to moving country forward” says Barack Obama.

Meeting up with some Business people at Lahore Chamber of Commerce today was pretty interesting and motivating. For all of you who don’t know, main aim of the Chamber, it’s to help small and medium size businesses and encourage innovative startups. Why so? Why not help big giants to be stronger? Obviously big companies generally get most of our attention. And success of big companies is also critical to the success of small and medium size businesses. But it’s small and medium businesses that drive a country’s economic growth and create 2 out of 3 jobs in America.

Anyways, purpose of this blog post is not to advocate for SME’s.  The thing is, it’s really sad that our youth is running after jobs and nobody seemed to have decided to do something big for their society. And that shows how self-centered we have become as a nation. Obtain a degree, find a job, get married and pass on the selfish nature. Pakistan needs to wake up before it’s too late.

All of us are blessed with wonderful talents and love for something. We just need to figure it out. And trust me, once you do figure that out you won’t even think of anything else. And if each one us starts focusing on to be the best we can be, there could be no better way to contribute to our society. So yes, i would encourage you to follow you heart and start something that you love.

Share with us, what’s the love of your life?

#smpk Twitter Chat: Using Facebook for Businesses in Pakistan

Despite all the headache they cause, social networking sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are here to stay. Today more than 6oo million people, just like you, are on Facebook. Businesses all over the world are utilizing these wonderful communities to interact with their customers and prospectives.

Unfortunately, in Pakistan, businesses are mostly ignoring it or even when they are using it, they are doing it as another one sided marketing tool. :( Where it is all about listening and engaging in conversations.

So we decided to set up an event in the form of Twitter Chat to discuss the potential of Facebook for businesses in Pakistan. We’ll have a discussion first, and then shall be taking questions according to the specific needs of your business.

Come join us, invite your friends and have your say! I’m sure its gonna be a lot of fun as well as a good learning experience.

Please RSVP at http://on.fb.me/chatsmpk

I would really appreciate it if you share this post so that we can have a as many people as possible.

PS: If you are not on Twitter yet, Get on it!

I Want to Learn but College Sucks

My selection of this topic for today’s post is the result of three ‘busy’ days I spent at college. They kind of sucked.. I don’t know I’m just not able to feel the excitement and cherish my time there despite the fact that its gonna be my last semester. I think I don’t see value in it anymore. If a lecturer will just make us read chapters from books and take quizzes then this is what I can do better if i stay home, grab a cup of coffee and sit in front of my computer.

I’m not saying there’s nothing to learn in college, there certainly are many things. But good colleges cost a lot of money and there are people who cant afford to send their kids to those colleges. I’m now officially against the idea of joining a school or university. If you cannot join an institute that’s totally fine, you can still follow your heart and that also may be for free(thanks to internet). For example, want to become an amazing writer? Connect with your favorite authors online and write everyday.  Want to be the next best chef? Put  the time in to learn how to cook and start it now. You just have to take the initiative. I really don’t like the idea that anyone who’s been to college is perceived to know better than those who haven’t been there.

I know having a degree from a renowned college sure gives a very good feeling and may also promise you a very good livelihood as well. But its sad how most of the people who are teaching at universities do not have any real life experience. And the teachers who do have some experience are too reluctant to ditch the traditional teaching style. I am now done with 3 and 1/2 years of my ‘professional’ degree and I am not sure if I have superior knowledge to a guy who’s been working since last three years in the field and never went to college. I’m paying to learn and still there is no guarantee whether that would happen or not and that guy is getting paid to learn and certainly will do that. Hmm so I’m just waiting to get over this semester and actually start doing things that will help me make some difference.

Good thing is, I am very cold and I don’t miss things, I just move on. So yes Forman, I’m not gonna miss you.