Likability is the art of business networking

Life is all about the relationships that we build with those around us, be it on a personal or business level. This relationship is what helps develop or weaken our network with others. A quote sums this up perfectly – “Our net worth depends not in the wealth we have but the network we have” – and there’s a lot to learn from this. If you reflect on this, it’s easy to understand that networking is basically the way we forge new relationships and finally, it comes down to liking someone or making them like you.

Similarly, business networking is all about cultivating and nurturing relationships. The goal isn’t to connect with others for short term results; rather, the focus should be to build trust and attain mutual benefits through stable, long-term relationships.

From what I have learned, there is a golden rule when it comes to networking and this is in the way you interact with others during any networking event. In such a gathering, try to recognize what people tend to like, identify the characteristics and specialties of the people you meet and learn more about those around you by observing them. While likeability differs from person to person, the basic rule remains pretty much the same. If you want to become a smart networker, then you should make people like you. It’s just that simple.

Or is it?

There are some basic aspects of likeability that can be condensed into a few observations and I’ll be discussing them here:

To be authentic, you have to be focus on simplicity. 

You can never get people to like you if you aren’t true to yourself. If you want to be likeable, you should be genuine and treat people with the same attitude. Learn to help people and approach them without any biases. While everyone will obviously have their own attitudes, beliefs and ideologies, be sure to maintain your own authenticity. Don’t try to be what you’re not – just be who you are.

“The beauty of the law of authenticity is in its simplicity: Don’t try, just be”.

If you can’t be authentic, don’t be there

We have all faced situations where we just had to go to an event although we genuinely didn’t want to. So if you find yourself in a similar spot, then it’s better that you skip such events where you fell you can’t be authentic. A person’s authenticity will become visible when you make choices that you want to or not when you make forced choices. Being genuine is the only way to build meaningful relationships with others.

Consistency and confidence in communication

Let’s face it – talking to something who is fake just makes you want to walk out of the conversation and this is true to everyone. When the body language is not in sync with the words, then it’s hard for others to listen to you. As far as networking is concerned, there are three aspects which will make you more likeable to others. This is also known as the three Vs:

  1. Verbal – The choice of words
  2. Vocal – The tone of your voice
  3. Visual – Your body language

Always remembers these three Vs whenever you’re communicating with anyone. Maintain the same message across your words, tone and body language and this will make you a more genuine individual inside out.

Psychologists have backed this up too. Albert Mehrabian, a psychologist says that a person will like another individual based on 7% verbal, 38% vocal and 55% visual. This naturally means that your choice of words will have no effect if your speech is not backed up with a pleasing tone and body language.

The bottom line is that ‘It’s not in what you say but in howyou say it’.

Being curious is good and asking questions helps maintain good conversations 

Picking up a conversation with a total stranger can be frightful for many people. Even when the silence might feel deafening, we avoid talking if we don’t know what to talk or out of fear of saying something stupid. So if you don’t know what to say but want to break the ice, then show some genuine curiosity about another person in a healthy way.

Asking something about his/her interests, hobbies, likes and so on is a wonderful way to get started on a conversation. However, bear in mind that the effectiveness of your conversation will depend largely on the type of questions you ask. There are two ways of asking:

  1. Asking open ended questions
  2. Asking probing questions

Open ended questions are a great way of starting a conversation. For example, if you’re attending a training program, you could simply ask the person sitting beside you, “Hey, how did you get to know about this program?” This will encourage the other person to give you a response and build a conversation.

On the other hand, if you ask the person sitting next to you, “Did you get to know about this event on the newspapers?”, then he/she would simply say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and that would be the end of it. So if you want to hold a conversation, stick to asking open ended questions.

As far as probing questions are concerned, this makes for great follow-ups to the questions you have asked previously. This falls into three categories:

  1. Clarifying questions. For example, “Do you mean….?”
  2. Rational questions. For example, “I’m curious as to why you think that ….?”
  3. Expansion probes. For example, “Please elaborate….

You see, curiosity may have killed the cat, but I can tell it never killed a conversation!

Good conversation is about being a good listener

When speaking about having a conversation, we tend to think about what we should talk most the time. But did you know that having good listening skills can enhance conversations too? As far as business networking is concerned, there are three levels of listening:

  1. Inward listening- This is the basic level of listening where you listen to what the other person says and relate that to your own experience. For instance, if a person tells you, “I love Indian food”, you may answer “Me too!” or “I actually prefer Chinese”.
  2. Outward listening- This is where you relate what you hear to what you know about that particular subject. For example, if someone tells you “I love Indian food”, you could respond by saying, “That’s interesting. Why do you like it? Did you go to any good Indian place recently?” This way, you can hold a prolonged conversation and get to know about the other person’s likes, interests and perspectives.
  3. Intuitive listening- This focuses on not only the words but also the tone, voice, body language and even the energy. When someone tells you that he/she loves Indian food, you could reply in an enthusiastic or genuinely curious way by saying, “You really seem to love it! Thinking of maybe visiting India to try more of their awesome food?

Elaborate on similarities

As social beings, we humans are naturally comforted by what we know and finding similar subjects of interest to talk about will make your partner more comfortable with you. This will enhance their likeability and increase their comfort level with you. This way, the conversation flows without any difficulty.

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going

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It was five thirty in the morning and I was rudely awakened by the sound of my alarm clock. I knew I had to go the gym, but I was tempted to lie down for a little longer. There were days when I greeted the morning alarm by hitting the snooze button until I eventually postponed the gym but thankfully, I had changed this habit two years back and now, instead of hitting snooze, I start the day by counting down five..four…three..two..one. In fact, I jump off from the bed to go to gym now before I have the time to change my mind.

Being an entrepreneur is pretty much like that. It’s always about learning new things, adapting to new changes and getting used to new habits. And so while I was driving to the gym, I thought of writing my long awaited blog post by adding some of the useful habits I learned over a few year in the hope that it might help some people out there.

 

Habit 1 : Five second rule

This is a simple rule which prevents you from acting on detrimental urges. This rule simply distracts you from your anxieties and redirects your attention to what you should be doing, instead of submitting to instantly gratifying urges. By continually doing this, you can break the negative cycle and create new and better habits. Personally for me, even in terms of dealing with workplace conflicts, irresponsible workforce etc, this rule helps and gives me time to think and react positively to control the environment.

 

Habit 2 : Writing everything you want to do

If you want to reach any goal, write it down as this makes it easier to achieve the goal easily. It’s important that all the goals are very precise. Rather than saying I want money, you should say I want exactly this particular amount to start a business.

Being so specific might sound extreme, but if you want to achieve your goals, you need to know what exactly you want. When I look at my goals for the year 2017, I was very precise about my travel to countries. I had written that I want to travel to four countries and even made a point to mention the countries as well and did the same by visiting India, Vietnam, Cambodia and Singapore. Before 2017, I didn’t get enough chances to travel with my new ventures, but with the new team set up, I wanted to begin my travel diary which I actually did. This will help you to recognize opportunities that will help you to reach your goals.

 

Habit 3 : Give and take

I have met so many people in my life, and we all know people who seem to care only about themselves in business as they completely disregarding the needs of others. They are the takers and they are self-centered by focusing only on what benefits they can get from others. Givers, on the other hand, are driven by the desire to help others and create success in the group.

When I started my own venture, of course the mind always thinks about the business, how to get more clients, how to achieve more sales revenue, how to take clients from competitors and so on and franky, the entire thought circles around focusing on ourselves. By being the part of a global community called BNI (Business Network International), which is based on the philosophy of givers gain, the concept is that when you give business, more business comes around. I started helping others in business without expecting a return. This habit now launched me into opening up the venture in Cambodia and Vietnam by exploring new business opportunities and creating new contacts ad network.

Habit 4 – Not worrying too much about what others think

No matter what path you follow in life and no matter what business you do, there will always be some people who try to make your life more complicated. Or to put it simply, there’s always a jerk in every group.

So how do we deal with this uncomfortable truth? Well, there’s only one thing you can do: accept that jerks will be jerks and deal with them.

When you start worrying about what others think, you are simply losing your real potential. In business or in normal life, there are so many factors that influences a forward move. When you are doing the right things in life, not worrying about what others think is a better way to perform. When our brain starts thinking about others – which is often not something positive – it takes subjective assumption about their thoughts and starts worrying about it. Avoiding this unwanted strain can make your life easy and allow you to move forward towards your goals.

 

Habit 5 – Being radically candid with the staff and coworkers

Being radically candor develops strong and beneficial relationship with your staff members. Running a small organization with a small team requires lots of personal attention towards employees. Knowing them personally well is crucial for any small business success. It is very important to establish personal relationship that proves that you genuinely care. This means opening up, sharing and talking about more than just business. With this, you can always challenge their talent by giving them more responsibility to take risk.

 

Habit 6- Controlled breathing to overcome fear

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we always get a chance to present ourselves in front of a group of decision makers or in front of a larger audience and take tough decisions which creates a fear. But the techniques I follow to overcome my fear whenever I feel something challenging me is that I always take a deep breath which eases out the fear. This is a great technique to overcome anxiety and fear.

 

Habit 7 – At any cost do not point people’s mistakes

Pointing out people mistakes doesn’t encourage them to change their behavior, and it certainly doesn’t help them to learn anything. This is because most people are not primarily driven by reason but rather by emotion.

The person to whom you point out the mistake won’t really listen to what you’re saying because they will feel attacked and their natural reaction will be to immediately defend their own position by fighting back. This will also make others like you less in the long run. Benjamin Franklin claimed that the secret of his success was to “speak ill of no man.”

Pointing out someone’s mistake is easy, but it takes character to be understanding and to forgive others for their mistakes and shortcomings.

 

Habit 8- Show your appreciation frequently

 How can you get someone to do you a favor? You must ensure that they want to do it. And how is that possible? You must motivate the other person with a simple reward: your sincere appreciation.

One of the strongest drivers of human behavior is the desire to be appreciated by others. We all like being complimented and hearing we’re doing a good job.

 

Habit 9 – Forget about arguments

Never tell others they are wrong – whenever you tell they are wrong that will naturally offend them and by telling this, you are basically saying “I’m smarter than you:. Their feelings will be hurt, and they will want to retaliate.

To get the other person to reevaluate their view, it’s much more effective to be humble and open-minded.for example I always use the words “Correct me if I’m wrong”, or “I thought differently but I might be wrong”, etc.

That’s end of part one and all these points I have mentioned are necessarily not the perfect techniques, but during my day to day life, these techniques have helped me to overcome lots of issues and to handle people effectively. Until I finish writing part 2, good bye for now.

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going”

Biggest Business Trends That Will Drive Success In 2018

With everything – from technology to lifestyle – moving at such a rapid pace, trends are naturally bound to crop up. And in terms of business, it’s always wise to think about the years ahead so you can plan your strategies and goals and therefore, beat your competitors to the finishing line. In a nutshell, it can improve your business in more ways than one and it can definitely give you a leg up. The last thing you need is to lag behind in the fierce rat race of the corporate world.

In 2018, it’s all about the bold and innovative moves that leading companies in the world are looking to implement. As of now, some of these trends are mere observations while others have already taken root. In this article, we take a look at the top business trends to watch out for in 2018.

Artificial Intelligence will drive customer experience

When we think of AI (Artificial Intelligence), we usually think of dehumanizing interactions when in fact, this is far from reality. AI experts point out that there are three levels of machine learning which is where machines do the tasks humans would usually do, machine learning in which machines learn on their own and deep learning where machine learning chains together to richer learning.

Leading companies in the world are already embracing the concept of AI and how it can process large amounts of data, perform repeated tasks and so on with minimum hassle. In fact, AI is becoming a norm for practical consumer experiences. All in all, AI is not a futuristic concept but it’s something that can certainly help a business by making a range of tools and technologies available and accessible.

Live interactions on Social Media

Since we are so glued on to our smartphones, we tend to think that social media interaction is a lot better than in-person interactions but top companies in the world have realized that building good communities translates to long-term brand loyalty. Nothing can create a stronger community than live or in-person interactions. This is why live videos are more engaging than a recorded video and we can understand its popularity through Facebook Live and Instagram Live Stories.

A truly smart business will be quick to realize that technology and social media does not have to replace in-person interactions; it only makes the interactions more valuable. Since most of your consumers are already connected in the virtual world, having in-person interactions can be fairly easy.

More remote team will be available

Remote work has expanded greatly in popularity and a lot of people are now choosing to telecommute or work online and it’s easy to see why since they can set up their own schedule and work at their own pace. In America alone, 43% of employed Americans spend some time working remotely and in almost all industries, the percentage of people who work from home have increased dramatically and companies are leveraging on the power of remote work. In fact, having virtual workers has become a huge trend now.

One reason for this is that companies can now hire skilled workers from across the world and it also makes employees more productive, loyal and happy. Start-up businesses, in particular, are hiring a good number of remote workers since it creates a better environment for people to work in, which in turns makes the business perform better. The reason for this is that today’s workplace can be very distracting and working from home eliminates this issue. Besides, start-up businesses don’t need to have a physical location so they don’t have to worry about having to pay any rent thereby significantly reducing business costs.

Wages and more will be on the rise

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, HR managers should expect a 3% increase in wages in all sectors and high demand jobs that include physical therapy, healthcare, virtual reality, drone technology and engineering can also expect an increased wage.

Since talented workers would naturally seek benefits, a good salary, flexibility and autonomy, companies should realize that they should increase wages of employees if they want their star performers to remain in their workforce.

Social learning will become more popular than remote learning

With more professionals now working remotely, companies have worked out creative ways to keep them connected and help them develop their talents outside the office. One such way among corporate training programs is social learning.

Social learning is the process of learning through peer social interaction which takes place in informal one-to-one encounters between teams in the course of real-time problem solving, communities, social softwares and so on by sharing their experiences, asking questions and engaging with each other. 50% of companies are already using social learning in some way and two thirds plan to use it in the future. Since social learning promotes autonomy and self-direction, it can increase learner engagement.

Marketing will become more interactive

Marketing is interactive as it already is but in 2018, it’s only going to be get more so. The bottom line in marketing is to get people’s attention and the only way you can do that is by earning it. Getting the attention of your customers is not easy given the fact that you’re bombarded with as many as thousands of advertisements every day. And standing out from the crowd is definitely challenging.

One way in which marketers can combat this competition is by using more interactive methods of marketing. As opposed to TV commercials where viewers cannot interact with the ad, other marketing venues such as Twitter marketing allows customers to interact with the company, paving way for two-way conversation.

Consumers have great control today so the only way you can please them is by interacting with them well. Manipulating or tricking them to buying your products just won’t work and if you want you brand to be recognized, you have to earn it. Only then can you earn your customers’ trust.

Don’t just serve your buyers – serve your community

Customers are very savvy and sophisticated now and before they actually buy something from you, they will do all the research they can by reading online reviews and asking for recommendations online. This is why companies should start thinking in terms of their community and reach out to audience who are not their customers as yet.

Smart companies will understand that the best thing they can do is serve their community, regardless of whether or not they are in the buying cycle. When you deliver consistent value, you are already a trusted resource for your audience.

Conclusion

If your business is not up to date with the latest trends in entrepreneurship, the time is now. While you should be aware of your business, keep an eye open for the latest trends too and it’s always a good idea to conduct competitor research so you can look at your competition and see what you can do to stay ahead of the game. Don’t stay in the dark about what’s new in the world of business. Rather, take some time out to look into the trends so you business can implement them for greater success.

New Year with hopes and dreams……..

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My journey at Epitom has been an epic one, right from the moment we officially started it in January 2011 up until today. When I started the company, I had high ambitions but to see how far the brand has grown today truly humbles me. With a relatively short period of time, we have gained significant momentum in the industry and we have been privileged to have served many different clients under our separate segments.

As a young and a very ambitious entrepreneur, I always believed that businesses, even small ones, can build a huge brand. This was why I started out three different ventures under the brand Epitom, each dedicated to a separate area of marketing. Epitom Consulting is the consultancy portfolio where we serve entrepreneurs, both from Sri Lanka and also overseas who are looking to start their very own ventures in the country. Our consultancy services are handled by expert consultants who have a genuine passion about marketing, allowing our customers to enhance and progress their brand by taking it to great heights.

As a corporate training body, Epitom Training is another venture of mine where we offer in-depth training courses specifically designed for the Sri Lankan corporate world. Our training sessions are conducted by experienced trainers and our in-house and public workshops are designed with practical sessions too, as we help up-and-coming passionate marketers the ins and outs of the industry.

To offer a more comprehensive dimension, Epitom Trinergy is the brand that offers full service digital marketing solutions that are tailored to our individual client’s brand. The synergy of three (thus “Trinergy”), our solutions cover internet marketing, application development and web development and designing, allowing our customers to reach out to new avenues and take their business to a whole new level. Epitom Trinergy is further divided into two sub-brands which are namely Epitom Digital and Epitom Tech.

Another separate venture of mine, which is yet fairly new but highly promising, is ODD Digital, where we redefine brands and offer digitally forward solutions. Established as a brand of ODD Digital is LAR, or Life After Retirement, which is a lifestyle portal for senior citizens in Sri Lanka that offers several facets and concepts under one platform. LAR aims at educating the senior citizens of our country on many different fields and also connecting them to professionals, corporations and individuals both locally and globally.

APIDM is another venture which is an incredibly proud to be a part of. APIDM (Asia Pacific Institute of Digital Marketing) was initiated in 2009 and it an educational institute that offers professional training and qualifications in the fields of eMarketing, eCommerce, Social Media Marketing and Business Analytics. With a range of certification courses and corporate training workshop modules, APIDM possesses the best team of resource persons in this region for Digital Marketing training.

Needless to say, starting out on all these ventures were indeed and challenge and were it not for the support and help from my team and a lot of other people, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today. I’m incredibly lucky to have a wonderful team that is passionate about the work they do, setting the perfect platform for all my ventures to create significant impact in the industry within a very short period of time.

I take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped me on my journey so far, even in the smallest ways, because for me, even small gestures can bring about a huge change so thank you so much for making it possible!

Our passion for innovation, the creative solutions that we provide to our clients and the willingness to grow ourselves with each opportunity has allowed us to create great waves in the industry within a very short span of time.

Epitom wins coveted ‘Best Global Training and Development Leadership Award’ at the World HRD Congress – 2017

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Epitom is extremely proud and privileged to have won the ‘Best Leadership Training Award’ at the recently concluded World HRD Congress that was held in Mumbai, India. Organized by the World CSR Day, the World HRD Congress covers many key areas such as strategic HRM, employee engagement, talent managements and recruiting and much more attracting delegates from many countries, making the conference a congregation of talents learning and sharing their skills towards technological advancement.

As a progressive corporate training organization, Epitom Training connects trainers and organizations and we have successfully conducted more than 500 internal trainings, 20 courses with three courses presently being conducted and 60 public workshops. We offer training in English, Sinhala and Tamil and are proud to have trained over 10,000 people. Receiving the Best Leadership Training Award gives global recognition to our work in training and developing future professionals and leaders, who are our greatest asset towards the development of our country and industry. Epitom Training has stepped into a new paradigm of corporate training and we are focused towards striving to reap outstanding outcomes through our sustainable training and development practices.

The training period commenced in the year 2011 and we would like to extend our gratitude to the trainers who were with us in our initial stages. At Epitom Training, we have continuously worked towards innovation and empowerment to help individuals achieve higher benchmarks of performance through a consistent framework of development and learning. We have worked hard to make this a reality and are honoured to have received this global recognition as a testament to our training approach. While receiving the Best Leadership Training Award is indeed a huge milestone for us, we are looking forward to serving the industry with more innovation in the future.

1800 delegates from 108 countries attended the World HRD Congress and the event served as an ideal platform that offered exceptional networking opportunities and extensive approaches towards understanding the key workplace ethics and issues that play a key role in the fast-paced business environment of today. The best world trainers from USA, Australia, Singapore and India offers great insight on the topics that covered ‘Innovation at the wings of eye’, ‘Storytelling’, ‘Building resilient organizations’, ‘Ignite and excite me, ‘People management’ and ‘The world needs your story’.

 

Face the darkness before the dawn

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Life is full of twists and turns and in business, it’s no different. In fact, the life of an entrepreneur is a long and hard journey and most people find it so hard to tackle that they just quit halfway through. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt, it’s that it isn’t easy being an entrepreneur. With all the challenges in business, it would be so easy to just quit but a small part of you deep down knows that a failure can be the beginning on an incredible business story. Business is full of inspirational stories of strength and perseverance of those people who just wouldn’t quit even in the darkest of times. Stories of survivors and winners. I should know. I’ve had my own share of both.

Every person has their own dreams and goals based on their circumstances, opportunities and chances. Some aspire to be a doctor, others a teacher, an accountant and so on. But ever noticed how few people want to be an entrepreneur? That’s because we all know it’s a tough and challenging venture. An accountant, a teacher or a doctor, all of them progress in their career but why do entrepreneurs give up?

Firstly, it’s the fear of failure.

“Fall seven times and stand up eight”. This is a famous Japanses proverb and I’m pretty sure the Japanese live by it- that’s why Japan is such a successful country.

Know that failure is a part of life. If you have never experienced failure, it’s because you haven’t tried anything new. If you are passionate about something, do it. Push your fear and insecurities aside and keep trying until you get to where you want to be. And that’s another reason for why people give up on their business: Fear about the society.

“What if I fail?”, “What if my relationship demands me to quit my business?”, “What if they are true in saying that I’m too young for business?” The questions, doubts and insecurities will keep nagging at you but you have to be strong enough to tackle it.

I love reading inspirational stories and one of my favourite quotes is this one by Bill Cosby- “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” This is something I’ve live by.  For all those who are struggling in building up a good name in business, read one my story on my Life as an Entrepreneur where I talk about the challenges I had to face before I built the Epitom venture. https://ragulan.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/life-as-an-entrepreneur/

What about those who had neither had the fear of failure nor fear about the society? It’s the lack of capital to start a business.

We have read of at least one rags-to-riches story and right now, I’m going to outline three stories of people who had as little as 0 bank balance and how they are millionaires today. We don’t have to go any further than our own little country. H.K Dharmadasa or better known as ‘Nawaloka Mudalali’. He left his home at the tender age of 13 with only 75 cents in his pocket. Today, he is one of the Sri Lanka’s top business personality and one of our country’s greatest philanthropists. The Nawaloka Hospitals was his brainchild and today, we see how it has become of the best hospitals in the country.

Another example- Mark Cuban who is a famous American businessman and investor who is the owner of NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and Magnolia Pictures and chairman of AXS TV, to name a few. He posted a tweet that would undoubtedly have inspired thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs around the world-“It was right around this date in November when I was 27 years old that I remember looking at a 0 dollar bank balance at the ATM…”

Then of course, there the story of Daymond John, an American entrepreneur, TV personality, author and speaker who was waiting tables at a restaurant to get by before gaining a net worth of $300 million.

So you see, don’t let the lack of money stop your business. You can always raise funds from investors or even start on a business without an investment. If you have the drive to get there, you will get there.

And it’s not always about the lack of capital. There are people who have enough of money but still give up and this simply comes down to this: Expecting a quick return. Know that building an empire cannot happen overnight. One brick at a time- that’s how it is. It takes time. Most people expect to earn millions within months and they give up if they don’t. Success happens, failure happens too. You have to persevere. With time, you can earn enough to cover up all your disappointments.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”-  Steve Jobs

But it’s too hard. Giving up is the only option!

Of course not. Giving up isn’t an option; it’s a choice. You only ever fail because you gave up. Yes, life is difficult and the life of an entrepreneur is hard- I’ve been there and I know it. But don’t give up. It looks hard –yes- but tell yourself you just can’t give up. Let the desire to win push you until you finally win. The journey will be worth it in the end, trust me.

Look at in it this way- An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means that it’s going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming!

I know, there will be times when you bank balance may come down to zero, there will be sleepless nights, rejections and even relationship issues and breakups. All these are common in the life of an entrepreneur. Many people give up on their business dreams to sustain a relationship but it all comes down to you now- make wise decisions.

Don’t compare your business with others. You are unique and so is your business so don’t ever draw comparisons. It’s your journey and yours alone and don’t allow people to de-motivate you as well. Even if you don’t have proper skills, you will develop them in time. This is what the life of an entrepreneur is all about; adapting to changes.

To be successful in your business, you have to be innovative and maintain a strong and personal relationship with your client. Don’t underestimate any feature of your business. What you see as a small aspect can have a huge impact in your business. There may be a few regrets in your business journey as well but if you dwell in the past, you can never look forward to the future. Take every challenge as a learning curve and know that if there’s no pain, there’s no gain.

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I absolutely love this picture. It summarizes everything I’ve been saying here: You never know how close you were to succeeding when you gave up. Keep telling yourself “It’s just a little more” and you will finally get there. Stay focused and one day, the success you were waiting for will be all yours.

 

Sometimes, what we saw as our worst trial turned out to be exactly what we needed at that time to become stronger and wiser. We’ve all had our fair share of problems within our company and through all that, we have grown. At the end of the day, life is hard, we have to accept it. For some it may be harder and there will always be obstacles. You might look at successful people and wonder how they did it. But the fact it, we often underestimate our own abilities. You have it in you. Just don’t give up. Grow with your challenges, become wiser with every choice you make and become stronger with every obstacle you face. And finally, when you reach success, you will look back at your journey and tell to yourself with pride and accomplishment, ‘I did it. It was worth everything’.

Successful Business Ideas for Sri Lankans – Part three

In my previous blog posts, I discussed some ideas to start a flourishing business in Sri Lanka. And business, as we all know, is a huge arena in which options are virtually endless. So today, I’m going to share some more business ideas that have the potential to be a good success in Sri Lanka. The ideas mentioned below were successful business ventures in USA but are currently not available in Sri Lanka. So aspiring businessmen, this is your chance to bring these products down to Sri Lanka, assured that it can bring you success. Otherwise, I hope these ideas can inspire in some way to embark on your own unique business journey.

e-Key

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Smartphones are changing our lives in so many ways with amazing apps that we use on a regular basis. In today’s technology-driven world, they have even changed door locks- that’s how big an impact technology has had. There is this new product known as the UniKey which is effectively something that enables you to unlock the door with your Bluetooth-enabled Smartphone. The lock has no key and no digits to punch into a keypad. All you have to do is walk to the door with your Smartphone in your pocket, touch the lock and voila- you can open your door. If your phone battery dies or you forget to bring your phone, the lock would still work normally with a standard metal key.

Interchangeable Straps

trimi-tanksWomen have plenty of wardrobe woes where they tend to feel that no matter how many dresses they have, it stills feel insufficient. This is where something like the TriMi Tank, which is a basic tank top that comes with removable, interchangeable straps. Every tank top comes with three sets of straps to mix and match, making it practically a 3-in-1 dress. Needless to say, the ladies in Sri Lanka will be obsessed with something like this!

Truck Mattress

products-airbedzTake your favourite mattress anywhere you go with this original truck bed air mattress. There are some custom designed air mattresses that are especially designed in order to fit in the beds of pickup trucks. The mattresses also have cutouts on its sides, making it easier to go around and over the wheel wells. It also creates a sleep area that uses the entire bed of the truck. A simple built-in pump can deflate or inflate the mattress with a mere push of a button.

Sippy Cups

sippy-cupMany pediatricians advise the use of straw cups instead of the usually sippy cups because the dental benefits of using straws. Many kids’ bottles also have spill-proof valves that make it really difficult to drink from and also a tiresome job of cleaning. Moreover, little kids also struggle with straw cups because it only works well if held upright. The cup illustrated below removes all these challenges by using a flexible straw with a heavy end, keeping the bottom of the straw in the liquid at all times. This also allows your toddler to drink easily when the cup is tilted to its side. The handle is very easy to hold and could be removed with a quick twist, making this cup perfect in a cup holder as well. This award-winning cup is designed very creatively and looks awesome as well so your kids will love it. Mums in Sri Lanka would no doubt love it too!

Instant lifts for shaping arms, tummy and thighs

Weight loss is a huge challenge and sometimes, no matter how much we diet, those unsightly cellulite just doesn’t disappear. Skinnies offer a quick solution to this problem. This product is a clear skin adhesive that provides amazing smoothing and lifting results. It’s very easy to apply and can be worn the whole day with no discomfort at all. Simply remove it once you’re done. Because Skinnies are transparent and designed to be worn on bare skin, it doesn’t need to be hidden under the clothing and wont make you feel bulky as well. Moreover, it’s sweat proof as well and won’t budge, even in Sri Lanka’s humid climate. Those who have lost weight of recently had a baby knows what it’s like to have excess skin on the belly, the flabby arms and so one. Skinnies is the instant, invisible lift that can make women looks perfectly in shape. Need I say that the women in our country would love this?

Technology enabled clothing

Techy people know that they have plenty of gadgets to carry around with them and this can be a real trouble sometimes. You’ve got to carry your phone, your digital camera, laptop, tablet, headset, etc and TEC, or Technology Enabled Clothing, allows you to carry and access all your devices from hidden pockets in the lining of your clothing.

Dryer attachment

This is a very simple device can not only save energy but also your money. The device filters and directs the hot air that is needed to dry your clothes. This dryer attachment doesn’t waste any energy and allows the hot air that is usually send through a vent to be used in order to heat your house during cooler climates.

Clip for glasses

products-readerestEyeglasses are expensive and losing or damaging it can be a huge loss. For people who don’t wear eyeglasses all the time, there is the common worry of misplacing their glasses. You could hang it on the neck of your dress but it almost always slides on to the floor when you bend over. Even if tuck your glasses into your dress pocket, it can fall off and if you place it on the top of your head, you search for it everywhere except where you put it. With a Readerest clip, all these issues can be resolved. The small clip attaches to your dress by a magnetic steel plate and the arm of your glasses fits perfectly in the clip, keeping it safe from any damages. It’s a very simple clip but it can go a long way in allowing you to never lose hold of your glasses again.

Last Lid

last-lid-garbage-coverSomething as simple as a missing garbage lid that can potentially turn into a thriving business? Exactly. The Last Lid is a testament to this. A fabric replacement for your garbage cover, Last Lid is the last garbage lid you will ever need. It is made out of military grade flexible polyethylene and is machine washable, weather proof and animal proof as well.

 

ShowNo Towel

showno-towel-2This is a great product that’s actually a towel that allows for some privacy when changing the bathing suit and functions as a coverall. The towel has a slit at its center through which your child’s head should go through. The rest of the towel can be draped around the child’s body, keeping them covered while they changed out of their wet clothes. The product will also keep children dry at the pool or even during bath time.

 

Clean Bottle

clean_bottleAlmost all of us have a reusable water bottle that we take around with us. This is a great thing to do, even from an environmental perspective, but it comes with one annoying problem- you can’t get to the bottom of the bottle to clean it thoroughly. Bottled that are used frequently can get dirty very soon and Clean Bottle is the world’s only bottle that can be unscrewed from the bottom as well as the top so it can be cleaned perfectly. Because the removable bottom and top allows the bottle to dry out quickly, it ensures that the bottle is clean at all times. The drinking nozzle could be removed and sanitized as well. This is really something school kids, in particular, would need.