Article by Ms. Freyaz Shroff, Founder – KurNiv Success Solutions
When I came to Mumbai after nineteen years of being away from this busy and vibrant city, I was looking for a job that would fit my idea of both earning and enjoying my work. I had hoped that the company, for which I worked, would also allow me to give back to society in some way. While I got a job and started off, things didn’t quite pan out the way I had hoped. Work hours were extraordinarily long and erratic, core leadership seemed to be lacking and decisions, by second in line management, weren’t always being made in the best interest of the company. The corporate shift from America to India found me having to understand a new system of values, such as paying “extra” for work that should have been part of someone’s regular duties or learning that the emphasis the Indian culture puts in to relationships carries through even into the work place, making who you know more important than what you know or how you deliver what you know. It was becoming difficult, in the work place, for me to find the common ground between the Western work culture, I was used to, the Indian work culture, I now found myself in and my own inherent values.
In time a decision to leave my job, my desire to do something meaningful and a push from my friends led me to open my own company. I named the company KurNiv Success Solutions, after my parents, creating, from the start, the foundation in values that were important to me. My company’s vision was clear, “to educate, encourage, empower and excite individuals to become leaders of sustainable growth and productive change in India.”
Volunteer work I had done between the time I left my job and started my company led me to a referral which materialized into my first contract for work and from there the work started to grow.
For me there are many things that motivate me. First and foremost, seeing the change and growth in the people around me gives me a huge high. The fact that I can make a difference in the lives of others and eventually in the world makes the fewer hours of sleep extremely worth it. The positive feedback I receive from my work. When you feel like you’re transforming people’s limiting thoughts and belief systems, you get charged to work harder and make a more meaningful impact.
As a woman, working professional and success coach, I would like to mention some of the mantras that helped me inch closer to my goals:
Stand by your idea: Very often it takes long for your idea to take shape and even reap rewards. But this should not deter you from your end goal. Keep at it, be patient and you will succeed. Moreover, don’t let others define your beliefs of what you should or should not be doing.
Listen to your voice: While you can consider the opinions and suggestions of others, let your final decision be your own. You know if it’s your inner voice if it’s not attached to fear. Any decision based on fear of approval, failure or some other societal pressure is not one that is true to you.
Define work hours: As an entrepreneur or professional, make sure that you set certain hours in place for the work you do. Initially everyone feels they need to burn the midnight oil, but this only increases stress and affects your work-life balance. Ensure you keep enough hours to nurture yourself and those around you. This will make you more productive and finally happier.
Set realistic goals: If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s likely that you will reach nowhere. Thus, it’s important to set one’s goals, targets and vision and keep revisiting them as necessary. More so, these goals should be realistic and achievable rather than being unrealistic ones that will set you up for failure.
Join professional groups: To stay abreast of the developments in your area of expertise, join as many professional groups and forums as possible, Network, put yourself out there and let people know you exist.
Leverage your network: Use friends, family, past and present acquaintances to spread the word about your work. Don’t hesitate to ask for help at any point in your career. But at the same time don’t forget to reciprocate a favour. Everyone has something to give and you will know exactly what you can offer when someone approaches you for help.
Be confident, flexible and positive: One must keep their own confidence up at all times, remove rigid notions, stay flexible and be positive. You never know where your work can take you. Allow yourself to go with the flow and be open to new learnings.
Stay honest and credible: Assess your strengths and weaknesses honestly; say no to things you can’t do and highlight effectively what you can. To maintain quality, seek assistance from professionals and service providers. And lastly, build credibility, as it will take you much farther than anything else.