In 2018, I spent a lot of time creating a Happiness framework and understanding the importance of happiness at organisations. I  established my new career as a business consultant and a VC.

In 2019, after spending a lot of time crafting and establishing my roots in these two worlds. I was confident and excited to create an exponential change with a few select companies.

Then 2020 began and the world changed dramatically.

When COVID-19 started my first reaction was maybe it would be like Ebola or SARS and wouldn’t really impact my life much other than being cautious. Then the pandemic hit the world, this virus was different and scary. I started worrying and stressing and it didn’t get easier with the million of news updates, WhatsApp messages and people around me panicking. I had a sinking feeling and my 2020 vision and dream came crashing down.

But as I started settling into a new normal, my mindset started shifting. Yes, my business dreams weren’t going as planned but we were safe and in great health and everything else could be adjusted. I went back to my Happiness framework from 2018 and started to reflect and apply this framework again to my life.

I needed to think if the same things make me tick? What were my current blind spots and warts? What activities did I enjoy and that made me feel great and accomplished. This thought process and exercise took me back to my early days when I started my business with zero capital and precious little experience. I was hungry, fearless and foolish with a dream that every business in India would use software and I would make it happen for them. I had lived my dream.

However, in recent years, my success has been my barrier. I had become comfortable. My reputation and experience were adequate in getting attention, consulting and investing and drifting into retirement. Now, I felt that the universe had a different plan for me. The world was in a crisis and I wanted to do something about it.

I felt the need to reboot, reflect on who I am and my why and start again. While it is impossible to erase my identity as past  President of Tally solutions,  Co-founder iSPIRT and co-creator of  Shopper. These brands will always remain associated with me all my life but they can not define who I am. Sure I played a role as an entrepreneur, CEO,  and contributed to their success, however it was a role that I was playing and I realised that they did not define who I am.

I am clear that I am a catalyst(or)/ A change agent whom you can rely on. I  have been self-taught and blessed with a strong sense of intuition. I back myself to make things happen and I  come alive in a crisis. Continuous learning and teaching is my way of life.

Ideas come to me from my environment. Thirty years ago India was just getting started on its Technology story, I was studying to become a lawyer, I saw an opportunity in the software products business and  I grabbed it and went to create new markets and establish brilliant brands. This is who I am. I enjoy doing this work and today as we fight this pandemic a new wave of opportunities will present themselves.  I believe that for us to seize these opportunities we have to remove the blindfold of our past and look at the world with a new lens.

Thanks to the lockdown folks have realized that they have a surplus of “things “ and a scarcity of “time”.  People have begun to enjoy the peace and quiet and will not want to change this environment.  People are getting skilled and searching for more meaningful work, while traditional businesses are getting disrupted. The distributed workforce will be the new norm, organisations are bracing themselves to deal with the challenges of collaboration and alignment. The traditional salesman is dead, in the new avatar he has to be a digital marketer with an ability to find,  inspire and sell. The luxury of facetime to build rapport is no longer available. Finding customers with a need and showcasing value will be a huge challenge.

Companies that understand and adapt to the above environment, and are able to redefine themselves and their offerings will survive. This will need brave and courageous leadership and an agile and passionate organisation.

Teams and individuals need to state their purpose, form new habits to do things that are needed and not what they like doing. Habits create momentum and are the ‘catalyst ‘ for your success.

The following note has been my inspiration and I hope it motivates you too.

“We are happiest when we are helping other people with their lives.

We are loneliest when our personal goal is our own security.

To deal with the uncertainty of life, you accept it and you enjoy it. The fun in life is knowing that anything can happen. The earth is a dangerous place, lots of people die here that does not mean that I will live life like a frightened rabbit.

If you want absolute security in life then you have chosen the wrong planet to be born Your security and peace of mind is within yourself .”  Andrew matthews

Stay safe, happy, inspired and blessed

By Shoaib