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7 Simple Steps to Build Your Self Esteem Starting Now

By Leena Kundnani

Self Esteem or self-confidence is a quality that attracts us to others. From the quietly confident doctor whose opinion we trust, to the charismatic confidence of an inspiring speaker, self-confident people have qualities that everyone admires.

Self-confident people inspire confidence in others; be it their bosses, their colleagues, their customers, or their friends. Being self-confident is extremely important in almost every aspect of our life, yet sadly, so many of us struggle to find it.

Build Self-Esteem

Building your self-esteem is a first step towards a better life. After all, if you are self-confident, you will be able to respect yourself. And only when you respect yourself will you be able to respect others and improve your relationships with other.

The good news is that you can easily develop self-esteem. However you need to keep in mind that true self-esteem isn’t acquired overnight. Rather, it is a gradual process and you need to build on it with dedication.

You need to constantly remind yourself that you are a good human being and are worthy of respect and love. Here are seven steps that you can use to build your self-esteem.

  • Dress Smart

We have often heard the saying “Clothes don’t make the man”. While this is true, it is also true that how you dress does affect how you feel about yourself. The manner in which you dress impacts the way you feel about yourself.

This is because no one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you are well-dressed, you feel more confident and self-assured. So use this strategy to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance.

Remember, this doesn’t mean that you need to wear designer or branded clothes or be dressed as a mannequin all the time. But simple things such as bathing daily, wearing clean clothes, and wearing what you are most comfortable in help a long way in boosting your self-confidence.

  • Work Out

Along with personal appearance, physical fitness has a huge effect on self- confidence. It is only natural that you feel insecure and unattractive if you are out of shape.

People who are fit and healthy automatically are more confident than their counterparts. Working out regularly helps you to improve your physical appearance, energize yourself, and accomplish something positive.

Working out also creates positive momentum that you can build on for the rest of the day.

  • Maintain a Good Posture

Have you observed that self-confident people always walk with their backs straight and their chest forward? Similarly, a person who lacks confidence is likely to walk or sit with slouched shoulders.

It is true that the way a person carries herself goes a long way to show whether they are confident or not. By practicing good posture, you’ll automatically feel more confident.

So go ahead and show the world that you are confident – Not only will you feel more alert and empowered, but also make a positive impression on others.

  • Walk Faster

Just as it is with posture, the pace at which you walk goes a long way to portray and build your self-confidence. People who are self- confident walk quickly.

Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self-confidence by putting some pep in your step. Experts believe that walking even 25% faster makes you look and feel more important.

  • Speak Up

A self-confident person isn’t afraid to speak up and voice his opinion. On the other hand, a person who lacks self-confidence is tongue-tied and is afraid to speak up in a group. They are afraid that people will judge them for saying something stupid.

However, this fear isn’t really justified. Generally, people are much more accepting than we imagine. It is surprising but true that most people deal with the exact same fears. It is a good idea to make an effort to speak up in group discussions.

You could start this in groups you are more comfortable in, such as with close friends, and then extend this to your colleagues. Speaking in public will also make you more confident in your own thoughts.

  • Celebrate Your Successes

A person who lacks self-confidence believes that he is good at nothing. But this is not true. Remember that no one is perfect. Even the most confident people have insecurities.

Experts believe that having an inferiority complex is a state of mind in which you’ve declared yourself a victim. Do not allow yourself to be victimized.

Everyone is good at something, so discover the things at which you excel. Focus on your strengths and your talents, and give yourself credit for the same.

You could be good at art, music, or writing. Express yourself through these means and develop these hobbies. Everyone is born with talents and strengths. You only need to identify yours and develop and excel them.

Following your passion and your hobbies also work as a stress buster and have a therapeutic effect. This is because when you do something you enjoy, it makes you feel more confident.

  • Be Grateful

Last but not the least; be thankful for what you have. Focussing on what we lack also lead to an inferiority complex.

Remember… all of us lack something or the other. By consciously acknowledging and appreciating what you do have helps you combat the feeling of being unsatisfied.

© Naaree.com

Workplace Issues And Problems That Indian Women Face Everyday

Being a woman in the Indian corporate setup is a mixed bag, and while large companies are trying various ways to retain their women employees, there are several challenges that women still face.

Culturally and socially, India has a long way to go before women are genuinely treated as equals in the workplace. Here are some of the issues that women struggle to overcome in corporate India.

Women Issues Workplace

  • The Infamous Glass Ceiling

Of late this is a term thrown around a lot with respect to women in the corporate sector. The imaginary ceiling up to which a woman can grow in her career is a concept that is taken for granted in the Indian society.

There are several reasons why very few women make it to the top rungs of a firm – family commitments and gender discrimination in the workplace are just a couple.

When two people are considered for the same role, many a time a male employee is chosen over a woman simply because they don’t have as many strings attached like pregnancy and childcare.

  • Unequal Pay

Women in a lot of firms are paid 20-30% less than their male counterparts, often without valid reasons. Again, the skepticism of a firm to invest in their women employees is very evident. “What if she resigns because she needs to take care of a parent or a child?”

“What if she quits because her husband needs to move out of the city?” – these are just a couple of questions that run through the employer’s mind. Unless women are paid the same as men for the same work, it is very difficult to retain female workforce.

  • Employee Security

A lot of times women, especially in the BPO setup and in many IT firms are required to work for very long hours. Shweta Chawla, an employee of an IT firm says, “My company has cabs for us to use when we get delayed, but who’s to say we’re safe even in the cabs at 11 pm?”

There have been several cases of women employees of BPO organizations being raped and murdered by cab drivers in the wee hours of the morning.  Security is a factor that is extremely important when a woman makes a choice about working.

  • Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Suggestive statements made by bosses or peers, a careless brush of the backside, conversation with sexual overtones – these are not uncommon in corporate India. Organizations usually have a system in place for women employees to report sexual harassment and take legal action.

However, there are two major issues here – inability to recognize sexual harassment in some cases, and fear of career setbacks if they report a superior.

  • Lack Of Support From Immediate Superiors

Many a time women have a tough time dealing with immediate bosses who are male. This is due to factors like lack of sensitivity of the boss towards the employee’s health concerns or family commitments, and assumptions about her capabilities on the basis of her gender.

Namrata Rao, an engineer in a reputed Telecom firm says, “I wanted to pursue a business development role and I spoke to my manager about it. He started the conversation by saying ‘If you are really serious about your career, my suggestion would be to …’ as soon as he said ‘if you are serious about your career’ I switched off because I was so mad at him.” Incidents like these are not uncommon.

  • Lack Of Support From Family

While this is not an issue directly at the workplace, if a woman doesn’t have the support of her family, it affects her performance at work.

Spouses and parents in law sometimes are unwilling to share responsibilities at home and with respect to childcare. This makes it all the more difficult for women to focus on work.

  • Insufficient Maternity Leave

Firms like Infosys and Ernst & Young have women employee friendly policies for maternity leave. But in a lot of other companies, women are forced to either quit or cut short their break post childbirth, depending on their financial condition.

  • Rewarding Face Time As Opposed To Results At Work

This is a predominant culture in the Indian workplace, where the more you are “seen”, the better you are rewarded. So while measures that give flexibility like working from home or flexi-hours work well for women, they lose out on a lot of recognition in spite of the hard work that they put in, simply because they are not physically present.

Organizations need to understand that unless they put in genuinely effective measures that will encourage women to work with little hassle, not just the companies, but Indian economy as a whole will take a big hit.

Have you faced any of these issues in the workplace? Leave a comment below and let us know your experiences.

© Naaree.com

 

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Income Tax Exemptions for Women in India: What You Need To Know

Women in India have climbed up the earnings ladder drastically in the past decade. However every year when it is Budget time, we all hope that there are benefits for us tax-wise.

The Budget doesn’t really offer too many exclusive benefits to women, but in general there are some areas where everyone can save on tax. Here’s a look at what’s beneficial from a tax perspective, so women can make their choices wisely.

For resident women up to the age of 65 years, there is no income tax on net income up to Rs.1,90,000. This is slightly higher than the bar for men, which is Rs.1,80,000.

With effect from April 1st 2011, salaried women have a 10% tax deduction if their employer has invested more than Rs.1,00,000 in the Central Government’s Pension Scheme. There are many different investment options which help in saving tax, and one should always read and research these thoroughly before investing.

Earlier men solely made financial decisions and did all the investing. Now women are not to be left behind, and a lot of them do extensive research on investment options before deciding on what’s best for them.

The most well known Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, offers many tax benefits to investors. One can invest in instruments such as Public Provident Fund (PPF), National Savings Certificate (NSC), Tax Saving Fixed Deposits (FD) and so on, up to a limit of Rs.1,00,000.

Beyond this, one can also purchase Infrastructure Bonds up to Rs. 20,000. There are some market linked products such as Equity Linked Saving Scheme (ELSS) and Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) which can also be considered.

The risk that you can take with your money varies inversely as your age. If you are in your early working years, you can allocate a higher proportion to ELSS investments as opposed to the fixed income investments such as PPF and NSC.

If you are living in a rented accommodation, then be sure to claim HRA (House Rent Allowance) tax benefits.  There are 3 factors which are considered for HRA – the actual rent allowance given by employer, 50% of basic pay in metros (40% in non metros) and actual rent paid minus 10% of basic pay.

The least of these 3 factors is what you claim as HRA for  tax exemption. There are tax exemptions offered on home loans under Section 80C, and on interest under Section 24. These should also be availed of wherever applicable. Investing together offers some benefits for a couple, such as eligibility for loans.

While doing tax planning and taking investment decisions women should consider three factors – age, income and what financial goals they have set independently as well as from a family perspective.

A right balance of low risk investments such as fixed deposits, and medium and high risk investments such as shares, gold and real estate needs to be struck.

Consider consulting a certified and trusted financial planner as they have the knowledge as well as experience to manage money and put you on the right track.

This is an excerpt from “Personal Finance For Women In India: Plan Your Path To Financial Freedom Forever” authored by Ankush Thakur & Priya Florence Shah. 

 

How To Be A Business Leader: 9 Leadership Traits That Make You Great

Business empires no matter how big or small rely on the shoulders of leaders and its workforce. As a business leader, you must know how to handle the professional and the ethical aspects.

A well established and responsible person in this position knows how to be a business leader, but what does it really take to fill the position?

  • Business Leader

    Leadership Skills

A good business leader has certain qualities that both benefit her and her team.

She is the go-to person whenever there is a critical decision making or a plan that needs execution. People can’t function properly if they aren’t properly managed.

  • Lead By Example

As a business leader, you must know how to lead by example. A leader, who is dishonest, will receive the same dishonesty from him team.

But a leader with pure and noble intentions will receive the full support of his team to pass through all endeavors.

  • Grace under Pressure

A business leader should always show confidence and composure. A leader who exhibits “grace under pressure” will get more positive results and can transmit the same working attitude to his team.

  • Ability to Execute Vision

A good business leader should put his vision into words and action. Feasible and tangible projects that can improve the organization and boost the confidence of the people will earn support and encouragement.

  • Motivating People

A business leader should also give credit to the right person for a job well done. This gesture will boost the full potential of this person and it will encourage other people to do the same. Monetary incentives, tokens or even food stubs are great ideas as bonuses.

  • Ability to Delegate

Company projects and other endeavors should be divided among teammates and delegation of responsibility should be made by the business leader. Assigning the best person for a specific task is crucial in attaining the best results.

But always give your support and encouragement to boost everyone’s interest and involvement. Delegate a project leader for the task to oversee the progress and to give you updates of the day to day activities.

  • Communication Skills

Encourage open communication between you and your team. You should always have time for suggestions and feedback to help maintain a good rapport with everyone. Be aware of the issues and concerns of your people and be on the lookout for disagreements and unhealthy working attitudes.

  • Ability to Earn Respect

You can always be as friendly as you are, but instilling discipline among your team will help you earn respect and support.

  • Fair and Just

Being a business leader also means being fair and just in making judgments that can help improve a harmonious working environment and relationship with your team.

© Naaree.com

Business Leadership Programs:

Couple Living In

Are Live-In Relationships Unfair To Indian Women?

The law on domestic violence against women in relationships recognizes live-in relationships as equal to marriage. It’s also stirred up a debate about the morality and acceptability of live-in relationships in India.

According to the news report here, the law is a paradigm shift in the way the state has looked at the man-woman relationship.

When the law for the protection of women from domestic violence comes into force, it will extend equal benefit to women in live-in relationships, as it will to married women. In other words, this means an official recognition to live-in relationships. Under the new proposal, the Government has defined violence against women in such a way that it makes no distinction between a woman who is married and one who is in a live-in relationship.

Accordingly, from now on there will be stringent provisions for violence against women, whether within a marriage or a live-in relationship; verbal abuse and wife bashing will be considered an offence which may invite penal provision of one year in jail and Rs 20,000 fine and, over and above of all this, none of these offences will be bailable. It’s a proposal that will provide a relief to all women who may have suffered from domestic violence.

I’m all for personal choice, and I think the Indian Government has very good intentions when it comes to protecting women in relationships, but there’s more than one way to look at this situation.

Women who choose a live-in relationship without marriage are not being forced to make that choice. They make it of their own free will, and have the choice to walk out anytime things go bad. If they don’t exercise their choice, they are choosing to act like victims. And there are no victims, only volunteers.

But there’s another reason I believe that women who agree or choose to opt for a live-in relationship, with hopes of tying the knot someday, are doing themselves a great disservice.

Studies on cohabitation, like the one here, have shown that not only are live-in relationships more likely to lead to a weak marriage, but there’s also a higher incidence of abuse and divorce in a live-in relationship.

According to social science evidence, cohabitation presents numerous troubles for the couple. Research has shown that couples who cohabitate increase the risk of divorce if they ever do marry.

Furthermore, there is an increase in the occurrence of domestic and child abuse among those couples living together outside of marriage. Although not proven, it is said couples that cohabitate are not as happy as married couples. (USA today)

Many researchers believe that those who have “trial” marriages will not and do not have better marriages. Many of these couples cohabitate because they believe that their marriage will be stronger since they got to know each other first.

However, research shows that cohabitating couples have lower marital satisfaction and weaker marriages than those who did not live together first.

It is believed that married couples make an attempt to compromise and accommodate to each other’s life because the marriage is supposed to last for life. It is believed that cohabiting couples do not do this because they don’t have a life long commitment.

Personally, I would rather have a live-apart relationship, and date a man a few times a week, than give him the benefit of living with me without marriage. Living together tends to create boredom. Not only is it better for a relationship when you spend time apart, but I believe it keeps the mystery and romance alive.

I believe I deserve nothing less than total commitment and devotion from a man I’m planning to spend the rest of my life with. So, for me, living-in would be the equivalent of lowering my standards and settling for less than I deserve.

For legal recognition of live-in relationships to truly make a difference, we need to go beyond definitions of abuse, to include division of assets and child support for children conceived within such a relationship.

Only when their pocketbook is likely to be affected by a relationship will men think twice before suggesting living-in without tying the knot.

Also Read: What It Means to Live with a Man

© Naaree.com

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.ne

Top 10 Destinations For Indian Women Who Travel

More women are venturing out into the world to travel and explore, Indian women included. According to the University of Michigan’s International Center, women going on study abroad programs outnumber men 2 to 1.

But women aren’t just traveling for education, they are hopping on planes for pleasure and adventure as well.  Times have changed and Indian women are more independent, seeking new experiences in a solo trip or group setting.

Indian Woman TravellerThere’s so much to see in this beautiful world, where can you start?  Here are 10 places that you should not miss:

  • Barcelona, Spain

Many people have already put this on the top of their list! Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city, bustling with people, locals and tourists the like.

Shopping, art, amazing street performers, architecture that astounds – it’s the perfect package for the culture-loving women.

Learn to Flamenco dance, check out one of the largest Marine Centre’s in Europe, L’Aquarium de Barcelona, or simply relax on the beautiful Barceloneta Beach.

  • Istanbul, Turkey

This is a special city, positioned right between Europe and Asia. An ancient city, rich with history, one of the largest in the world. Stroll through the amazing spice markets or visit a palace built centuries ago.

Don’t forget to take a moment to sip on a Turkish coffee at a local sidewalk café. A solo woman traveler can have a safe and enjoyable journey here, but always use common sense. Check out one woman’s tips on the Journeywoman site.

  • Queenstown, New Zealand

If you are looking for a bit of nature and stunning mountain views are more your thing, head to Queenstown. Nestled in the South Island of this beautiful country, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, this is a magical place.

There is much opportunity for excellent skiing in the winter. Don’t love the crowds?  Autumn is a nice time to visit, as there are less tourists and still so much to do.

Head out for some jet boating, bungee jumping or hiking. Even with all of the tourists, the gorgeous scenery will not disappoint. This is a lovely place for an Indian woman traveler as New Zealanders (aka Kiwis) are some of the friendliest people around!

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina

The largest city and capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires is a place to let your hair down! Yes, the architecture and climate is amazing but so is the nightlife.

Be ready to eat a late dinner and head out to the clubs until the early hours, especially if you like to dance. Pack your dancing shoes, ladies, there’s never too much tango in this city. Shopping, food, wine and many neighborhoods to explore in this city of rich culture.

  • Tel Aviv, Israel

Located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline, nicknamed “the City that Never Sleeps”, this city will never leave you feeling bored. If you love fashion, performing arts and spending money, this is your place!

Look out New York; Tel Aviv is quickly becoming one of the most popular cities to visit. To top it off, some of the best beaches in the world can be found here. Bring your swimsuit along…or better yet, buy a new one once you get here.

  • Zanzibar, Tanzania

Situated off of the coast of Tanzania, in the Indian coast, Zanzibar will give you beauty beyond belief with its turquoise water, coral reefs and white sand.  Visit the historic city of Stone Town, known as one of the last Ancient towns in East Africa, unchanged for 200 years.

Zanzibar will give you a change of pace, if you like history, indigenous wildlife and beautiful scenery, this may be the holiday for you. The local people will love that you are bringing money into their home but always respect their customs and traditions while visiting.

  • Brooklyn, NY

The biggest of the five boroughs in NYC, Brooklyn will expose you to more than just American culture. This is a place where you can find people from all over the world (living very closely to one another).

One day you can go to Italy, while the next, try visiting the neighborhood now known as “Little Russia”.  Each neighborhood will have it’s own culture and there are many to explore, prepare to be amazed.

If you are traveling alone, there are many women travel meetups that you can find on the internet to connect with other solo women travelers in NYC.

  • Chiang Mai, Thailand

A quieter alternative to the bustling city of Bangkok, Chiang Mai is home to over 300 Buddhist temples. There are many national parks to visit; some local groups offer free guided hikes.

A popular spot for tourists and locals is the Wat Prathat Doi Suthep Temple, the most famous one of the city.  It offers views of the entire valley and sits on the top of the Doi Suthep Mountain.

Go river rafting, ride an elephant or visit a small village in the hills, it’s all possible here! Also, if you love to shop (and enjoy a good haggling), this is your place, you can find many good bargains at the markets here.

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico

If you’re looking for an island getaway with a side of history, make your way to San Juan. Crystal blue water, Caribbean sun, beaches, beaches and more beaches!

Spend a day in Old San Juan, walk the cobblestone streets and make sure to check out the two forts called El Morro and San Cristobal. These historic forts are situated on the northern part of Old San Juan, overlooking the ocean, so bring your camera.

If you’re on a budget, there are quite a few safe but cheap options to stay here, some even located on the beach.

  • Goa, India

A popular destination for both domestic and international tourists, Goa is a small state full of paradise. Indian and Portuguese culture abounds against a tropical setting in this ever-growing tourist hot spot.

The Portuguese influence is evident in the old Heritage Villas. Spend a day in Old Goa to see magnificent churches, monasteries and cathedrals, where the site of the Portuguese capital used to be.

Or simply find a beach bungalow and sit on one of the many beaches, enjoy a lazy day, and do nothing but soak up some sun.

These are just a handful of the many places waiting to be explored. There is risk in every adventure, which is part of the fun, but you should always be a safe traveler when trekking in unknown territory, especially if you choose to travel solo.

One great resource for a solo woman traveler is www.wanderlustandlipstick.com. There are many helpful travel tips on this website. No matter where you end up taking your suitcase, travel safe, travel smart, travel often, there’s a whole lot of world to see!

© Naaree.com

 

The Art Of Forgiving

By Leena Kundnani

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I believe that each of life’s experiences teaches us something; it leaves its mark on us in some way or the other. However not all experiences are pleasant.

ForgivenessAt times, we may be deceived, offended, and wronged by our family and friends. These experiences cause us untold hurt and anguish.

It may be that your boss is trying to undermine or intimidate you, your sibling is fighting you tooth and nail over money or property matters, or your in-laws are constantly humiliating your parents, but each incident leaves you with a heavy heart, and a troubled mind.

It is very easy to be overwhelmed with anger and hatred when something negative occurs. These feelings impact and affect you as a person. They play havoc on your emotional and physical health.

We learn to cope with our negative feelings in various ways, from denying our feelings, numbing ourselves, and disassociating ourselves from such unpleasant people. These defense mechanisms act as a hurdle to the path of forgiveness.

Over the years, we build up a storehouse of resentment. We prefer to draw comfort from our resentments, feeling almost powerful and God-like, when we refuse to forgive.

Most of us believe in the notion “An eye for an eye”, and disallow ourselves from behaving in a compassionate manner towards the person who caused us grief. Refusing to let-go boosts our (false) egos, and gives us a feeling of self-righteousness and a sense of immense satisfaction.

We become slaves to the adrenaline rush of feelings of anger, self-pity, and retribution, and we draw comfort from these feelings to help us cope with our hurt and resentment.

As the saying goes, “To err is human, to forgive divine”. Forgiveness is considered as an ideal virtue. Forgiveness does not mean that you bow down to the offender.

Forgiving the person who has caused you hurt does not demean you, or make you smaller. You actually do yourself a favor when you forgive the wrongdoer.

Forgiving someone is the greatest gift you can give yourself. It is the best way by which you can heal yourself emotionally, and spiritually.

Forgiveness is an art, an art that takes years to master. It is about the most difficult thing that a person can do, but it is not impossible.

I recently interviewed a brother and sister who have not spoken to each other since the last eight years. Says Jaya, “We had a fight about some trivial matter concerning some family property years back. At that time, my parents sided with my brother, maybe because they knew I was wrong.”

“However I was unable to accept that, or forgive my brother. Since then, there has been no looking back. I have not spoken to him, or even attended his wedding. I don’t know my niece or nephew. I realize now how much I have missed out on. My daughter doesn’t even know her cousins.”

When I spoke to Aaksah, her brother, he said, “Yes I know Jaya was angry at that time”. I always thought she should have been the first one to come and say sorry, as she was the one who started the argument in the first place. She did not come forward or make the first move towards a reconciliation, and neither was I willing to be the one to take the first step forward.

In today’s scenario, where property and money have blinded our senses, it is not uncommon to see so many families come apart simply because no one was willing to take the first step forward and forgive the other person.

One question that has always plagued me is that “Can I truly forgive someone if I am unable to forget?” Well, to ask someone to forgive and forget is perhaps almost unrealistic.

You try to forgive the person who has caused you untold grief or hurt but the mind, which is like a sponge with an amazing capacity to hoard the negative feelings and emotional hurt, raises its head like an ugly dragon, and memories of the hurtful incident comes back to haunt you.

You are then left wondering, “Have I really been able to forgive?” To answer this question, we need to understand what forgiveness really means.

Forgiveness is a process of truly letting go of the situation and making a new start. It means breaking free of any feelings of retaliation; it is a process of truly freeing yourself from grudges.

When you truly forgive, you make a commitment to yourself not to mention the issue in the future or use it to your advantage. It is important to realize that we only hurt ourselves if we hold on to past incidents.

While some incidents may require a long time to heal before you can actually let go and forgive, most incidents are so trivial that it is simpler to forgive and carry on with your life rather than holding on to the emotional baggage.

Debbie Mandel, M.A. Motivational Speaker, Stress Management Expert, Author, Radio Show Host has the following suggestions:

• You can learn to forgive others when you first forgive yourself. When you make a mistake, YOU are not a mistake. So by learning from mistakes, rejections, betrayals and injustices, you can really grow as a person. Most often, we are unable to forgive others because we allow ourselves to be hurt. Once you accept that being hurt is part of your self-growth, you can forgive others – they are your teachers.

• If you make up your mind to forgive and let go, you do not poison or dilute your present. You can forgive as soon as you make up your mind to forgive and move on. Our thoughts govern our perceptions. Many perceived injustices are just that – subjective perceptions which might be misunderstandings.

• The easiest way to forgive is to reframe the transgression with a positive spin – compassionate circumstances that made the person act that way.

© Naaree.com

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

10 Best Success Secrets for Women Entrepreneurs

Success is a combination of thinking right and doing right, according to Sarika Bhattacharyya of BizDivas. Here are her 10 best success secrets for women entrepreneurs.

1. Be optimistic

2. Avoid Big Mistakes

• No cost to low cost – Use social media liked Facebook, twitter etc to drive your business.
• It is a proven fact that entrepreneurs are today driving economies. Why? We are able to think fast on our feet, we can make changes as needed when we see the markets change. During recession in 2008, it was “dinosaur” companies suffered the most as they tend to move slowly.
• Bring in flexibility in our working style. Maintain a work life balance.
• Never design your lifestyle around your work, instead design business around your lifestyle. Then work becomes your passion.
• Turn your passion into profits. Purpose of business is actually to make profits and not make it a “Secret Hobby”.
• Provide products ir services which audience really “WANTS”. Wants are bigger than needs…trust me we indulge more in wants than needs.

3. Good business model.

Business model needs to be efficient and self sufficient. Cost to Income ratio needs to work in your favour.

4. Learn to embrace risks.

• Get out of your comfort zone.
• Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

5. Stay out of fear – Stay in faith.

• Have faith in yourself. Believe in yourself
• Grow as far as your greatest fear.
• Your biggest fear makes you uncomfortable to be able to reach that big success. Success we seek will only come when we move through the fear.

6. Get inspired.

Learn from inspiring people and surround yourself with people who are there where you want to be.

• Invest in training, education, coaching – Invest in yourself.
• You are the average of five people who surround you the most.
• Master mind: Having a group of successful entrepreneurs with who you would learn and share.

7. Stay on your path.

Not everyone will support your success. Don’t get distracted by criticism. Holding back hurts no one but you.

8. Time management.

Time: we all have 24 hours but how one utilizes it is what makes one rich.

9. Brand yourself.

Marketing yourself is more important than mastery of your skills.

• There are many masters of your trade better than you but are not commercially successful because people don’t know them.
• If you don’t know how to get word around you wont be able to get clients.
• Important to understand how lead generation from offline and online prospects can be converted to buyers and then to repeat buyers.

10. Plan ahead.

Make decisions not from where you are but where you want to be.

Sarika Bhattacharyya, Founder of Biz Divas and Altavis has over 12 years of experience in Financial Services industry having worked with firms such as Merrill Lynch and ICICI Bank in the field of investment banking and wealth management. She is passionate about entrepreneurship development and believes in financial independence for every woman. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband and 5 year old son. She can be reached at sarika@altavis.co.in