For those of you wondering – yes I made it into the finals of the GIST I Dare Business Plan Competition along with 4 of the other 5 teams from Pakistan. Going to Beirut, Lebanon end of June if the visa comes.
Attended a workshop on “Global Strategies for Ambitious Pakistani Entrepreneurs” with Ken and Laura Morse. Met a lot of my “Flashing Lights” peeps.
Did I tell you about the workshop I gave on Business Basics at the IWCCI (Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry)? Yeah – used the course content developed by 10,000 Women Program and Project Artemis. Was supported by the wonderful Bryce Barrows, CoFounder of The Recruiting Experts. Again, proof below …
Plus, plus, Robert Scoble sent me a friend request on Facebook! Story goes … I was at the workshop with Ken Morse right … and Ken asked us to pick one person we want to pitch to … any person at all … but make sure we knew his/her’s mother-inlaw’s name, fav color etc etc. So of course I sent a msg to Scoble asking him for that info. As luck would have it, he didn’t let me in on all that but he did add me. Am planning on trying this tactic on other random people on Facebook … let’s see what happens. Will keep you posted, my lovelies.
Was interviewed by Voice of America Pushtu service.Ummm … what a pity … I didn’t realize up until that time I had no vocabulary for describing my business in pushtu. Plus, the dialect issue is always tough.
My cousin passed away yesterday. She was the same age as me.
Do you see where I am going with this?
Phases in the life of a startup, dodos! You will have success. Things will accelerate. The adrenaline will start working overtime. Bush fires will erupt. But remember, when setbacks come along, grief strikes, for a good few hours you can’t breathe from the pain exploding inside your heart … be kind to yourself. You are human after all. As a startup you may not have the luxury of a big team – never forget your clients are also human. Tell them. It’s highly unlikely they’ll kill you for taking time out to attend a funeral.
Am ending the note with a few lines from Anne Frank who has been a source of inspiration for a long, long time. I’ve never been good at meeting new people. I am awkward and it shows. It’s not anyone’s fault. It’s just how I am. At such times I take great solace in Anne’s words – hope you also find comfort in them.
“A voice within me is sobbing, “You see that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, an finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if . . . if only there were no other people in the world.
“I want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for this gift, this possibility of developing myself and of writing, of expressing all that is in me. I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear; my courage is reborn. ”
“People who have a religion should be glad, for not everyone has the gift of believing in heavenly things. You don’t necessarily even have to be afraid of punishment after death; purgatory, hell, and heaven are things that a lot of people can’t accept, but still a religion, it doesn’t matter which, keeps a person on the right path. It isn’t the fear of God but the upholding of one’s own honor and conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to their minds the events of the while day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realizing it you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn’t know it must learn and find by experience that: “A quiet conscience mades one strong!”
“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
“Riches, prestige, everything can be lost. But the happiness in your heart can only be dimmed; it will always be there as long as you live, to make you happy again.
Whenever you’re feeling lonely or sad, try going to the loft on a beautiful day and looking outside. Not at the houses and the rooftops, but at the sky. As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you’ll know that your pure within and will find happiness once more.”