Keeping Small Businesses Competitive through Sharing Best Practices of Global Leaders

Archive for the ‘Non-Profit’ Category

Antonio Mateo Garcia, Military Vet|College Student |”Packs by AMG” (Boston, MA)

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

 

BSO: Thank you for your service to our great nation and your work at MacDill AFB. You’ve spoken about your vision to start a non-profit after graduation. Tell us about your life story. 

 

AG:

My name is Antonio Mateo Garcia. I am a student at Fisher College in Boston and I am also a young Army veteran. I only served one contract due to an injury that I still deal with today. I receive medical retirement. Sometimes, I wish I was still in the service, mainly because it is a family tradition to join the military. Both of my parents served.

With my military background, I am proud to help any and all veterans whenever possible. I grew up in Detroit. During most of my childhood, I saw a lot of things, both good and bad. I would always see homeless individuals forming these giant lines just so they can get a spot in a shelter that wasn’t even in the best condition. I would see families forced to live on to the street due to foreclosure of their homes or from being evicted because they could no longer afford their homes, especially during the period of time when the auto factories started laying people off because they would replace them with machines or the factories would shut down. Ever since I was young, I wanted to help these people, I wanted to make a difference. I want to be able to build a small community that includes homeless individuals of all types; single individuals (veterans and non-veterans), families, and LGBT youth.

I will graduate with my Bachelors in Management with two concentrations (entrepreneurship and accounting) and with two minors (human services and Human Resources).

 

BSO: There is no typical day in the life of a college student. Share with us your daily schedule.

 

AG:

My daily schedule is always different but there is a few similarities. Everyday starts with waking up around 8am to 8:30 am. On Mondays, I have 3 classes (management applications, marketing and macroeconomics). Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have my accounting class, which is fun. This class is the reason I added accounting as my second concentration; I instantly fell in love with it. I also have my work study.

 

BSO: What are your ‘can’t live without’ software applications?

AG:

My absolute favorite software applications is Microsoft office ; I am a pro at every application Microsoft has created; word, powerpoint, excel, etc. I use them all almost everyday. I use excel the most because I actually use it to do my monthly budget. I could not live without Microsoft office.

 

BSO: What has been your strategy for building your ‘brand’ on LinkedIn?

 

AG:

I update my LinkedIn profile every month in case there needs to be anything added to my experience or awards. I only make connections with people I know or with people I can gain from (experience or advice) for my future endeavors. When I was leaving the Army, I took a “transition to civilian life” class. This is when I first created my LinkedIn profile.

 

BSO: What are your proudest achievements, professional & personal ?

 

AG:

Joining the military was one of my favorite accomplishments, on a personal level, but  getting my associates degree is my favorite achievement professionally. I have dyslexia and I also had a bad semester where I wasn’t trying my hardest, so to know that I went through it all and I still came out and got my first college degree, it makes me smile. I am very proud of myself and I continue to be proud of myself with all that I want to do.

 

BSO: What are you currently reading ?

AG:

I am currently reading “Escape Room”. I try to find at least an hour each day to read which can be complicated at times due to my school schedule.

 

BSO: What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

 

AG:

I donate food or clothing when there is a drive. As of now, I am focused on my schoolwork. I want to start soon a non-profit organization, calling it “Backpacks for the Homeless”, where I will buy simple two-pocket backpacks and fill them with essentials like a toothbrush, a blanket, snack foods, travel size soaps and toothpaste, etc. I plan to start a GoFundMe to get collect funds in which I can obtain the funds to buy everything I need to start it off. https://www.gofundme.com/f/avrza-backpacks-for-the-homeless?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1

 

BSO: Who has influenced your life the most? 

AG:

My mother has been the biggest influence in my life. Part of the reason I want to help homeless families (especially families with single moms) is because I saw my mom suffer and there have been many times where we didn’t really have a place to call our own. The time I remember the most is when my brother, my mother and I stayed in the basement of a family friend when my mother lost her job and we couldn’t afford to live in our house. My mother is also an army veteran so luckily we had her veteran benefits to fall back on but not all single moms (or single dads) have that.

BSO: What is your advice for someone interested in joining the military ?

AG:

Do your research on the branch you are interested in and talk to a recruiter directly. If you are truly interested in the military, and not just for the free college education, then a recruiter will be the best person to talk to. Also, talk to any veterans you may know:  they can give you first-hand experience especially if they were deployed. I was not deployed during my short time in the military but I loved basic training.

Liz Zamagni, Lead Age Group Coach for Austin Aquatics & Sports Academy (Austin, TX)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

 

Elizabeth Zamagni (Liz) grew up in Boston, Massachusetts where she swam for Simmons College while receiving her Dual Masters Degree in Elementary and Special Education.

She was a NCAA qualifier and all scholastic collegiate athlete for all four years. She went on to coach for 8 different swim teams ranging from age group, masters and triathlon swimming within the Greater Boston Area. Liz was instrumental in saving her local YMCA’s Swimming Team from being cut from their programming. She grew the team from single digits, led them to win 3 championship titles and established a team merger with 2 other local YMCA’s to create a USA Team within the southern area of Boston Massachusetts. Liz then became an Aquatics Director leading her aquatics facility to acceded revenue goals, participation and creating new programming for those communities.

To continue her knowledge of athletics, Liz became a certified Personal Trainer/Nutrition Coach with ISSA, pursued certifications in Pre & Post Natal, Viper Training, Stick & Acumobility Trainings and became a Certified Water Aerobics Instructor with ASFA. She is a dedicated athlete within her own fitness program where she enjoys Yoga, Bare, Pilates, Strength and TRX training. Liz is a Boston girl at heart and so loves to cheer on her local sports teams. She believes with dedication, determination and commitment, anything is possible!

 

BSO: Tell us about your job. What is your title ? What are your key responsibilities?

LZ:

I am a Lead Swim Coach for 2 age groups within a 350+ swim team. I lead 2 of the younger ages (6-9 & 9-10). I also assist one of my co-coaches with 2 of their groups (11-12 & 15+). I am fully responsible in creating the groups workouts each day. The individual workouts have to come together and look at the season as a whole to include the children’s individual goals, my and the team’s goals such as winning the championship meet at the end of the season. I send weekly emails to parents about what to expect each week along with monthly emails about each child’s progress. I have 57 children in total I am fully responsible for. I also keep track of each child’s attendance, attitude and overall health and wellbeing. I then assist my co-coaches with the same goals and daily practices when I am the assistant for their groups. My company also offers a Masters Swim Team for adults which I coach twice a week, working with the other coaches to create a smooth and cohesive plan for each month with their goals in mind. I lead a homeschool workout for children twice a week to fulfill their gym requirement. Lastly, I teach private lessons for adults and children, working with them on their goals such as improving on their next triathlon or learning to swim so they can join their middle school swim team (Swimming is a huge sport in Texas).

All in all, my greatest responsibility is listening to others and helping to direct and guide them from what they shared with me to reach their goals.

 

BSO: There is no typical day in the life of talented, ambitious professionals. Share with us your a.m. to p.m.

LZ:

My schedule is different every day as we have limited pool space and each group does not swim every day. I am coaching a total of 32 hours on deck. My younger group swims three times a week while my older kids swim 4 times a week. When I assist I am helping out with five other practices a week. The young kids swim for 1 hour, then 1.5 and lastly 2 hours for the oldest groups. All of my groups swim after school so my day really goes from 4-8:30pm. I am coaching the homeschoolers and masters around lunchtime and complete about 2 hours of administration during the mornings. If we have a swim meet, I am working the weekends from 7am-2pm Saturday and Sunday. If we have no swim meet, then just Saturday practices/swim lessons from 8-1pm leaving Sunday as an off day. I have always been a morning person so I get up around 5-6am and am in bed by 9-10pm.

 

BSO: What are your ‘can’t live without’ software applications?

LZ:

I love my apple watch for personal use. I spend my time coaching on the pool deck so my watch is great for quick emails and texts if an athlete will be out. I love all google products and use the calendar for my scheduling. I use the sheets to create my workouts, log athletes goals and other data. In the swimming world, all statistics are run through a software called Teamunify so I could not live without that as that keeps my swimmers times, meets, attendance and can run all my reports.

 

BSO: What was the best advice you received when you began your career ?

LZ:

I would say that the best advice I was given was from 2 different role models at 2 different parts of my life. In college, my coach said never act as if you know anything and always ask why someone did something. This has allowed me to take so much away from other great coaches. My most recent manager said that if you want to reach the top level of competition in any sport, you have to follow and not lead. This has helped me to make friendships with other top level coaches and not be seen as a threat but as a person looking to help and learn from them.

 

BSO: What are your proudest achievements, professional & personal?

LZ:

Attending and graduating from Simmons College in Boston. This was the hardest for me as I have a learning disability called Dyslexia. I was told my freshman year of highschool that I would be lucky to attend a community college and, after that, not to expect much.

Getting into a private school like Simmons was my way of showing everyone who said I was unteachable that they were wrong. Then choosing to attend Simmons College where I swam all 4 years and spent an extra year and a half to get a dual masters in teaching has opened so many doors for me. I found my love for coaching and education there in my sport of swimming. I proved to myself that my limitations are nothing more than self doubt and I am capable of anything.

 

BSO: What are you currently reading?

LZ:

I am currently reading “High Performance Habits” How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard; #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author.

 

BSO: What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

LZ:

Working for the YMCA of Greater Boston.

I came in to a swim team that was going to shut down because they did not have the funding or numbers to keep it. I worked with people within that community, local business and the Thomas M. Menino Family to re-create their swim team. We offer a 100% financial aid system for families in need. This included the yearly team cost and fees, a Swimsuit, Team shirt, Water bottle, covering all their meet entry fees and anything else they needed such as swim caps and goggles.

 

BSO: Who has influenced your career the most?

LZ:

My Two Swim Coaches. My Boys and Girls club coach Sherrel Farrell for showing me that the sport of swimming can and should be accessible to everyone, no matter your age, ability, background or finances. Then, my college coach Melinda Williams for making me a true athlete with a love for the sport but also giving me my first lead coaching job and teaching me what it means to be a coach, leader and role model  in someone’s life.

 

BSO: What is your advice for young professionals?

LZ:

My advice is that life’s meant to test you, to push you down and make you fall or fail. We all have our problems and challenges. Our responsibility is to push back each and everyday. To show up better than you were yesterday. To rise in that testing moment for you never know that impact you could have on someone else through your experiences and challenges.

Nancy Boucher, Founder of Elegant Impressions Gifts |Collaborative Leader in Business Analysis & Resource Planning (Boston, MA)

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

 

http://linkedin.com/in/nancy-boucher-32697874

 

 

BSO:  Tell us about the inception of your business, Elegant Impressions Gifts.

NB:
When I started my gift basket business (15 years ago), I had twin toddlers at home.
I left a successful career in Merchandising for an apparel company to take care of my infant twins.  That was a full-time job in itself, but I yearned for something to satisfy my creative and analytical instincts at the same time.  I considered various ideas that would allow me to run a business from home on my own schedule, so I could balance the needs of the business and those of my children.  A gift basket business was the perfect solution.
BSO: What was your typical day when you ran your business while your twins (now teenagers !) were toddlers ? 
NB:
When I ran my business while raising my twins, no two days were the same
Some days I would create new designs, order inventory, work on my website, fulfill orders, and a myriad of other things, typically while the children napped or after they went to bed at night.  I was fortunate to have my parents nearby, and they would often help with the kids if I had a lot of work to do on a particular day.
BSO: What are your ‘can’t live without’ apps?
NB:
I used MS Excel for countless purposes in my business.
 In my current role as Purchasing Director for the Carpionato Group, I use Optimum Control to manage our inventory.
I’ve used several other inventory management systems in restaurant settings, and I find this program is the best of the bunch.  It is very flexible, allowing me to analyze data in numerous ways, and it is set up very logically.  It was easy to learn and is efficient to manage the database.
BSO: What’s the best advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
NB:
The best advice I’ve received in my business life, not necessarily when I ran my business, is to not give away my power.
There are several books written on this topic, but all have essentially the same message: do not allow others to get into your head and affect your thinking in a negative way.
By doing so, you are giving away your power.
BSO: What was your strategy for building awareness of your business ?
NB:
The best thing I did to build awareness of my business was to form a chapter of Business Network International (BNI).  It took a couple of years of hard work to get the new chapter off the ground, but it paid off.  We built a coalition of like-minded business owners who helped each other grow their businesses through networking and referrals.
 I got a lot of business through this group, and I gave a lot as well.
Additionally, I built friendships that will last a lifetime.
BSO: What are your proudest achievements ?
NB:
Professionally, I’m proud to have been promoted to Director of Merchandising and Planning at the age of 26.  I ran a successful department of talented individuals, and we accomplished great things with limited tools available.  For example, we had no enterprise planning system, so I built a system from scratch in Excel, modeling a planning and allocation system I had used at a prior company.  We used this custom solution for years, very successfully.
Personally, I’m most proud of my children, who have grown into smart, caring, successful teenagers.
I’m also proud of the things I achieved while I was raising my children: I ran a successful business, started a chapter of BNI, returned to college to earn a second degree,   and ran a large school fundraiser for 7 consecutive years.
BSO: What are you currently reading ?
NB:
Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People by William Ury
BSO: What are your most rewarding charitable involvements ?
NB:
My father-in-law died from ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).
For five years after he passed, our family ran annual golf tournaments to raise money for ALS research.  It was a lot of work to put together a successful tournament year after year, but we always did, and we raised over $60,000.
BSO: Who has influenced you the most ?
NB:
I had a female boss many years ago when I first got into the apparel industry.  She was brilliant – she had such a mathematical mind, and she was really strong with computer systems.  She recognized my potential and took me under her wing. I learned so much from her, and she promoted me through the ranks as she progressed as well.  I have kept her in mind all these years, and use her example in whatever role I may be in at the time.
BSO: What’s your advice for starting a business ?
NB:
▪️Do you research.
▪️Have a plan.
▪️What are the realistic costs to get started?
▪️What is a realistic sales forecast?
▪️Assume your expenses will be higher than you think, and income lower than you think.
If you are prepared for that scenario, you will buy yourself time to get your business cranking.

Quentin Allums, TEDx Speaker |CEO, Urban Misfit Ventures | Video Storytelling (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

 

Quentin Allums is a speaker, community builder, as well as the CEO of Urban Misfit Ventures, a fast growing startup based out of Milwaukee (www.urbanmisfitventures.com). He has amassed over 10 million views on LinkedIn content and was one of the first video creators on the platform. He’s spoken at events such as VidCon, TEDx, and is an upcoming speaking at Inbound 2019.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

 

BSO: Tell us about the inception of your business.

QA:

I was at a point in my entrepreneurial career where I finally found something that was working after failing so many times before.

I had just gone into a large organization to do a training on personal branding for their executives and I had a handful of retainer clients. But I had an idea for another company. Something that excited me. Because I was tired of doing “work”. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to impact people. And do it alongside people that I cared about.

It’s kind of a crazy story honestly, but it goes back to college.

Izzy was one of my first friends in college. He was the reason I got into marketing in the first place. I remember there was an internship, that I really wanted, but was WAY underqualified for. I applied and didn’t hear anything back. Izzy went to a networking event and ran into a person that would later be my boss. Izzy went to bat for me. And I got an email to meet the next day.

I got the job.

Izzy also introduced me to a guy that was crushing it on Instagram, Optic.Legacy

Six years later,  I met him. His name is Brema, and we met through a group that was trying to do something similar (at least at the time that we started) as my company now. They ended up kicking myself and Brema out of the group for creative differences. I hired Brema to shoot video for that personal branding training that I had mentioned above. I loved his work.

And Eric, I met through Twitter. I reached out to get coffee because he was in Milwaukee and did great work. We talked about everything and it blew my mind that this guy didn’t see the talent and potential that I saw in him almost immediately. I pushed him to jump on LinkedIn. And at the time I had convinced a lot of people to do so (and most of them quit). Eric created for 90 days straight. Which impressed me. We started a YouTube channel together. That wasn’t enough so I asked him to start a company. This company.

We hired Brema to do our inital photo shoot. He liked what we were doing so he asked to join. And then Izzy, my old college roommate, was transitioning from a previous role as Director of Corporate Sponsorships. He joined.

The company has morphed and pivoted but that was our inception. And it’s grown faster than any of us ever expected.

BSO: There is no typical day in the life of an entrepreneur. Share with us your a.m. to p.m.

QA:

I’m typically up by 5am. I work best in the morning and late in the evenings. I listen to an e-book or my meditation app on my walk into the office. My dog is usually always with me as well.

I like to work alone for the first few hours of my day, so that’s usually in the office or just at my place. I usually focus on my major task of the day during this time.

We have a daily team meeting every morning at 10am. From there all structure goes out of the door for me. Meetings, calls, content, strategy, hires, emails, putting out a fire, more meetings, meeting with our business coach, client meetings when I am needed, etc. I lift every other day at 2pm as well. And my evenings, I am either with my girlfriend, at an event, speaking, or doing research on the e-sports industry (or just playing video games).

BSO: What are your ‘can’t live without’ software applications?

QA:

Google Calendar is all I need. To-Do-ist is also pretty rad. And my personal assistant. I would be lost without my personal assistant haha.

BSO: What was the best advice you received when you started your business ?

QA:

You don’t have a business until you sell something.

 

BSO: What has been your strategy for building awareness of your business ?

QA:

    1. Building a community.
    2. Bringing constant value
    3. Crafting a story that is about our followers and the lifestyle. It’s not about us.

BSO: What are your proudest achievements, professional & personal ?

QA:

Honestly, I feel like I am just getting started. I still have so much that I want to accomplish. It still shocks me every day that we employ people. We have changed lives and I will never take that for granted.

I’m proud of how far I’ve come. TEDx was awesome. VidCon was awesome. I’m excited to speak at Inbound 2019 in a month. I love the impact that we’ve been able to have on our clients.

BSO: What are you currently reading ?

QA:

    1. The Strategies of War
    2. This Is Not a T-Shirt: A Brand, a Culture, a Community–a Life in Streetwear

 

BSO: What are your most rewarding charitable involvements?

QA:

The community that we are building. Honestly, it is just the beginning but seeing people achieve their dreams is more fullfilling that achieving my own sometimes.

 

BSO: Who has influenced your career the most? 

    1. My friend Kendrick, who is the reason that I got into video. He also helped me out a ton when I launched my first venture.
    2. Izzy for pushing me towards marketing & showing me that age is just a number.
    3. Brittany Krystle has impacted me a lot when it comes to my personal branding ideology. She also is a main reason why I continued to speak after performing poorly.
    4. My mother.
    5. Kobe Bryant. For showing me that it’s okay to be “competitive”. And that you need to lean into who you are, it doesn’t matter what works for other people.
    6. Sophia Amoruso for showing me that being different is better than being better.
    7. Jason Silva, who is by far my biggest content inspiration.
    8. Jackie Hermes, who is now a client. But she was the second boss that I had in the marketing field. She taught me a lot. She still teaches me a lot and I hope I do as well in return.

 

BSO: What is your advice for starting a business?

QA:

Don’t listen (too much) to people giving advice.

Find what works for you.

You could read a million books and listen to a million podcasts. But at the end of the day you have to DO something.

Test. Try. Fail. Find something that works and lean into it. Again, you don’t have a business until you sell something. Go sell.

Sanjay Shah, Director of Visionary Digital Studios Ltd. (Brisbane, Australia)

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

BSO: Since our interview years ago, please share with us ways in which you’ve 1) challenged yourself and 2) grown, personally AND professionally.

SS:

Evolution and growth are always at the top of my mind, both as an individual and as a business (www.visionarydigitalstudios.com) (http://linkedin.com/in/visionarysanjayshah).

For me personally, one important change has been spending more time with people who I can learn from. I’ve joined a high-level Mastermind to make sure I’m mentored by people who are well ahead of me on the journey. Being in a Mastermind also ensures that I’m always surrounded by other CEOs with big ambition.

This keeps me motivated, keeps the fire burning.

In business, Visionary’s target market has switched to more high profile CEOs and bigger companies. This keeps our whole team challenged, always reaching up, always evolving to compete on a higher level. It also has the knock-on effect of consistently bringing successful people into our network, so we can share ideas and share more success with them as the relationship builds.

My recent epiphany – the growth curve will never stop.

We’ll always be reaching up to bigger deals, more challenging opportunities, delivering more value, working with more successful people.

Growth & Evolution IS the game …

BSO: With what you’ve learned about yourself and all that you’ve achieved, what are 3 pieces of advice you’d give your younger self ?

SS:

  • A natural part of all evolution is pain. Get used to the pain of building a business, learn to enjoy it, embrace it, and know that every time you endure it, the glory you get in return is always worth it.
  • The viewpoints of the majority of society are designed for people who want to live ordinary lives. That’s fine, no problems with that. But if you want to live your dreams, then you’ll have to think differently, and you’ll have to be comfortable with being very different from the norm.
  • Understand that if you’re putting in the HARD work, if your exposing yourself to the right training, and if you’re spending time with the right people – with patience, the results are pretty much guaranteed.

BSO: That never ending ‘balance’ question (wellness, career and family). What’s your typical day look like ? Or share with us a sample of 2 days.

SS:

I think there is no such thing as work-life balance for entrepreneurs!

Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle.

It doesn’t mean you can’t have family & friends, rest periods, and time to live your wildest dreams imaginable …

But all of those things should be correlated to your business.

So it means spending more time with family & friends that inspire your mission, scheduling deep rest to ensure you can bring your best self to your work, and consistently living your dreams to keep the fire burning for your business …

The way this plays out for me : I’m usually working 5:30am – 8pm, 5 days a week, plus plenty of hours on the weekend. However, I’ll factor in exercise designed to power my work day, spend time every day with people who inspire me and consuming content that makes me a better Director.

And it’s mandatory for me to live right on the ocean in a beautiful apartment, just to make sure the struggles are always worth it!

But to me … it’s all categorised as “work”. Everything in the day is designed to power the vision of the company in some way.

BSO: To function at our highest level and to continue tapping into our creativity, Weekends should be restorative, physically and mentally. What does yours look like ?

SS:

Hahaha this question makes me feel guilty …

I work all day Saturday and most of Sunday morning.

But I’ll always fit in some Crossfit training, some beach time, and usually a party or a concert to keep life exciting.  Sunday afternoons are spent in nature, usually alone. Deep rest … to prepare mentally for another big week ahead.

BSO: Please share with us what we can look forward to in terms of projects you are working on or your next exciting venture.

SS:

As entrepreneurs, we all want to start new ventures every day, and we find it hard to control ourselves!

But I’m a firm believer in focus.

If you have limited work hours each week – I think all your energy should be focussed into one single venture.

So, for Visionary Digital Studios, we’re sticking to our core product – Animated Marketing Videos for leading tech companies. However, we’re expanding that product to include options to use the videos to attract leads and scale business results.

So we’re now strategising Websites, Facebook Ads and Google Ads for our video clients, all based around the videos we have produced for them.

These Digital Marketing services are a competitive space to be in.

But it’s really exciting for us, because we are one of very few video agencies worldwide who can also offer these extra services, and do it well.

Lots of work on the horizon …But loving every step of the evolution & growth.

http://linkedin.com/in/visionarysanjayshah

Dr. Ruchi Dass, Founder of HealthCursor Consulting Group |Serial Entrepreneur|Digital Health Expert

Dr. Ruchi Dass’s Biography 

(See BSO’s  Interview with Dr. Dass 👇👇👇)

Dr. Ruchi Dass

Dr. Ruchi Dass is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder of the HealthCursor Consulting Group.

She is regarded as one of the leading global innovators in the field of Digital Health. She has spearheaded development and rollout of Innovative healthcare programs across the world since 2005 using technology. Her work and recognition includes frugal innovation in healthcare, bringing innovations mainstream, maintain a continuum of care and facilitate coordinated care population health, build healthcare models that provide quality, cost-effectiveness, and timeliness of care.

Dr. Dass excels at conceptualizing innovative and relevant healthcare products and services, especially for emerging markets, and directing development through commercialization, roll‐out and on‐going product performance enhancement. Through her esteemed clients and partners, her efforts have also made to the PMNCH Forum of Healthworkers @ WHO, GSMA’s Best mHealth Awards jury in Barcelona, IPIHD Top innovators list with World Economic Forum and UN’s Millennium development goals expert committee volunteers as well.

In Addition to her work in Healthcare, Dr. Dass runs two charities named “ShantiKaustubh” and “Ananya” that are based on Girl Education and Preventive Healthcare. Her new venture Idealabslive incubates early stage companies working with technology, telemedicine and community health programs across the globe.

Dr. Dass was recognized by the Honorable President of India, Dr. Pranab Mukherjee and Noble Laureate Dr. Aaron Ciechanover as they unveiled her book on “Innovations in Healthcare” that talked about “Frugal Innovation” in Healthcare industry in India.

Dr. Dass got voted as one of the Most Influential Women in Health IT in the world by FierceHealth and Top 10 Impactful Tech Leaders 2013 by InformationWeek. Her many innovations have received international recognition most notably by the ASHOKA, INTEROP, IPIHD (World Economic Forum), Economic Times, GBCHealth Business Action on Health Awards and TED. She was also a member of the HIMMS Innovation community, Las Vegas (2012-2013)

Dr. Ruchi Dass holds a medical degree and has completed Postgraduate programs at Georgia Institute of Technology (Health Informatics), USA; Duke Fuqua School of Business (Healthcare Entrepreneurship), USA and is currenty pursuing her MBA from the London Business School.

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW

 

BSO: Since our interview years ago, please share with us ways in which you’ve 1) challenged yourself and 2) grown, personally AND professionally.

RD:

First of all, Thank you Edith for giving me the opportunity to talk to you. There is so much we can do with our lives and there are so many possibilities. We know that we have the potential but we don’t do much as we have achieved quite a lot already. When we don’t do something for a long time that is challenging, requires discipline, commitment and serious efforts we develop inside us a memory of being complacent, weak and tired. And hence, even after having made a successful business when I would think of another start-ups, the same thought would occur to me.

I decided to challenge myself. 14 years in business, I decided to go for an MBA with London Business School. It wasn’t easy to be a student again (smiles). This year, I launched Digital IdeaLabs-live for incubating and mentoring exciting health technology start-ups and am also working on Prodentine a dental health technology aggregator. Constantly challenging myself brings out the best in me, it gives me a very strong “can-do” memory as well that helps in excruciating circumstances to sail through. If you don’t have a memory like that- you can’t do it.

In my personal life, in addition to putting on some healthy weight, I have started working on my book, joined GWI (Graduate Women International) as they are doing amazing work empowering women and girls with lifelong education and adopted two lovely baby elephants from the Sheldrick wildlife trust.

 

BSO: With what you’ve learned about yourself and all that you’ve achieved, what are 3 pieces of advice you’d give your younger self ?

RD:

Good question. I remember how making more money was important in the beginning and then growing and staying relevant. When I look back I realised that I neglected my long term goals for my short term wins. Like doing work that is not your core area of focus or interest or take up a lot on your plate etc. It is good to be disciplined and vocal about what you don’t want to take up as a project as it will not help you.

I always believed in my team and team work. Most of my team members are with me for over 10 years and I value them. However, in the pursuit of delivering best on quality I used to take up most of the work on my plate and didn’t do well on delivering through others.

And the third one is “me time”. Most of working women like me take “family time” as “me time”. Me time doesn’t mean holiday with family or friends. “Me time” is about you and your spiritual self. If you wish to stay happy which is pretty hard in a stressful work life like ours, you have to make more time for “me time”. It is important because when you live a life that you truly are, it gives you mindfulness, happiness and peace.

 

BSO: That never ending ‘balance’ question (wellness, career and family). What’s your typical day look like ? Or share with us a sample of 2 days. 

RD:

I wake up at 6.30 am in the morning and then exercise for an hour. I take light breakfast usually healthy smoothies and leave home to reach office by 8.30 am. I start my work by reading notes that I made before leaving work the previous evening and refer my calendar for the meetings scheduled.

I have lunch at 1.30 pm and I go for a stroll after that for 30 minutes. When that is not possible, I climb stairs. In Dubai, during prayer breaks, I get a chance to meditate as well which is perfect.

I leave work by 5pm and head home to cook. My husband and myself love to cook together. I spend family time by chatting, talking a bit about our extended family, my parents, his family and work. We play scrabble when there is not much to talk about.

Around 7pm, we pray and then go for a stroll. Dinner is served around 8.30pm. On weekends, dinner is 9.30pm as we welcome friends for get together or go outside to eat. I go to sleep around 10.30pm and usually read a book to bed.

 

BSO: To function at our highest level and to continue tapping into our creativity, Weekends should be restorative, physically and mentally. What does yours look like ?

RD:

I love to engage in some fun activities on the weekend and laying around on the beach reading a book always seems a possibility. I go for a swim in the morning and breakfast is always heavy on the weekend. We generally skip lunch for salads and small snacks and finish some household chores.

My husband and myself are not much into television except when Cricket is telecasted so we have mastered the art of doing nothing- no calls, no TV and no shopping. Whenever any of us has come back from a work related travel, we do indulge in spa or foot reflexology to relax. It may sound boring but going through old photo albums and smugmug is our favourite pastime.

 

BSO: Please share with us what we can look forward to in terms of projects you are working on or your next exciting venture. 

RD:

My current engagements are inter-related.

With IdeaLabs Live, I wish to engage with women business owners and provide them with the mentorship and guidance that is required to succeed. IdeaLabs as a platform is open for all to apply.

However, as a member of women in business club @ LBS, I promised to work for budding women entrepreneurs and connect them to impressive women business leaders. I am working with several development and finance organisations to identify best technology innovations in the industry and provide them with opportunities to pilot and gain commercial success across the globe. I am blessed with a very intelligent and supportive class at London business school. I am learning a lot and getting to network with the best. I have some ambitious plans for 2020 but for now, I am happy to be yet again in a transformative stage.

Founder of BSO Appointed as the PR & Marketing Director for SheNOW.org

Edith Moricz

In addition to being the Founder and Editor for BeyondSuccessOnline, Edith Moricz has now become the Director of Public Relations and Marketing for SheNow.org. SheNow is a community that believes young women should live their own lives first. The site offers personal and professional development articles and supports an online network. She will also be a contributing blogger for the site.

Edith’s first contributing article for the site is shown below:

8 Tips to Put You on the Path to Financial Freedom.

by: Edith Moricz

“The philosophy of the rich versus the poor is this: The rich invest their money and spend what is left; the poor spend their money and invest what is left.” ~ Jim Rohn.

Ladies, it’s never too early to plan for your secure financial future. As Brenna Smith, the Founder of SheNOW, says, “A man is not a financial plan. Your financial success 

Error - Image unable to loadis up to you.” When you are financially secure, you are the captain of your ship, and the world is your oyster. “Where you go and what you do is limited only by your imagination.”1

Here are some ways to immediately impact YOUR financial future:

  • Collect all of your expense receipts each week and chart your purchases. At the end of each month, analyze the data and you’ll often be surprised to see how much is spent on different items such as entertainment, food, clothing, vacation, etc. Use this data to develop a budget, and plan out how much you will spend each month on key areas. This will help to ensure smart shopping, minimize spontaneous purchases and focus money towards both short and long term goals.
  • Pay off high credit card debt ASAP, and pay by cash or debit card whenever possible. Once this is accomplished:——-Set up an IRA account as early in your 20s as possible. In an article from MSN.com, they show that, “Someone who puts $4,000 a year into retirement accounts starting at 22 can have $1 million by age 62, assuming 8% average annual returns. Wait 10 years to start contributing, and you’d have to put in more than twice as much — $8,800 a year — to reach the same goal.” So, make sure to contribute religiously every year, and you will definitely reap the benefits later in life
  • Error - Image unable to load.Organize your monthly recurring expenses using the plain envelopes system (each major monthly expense has its own envelope). It is a smart reminder of your key monthly financial priorities, and it also enforces discipline for smarter spending habits.
  • For each pay check, adopt the 30-30-40 rule. Set aside 30% for savings, 30% for out of pocket expenses and 40% for rent/mortgage.
  • If you can’t pay your credit card purchase in 1 payment, you can’t afford the item. If you really want it, adjust your budget and set aside some of the out of pocket expense money mentioned above to save for it. Whatever you do, do not touch your savings for a one-off discretionary purchases.
  • Live within your budget. Your credit score will reflect your lifestyle and will impact your ability to invest not only physical assets like a house, but in your future as well.
  • Don’t use $ to impress people. The security you create from smart spending will empower you to spend your time as you wish – pursuing your passions, retiring early, etc and not just focusing on paying the bills. Also, the people that are impressed by money, and not you as a person, probably aren’t the people you want in your life anyway.
  • Whenever possible, brown bag your lunch at work. It is healthier and more cost effective, as eating out adds up on your waistline (if you aren’t careful with menu options) and on the purse string.

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