Take The 1st Step First

Do not aim for perfection at first shot.
Remember the old saying: Rome was not built in one day.

Building your Blog / Business / Application etc
If you’re not already a celebrity like most of us, then you’ll surly have hard luck with most of the ventures. Many of them may even fail.

This fear of failure is what holds us back and keeps us resisting / postponing / not doing what we ought to do. Let me clear this once for all: Yes, you’ll fail.
It’s sure that we’ll all fail at one or multiple things in life before we succeed. But a person who never tried is always a failure.


Take The 1st Step

The glory of success lies in daring to start.

This might seem the hardest. The gravity seem to be more at this stag!
Lets see what might be holding us back:
1. I don’t have the proper resources to start with.
2. Not enough money.
3. No right set of people.

The common things:
4. He won’t let me do that.
5. She won’t let me do that.
6. They won’t let me do that ..

Yes, all these may be true. But still get started NOW. Start it anyway.
..and then figure out the solutions as and when you encounter the problems.

We all know that problems will always be there. The thing is, how we react( if at all ) and act( taking right decision ) and move forward( progress ) inspite of the problems which is trying to suck the charge out of us.

Set Backs
Yes, we’ll have setbacks once we start. I won’t be surprised with the set backs. You shouldn’t be either. Because we already know we’ll have setbacks.
We should have the right mindset and patience to even start all over again and never stop.

“Awake, Arise, Stop not til the goal is reached.”
– Swami Vivekananda

If you’re losing interest, then you’re not passionate enough in what you’re doing; and may be its not of that significance to the world and YOU!

1. Start ( ..with vision)
2. Fail (fail early)
3. Face setbacks
4. Figure out solutions
Be solution oriented and not problem oriented.
5. Concentrate / Focus on the right things.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
– Stephen Covey

6. Start over again ( if needed )
7. Keep up the curiosity, patience, passion, and the spirit of creating positive impact.
8. Keep serving, keep growing.
9. Stay tuned.

Related Read: Tough Decisions

Blueprint To Deal With Your Blog Design

Its often tempting to make things perfect. In making things perfect, we start the lazy habit of procrastination.

In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high priority work or actions or tasks with low-priority actions, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time.

Small Case Study!
I had a client who was so tied up in making her blog look exactly the way she wanted it to look, that she didn’t have 3 articles up on her blog for a month or two. And after having 8 articles and spending day and night(with lot of excitement) tweaking the theme she felt like, blogging isn’t for her! She had great expectations. She had read a lot of success stories for years. After a long procrastination she had finally taken action and had registered a domain and bought a hosting account, and had published 8 articles on her blog. Owff…that’s a lot of work, isn’t it 🙂

It can happen to anyone
Procrastination isn’t anyones asset. It can happen to anyone. Many times we advice a lot, and we ourselves procrastinate. The best way to deal with all these is to plan before hand. Now planning and procrastinating doesn’t help!

Plan And Take Action
Make design changes along the way..along with blogging. Don’t think you will finish the design aspects of the blog once for all and after that start with blogging. If you think so, then you may never start blogging; the actual content generation process. Because, no design can be perfect. You will comeup with some design changes once in a while, more often in the beginning days of your blog. Its so overwhelming and distractive to keep making the changes, tweaks, optimization.


After a long period of procrastination, we somehow manage to sit down and start writing something for the blog. Suddenly a design issue starts interrupting our mind. Immediately we leave writing and start to fix the design issue. After we finish with that, we start browsing some blogs and immediately fall in love with some design elements – like a social media button. Now we want it on our blog too. Start with figuring that out. At the end of the day, you will still be procrastinating!

It seems like you have been working all day long, but at the end of the day it’s about results or the outcomes of your action that matters. My advice would be to reserve certain period of time for the most important activity for your blog or business. Do it with full focus. If you choose to work 3hrs or 2hrs a day? Make sure you only work on one big thing, the most important thing, with full attention.

“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” —- Tony Robbins

So, am I suggesting to forget all other things and only concentrate on content generation? No, not exactly!

First of all, people subscribe/read your blog and they are here for content. If the content is good enough, they will stick around. But what if the design is too good, but there is no content for a long time.

So my advice would be to, start blogging immediately and make design changes once in a while.

Here is my blueprint:
You can’t fix a day in the week or month to think of design changes, tweaks, optimization etc. Because, on that day you may not be able to come up with creative design ideas.

So, what I do is, keep a note book or a file on my computer wherein I write down the design changes, tweaks, optimization ideas that strikes my mind every now and then. I also make sure to prioritize the listed items. I put the most important and urgent task at the top of the list. This file is dedicated to the look and feel of the blog. For new blogs, you can choose a day in 2 weeks or a day in a month and start working on the design, tweak/optimization works one at a time from the list. Make sure to implement as many changes as you can from the list.
If you could do only 10 out of 25 items that day, then postpone the other works for the next schedule. This way, you will make sure that the most important changes has been accomplished.

If some design tweak requires help from others, then mail them or post on any online forum and keep it pending and carry on with the rest of the things in the list according to the priority.

This way, you will be spending most of your time on the major aspect of your blog, that is “CONTENT” and you will not be neglecting the rest of the things that make up a good user experience on your blog.

Even if your blog is established and has a good looking design and usability factor, make sure to take a day in a month and do some improvements on it. Often times we get lazy to edit the theme and put on some code, affiliate link or help link etc. Make sure you don’t procrastinate any more with your blog/business. Don’t take it granted, make sure you work for it. Don’t forget, the subscriber count you see in your feedburner account are real people watching/reading your blog!

PS: So, should I say this: “Content Is STILL King!

Interview with Leo Babauta ( ZenHabits.net )

Leo Babauta is the author of the Book “The Power of Less” and the creator and blogger at Zen Habits, a Top 100 blog with 125,000 subscribers — one of the top productivity and simplicity blogs on the Internet.

Babauta is one of the leading experts on productivity and simplicity, and has also written the top-selling productivity e-book in history: Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System. It has sold thousands of copies and has reached tens of thousands of readers.

Babauta is a former journalist and freelance writer over 18 years, a husband and father of six children, and lives on the island of Guam where he leads a very simple life.

Its a great opportunity to interview him. So here we go:

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

Leo: Hi everyone! Nice to be here. I’m Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net, a blog about simplicity and productivity with more than 125,000 readers … I’m also the author of The Power of Less, a best-selling print book about how to simplify and focus on the essential. I’m married and the father of six kids, a runner and a vegan, living a simple life on Guam.

How do you feel when lot of people recognize you these days as one of the most successful people? How was life just some years back, when you were in your day job? How do you feel and manage this “recognition” that you have earned?

Leo: It’s a bit strange, as I just feel like the same old Leo, not anything different, but there’s no doubt that people treat me differently. Still, my wife and kids and friends and other family still treat me the same — and if I start to brag a little, they will make fun of me, which reminds me not to get a big head. 🙂 Life is different now than when I had a day job, of course — it’s amazing being your own boss, being able to set your own hours and have all the freedom in the world. I love it. I recommend it for everyone!

What do you think of Twitter? Many people use it as marketing tool and someothers for timepass. How and why do you use Twitter?

Leo: I think Twitter is an amazing communication tool. I didn’t get it when I first used it. But I’ve found that just like with any communication tool — the phone, email, blogs, etc. — it can be used in an infinite number of ways. You can use it to stay in touch with friends, network with colleagues, follow celebrities, get information and news, market your product or website, anything. Today, I mostly use it as a way to connect with my readers. I share useful links and info with them, share a peek into my personal life, ask them questions, respond to questions, share inspirational or thought-provoking quotes or thoughts, and of course keep them updated by linking to my latest post. I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool for staying connected with my audience — I’m glad to spend 20 minutes a day or so using it. Also, I find a lot of useful links and info on Twitter.

How much time do you spend online?

Leo: More than I’d like to admit! I usually start by writing a post in the morning, and write other content later (like for my next book), and check email and Twitter and do some online reading. Sometimes I’ll get so absorbed in online reading, if I’m really getting into a topic, that I’ll spend 8 hours online altogether. But other days I might only be on for 4-6 hours — that’s my entire job, really.

I am a student and want your advice for my academics. How do you think we can apply “The Power of LESS” to our studies. Sometimes the assignments and the work load are heavy and we must multitask.

Leo: Pick the most important assignments and focus on them first. Put away all distractions — especially your online connection — and really focus on getting the task done, not on multitasking. Repeat with the next most important task, and so on. Limit your time to connect — perhaps 2-3 times a day, for 30-60 minutes, or something like that, so that you have time to focus.

I don’t have pets in my home. But I love them. After reading your book, I feel that I must do things that I love to do. But having a pet comes with commitments. I am already fixed in lot of commitments. What do you think I must choose … the thing that I love or stick on to my present commitments? Do you own a pet ?

Leo: I’m not much of a pet guy myself — kids are commitment enough for me! But if I were you, I’d simplify my current commitments first, and see if you can lead a simpler life, before adding another big commitment like a pet. Also think about what emotional need a pet is fulfilling — why do you need a pet to be happy? If you’ve simplified your commitments and have really thought about your emotional needs and how to be more content with life, I think you should pursue the things you truly love, whether that be owning a pet or creating something amazing or whatever makes you happy.

Tell us about the financial freedom that you are enjoying with your online ventures. And how was life when you had a day job.

Leo: Well, I’m not rich, but there’s no doubt I have much more financial freedom now than when I was receiving a paycheck. I couldn’t have imagined it back then, when I had a job — to me, there was nothing like the financial security of having a paycheck and a retirement plan, because I had a family to feed. But these days, I’ve learned that I can make more than I could with a day job, and have much, much more fun doing it. I highly recommend it to anyone — pursue your passion and your dreams, and see what comes of it.

Blogs that you recommend. Your recommendation for bloggers.

Leo: There are way too many to recommend — for every blog I name I would be leaving out 10. For blogs on changing your life, check out the Life Remix network of blogs (liferemix.net) — it has as great a collection of blogs as any out there. For blogs on blogging, I would recommend Problogger and Copyblogger and of course WriteToDone.com. Fitness blogs I’m into include Fitness Black Book, Mark’s Daily Apple, Zen to Fitness, and many more. Of course, Lifehacker is indispensable, and I love Seth Godin and Daring Fireball and Alex Payne. I could go on and on!

Books that you recommend.

Leo: Again, too many to name! I’m a huge book lover — my favorite fiction includes Vonnegut, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Ann Patchett, Douglas Adams, Jonathan Lethem, William Gibson, so many more. Non-fiction includes: Slow Down to the Speed of Life, anything by Thich Naht Hanh, The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama, Walden by Thoreau, the Life of Gandhi, Your Money or Your Life, Stephen Covey, simplifying books by Elaine St. James, and many many more.

Some words for all your fans and followers.

Leo: Just thank you. I’m extremely grateful to everyone who reads Zen Habits, who has commented or send kind emails of encouragement. It really means a lot, and honestly, I wouldn’t be living my dream if it weren’t for all of you. So again, thank you, for everything.

Thanks a lot to Leo Babauta for this interview. The Power of LESS has been extremely helpful for me. If you have not yet read the book, here is the link to get it – “The Power Of LESS“. Note for readers: As Leo Babauta is a “A” list blogger, you can find his interviews on many blogs and even main stream media. So I wanted to make sure to ask only those questions that were not asked before. Hope you all enjoyed.

Somebody’s gain should not be your loss – atleast in blogging

This is a common perception in the minds of many amateur business people. They always concentrate on the loss and gains of others. This is a good practice if you are investing in share market. But it’s bad, if overly done in any other business. We must concentrate more on our loss or gain.

Loss and gain in Blogging:
It’s the beauty of blogging that, some one may think something as a loss but the same thing may seem to be a gain for the other. It’s all how we think.
For Example:-
If you are running a blog and one of your friend also starts a blog with the similar niche as yours. In such a case different people think differently. Some may think that his friend will be his competitor in the future. And some other may feel happy that you may get a business partner in the future.

Situations where someone’s gain is not and should not be your loss:
1. Linking to other bloggers: Be generous while linking to other bloggers. Do not hesitate. Just make sure that you are linking to the relevant content that your readers will be benefited with. There is a big SEO advantage in linking to the relevant content.
Never feel that, if you link to other blog, you will loose the visitors, to the linked blog! This is not true. Your visitors will surly comeback if you provide value orelse they will surly not, even if you don’t link to others.

2. One click on other blogs CPC ad, is not a click less on your blog:-
I have seen some people guiding wrongly about ad placement. They think that one click on others CPC ad will be a click less on his ads! It’s too foolish to think like that. If a visitor finds something interesting and useful in those ads, he will surly click on it, irrespective of the website he is in. And you may think, if he visited your site and saw the same ad before, he might have ended up clicking on your ad. This argument seems to be true, but remember everyone has an abandoned interests, needs and wants. Have you ever seen a normal person with no interest, needs and wants? Probably not. So I don’t think one click on others CPC ad, is one click less on yours.

3. A newbie gets more subscribers then yours:
If a visitor likes your site he will surly subscribe otherwise surly not. It has no connection with other blogs. If you are able to win the heart of your visitor by providing value or by solving certain problem, then you can surely expect to get some loyal readers. Now a days there are some simple, effective and powerful tools like Google Reader, where reading hundreds of blog contents is so easy and less time consuming. So need not feel any other blog as a threat to yours, as long as you provide value to readers.

4. Sharing your idea’s with others, will reduce your chances of success ? :
“If two people exchange 1$, both will have 1$ each. But if they exchange 1 idea, both will have 2 ideas each”.
By sharing ideas you become more accountable – Share your ideas liberally. The benefits from accountability and feedback outweigh the risk that someone steals your idea!
*But be careful with whom you are sharing your ideas with. Do not share with people who specially exist to harm you! Discuss your thoughts and ideas only with trusted people.
By sharing your ideas, you will get valuable feedbacks. Sometimes you may come to know that, what you thought as an innovative idea is infact a crappy idea and would lead you to failure and loss. More about benefits of sharing ideas @ Link Love for Commentators.

Blogging should always be enjoyable. If we do not enjoy blogging, then there is some problem to be addressed! All bloggers or the bloggers in similar niche should get united and support eachother in getting success.

Orkut turns 5 — “Happy Birthday Orkut”

Orkut was launched in January 2004 by Google Inc., Orkut named for the Google engineer who developed it, Orkut Buyukkokten. It was created as an independent project to help people around the world connect.

A Google representative said during its launch that “the site is the independent project of one of its engineers, Orkut Buyukkokten, who works on user interface design for Google. Buyukkokten, a computer science doctoral candidate at Stanford University before joining Google, created Orkut.com in the past several months by working on it about one day a week–an amount that Google asks all of its engineers to devote to personal projects. Buyukkokten, with the help of a few other engineers, developed Orkut out of his passion for social networking services.”

Its great to see Orkut come a long way, inspite of lot of controversies, criticize, bans etc. And its interesting to see people using proxies in office and schools to access Orkut!

With all these, Orkut is 5 now. Yes, its been 5 years after Orkut was officially launched by Google.
Orkut has come up with many new and useful features all these years, and some of them have been covered on our blog frequently.

To have a flashback and to celebrate Orkuts birthday, we present their previous birthday logos. Sorry we missed 1st and 2nd birthday logos.




We really like the concept of Google doodles and all the logos developed on different occasions. Its simple, effective, lovely, conveying some message, greeting etc.
Anyway, we would never want to see Orkut in the list of “Stopped Services by Google”!
We wish Orkut a great success in the coming years, and Hugh market share even outside Brazil, India, Africa. “Happy Birthday Orkut”.