Monday, May 4, 2015

Being cold is never good, but being manipulative probably is

My husband and I are a weird couple in many ways. Being co-founders and fellow entrepreneurs, we certainly share a bond beyond the standard husband-wife norms. We sometimes have long discussions over philosophies and business making decisions till wee hours of the night before we both realize that its time to sleep. Today he read this somewhere and hence posed such a question in front of me: What is the one thing that you strongly believe in but most of the people around you do not?

I started thinking, because there are so many things I do and think differently, but maybe they are not strong enough beliefs to mention. I asked him what his answer was, and he said, "It's my belief that I can do everything on my own. If I had infinite time in the world, I do not need anyone for anything. I believe everyone is smart enough to figure out everything on their own, and categorization is just existent in this world because we are constrained by time."

Fair enough, I thought. For starters, I did not agree to his views myself, so there obviously were others with me as well. There is no way a single person is capable of doing everything, time or no time. Aptitude and attitude, both matter after all. Then I gave my answer to the same question. "I believe that everyone in this world can be manipulated to do your bidding. Provided, we get to spend the right amount of time with them."
"Nah, I don't agree," he responded.
"So there you go, most people around me will not agree." I said. "But deep down, I believe that even though we have different personalities and different beliefs, we're all the same person. Every human being is the same, wants the same things out of life, craves the same desires everyone does. All you need is time, to bond with that other personality type and make him/her understand how similar you both are, and that solves all your sales problems in the world."

I am a huge fan of the television series "The Mentalist". Patrick Jane, the main guy in the show, is like my ideal. A calm, soothing personality on the outside, yet with an uncanny ability to make anyone do anything, spill out all the beans in split seconds, that character blows my mind away. In many ways, I associate myself with that character. Not that I am a sociopath like he is, obsessed with Red John and all, but I do enjoy reading people. "People-watching", I call it, my favorite pastime. As a kid, whenever I got bored, I would sit at my balcony and observe the people in my building. I would judge them by their behavioral patterns and make predictions based on those behaviors. Maybe that is also what contributes to me bonding with people really fast, I actually observe and listen to them. One week with a person, and I can figure out what they love and what ticks them off. Hence my strong belief which many would not agree with me on.

There's a personality test called '16 personalities' I make all my close friends take whenever I catch hold of them with a laptop and some time in their hand. You can check it out at It's amazing how accurate it is, if you honestly take the test. I'm an ENFP ( and there is not a single word in that entire assessment I disagree with. But I love it when I predict people to be a certain personality type and post the test, I turn out right. ;)

People often ask me how after 2 degrees in computer science and a super-high paying job at Microsoft, one of the biggest software giants in the world, I ended up doing sales. The answer is, how I could end up getting the 2 degrees, getting through UCLA and Microsoft in the first place, because I probably never deserved it. I have always and always been a people-person. Always been the first one to take part in anything that required me going on-stage or being surrounded by a group on students, selling them a concept, an idea or even a membership/product. Always been the drama queen among my friends, loving acting on stage, doing street plays, singing, going out on publicity drives or debating. Hell, I was also always this person who's vivas used to go the longest because I would get into intellectual chats with my viva examiners. Always the chatterbox, always a sales person through and through, although I never realized it. When I left Microsoft, I had three farewell parties simply because I had so many friends in so many teams there it just never seemed to end. Now, in my own venture, when I go on sales, people often end up asking me where I did my MBA, and when I tell them I'm from a hard-core tech background, they're not even able to hide the obvious surprise on their faces.

Bonding, that's what every single human being in this world wants. We're all social animals, nobody likes to be lonely. In one of my conversations with Rajneesh Kohli, ex-director of Fidelity and SSP, he said, "Why do people nowadays go to Domino's for kids' birthdays and not to Mc Donalds? Because the Domino's staff will gather around and sing a happy birthday song for the kid while McD doesn't take that pain. And it's just that simple song which makes all the other kids want to go to the same place for their birthday party again, because they feel good about it. It's not the food, its not the quantity, its not the quality, its not the ambience. It's that freaking 1 minute happy birthday song."

That's what the customer is. A human being. Everyone wants to feel special, everyone wants to be given that extra leverage to do your bidding. Everyone, including me, Including you. You get the bonding point, you get a new friend. That's how the world works. So I would conclude this loong post by saying hence proved. QED. I rest my case. :)

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