You can make a big difference in your children's future by asking them to take out the trash. And do the laundry, wash the dishes, make the beds, put away the toys. Research by Marty Rossmann, Emeritus Associate Professor of Family Education at University of Minnesota, shows that involving children in household tasks at an early age can have a positive impact later in life. By involving children in tasks, parents teach their children a sense of responsibility, competence, self-reliance, and self-worth that stays with them throughout their lives.
Research over the years makes a strong case for chores. A University of Minnesota analysis of data collected over a 20-year period found that the best predictor of success in young adulthood, on measures related to education completion, career path, and personal relationships, was whether they had begun doing chores at an early age — as young as 3 or 4.
A long-running Harvard University study of inner-city males found that willingness and capacity to work in childhood — indicated by holding a part-time job, taking on household chores, participating in school clubs or sports — was a better predictor of mental health in adulthood than was social class, family problems, and other factors.
Another study in The American Journal of Psychiatry showed that those who had been industrious as youngsters turned out to be the most well-adjusted adults, to have the most successful work lives and the most satisfying personal relationships.
What does this mean for us? Here are my take-aways:
1. If we need to inspire our kids to do house-hold chores to support them to grow into happy well-adjusted adults, we need to love doing the house-hold chores ourselves. If we don't love and enjoy doing the chores, there is no way our kids will joyfully accept the responsibility of the chores. Whether we like it or not, our kids mirror our beliefs. You don't like what your child is doing, you just need to dig deep inside to pull out a limiting belief that the child is simply playing out.
2. We need to make running of the home efficient so as to reduce the over-reliance on home-support staff (I prefer using this phrase than maids) so that there are chores left for the family to do. Imagine your family coming together and joyfully making the beds, taking the trash out, laying the table, cooking meals together. This means we need to simplify our lives and stop being busy being busy, rushing from moment to moment. We need to learn the science of stillness, performance, effectiveness & time-management and implement this knowledge just as much at home as at office; otherwise how will our children learn these essential life-skills.
3. To shift the family's mindset towards chores as 'not my job' to 'its my responsibility' requires us to deepen our leadership ability. Therefore, we need to become leaders not only to create success at work but also to do our fundamental job as a parent. The lackadaisical attitude that we Indians have towards taking responsibility of our own country is to a large extent because we have pampered childhoods and are protected from doing the chores when we are growing up.
We can use parenting as an opportunity to force ourselves towards our highest selves and have it all - deeply fulfilling successful career, joyful relationships, happy responsible kids and lots of nourishing me-time. You see, if you take on building your leadership depth to inspire your family to joyfully share household chores; you will suddenly have all the time in the world to build a deeply fulfilling successful career. Without leadership depth, you cannot have it all. Know it is not because you are a woman but because you are choosing not to be a leader.
Be a leader and transform what it means to be a woman. Inside of this transformation, humanity itself will transform with an abundance of love, peace and joy all around.
Why Should You Work?
As per research by Harvard, daughters of working mothers earn higher salaries and are more likely to become bosses at workplace. Sons of working mothers contribute more to household chores and spend more hours caring for their family members.
The reason I bring up research like this for discussion is not to belittle home-makers and glorify working mothers. I bring this up to share that it is our responsibility to ourselves, to our children, to our family and ultimately to the human race itself to keep holding on to that job. And, if we decide to quit our corporate career, it should only be to start a business of our own. It is when we stand up to constraints and still make things work, that something shifts inside of us, we become stronger than before and then get the privilege to pass on that strength to our children.
It is the destiny of each human being to live in the expression of her highest self, to live in the experience of her own greatness through work that inspires her and supports her transformation. To live this destiny; all that is needed is making the Choice, intense burning Commitment and the will to Create.
If you are a working woman and struggle with keeping the balance, what is needed is to become gentler and not harder; train yourself on the magical science of performance and productivity to create success effortlessly at work and at home.
If you are a home-maker, remember at one time you did not know how to cook and you are an expert today. So, you have it in you to learn new skills and be the best in the world in any domain that you choose. By the way, as per research, humans are most productive and make their biggest contribution after they are forty. I guess by that time we are done with the melodrama of life. So, age is really no bar to live your highest self. Transform your passion into a profitable business and create jobs for others too.
Though whatever you do, don't become a mompreneur. I see so much mediocrity in the name of mum-run businesses that I squirm even in my sleep. Become an entrepreneur, learn the science and fundamentals of entrepreneurship, become the world's best in your craft and deepen your leadership ability to effortlessly build your business to a point where it runs on its own. You know, it takes less effort to run a professionally managed, large, profitable business than a small struggling business. So, accelerate your learning and sharpen your execution ability to implement all that you learn, so that you can build a legacy to make that huge difference to the world through your work. When you do that, your children learn to realize their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self, just as you did. Because, kids learn not from what we say or the schools or after-school programs we sent them to. Kids learn only from how we live our life, the choice that we make - that of mediocrity or that of mastery.
Life is not just about one thing, it is about having it all - deeply fulfilling, successful career / business; joyful relationships; happy, responsible kids and lots of nourishing me-time. It takes a leader to be this kind of a human being. Make the choice to learn how to and be one.
If you are an entrepreneur or are aspiring to become one; read, learn and implement from The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau and The Lean Startup by Eric Ries.
If you are a corporate professional; read, learn and implement from Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life: Train Your Brain to Get More Done in Less Time by Margaret Moore and Paul Hammerness.
Wishing each one of you deep awareness of the light inside of you and the courage to let it shine.
Referenced Article: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/kids-benefit-from-having-a-working-mom
Hidden Secret of Business
I wanted to create wealth, therefore I was being of service to my customers. Now, I am being of service to my customers because I want to make a difference to them. Surprisingly, more wealth is being created. Therein lies one of the hidden secrets of business. May you discover it for yourself and find the inexplicable joy of doing business inside of that. Love, Jyoti.
My Journey as an Entrepreneur
I grew up in an army home, where change was the oxygen we breathed; shifting cities every so often. I went to six schools in the 12 years of schooling. On the con side, left so many best friends behind that I can’t even recall their names. On the pro side, I got an opportunity to re-invent myself in every new city we went to because my new friends had no past to box me; that I became a better version of myself with every shift. My deep comfort with the ambiguous and constant change probably comes from this nomadic upbringing. My father comes from a family of 7 brothers in a tiny village near Amritsar with not enough money to go around. While in school, he sold food on the village streets and worked in a factory to supplement his father’s income. After tenth grade, he stepped out to a nearby town to join the Indian Army as a nursing assistant. He continued to work hard, learnt English by watching English movies at night. Finally, his dedication and commitment to a greater life paid off when he became an officer in the Indian Army. My mother is a child of the partition. All of two years, she found herself with her mother & brother in a refugee camp on the Indian side having lost her father and prosperity to the rage that she had no clue about. The three of them slept on the same bed, my maternal grandmother went to the same school as her kids till she had educated herself enough to get a job as a primary school teacher in a government school in Punjab. Life had begun to look up for them till another blow came their way and my mother’s brother who had just begun to bring home money died in an accident. All these ups and downs settled my mom into a sense of something bigger than what is visible and she started her deep personal spiritual journey in search of greater meaning beyond loss that had been her perpetual shadow. I inherited from my father the courage to dream big and take powerful action to realize them. From my mother, I inherited the greater understanding of the wonderment of the Universe and stillness to go within. With such an inheritance, I ended up becoming a Business Coach supporting people to create wealth by realizing their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self.
We are three sisters. Fortunately, we were in the Army that we got a liberal positive childhood that all three of us are professionally fulfilled and happy today. I left my successful corporate career to follow my dream to be an entrepreneur. Deepika is a pathologist in the Indian Army and Monica works for a multi-national. Somehow, however much my parents tried to give us a gender-bias free upbringing, I really got I am a girl and that it was probably not a good news. I grew up as a tom-boy rebelling against all that was feminine in me. The height of anger against being a girl found its maximum expression when I found myself in an engineering college, where I was specifically told not to wear jeans and to wear salwar kameez. I blew over, not only because my sense of freedom was heckled but also because I had a logistics issue. I had no salwar kameez to wear. Well, I dug my feet in and wore nothing but jeans all of my 4 years there with a rape fatwa on my head constantly hanging like a Damocles sword. Ofcourse, there is always an impact if you live your life with constant anger in your heart. Those 4 years were also the most lonely. In retrospect, I am deeply grateful for how things were at the college because I became a better human being as an outcome of that seclusion as I read one book a week in search of how I could live my greatest life. That is when I consciously began studying and researching the purpose of human existence.
With this background, it should come as no surprise that when I finally hung up my corporate boots to start my entrepreneurial journey, it was to start Mums At Work™ with the mission to support women to realize their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self and have it all – deeply fulfilling successful career, joyful relationships, happy responsible kids and lots of nourishing me-time.
There are 5 mountains that an entrepreneur has to climb in her journey –
Ofcourse, the above model is the shortest route to sustainable success with velocity but most entrepreneurs miss out to train themselves on the science of entrepreneurship and instead focus just on being product experts. That is why, 9 out of 10 start-ups fail world-wide in the first five years of their existence, as per a Fortune magazine study.
I started my journey as an entrepreneur in August 2010, using my kids as an excuse to step out of my high-paying, cushy corporate job as Director, American Express. Prior to that, I was Vice-President with Citigroup. I feel gratitude for being a woman because I know I would still have been in the corporate rat-race if I were a man with no courage to leave a fat pay-packet behind, having the financial responsibility of the family burnt into my head. My mid-life crisis started because of the long hours my corporate job required, leaving me deeply unfulfilled in my role as a mother of 2 tiny ones at home who would squibble for my time as I reached home only close to their bed-time, exhausted after a long haul at work with no energy to contribute to their lives.
When you get into your mid-life crisis, fall on your knees and thank the heavens because this is the last ditch effort of the Universe to get you to follow your dream, live your passion, to live the greatest life that you were born to live. Use the crisis to rise like the Phoenix; that is why the crisis is in the first place, to get you to be bigger than who you are. Every day, I thank heavens for my 5 year mid-life crisis because if it wasn’t for that, I would not have figured my purpose of life nor would I have had the courage to risk all to realize my greatest dreams in deepest communion with my highest self.
On Mountain 2, I broke many business models to live the mission of Mums At Work™ - from delivering groceries to women at KPMG, trying to take hobby classes to work-place to reduce the stress that women face, part-time corporate jobs for them so that they didn’t have to quit their career for good in order to raise kids, train the trainer program with NIIT so that women could become free-lance trainers at their own time, travel consultant program with Club Mahindra, inspirational talks at Bank of America, Sapient on Women’s Day. Nothing I did created any sustainable value. I nearly shut down Mums At Work™ in January 2013 but what held me back was that I had employees and thank god for that. In that phase of darkness, suddenly I saw light at the end of the tunnel when in April 2013, the first batch of Realize Your Dreams (RYD) Entrepreneurship Program started with 6 women to support them to transform their passion into their profession; into sustainable, profitable, successful business. It was a huge personal success for me. In order to be self-sustaining, we had begun to charge Rs 600 as annual membership fees in 2012. Now, we were creating so much value that people were willing to pay Rs 6000/- to be in the first batch. That was in 2013. In 2017, we have been able to exponentially increase the value that we are delivering that we have customers queuing up for annual membership with Mums At Work™ Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence at Rs 2 lakhs for the year. Mums At Work™ is really a Realize Your Dreams Gym for women to create wealth by realizing their greatest dreams in deepest communion with their highest self and have it all. Having transmuted my anger at being a woman to deep gratitude for who I am, I am looking forward to making Realize Your Dreams Gyms available to both men & children in the future. Those are 2 new business models, 2 new organizations, still pregnant with possibilities of the direction they will take.
I finally found what created value in 2013, what was missing that would make a difference. It was validated as missing in the world as customers signed-up for the program and paid money for it. With an idea of what would create value, I started to climb Mountain 3 in search of a repeatable, scalable, business model that I could potentially scale-up after creating a successful self-running prototype. On Mountain 3, I have again broken multiple business models to finally create a 3-centre model for Mums At Work™:
After 6 years of boot-strapping from my home, Mums At Work™ has finally found a home in Inhwa Business Centre in Gurgaon. The reason I never ventured out for funding is that I believe funding should be sought only on Mountain 4, when you are scaling up and not earlier when you are really in the search mode. Also, external funds bring in with it a pace that I may not want to have. I believe in being a tortoise than a hare because I want to be true to the philosophy and technology of life and business that Mums At Work™ stands for.
The biggest challenge for me has been retaining people long enough. This is totally a function of my leadership maturity. I always say the biggest barrier to Mums At Work™ is Jyoti Gulati. With the velocity that I will become wiser and grow as a leader, with that velocity will Mums At Work™ grow. Just as we are creating momentum to scale up, our Head of Operations put in her papers, leaving me as a solopreneur. I completely support her decision because she wants to step out to realize her dreams. I am delighted that she has the courage to be authentic to her highest self. As I reflect back, the velocity with which I have course-corrected would have been totally disconcerting to the staff members.
In all the highs and lows, left-turns and the right-turns, forwards and backwards; what has truly sustained me is the progress that our customers have made in having it all. When Kanika Singh joined, she was an unhappy corporate professional. In her third year with Mums At Work™, she has established herself as an Artist Entrepreneur with her beautifully hand-crafted vibrant Mosaic Art Work that are much sought for. When Deepti Arora joined in, she was a home-maker with no clue of what she wanted , only that she wanted to do something. In her third year with Mums At Work™, her business Deliver Delights is working with schools and young mothers to transform picky eaters to happy eaters; which she’s totally passionate about. More than the business success, what fulfills her the most is the respect that she is now experiencing as a working professional. Aditti Gupta (Founder, Ppro Foreign Education Consultancy) and Shefali Dehl (Founder, Ombre Craft) came in as partners in a business which was not doing well financially. Within the Mums At Work™ program structure, they got in touch with their own passions, shut down the original business that they had joined for and set-up businesses deeply connected with their passion, their purpose. They have been growing consistently month on month over the last two years with Mums At Work™. Infact, Shefali recently gave birth to a baby girl (her second baby after Ombre Craft) and as per her, it has been a joyful effortless journey to transition into motherhood because of Mums At Work™.
Raising kids is a weak excuse to not live your greatest life because you can do it all; infact raising extra-ordinary human beings can only happen when you are living an authentic life, realizing your greatest dreams in deepest communion with your highest self so that your children can learn how to. Pull the world to your peace than be drawn to the chaos in the world. All it takes is you.
The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. - William James. PS: Awareness of your emotional state, moment by moment, leads to the awareness of the inner attitude of your mind. Self-awareness is the first step of leadership. Conversely, if you don't like your current reality / circumstances; take a peek inside. Love, Jyoti.
Illusion of the Growth Path
You know you are not growing when there is a right way and a wrong way, when you haven't done anything ridiculous n silly for days together, when you haven't taken on challenges this year which are bigger than any in the years gone by. There is a very thin line between being on the growth path and being in the illusion of the growth path. Wishing you wisdom to know the difference and courage to change gears. Love, Jyoti.
Doing one thing while believing in another kills the spirit. Either change your belief or change your actions. You already know what needs to change. What comes in the way is fear. Freedom is available only in putting your head right into it, sitting at the very centre of it and letting fear have its way. Love, Jyoti.
There's huge power in unconditional acceptance - however things are and however things are not; however a person is and however the person is not. It is also the first step of transformation - either your own or your business or your children or of the world itself. Unconditional acceptance also means accepting that the other is right because from the point where the other is standing, she is right just as you are right from the point you are standing. Love, Jyoti.
from The Seat of the Soul
When you choose to respond to life's difficulties with compassion and love instead of fear and doubt, you create a "heaven on earth" - you bring the aspects of a more balanced and harmonious level of reality into physical being....Your intention and attention shape your experiences. What you intend...becomes your reality. Where your attention goes, you go. If you attend to the negative aspects of life, if you choose to focus your attention on the weaknesses of others, on their faults and shortcomings, you draw to yourself the lower-frequency energy currents of disdain, anger and hatred. You put distance between yourself and others. You create obstacles to your loving. If you choose to focus your attention on the strengths of others, on the virtues of others, on that part of others that strives for the highest, you run through your system the higher-frequency currents of appreciation, acceptance and love...You become an effective instrument of constructive change...You cannot become compassionate with yourself without becoming compassionate with others, or with others without becoming compassionate with yourself. When you are compassionate with yourself and others, your world becomes compassionate. You draw to yourself other souls of like frequency, and with them you create, through your intentions and your actions and your interactions, a compassionate world. As you come to seek and see the virtues and strengths and nobilities of others, you begin to seek and see them in yourself also. As you draw to yourself the highest currents of each situation, you radiate that frequency of consciousness, and change the situation...What you intend is what you become. If you intend to take as much from life and others as you can, if your thoughts are of taking instead of giving, you create a reality that reflects your intentions. You draw to yourself souls of like frequency, and together you create a taking reality. Your experiences then reflect your own orientation, and validate it. You see the people around you as personalities who take, rather than personalities who give. You do not trust them, and they do not trust you...The challenge to each human is creation. Will you create with reverence, or with neglect?
from The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav.
PS: If you create in awareness with reverence and with love, you create a heaven for yourself on earth. Otherwise, you are creating unconsciously with neglect. The converse is also true. If you don't like the reality you are in, you are creating unconsciously with no reverence and love where you are. Love, Jyoti.
Follow Your Dreams
There are essentially 5 mountains that one needs to climb on an entrepreneurial journey. Travelling on this path is hugely fulfilling and transformational, but there are mountains to climb which are pretty steep. Mountain 1 is what I call the Mountain of Purpose on which you figure out the purpose of your life, your passion and pick up an idea to pursue. If your business is not connected to who you are as a human being, you will never have the energy to climb all those steep mountains to sustainable success. Once you have identified something that you are passionate about, its time to climb Mountain 2 which is what I call the Mountain of Value. Business is really about marrying your purpose, your passion to what's missing in the world. This is where Business Modeling starts and you figure out your Value Proposition. Its an iterative process and you experiment your way forward. Once you have data that proves that you have identified your Value Proposition that people are willing to pay money for, you are ready to scale Mountain 3 which is the Mountain of Growth. It is here where you discover through iterative experiments your repeatable, scalable, profitable business model. Once you find that, you prototype it and automate it. Then you are ready for Mountain 4 or the Mountain of Scale, where you press the accelerator to scale the business by multiplying the automated prototype of your business model. Finally, you are ready for Mountain 5 which is when you step outside the business because your baby (a business is like a baby you are nurturing, by the way) is ready to leave your apron strings and live on its own with professional management. And, you are ready to pick up another passion, another piece of your purpose to fulfil. Alongside this journey, there are two other critical journeys that the entrepreneur needs to take in parallel - that of Leadership Depth and Craft Mastery. Wishing you courage to follow your dreams and passion to keep walking on the path to your highest self & greatest dreams. Love, Jyoti.
CEO & Founder