The Labour Movement: What a trade off!

The labour movement in the early 1800’s had the following as one of their slogans:

8 hour work. 8 hour recreation. 8 hour rest.

More on the eight-hour day movement here.

The day is divided in 3 sections. Work, play and rest. All three are given equal weight. Which I think is awesome. But herein lies the source of confusion.

8 hour workday
8 hour Recreation?

Three observations: Continue reading The Labour Movement: What a trade off!

Force Majeure?

Force Majeure: It is the easiest escape route, you as an individual and as an entrepreneur can take. Blame it on ‘superior’ forces. (Quickly, read the first paragraph on Wikipedia on Force Majeure – it’s alright to not know – now go, quickly, click here :P)

When I first started in agriculture, the land I had on lease had only 1 tubewell. Over the course of five years, I have been able to install three more. Why? So I can plant the rice crop with ease and take it ‘to the next level’. What happened? I had four tubewells ready to irrigate the crap out of the land, but I had no electricity.

All through the summer of 2009, the electricity situation was not bad because really, there was no electricity to actually have ‘any’ situation. Whatever you went through sitting in your residential homes in the big cities of Lahore, Karachi or Islamabad – the situation where I have leased the land was worse! 8 to 10 to 12 hours straight without electricity. The light would come one for one to two hours, and then gone for the next 8 to 10 to 12.  So what use were the tubewells? It was an expensive lesson, but a lesson nonetheless.

That there is a reason this Force Majeure is used in contracts, because when shit hits the fan, no one remembers to turn the damn fan off. You can not plan for everything, just like you should not. It is a myth to think that you, as an entrepreneur, need to know the ‘nitty gritty’ to start work. Because as far as I am concerned, I am convinced, it is this ‘Superior’ Force that gets me to where I a trying to go anyways. It works both ways.

Why it isn’t easy

Because we have different definitions of easy, firstly, and we really do not know our own selves.

To find that something is easy or not, is relative a lot of variables. Picking up a glass of water is considered easy, but if you are tied down or that glass of water is 1000’s of miles away, it is not. A lot of things are ‘assumed’ to be in their respective places for a ‘thing’ to be easy. That is where the confusion in definitions come in.

We think that starting a blog is easy. Well, it is. But we have already confused ourselves by saying that our objective is to start a blog. That is not the objective, now is it? The objective probably is to ‘start a community of like-minded individuals’ or something more concrete. Starting a blog is easy because you know how to start a blog. Starting a community of like-minded individuals is also easy, but only if you have either done it before or have read the right material on how to start such a community. Defining the objective clearly, simply and accurately is where most of us make the mistake. Had you known the real objective of you doing something, you would not only do it better, but might end up changing your game plan accordingly.

The reason anything is not easy is:

  1. either you do not know what you really want to do,
  2. or you really do not know how to do it.

The first problem is solved by smart work, the second problem is solved by hard work.

Make sure you know what you are doing (haven’t you heard that one before, heh.)

From the heart

The first job I got, in JaanPakistan.com as a webmaster, was a case of ‘being hired before the interview’.

My friend had his family friends over for a social visit and during the conversation, his family friend mentioned that he was starting an online portal, and was looking for a writer cum webmaster, to do up the content of the website (the portal being a content-based website). My friend asked him,

‘what about hiring the guy who wrote that?’

pointing towards the cover of that month’s Spider Magazine. Lo and behold, yours truly had one of his articles as the cover story for that month’s Spider magazine, the number one IT magazine in Pakistan. The guy told my friend to ask me if I’d be interested. I was interested, not because I was getting five thousand rupees a month for showing up for two hours, five days a week, but because the job was what I loved doing anyways. Internet, technology, writing, creating, doing new things, all in one!

I have a direct interest in marketing and of the two jobs that I have ever taken, the other one was as a copywriter. This is sometime in 2001. The owner of the then up and coming ad agency Blaze called me up, introduced himself and told me that he is looking for a copywriter. I was in college at the time, and the idea of an employer ‘cold-calling’ me for a job was exciting in itself – and the field of advertising was something I had always liked.

I went there for the interview – I remember making the interview on time although I was on a motorbike and Lahore was going through the stormy season. The soon-to-be boss was visibly impressed by my drenched clothes as I walked into his office.

He told me that he has already hired me, as I come strongly recommended by his friend. This ‘his friend’ knew me  from my previous job that I had taken, as a webmaster for JaanPakistan.com, a startup Pakistani portal. His friend had told him that I was good (nice!) and warned him that I am not a ‘normal’ employee (nicer!).

I was hired before I walked in the room, and stayed with the ad agency for the first six months of its inception, learning a lot and enjoying the company. I left to ‘do my own thing’, with the boss telling me to come back any time.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between doing what you love or just looking for a job. If you are not doing what you love to do, then what the hell are you working towards?

Is not your interests worth at least an effort to get involved in it in one way or the other? Go. Go. Go.

In the life of me…

Strangely, I have installed the damn operating system more than 5 times in the last thirty days. Not that the Win XP SP3 is possibly the most stable OS by Windows, but because I have had to do it so many times over.

Well nothing strange as such about it; like I mentioned on my Twitter log, I am on a friggin’ roll it seems! The hard disk by Seagate failed me. The 160 GB HDD had only been in service for not more than 5 months. I put aside my plan to get it replaced under warranty as I am short on time. Frustrated, I bought a new one (Western Digital 250 GB), and what do I get when I install Windows XP SP3 on it?

Continue reading In the life of me…