Do not run after too many things and ideas. Concentrate on a few goals and make your effort count.

 

Praveen Malik is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with rich 23 years of professional experience. He is a computer science engineer by education and has good working experience of managing large multi-geography projects and programs.

Over the years he has noticed that failure of projects and/or huge cost & schedule overruns can be primarily attributed to (inadequate) resource management, (reactive) communication management and (lack of focus to) risk management; insufficient project planning and/or poor execution along with little controls are as much a culprit. He believes that proactive project management can make significant impact on project profitability; it can greatly enhance customer service and positively influence ROI.

Praveen has unique distinction of working in different business environments viz. product development, services & support, product oriented services and software as a service. His experience includes wide ranging exposure to different industrial domains like Healthcare, Government, Infrastructure, Insurance and Banking. He has worked and interacted with clients across different geographies – USA, Europe and India.

Praveen takes keen interest in furthering the cause of project management as a profession. He took a mid-career shift in the year 2008 and started doing freelance project management activities. He is a trainer at heart and has mentored & formally trained many successful individuals in the finer aspects of practical project management.

Praveen has established a small boutique organization in India that provides project management advisory and training services to global clientele.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate from Project Management Institute (PMI) is a well-respected and globally renowned certification. It has wide acceptance across different industries. I got this certification in the year 2005. In the same year, I started taking project management training classes on the side. Through classes, I gained a lot of professional respect.

In the year 2008, I got a one year freelance contract to conduct project management training classes from an established training organization. This was the start of my independent journey. Later, I diversified and started providing consulting and advisory services. As the business grew, I started a company and hired few employees to cater to the growth.

On the way, in the year 2011, I started an eponymous project management blog PM-by-PM to showcase my knowledge to the professional world. The blog later grew into a small brand. Today it is one of the top 3 blogs in my niche.

Currently we use the blog and our training website to provide project management services to our clients.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I am an early morning person. I like to plan things for the day before the office hours. I get up at 5 am and work for about 2 hours. I spend few minutes with my kids and take breakfast with them before they go off to school.
I reach workplace by 8:30 am. I generally use the morning hours for doing the planned work and afternoon hours for internal & client meetings, telephonic calls, responding to email, professional networking on social media etc. I try to finish work by 5:30 pm but it usually gets late.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The bad thing is that I get too many ideas. But good thing is that, over a period of time, I have realized all ideas are not worthy and many of them cannot be practically executed. Nowadays, whenever I get a new idea, I make a small note and move on. I try not to get distracted by the new idea. Usually, I ponder over the ideas, validate them with the team, shortlist them, and them execute them.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The rapid change and adoption of the Internet. Lot of our education business comes over the Internet. It is really amazing and exciting how the medium has rapidly grown in last few years. I just see endless possibilities for our training programs.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Getting up early and planning the work for the day before others walk in. I believe morning hours are the most productive hours.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Do not run after too many things and ideas. Concentrate on a few goals and make your effort count.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

There are always unforeseen risks in life and business. One should be prepared for them. No one knows what will happen in future so it is better to be prepared for the unexpected.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Be honest to yourself. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. I believe, one should recognize their weak points and work on them. It is never a good idea to brush something under the carpet.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Read and read more. Read on general topics and topics unrelated to your business. There is wealth of knowledge out there. Having new knowledge always helps.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

About 2 years ago we had bid for a nationwide training contract for a big corporation. We did everything right to get that business. Our solution was better and rates were cheaper. But we were much smaller than we are today. We lost the business to a much bigger brand. Later on the customer told us that we had made a very aggressive bid.
This failure shunted our growth for a while but we learned a few things, concentrated on our strategy and have grown since then.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Build a mobile app that provides 360 degrees coverage of personal interfaces with our friends and near ones. The mobile app will be a Personal Relationship Management (PRM) software, which would be akin to a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. It would store personal information such as birthdays, anniversaries, and other important life events. It would also store our previous conversations like text messages and gist of voice calls. It will create auto reminders for us and do certain automated tasks to keep our friends and near ones happy.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I bought a set of ebooks and associated educational material for $99. I think what I got was a great value for my money. These books taught me how to use social media presence for increasing the business.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

Usage of Internet technologies to reach out to individual customers for training business has helped us. We are using blogging, advertisements, and social media to reach out to potential customers. Today, our individual centric business is somewhat bigger than our corporate business.
We use Buffer extensively for doing social media promotions and digital marketing. It saves us a lot of time. I can manage scheduling and stats analysis for all my social media platforms at one place.
I use Buffer for scheduling my posts on various social media platforms (FB, Twitter, G+ et. el.). It is quite intuitive and very easy to use. I prepare content calendar for the week and use Buffer to schedule posts on Monday. At the beginning of next week, I check how my posts have performed across different social media platforms.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray
Nature has made each one of us different. I think this books is essential for every adult. It explains how men and women are different from each other, how do they behave, what are their expectations, and why do they speak/react in a certain way. It is engaging and thought provoking.
I believe you can grow as a person and entrepreneur if you have a good understanding and compassion for your life partner.

What is your favorite quote?

A quote by Mahatma Gandhi – Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Key learnings:

  • Use early morning time to plan for the day and getting things organized.
  • Don’t run after too many ideas or opportunities. Just focus on your core strengths and business will come.
  • Read and read more.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Trust your team and give them space & flexibility to work.

Connect:

Website – https://www.pmbypm.com/
Quora – https://www.quora.com/profile/Praveen-Malik-16
Linkedin Group – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4456858
Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/pmbypm
Pinterest – https://in.pinterest.com/pmbypm/
Twitter Handle – http://twitter.com/pmbypm

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