Choose whatever you are good at doing over everything else. And don’t let any thing else come in your way. Practice and practice, even when you feel you are becoming better at it, still keep doing it day in and day out.
Vani Kabir is popularly known as The Modern Sufi by her more than hundred thousand fans on social media. She is a writer, a Ted X speaker (twice), a youth motivational speaker, an upcoming author, a single mom of a 10 year old and addresses a lot of emotional issues of youth and women through her poetry, talks and more. Her life story is very inspiring and it’s doing rounds on social media. She has more than a hundred thousand followers on her Facebook page and more than forty thousand followers on Instagram. She has given interview with RJ Jassi (104.8 Big FM) on bringing back the poetry and how heartbreak poetry helps the broken hearted. She is a Senior Creative Director with a leading advertising agency in Delhi and she has bagged almost all the international advertising awards to her kitty. Also, she has been ranked as top 10 Copywriters in India by Luerzers Archive 2019. She has written her first fiction book which is yet to be published. She also keeps doing her continuing studies with Stanford University, USA through various courses. She has just finished NaNoWrimo writing course where in one has to finish writing a novel of minimum 50,000 words in 30 days.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I carry two personalities together each day. Vani Kabir, The Modern Sufi and Vani Kabir – Senior Creative Director of an ad firm in Delhi. Though both these domains may look alien to each other but they are co related. I was always a writer.I got my first poem published when i was 8. Going forward I chose writing as a profession in Advertising too. But being a modern sufi which is my personal branding venture happened only after I went through my divorce. And I understood that there is so much more in the world that needs to be heard and spoken about. So The Modern Sufi became the voice.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I follow quite a methodical day now, unlike before which was all over the place. I start my day with a quiet 15 minutes to myself and move on to social media to reply and engage with my followers who write to me everyday. Writing and reading are the vitals to the day. I have religious schedules to write and read.Since I have long call hours, I have started to take them while walking and sipping mineral water to keep myself hydrated. I always maintain a planner of events which is not the phone but a diary to keep me updated with my forthcoming schedule. I also plan my emails with boomerang so that I don’t miss sending them on time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am being asked this a lot of times. Especially about how I write what I write. My biggest inspiration is adversity and how each individual deals with it. When I come face to face with an idea, I do two things.
– research about it in great lengths
– talk about it to people, friends, family, random people, social media followers.
A lot of people fear doing this because they think their ideas will be stolen. I have a completely different theory. Ideas choose you, you don’t choose ideas. So an idea will only leave you if you are not giving it the adequate feed to grow.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Though this doesnt relate to my line of work but ‘good looking artistic food’ it is – I cannot gulp down anything that doesn’t look good. And I am a fan of people who make food look like art. The presentation, the style, the innovation is something that makes me travel to different parts of the world for that one dish. There is a lot to learn with every artistic dish you come across.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Adaptability. This is something I have worked upon over the last few years knowing how important it is for survival. If you are not adaptable, you are not in business. Adaptability allows you to quench barriers of your mind and propels you to think what most are not.
What advice would you give your younger self?
There are many though 🙂 but if I have to chose one then it would be to make informed decisions. I have taken some very momentary decisions and they have mostly not worked in my favour. Informed decisions making is an art and takes time to master. It takes away the joy of being carried away but at the same time it gives you the trust on your decisions.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I often have ideas gushing through me and I have to immediately hold on them with a pen and paper handy. sometimes, they go along and sometimes they pass by and sometimes, I am awake in the middle of the night when I am feeling compelled to write. This seems weird to a lot of people and they give me a raised eyebrow but then its a SURT – single universal relatable truth.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
BE AT IT. I cannot stress enough on this. This has been a part of my every talk. I urge you to follow this. Irrespective of your circumstances, your choices, your financial condition, your relationship status… be at it. Choose whatever you are good at doing over everything else. And don’t let any thing else come in your way. Practice and practice, even when you feel you are becoming better at it, still keep doing it day in and day out.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Availability. Make yourself reachable and available to people. People like working with people who are approachable. Snobbish and high headed is passe’. If you are rooted and available, people will want to work with you. They can establish trust which is hard to find in workspace these days.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I was married, I was running two companies which I had to shut because of divorce hazards. But then that not the end of the world. I lost the tag of an entrepreneur and gained The Modern Sufi. Earlier I was building my companies, now I am building myself. Its just how you look at it. There is no way to overcome any loss, but you can always find ways to channelise it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There needs to be a school for senior children aged 55plus – call it the senior kindergarten where they are given exercises that will prick their mind and give solutions. I truly believe that any old person is a library and they have solutions to almost any situation in the world. If there is a school which allows them to express their experiences and the data is collected, there will be so much more knowledge and varied solutions to single problems.Its like mind mapping these old books.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought books, big magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and God, the history of human religion by Raza Aslan and a mic that connects with my Iphone to record videos with sound clarity. Books are a regular feature but mic was on my mind since I wanted the videos and podcast to have utmost clarity and the job of my editing team is lesser. Saves everyones effort and time and we use that productively.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I am well versed with corel, photoshop and Ai. But I mostly use Canva for a quick thing that needs to be sent. These softwares are very handy and very easy to use once you learn them. For canva, you don’t need learning, you just fiddle with it for an hour and you will know everything. Since I am a design person with keen ability to appreciate fine design, Canva helps me put even the simplest of my work artistically.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
BIG MAGIC! BIG MAGIC! BIG MAGIC! Though it’s by a writer but it’s got some really amazing nuggets for the entrepreneurs and people who are building their brand.
What is your favorite quote?
Your scars are your roadmap. They light your way. Without them you will be lost. – Vani Kabir
I truly believe that uncomfortable emotions need to be understood and diagnosed inorder to find a way to deal with them. Getting comfortable with your own emotions and how you feel day after day is the key to move up the ladder. And wish to help people through my words and voice to reach that state of being comfortable with who they are and proudly own what happened to them.
- Be at it, keep doing what you are good at.
- When writing about an Idea, exercise honesty. Your readers can differentiate.
- Adaptability is the key to rule any business.
- Availability goes a long way in building goodwill. Be approachable. Let people know the real you.