In life, it isn’t about having the right aptitude, it is about having the right attitude
Vanky Kenny Kataria is a two time representative of India in public speaking. His work and accomplishments have been featured in books such as ’30&Under’ authored by Peter Cuderman. The book highlights the lives of the top 100 professionals from around the world under the age of 30 which includes Olympic athletes, Forbes Under 30s, Top UFC Fighters and others . He has also been featured in the book-‘Love What You Do’ authored by Maigen Thomas and also in magazines such as – Entrepreneur (2x), Huffington Post, Readers Digest, MSN, BuzzFeed and others. He is a Visiting Professor at Rasbihari International School, India and is also the brand ambassador for India for United Nations’ recognized scholarship providing platform – ‘Host Your Voice’. He has spoken at various international conferences such as the recent Coco-Cola’s Youth Speak Forum and as an educator was nominated for the runner-up prize in the Genius-U’s Educator Certification Program, 2017 which invited applications from educators all around the world who are making a positive impact on the society. He also enjoys being the LinkedIn consultant of various international best selling authors, Founders, CEOs of various international companies,etc.
Where did the idea for Science of Everything come from?
So, When I started with Public Speaking, I lost all 6 of my first local level public speaking competitions.
Then, I started working hard on my mistakes. Everytime, I lost a competition in Public Speaking, I asked for feedback from the audience and the judges, I started working on my mistakes which I came to know by this procedure. Soon, I started gaining momentum and soon went on to represent India at the international level. When I finished presenting at the international level in the contest, a judge asked me to leave the stage without even asking me a single question as he completely disliked my presentation and the audience of 500+ people and I was left red-faced in front of my family and the audiences. Needless to say, I lost the competition devastatingly. I didn’t wanted to give up. So, I kept working hard and worked on my mistakes and gave my everything for the preparation of the same competition for the following year. I came up with a new topic to present, I researched on it, I prepared my presentation well and kept on preparing and revising it till it looked perfect. The result was that the following year in the competition, I bagged the 2nd spot in South Asia in the same competition. That’s when I decided I am going to share help others make the same transformation by motivating them!
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I get up about 7 in the morning and after being done with the normal routine and after getting ready, I am off to giving Guest lectures in educational organizations where I serve as a Visiting Professor and Guest Speaker. After this being over, I make sure that I spend time on LinkedIn. It is the most wonderful social media platform I have ever come across. It is a platform where you can share your story and thoughts and people are very keen to listen to it. I give time for content creation and engaging with all the messages, comments which I get on LinkedIn. In the evening time, I make time for LinkedIn consulting to professionals who are interested in building their personal brands on LinkedIn. Late evenings is the time when I take off time from work, And, the entire family gets together and has a talk of the entire day’s happenings. At nights, I tend to relax, read some books and write down the goals for the next few days.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I believe that writing down your goals and ideas are two very important things. I pen down my ideas in my notebook. This thing has been scientifically proven, so, I never miss writing my goals and ideas. Then, I am consistently onto making these ideas come to life. Like, About 6 months back, I had almost no online presence,no top magazine feature. I wrote down in my goals section that I would land PR opportunities without a PR agency. And, I saw myself intuitively taking decisions to make this happen. Today, I have been featured in magazines such as Entrepreneur (2x), Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, ReadersDigest, MSN and various others; Books such as ‘30&Under’, ‘Love What You Do’. It is amazing how one habit of writing down short term and long term goals has helped me so immensely in making my ideas come to life.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The one trend which gets me super excited is LinkedIn. It is one of the most underrated social media platforms, I believe. A platform where stories, motivation, thought provoking ideas do wonders.On LinkedIn, the ratio of content creators to content consumers is quite low. So, If you start sharing content which can inspire people or share your personal story as to how you overcome an obstacle, The post could catch fire.
For eg: Let’s say, you want a lot of PR for your company. Then, make a connection with journalists related to that particular niche. Then, start sharing your story, some amazing insights, infographics, etc. Soon, those journalists would start noticing the quality of the content you are sharing. And, You would be approached for a feature. (I have landed some huge PR opportunities only because of LinkedIn.)
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
The one habit which makes me more productive as an entrepreneur is analyzing my mistakes and working hard on them to overcome them. After every project or event, I make a note of what I did great ( I.e what worked well) and what I didn’t do great. I make this list because the next time I am off to do something similar, I make sure to overcome these drawbacks and also not forget to include the strong points which worked for me the last time. Like, If I started my speech with a 10 second silence and the audience went super intrigued to know why I wasn’t speaking. They were discussing among themselves-Has the speaker forgotten what he had to say? Has the speaker gone completely blank? And, when I started speaking I had everyone’s attention. So, I know now that starting with a little span of silence in the beginning helps catch the attention of the audience. So, I would make a note of this and do it again whenever I feel the audience’s attention needs to be caught.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to never stop believing and always keep on hustling.I strongly believe that life is not about having the right aptitude, it is about having the right attitude. People would laugh at you, make fun of you. You have to keep on moving forward and as you do that and see everything from the right perspective, Life starts to reward you!
And, always keep on adding value to lives of others. It is like an investment which we make in others by adding value to their lives by helping them fulfill their dreams. And, soon, without you knowing it, life starts to reward you back with some amazing rewards.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I have always believed that in life, it isn’t about having the right aptitude, it is about having the right attitude. Many a times, I have heard people telling their children that they are useless,the teachers telling the children that they don’t have the talent to make it big. I believe – You can’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree. So, if you are judging a child good at dancing by seeing his examination grades, well, you aren’t doing justice. So, I strongly believe that people should be judged as per their passion, their will to do that something, rather than watching their academic grades every time. I believe students are being taught about the right aptitude, but, they should be taught how to have the right attitude and they would come out all guns blazing and all cylinders firing. I am a motivational speaker and I strongly believe that if we can bring in the right attitude in students, they can do wonders.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I never fail to do this one thing and that is: Always learning from your mistakes. I don’t believe in failures. I believe we don’t win and lose, rather, we win and learn. So, every time something ‘bad’ happens with us, but, we take the lesson from it, we are making sure that we are progressing and moving towards our goals. So, never see failures as failures. Failures=Learnings. They are truly our stepping stones to success.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The one strategy which has helped me grow my business and personal brand has been – collaborations. For e.g.: I have been LinkedIn from some time now and I know it quite good.But,now,i have decided to write a book. But, I don’t know a thing about publishing a book, how to make it a #1 bestseller and so on. So, What I do is;I simply call one of my bestselling authors whom I know. So, I share with him my idea of helping him with LinkedIn and getting him more lead generation through LinkedIn and in return, he would help me in the process of what goes on in making a book successful. In this way, I have indirectly, done a favor for my business. I have saved the finances which I would have otherwise spent to get the advice of a bestseller. So, Collaborations, in my opinion, do wonders!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
To be very honest, I doubt the concept of failing. I believe that everytime we do something which wasn’t good for business financially or otherwise, We have some lessons to learn. So, Actually, these ‘Failures’ are ‘learnings’ which would make our system more sustainable and more reliable in the future. I believe we all don’t quite ever fail in business or in life.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I have a good business idea from the service industry. I believe nowadays personal brands are making a lot of buzz. So, You can start building your business around creating people as the brands. You can also go in a more particular niche by building and enhancing brands of lets say-Celebrities on LinkedIn. So, Choosing a particular platform which you love and have passion for, (YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn or anyone for that matter) You can help content creators get more reach. One name which comes to the top of my mind who has helped brands get more reach is Connor Blakley.
This concept fascinates me because almost everyone wants to be a celebrity, have 10K+ followers on Instagram, Get millions of views on YouTube and so on. But, in regard to this, there are so less number of professionals who are working behind the scenes to make these brands work and create the person as the brand itself. So, now, seems to be a great timing to get involved.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I have spent recently has been on books. I absolutely love reading. I have recently read books on SpeechWriting, Gary Vaynerchuk’s ‘Crushing It’, ‘Invisible Influence’ by Jonah Berger and some more. Reading these books helped me reinvent myself in little ways which has made a huge difference to me.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I use ‘Google Docs’ a lot. As I create a lot of content for social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Google Docs has come very handy. Also, It lets me do rather complex jobs such as creating a beautiful PDF file or a word document in almost no time because of its various templates available. It is extremely helpful for independent professionals, freelancers who are constantly making changes in their content, their online resources, etc.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would strongly recommend reading the book – ‘Why things Catch On’ by Jonah Berger. The book unveils the 6 principles as to why people share some content online and not others(The book also talks about how to get better-word of good mouth publicity). These 6 principles are – STEPPS. These mean Social Currency, Trigger, Emotion, Practical Value, Public, Stories. So, For eg:The video by Rebecca Black went viral because of one strong reason. It had a ‘Trigger’ which was – Friday. So, Every friday, people suddenly remembered the video and watched it. In this today’s era of social media, Nothing would help you more to get your voice heard than Jonah Berger’s – How Things Catch On.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you think you can or If you think you can’t. You are right in both the cases” – Henry Ford
1. You can do it. It is going to be difficult to get there but it’s not impossible. Remember, Impossible itself says I’m possible.
2. You will make a lot of mistakes. Learn from them and improve. Everytime, You improve a mistake,You move one step closer to achieving your goal.
3. You will feel down and out. You will see huge losses and tremendous struggles and hardships. But, keep on moving and improving because – Clear skies never make good pilots and smooth roads never make great drivers.
4. You will feel down and out. Many a times, Most of the time.But,remember that just because you are down and out today, doesn’t mean you won’t be up and running tommorow.
5.You never lose. (You don’t win and lose in life. You win and learn in life.)
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Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.