Why I celebrate the day I got fired…

Mush Panjwani's Coffee WageraToday is the 5th Anniversary since I got fired from Time Life / Educational Technologies in 2013, after working with them for 16 years! I was very positive that day, and every year it becomes more obvious why that was one of the best things that could happen. Losing my job made it possible to:

  • Start my own training and consulting company, Dinchack – and positively influence the lives of 2000+ people through 50+ training sessions in 5 countries in the first year alone.
  • Join Learning Time as a Director Sales, Marketing & Training – and help develop and launch awesome early learning products in 18 countries in 3 years; travel to many new places and work with many more wonderful people.
  • Start a direct sales company, A Better Chance in Pakistan – and help make it one of the top three distributors of Learning Time in two years.

And I am thrilled to reveal my next venture, a coffee shop in Karachi! Coffee Wagera is scheduled to open on 1st April. More about this dream in the next blog post 🙂

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change. At such moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back…” ~Paolo Coelho

PS. Thanks to my family, friends, clients, everyone at Learning Time and A Better Chance for their tremendous support during these years, without whom none of the above was possible.

Dinchack’s humble beginning…

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This was the longest break on this blog… apologies to the readers and followers! It was due to my total focus on “Dinchack” – the training company I formed in May.

Thanks to the support of family, friends, old colleagues and the super-helpful community of entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, the company seems to be slowly but surely getting off the ground. Please click on the image to read the full story.

And check back for life-enhancing blog posts here at least once a week. Check the Dinchack Facebook page here.

The first 8 weeks were Dinchack!


1st May must have been a lucky date to start a new business – because Dinchack seems to be going places, literally! The first 8 weeks have been nothing short of, well, Dinchack!

  • Dinchack did six training events in Hong Kong, Manila, Nakhon Si Thammarat (South Thailand), Bangkok and Jakarta!
  • Dinchack is now associated with a few like-minded, well-established and successful organizations like Ariva in the Philippines, Kornerstone and General Assembly in HK!
  • Dinchack has started supporting Crossroads Foundation, with every paid event!
  • Dinchack is now a member of BNI International!
  • Dinchack has just hired two summer interns who will be trained in online marketing and admin!
  • Dinchack Facebook page crossed 3,000 fans!
  • Dinchack now shows up as the #1 result in Google search!

July is looking spectacular with four training events confirmed already, and a couple of more expected! On the personal front, I’ve organized myself to work 0700-1300 on planning, marketing, communications, follow-ups… meet clients 1400-1800, swim regularly in the open sea at sunrise or sunset, read related books and blogs daily… and still have plenty of time for the family.

As one of my recent FB status said, I’m incredibly blessed, extremely grateful, super excited and totally turbo charged!

[Photo from the Leadership Training in Manila. More photos here.]

A small contribution can change lives!

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I just received this very moving story from Crossroads Foundation, telling us how a small contribution can make such a huge difference to people’s lives.

Bhavani is a 42 year old fisherwoman who lives on the coast of southeast India. Her family was, for years, totally dependent on the sea for its livelihood. Bhavani’s husband Muthu sailed out to sea each morning at 4:00 and Bhavani sold his catch at the local market. It was a precarious existence, however, and, as the family grew and their needs increased, the fish became more and more scarce. The income from Bhavani’s daily market sales was not enough to meet their needs for food, medicine and school fees. They had no option but to take out loans from a local moneylender who, typical of their kind, charged impossible rates of interest whilst intimidating those who could not pay. Bhavani could not keep up with the wildly inflated demands and she was terrified of the repercussions. She felt her family sink further and further into desperation, seeing no way out.
By way of background, Bhavani’s tribespeople live in southern India on sloping hillsides, in valleys, on the periphery of forests, as well as by the sea. They are marginalised and many do not have an official identity, are unable to vote and are cut off from other basic rights. Like most of her people, Bhavani has no access to electricity, clean water or formal healthcare whilst tuberculosis, skin infections and alcohol-related illnesses frequently claim their lives. Discrimination or lack of formal identity documents prevent children from getting into school and many fathers, like their fathers before them, are trapped in modern-day slavery, working without proper pay in rice mills. Continue reading

An exciting first month of Dinchack (my new venture)!

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On 1st May at 0700, I had a small solo event: I went to the corner desk of my living room which was to become my home office, turned my computer on, declared myself an entrepreneur, and started making checklists and plans. I can’t believe it’s been a month already!

With the support and encouragement of family, friends and even strangers, Dinchack has come a long way. Most of the goals established for the first month were achieved, and then some:

  • Partnered with Ariva, a training company in the Philippines, and did the first event yesterday. The next one is scheduled for August!
  • Partnered with Kornerstone, a training company in Hong Kong, and started with a training session for their own in-house sales team. They are planning a launch of my sales training program for their corporate clients in July!
  • Launched the CSR program by starting to support Crossroads Foundation of Hong Kong!
  • Made lots of new contacts in Hong Kong; been averaging one presentation a day for the last two weeks; joined a few networks.
  • Dinchack website got into the top three search results on Google! Dinchack blog averages three new posts a week!
  • Dinchack FB page has over 2600 followers and reaches over 600,000 people a week, with tips and resources on happiness, motivation and success!
  • Dinchack uniform t-shirts have been extremely popular – possibly another business idea!

The plans for June are looking very exciting already, starting with a 3-day training for ETL at Minor in Thailand! Joining more business networks, hiring an intern, and most importantly, getting at least two more paid events, are just some of the challenges.

Three quotes that inspire me daily:

  1. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” -Vince Lombardi
  2. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” -Napoleon Hill
  3. “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” -Bill Cosby

And my prospecting line: “Do you know any companies with salespeople, looking to increase sales?”

PS. It seems getting fired from ETL could be one of the best things that happened to me!

An exciting first week of Dinchack!

Image 4Dinchack completed its first week today. Few modest achievements:

  1. Dinchack website shows up in the top three search results on Google! Very exciting indeed, considering so many other dinchacks out there.
  2. Dinchack website has been viewed 1,937 times during the week. That’s fantastic, without any online marketing.
  3. Dinchack Facebook page now has 2,389 fans, in less than three weeks since launch! Overwhelming.
  4. And here’s what I am most thrilled about… Dinchack got it’s first client!

I have my first speaking assignment at the ’4th Annual Summit for Leaders and Managers’ on 31st May in Manila, organized by ‘Ariva! Events Management’. Hoping to get at least one more in May.

I am happy with the progress, and looking forward to a dinchack future ahead. Thanks to everyone’s encouragement, support and good wishes!

Happy May Day: I start as an entrepreneur today!

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First, a confession: I am very scared, though I keep telling myself ‘failure is an option, but fear is not’.

When I lost my job, I had two choices. On one hand, there were bills and mortgage, and the need to quickly start earning a stable income. I had been used to the comforts and securities of a ‘job’ for 27 years, so looking for another job seemed like the obvious choice.

But on the other hand, there was a dream and an option to finally pursue it. An opportunity to use my training skills to make a difference in many more lives, outside of one company. And to increase my income to match my dreams.

I chose risk, insecurity and uncertainty. I launched my training company, Dinchack. And today is officially the first day of operation. I started working at 0600 this morning, and I am very tempted to take the rest of the day off 🙂

What a great day to start a new venture. 1st May symbolizes a change of season in most countries – either the start of spring or of summer, depending on where you are. For me, it’s the beginning of the much awaited new chapter in my life!

1st May is also known as Labor Day, May Day or International Workers’ Day that’s celebrated in more than 80 countries. What better way to celebrate workers’ day than to start working for yourself!

You may check out Dinchack website here. And join Dinchack Facebook page for daily tips on happiness, motivation and success. Please feel free to leave any comments, good wishes or questions about Dinchack.

11 benefits of napping during the day

A wonderful illustration from Daily Infographic shows, humans consolidate sleeping time for a long period at night, but we’re designed to feel tired in the early morning hours and mid-afternoon, when a 2 p.m. nap would feel awesome. A 2- to 5-minute nap can perk you up and a 5- to 20-minute nap can improve your motor skills and performance.

Looks like life could become really ‘dinchack’ if we napped every day!