One year in Pakistan, and no looking back! (3 Tips to Manage Change)

Mush Panjwani with Shanzeh

It’s been more than a year since I left half my family and a very comfortable life in Hong Kong, and moved to Pakistan, in September 2017. And I am often asked how can anyone willingly move back after spending over 20 years abroad; how has the experience been; and how do I manage to stay so happy and positive. It was a combination of things I’ve learned over the years and have applied in many situations, particularly in dealing with any change…

Manage your expectations: I didn’t expect anything in Pakistan to be similar to HK – effective government, efficient systems, easy public transportation, organized traffic, law-abiding people, beautiful weather or the basic stuff like security, electricity, water, Internet etc. Those are the luxuries that most countries/people do not experience in a lifetime. So I rarely found myself getting frustrated about the weather, traffic, government or lack of any of those things I often took for granted in HK. Everyday I experienced what I had expected, so there was no disappointment.

Focus on the positives: An essential part of being happy in any situation is to be grateful for what you have, which is only possible if you are always looking for, acknowledging and appreciating all the good things in your life. And there are a lot of good things about life in Pakistan, which we did not have in HK, or may not have in many parts of the world e.g. local fruits, vegetables and meat (instead of imported); varieties of great food from around the world; beautiful country with lots to see and do, from Karachi to Kashmir and everything in between; lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs (and businessmen too); good people (mostly nice, kind, friendly, helpful, awesome); hardly any natural disasters like earthquakes, tornados, typhoons, volcanoes, tsunamis, or even flooding!

Be the change: Instead of complaining about things, we can try to be the change we want to see in Pakistan. At a personal level, it’s things like following traffic rules (very difficult though), reducing power/water consumption, being more tolerant with people who are different (Sindhi, Panjabi, Pathan, Shia, Sunni, less educated or civilized). At business level, we can do that by supporting good causes – e.g. equal opportunities for the transgender, women empowerment; minimizing disposables and reducing waste. And most importantly, being positive and spreading cheer!

Few other things that made the change exciting for me were:

  • Starting Coffee Wagera as a hybrid of social-commercial enterprise that becomes a force for good and a model for other businesses.
  • Introducing the concepts and teaching the principles of ‘Happiness at Work’ in Pakistan for the first time, through my training programs.
  • Supporting Hur with his training at Special Olympics – one of the best non-profits in Pakistan! They are preparing him and many others for the Special Olympics World Games 2019 in Abu Dhabi.
  • The excellent support of family, friends and the business community. And finally, the secret: the love of Shanzeh (my granddaughter) and the opportunity to spend time with her 🙂

 

 

Inspiration from one of Pakistan’s top cyclists: Ali Laghari

I have been lucky to get to know a few running and cycling groups in Karachi, since I started Coffee Wagera. It’s always inspiring to meet these people, because I know how much passion, commitment and discipline it takes to come out for a run or ride before sunrise.

Ali Laghari is part of “Cycologists“, one of the most active cycling groups in Karachi. And I met him during World Heart Day on 29th September. That’s when I found out about his record 4900km of cycling in one month, and asked him a few questions… his responses were very inspiring indeed, as you can see from the video above. The highlights were:

  • He wasn’t competing with anyone else – just himself!
  • Cycling and healthy living is a way of life for him, which he is trying to promote.
  • He cycled all the way to Mubarak Village and back – 100km in a day!
  • He started small. Just one ride, on a rental bicycle. Then another…

Bonus: Commentary at by Zeeshan Khalid, another Cycologist, at the end of the video.

 

First full-day public workshop on “Happiness at Work” in Pakistan by Mush Panjwani

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I had put all my training work on hold while focusing on Coffee Wagera since the opening in April this year. Coffee Wagera is indeed very exciting and engaging, but I miss my training work. So I have reached out to a few training companies and corporate contacts for opportunities to contribute with my ‘Happiness at Work’ training programs in Pakistan.

Dellsoft, a new division of Dellsons, organized the first full-day public workshop at Movenpick Hotel Karachi on 5th September. We had about 25 participants from five different banks and other corporates. We covered:

  • The latest in positive psychology – the science of happiness
  • Effects of positivity on all areas of life
  • Job satisfaction vs. happiness at work
  • How happiness at work enhances productivity and profits
  • The two essentials of happiness at work
  • Common causes and results of unhappiness at work
  • How to create happier workplace, at organizational and individual levels
  • Work session: key ideas and action steps for immediate implementation

Some of the feedback from participants:

One of the best training sessions ever…

Amazing topic and great energy!

Extremely relevant, effective and lots of fun!

The promotional flyer can be downloaded here.

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Sales/Motivational Training for Ferd Ventures in Davao, by Mush Panjwani

Mush Panjwani training in Davao

Ferd Ventures is one of the non-exclusive distributors for Learning Time in Philippines. And they had organized a 2-day training for the entire sales team from Davao, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro. We covered:

  • Positivity and happiness as the foundation for success
  • The four steps to achieve anything: dream, goal, plan, action
  • 13-step sales process, from prospecting and appointment to closing the order
  • Roleplaying of the ‘awareness’ and ‘product presentation’

Mush is not just a trainer, but a life coach! The 2-day Training Program was an eye-opener for the sales team. Mush taught us a very important life lesson… that despite all of life’s challenges, we still have a lot to be grateful for.. and that is one of the keys towards happiness and success.

We admire his training methodology which is simple, practical and very effective. His attitude and body language is his distinguishing characteristic.

~Ferdie Mangubat Jr., CEO

The other highlights of the trip were Filipino hospitality, with lots of good food, desserts and coffees 🙂

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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.

3 more tips to avoid clutter

 

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I continue to believe that a minimalistic and uncluttered life can lead to more productivity, increased efficiency and greater happiness. I’ve written several blog posts on my experiments with minimalism and tips to reduce clutter – at work, at home and life in general. Here’s a short version, because I think it all starts with buying stuff…

Buy mindfully:

  • Only buy what you need – really need. If it’s a temporary need, see if can be borrowed or rented.
  • Go with a shopping list and stay focused. Don’t be distracted by displays or special offers.
  • Don’t buy anything ‘just in case’ you might need it. Trust that you’ll find it ‘just in time’.
  • Always buy quality. It lasts longer, so costs less in the long run.
  • Don’t compromise on your style, size or color, otherwise you may be discarding it too soon.

Discard ruthlessly:

  • Once you buy a new something, get rid of the old one. Not tomorrow, not later, right now.
  • Find local charities or Salvation Army stores where the old stuff could go. If it’s too bad or old or broken to go to charity, then recycle it.
  • Give yourself limited space to keep your stuff. Once that space fills up, you know it’s time to reduce.

Use gratefully:

  • Whether it’s clothing, gadgets, books or other possessions, be grateful every time you use them. Remind yourself that millions of people do no have access to such luxury.
  • One of the biggest reasons for buying and accumulating stuff is being ungrateful for what we already have – that feeling of not having enough.
  • When we are grateful, we take good care of our stuff, and don’t discard/replace them easily.

If that sounds too difficult, just take one step at a step. And perhaps developing the attitude of gratitude would be a good start.

20 Inspiring Quotes for Salespeople

Mush Panjwani, Selling Quote

Today, I went through a few of my favorite blogs to read 100s of quotes from successful people, authors, trainers and businessmen. Here’s a collection of the 20 that I liked best… and hope they inspire a few people:

  • Make a customer, not a sale. ~Katherina Barchetti
  • Your life can only get better when you do. Do something every day to improve your key skill. ~Brian Tracy
  • If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking. ~Jack Canfield
  • Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. ~Jim Rohn
  • Begin by always expecting good things to happen. ~Tom Hopkins
  • Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. ~Tony Robbins
  • Sales success comes after you stretch yourself past your limitations on a daily basis. ~Omar Periu
  • Sales depend on the attitude of the salesperson, not the attitude of the prospect. ~Clement Stone
  • Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. ~Henry Ford
  • Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time. ~Thomas Edison
  • There’s no lotion or potion that will make sales faster and easier for you. It’s hard work. ~Jeffery Gitomer
  • For every sale you miss because you are too enthusiastic, you will miss a hundred because you are not enthusiastic enough. ~Zig Ziglar
  • Treat objections are request for further information. ~Brian Tracy
  • Obstacles are necessary for success because victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. ~Og Mandino
  • We are all somebody’s prospect; we are all somebody’s customer. ~Chris Murray
  • Selling is serving, helping others find solutions, impacting lives positively with passion and integrity. ~Farshad Asl
  • No trade will be made unless they want your product more than they want their money. ~Roy Williams
  • It’s about listening first, then selling. ~Erik Qualman
  • Selling is something we do ‘for’ our clients – not ‘to’ our client. ~Zig Ziglar
  • Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something 🙂 ~William Goldman

Please share your favorite quotes about selling in comments below.