'Our negative brain chatter kills more than our actual failures': Rajbir Kohli
The managing director, Brownie Point, lets us into his world
How do you typically start your workday?
My day starts at 6am with a quiet meditation session, followed by a quick run to the school to drop my daughter, and an intense workout session at the gym. This prepares my mind and body for a productive and creative day ahead.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
What I love about living the life of an entrepreneur is that no two days are the same. This keeps the monotony away. Some days, I could be working with the chefs on a new menu or reviewing our food costs, while on others, I could be working with a team of social media strategists for a new campaign for the festive season.
In your workday, what is the one thing you cannot do without?
I like to keep things simple and write things down so I can remember to get them done. So, my diary, a pen and a very precise to-do list for the day.
What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Our negative brain chatter kills more opportunities in life than our actual failures. I believe in giving things a shot as, at times, the experience of learning is more important than the end result.
Who do you consider a great professional?
Sir Richard Branson. His lively, ambitious, yet humble persona makes him the perfect professional. Starting with just a record company, he put the Virgin brand on probably every human touch point today: from airlines to colas to trains to space travel. And the reason he and his brand have become synonymous with each other is because he has put his personal fortunes at stake to uphold the brand - from personally performing life-threatening stunts to fighting legal battles with fierce rivals. Even with so much happening, he's got this calm and always-ready-to-have-fun attitude to life.
What is one important skill you think every professional should have?
Choose your battles and save your energy for the ones that matter the most. What I believe is, in the desire to experience the highs of accomplishment, we take up every challenge that comes our way and end up wasting our stamina, thus leading to exhaustion or even burnout. So rather, be clear with your priorities in business and life, and wisely choose the battles you feel are important, to enjoy a more fulfilled and better quality of professional life.
Your favourite indulgence when you need a break from work.
If I'm mentally exhausted, I choose to hit the gym for an intense workout or a long jog. If I cannot fit in a workout in my schedule, then I take time off for a quick round of meditation.
How do you make the most of the day?
Just like how, at school, we used to get our bags ready a night before as per the next day's timetable, having a crisp plan or a short list of things to accomplish ready the night before really helps to keep focus and not get distracted from the daily disturbances at work.
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
Well, that's a million-dollar question that I'm still trying to figure out. For me, there's nothing more satisfying than seeing the faces of my two adorable daughters and loving wife when I finish a long day at work, which is what makes me leave work on time and reach home before they go off to bed.
Any advice for youngsters getting into the professional arena?
Though grades are extremely important to give your career a good start, what really takes you to the next level are real-life skills. Unfortunately, these are rarely taught in school and are often learnt from a mentor, coach or family member you look up to. Things like clarity of mind when making decisions, ability to take risks, courage to take tough decisions, persuasion skills and leadership skills. My advice is to have a more holistic approach to your career. And the earlier you choose a mentor in life, the better.
- Staff Reporter