Founder & CEO, POPxo
I spend the last week of any given year taking stock - of the good, the bad, the things I was grateful for, the things I want to change. I make lists - many, many lists. The things I want to achieve, what I would like my fitness routine to be like, new habits to learn and old ones I would like to break. It’s my way of hitting pause on life, taking a giant metaphorical breath and beginning the new year with a plan.
For POPxo, 2014 was a stupendous year. We launched the brand in March, hit 1 million monthly uniques by October (thank you all so very much!), finished our fundraising round, found an office in Delhi (Can. Not. Wait for it to be ready!), grew to 318,000 Facebook fans and got lots and lots of love from our lovely readers. And 2015 is set to be even better. We move into our office next week. We are on a massive hiring spree, so watch this space. Our plans are ambitious, and we intend to do whatever it takes to hit our targets and succeed.
For me personally, POPxo has been a life change. From a rather cushy life which revolved around family, friends, socializing, occasional writing, some investing, lots of lunches with girlfriends and going out, I became a recluse. Sitting at home (in my PJs), making big plans with my co-founder Namrata Bostrom. We were blessed with tunnel vision - which blinded us to anything but our goal. We were warned that the journey would be tough, the odds of succeeding minuscule, but our entrepreneurial hubris (thankfully!) prevailed. Millions of women read POPxo every month - it makes us so proud.
As I make plans to move to Delhi in January 2015 - husband, kids, et al - it’s definitely going to be an exciting year. POPxo is only going to get bigger, and I look forward to the ride. And as you too prepare for the coming year, I leave you with a few things to think about...
Remember to be grateful
We spend so much of our life worrying about pretty much everything that we forget to give thanks. So make it a habit every day. I am thankful for my family - they have been super supportive. I am thankful for my friends - they are still around even though I am pretty much always MIA. And I am thankful for my POPxo team. They are truly the very best.
Stop worrying about people
#FOMO is a real thing, and thanks to social media we are constantly made to feel inadequate in comparison to the (edited and photo-filtered) lives of our friends. Make a conscious effort to ignore it. Make plans of your own (and Instagram them to your heart’s content if you like). But train yourself not to feel bad when 5 of your friends head out to dinner sans you. In the large scheme of things, it really does not matter.
Do something nice for someone who least expects it
It will make them feel brilliant. Promise. Even if it’s sending flowers, saying “I love you” or sending a sweet email congratulating them on a Facebook brag. You lose nothing by making someone feel good about himself or herself - so do it often, do it sincerely. It takes a second to hit like on FB or Insta or to type out a quick comment. I assure you: it is noted and appreciated. On a larger scale, pick a charitable cause and support it, in any small way you can.
It’s one thing which will really matter. Cultivate people and friendships with care. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” said American entrepreneur Jim Rohn. It’s true. Shut out the people who make you feel bad about being you. Interact with and invest in positive people who are excited about what they are doing and are happy for what you are passionate about.
New year, new slate
Let bygones be bygones. Begin 2015 with a positive conviction that you won’t hold anything anyone did in the past against them. People mess up sometimes, often inadvertently. You do too - let it be. Start again.
Learn something new
This year, I plan to learn a self-defence skill - kickboxing, most likely. I would also like to learn a language, Spanish I think. And, rather embarrassingly, I want to learn how to swim properly - still can’t do it. Take time out for yourself. Do fun classes. Silly classes. Learn to cook, to dance - whatever excites you.
Don’t take anything too seriously, except your health
Health is what truly matters the most. So take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise hard. Get that six pack or sculpted arms - if that’s what you want (I totally do!). Meditate. Pretty much every worry in life has a solution. So fixate on what really matters. Family. Experiences. Happy memories. And, yes, do try to give up (or at least cut down on) sugar - it’s really, really bad for you!
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