Bootstrapping Your Dreams Show


#220 Innovating and socially impacting through technology with Melissa Sassi | Manuj Aggarwal | Bootstrapping Your Dreams Show

Season 1, Ep. 220

Are you curious to know how the leading tech giants like IBM and Microsoft headed? What are the challenges of making technology accessible around the globe? Then join me as I discuss with Melissa Sassi, the Global Head of IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator, Founder & CEO of MentorNations.

Melissa has given 100+ talks at UN events, education summits, tech conferences, and a keynote speaker in digital inclusion, women in tech, community building, youth empowerment, imposter syndrome, mentorship, and personal branding. 

She has spent several years in Microsoft's Airband Initiative, where she was an internet and energy access impact investor. She is the chair of IEEE's Digital Intelligence initiative and a Founding Member of the Coalition for Digital Intelligence with the WEF, OECD, IEEE, and DQ Institute.

Melissa strives to make a digitally inclusive world with her work as a Board member of TAKMIL, a nonprofit organization with 30 informal schools in rural Pakistan, and TechWomen. Asia, an Afghanistan-based nonprofit organization, focused on tech skill-building for young Afghani women.

  • (2:33) Melissa talks about her journey and her desire for a vibrant career.

  • (10:50) How she used volunteerism and a hackathon to land her next big job. 

  • (12:50) With the level of success you’ve achieved, how do you find the passion to help others succeed? 

  • (18:00) What motivates you to keep going in spite of the odds?

  • (19:34) Why it is important for everyone to adopt technology. 

  • (21:30) A tip on how to deter young people from violent extremism. 

  • (22:55) How have you promoted and achieved your goals at IBM so far? 

  • (27:35) Tell us about how your title “CHIEF PINGUIN” at IBM came about

  • (31:02) What role do you play to help startups? 

  • (35:00) What makes IBM cloud special, and different from other services? 

  • (37:47) What do technologies need to do, to appeal to executives? 

  • (39:02) How do you cope with all the events you host, all the work involved? 

  • (42:36) Tell us more about the event we are working on (THE HUMAN CODE)  

  • (46:50) How will this event benefit the audience? 

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#227 How to not get distracted | Nir Eyal | Manuj Aggarwal

Season 1, Ep. 227
Highlights0:01- The problem is no longer that we don't know what to do. The problem is we don't know how to stop getting in our own way. We don't know how to stop getting distracted.0:09- Conventional wisdom turns out not only to be wrong but turns out to be actually harmful.0:13- And so this is why our self-image is so important that if we believe that we are limited in one way or another, we will act according to those beliefs.0:23- This is called learned helplessness. And so that's what we need to understand that the way we talk to ourselves, the way we imagine and perceive our temperament around our limitations, is incredibly important0:38- Again, you can't call something a distraction unless you know what it distracted you from(1:09) Introduction:Nir Eyal writes, consults, and teaches about the intersection of psychology, technology, and business.Nir previously taught as a lecturer in marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, Nir co-founded and sold two tech companies since 2003.And was dubbed by MIT Technology Review as the profit of habit-forming technology.He's the author of two best-selling books. Hooked: How to build habit-forming products and Indistractable- how to control your attention and choose your life.Indistractable, received critical acclaim winning outstanding works of literature, literature OWL Award as well as being named one of the best business and leadership books of the year by Amazon, and one of the best personal development books of the year by Audible.The Globe and Mail called indestructible, the best business book of 2019.In addition to blogging at, Nir’s writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, Time magazine, and psychology today.Nir is also an active investor in habit-forming technologies.Some of his past investments include event pride, which was acquired by Spotify, Canva, which was acquired by LinkedIn product and Marco Polo presence learning, seven cups, and many more.Nir has attended Stanford Graduate School of Business and Emory University.(2:55)So tell us a little bit about your new book Indistractable, how did it come about and what is the theme of this book?(3:04) The book Indistractable is about Nir's struggle with distraction. There was one moment in his life that made him reevaluate his relationship with it. He shares that experience that made him realize how distracted he must have been while eating or even while working on a task. Nir says the problem is no longer that we don't know what to do. The problem is we don't know how to stop getting in our own way. We don't know how to stop getting distracted. He shares how he was able to figure out the solution to prevent getting distracted after immersing himself in studying psychology.(6:25)You do very thorough research on every topic that you undertake. So tell us about that, like, you know, how do you come up with that process? How do you even start researching this, if nobody has done a good enough job of doing this, you're breaking new ground? How do you go about doing all this?(6:57) Nir says that to him every book starts with a personal problem. He shares that it’s the reason why he loves his job, as he can look at all that great academic research that's been done. Nir believes that it's about a problem that he’s having. He shares that we have a lot of problems out there that we don't know how to solve. The first step is introspection. Are you aware of what you need to do in order to get what you want? Then, if you can't find the answer, you can search for it online or in books, or ask other people who have experience in this field. If you still can't get a solution, you can always go deep into the research.(9:17)Can you give us a little bit of a preview of what you found in this research? And what are some of the challenges people face while getting distracted?(9:57) Nir wants people to know that he didn't write the book because he mastered distraction, but he wrote this book because he needed to master distractions, as he has always struggled with self-control and willpower. He says that there’s a lot of misinformation about willpower out there. Nir says that conventional wisdom turns out not only to be wrong but turns out to be actually harmful. Nir shares that first we need to understand what distraction is. He says that the opposite of distraction is traction. Traction is any action that moves you towards your goal or intent. And the opposite of that is a distraction. He explains how we can actually have more and better traction and not be distracted by every shiny object that comes in our way. He shares four steps to being Indistractable.(18:42)What were the results? You obviously did all this research, you adopted, you went through with this with the, with the 1000s of people? What kind of results did they achieve? What kind of successes do they have? What kind of time did they save using these techniques?(19:24) Nir Eyal mentions that it took years of research to figure out what techniques were truly effective. Nir says he uses meta-studies to show this study is a well-established technique, it's been replicated time and time again, that's good research versus some techniques that are pretty bogus. He mentions a book named Mindset by Carol Dweck which is about ego depletion. Nir says that our self-image is so important that if we believe that we are limited in one way or another, we will act according to those beliefs. Nir says that people are getting distracted by technology, not addicted. And that's a very big difference. He further explains why it is so. He also explains the term learned helplessness. He says it is important to understand that the way we talk to ourselves about our limitations influences the way we behave around them.(23:57)So what in your opinion, is going to happen with the level of productivity and with the level of distraction that people are experiencing in these changing environments during pandemics and lockdown?(24:24) Nir shares his experience while stating that there are so many new questions now that raise the anxiety and fear level. So the more internal triggers you have, the more you need to practice dealing with them, or else you're going to give in. Nir mentions what all has changed after the pandemic. He explains that this is why some people got more productive during the lockdown and some got less productive because they are so stressed, anxious, and worried. He says that we don't have a structure anymore and home and work have blended. But it doesn't have to be that way. Nir says it's about making time for an attraction that you can't call something a distraction. Nir says you can't call something a distraction unless you know what it distracted you from.(28:19)So it seems like you know, your book is even more important right now for people to read and incorporate into their lives because of what they're going through right now. And so how should one go about it? Like should they get your book habit first and then go to indistractable? Indistractable and then go to have it? What is the sequence?(28:50) Nir's first book was about how to build habit-forming products about how to use technology to improve people's lives by building healthy habits. That book came out six years ago and has been used in every conceivable industry, from healthcare to education, to help people build good habits in their lives through technology. If you're an entrepreneur with a business, and if you want to build habits for your product, then this would be the book for you about how to build habit-forming products. The second book can be especially helpful if you have trouble getting work done or focusing on the right things. Nir recommends indistractable for everyone because it lets you focus on the important things.(29:55)As we are going through these huge shifts as you can imagine, certain sectors of the economy will be affected to a great deal. So what do you think will happen? In your view, how do you think things will unfold for people? Do you think people will gravitate towards more entrepreneurship rather than regular work-from-home jobs? Or what are the kinds of shifts you foresee as we go through this experience?(30:43) Nir says he is pretty optimistic. He thinks it really depends on whether this is a long-term change or a short-term change. Nir appreciates the technology that enabled us to work from home during the pandemic which was impossible if these apps like zoom weren’t there. Nir thinks that in many ways the pandemic has pushed people to try new technologies that will benefit us in the long run. This new technology, which will thrive in years to come, will provide tons of opportunities for entrepreneurs to create new businesses.(33:10)So how was, how's the socially distant economy affecting relationships? And once we incorporate the techniques that you're sharing, how does it help human relationships, because productivity in work is one thing, but you know, we also get distracted while maintaining these important relationships?(33:38) Nir says that half of the book is about how you can become indistractable and the other half is about how your environment shapes your behaviors and relationships. It is about how to raise indistractable kids, how to have an indestructible workplace, and finally, how to have indistracible relationships. He shares his personal experience of realizing how he wasn’t spending time with his loved ones and how he changed by applying these techniques to become indistractable once he realized that he was being distracted which was the problem, the technology was not to blame.Resources: nirandfar.comツ CONNECT WITH ME ツLeave a comment on this video and it'll get a response. Or you can connect with me on different social platforms too:• LinkedIn: • Facebook: • Website:

#226 Ten crucial aspects you need to consider before considering and implementing a new business strategy

Season 1, Ep. 226
(0:56): Aspect number 1 - Evaluate if you're ready for a change in business strategy.One of the most important things to consider is if you're actually ready to make a change. The professional world presents us with a lot of chances to learn and grow, but it's important that you have the mindset (and network) to take advantage of those opportunities.(2:00): Aspect number 2 - Figure out the root cause of the problem and fix it.A business needs a lot of different things to go right for it to continue to grow. If a few things go wrong, it can still grow. But it will take an incredible set of circumstances to get there. So you need to identify the root cause of the problem and plan a strategy to fix it.(3:12): Aspect number 3 - Make sure that your new business strategy has a positive ROI.Your business goals should be such that the expected return on investment (ROI) is high. The higher the ROI, the more likely it is that you will succeed. When planning a new strategy, determine if this business plan will bring a high return on investment.(4:02): Aspect number 4 - Make sure that your new plan complements your existing strengths.An important aspect of selecting a successful new strategy is identifying which core strengths your company already has. While your new strategy may help you to differentiate yourself from your competition, it will not help you fundamentally change the way you do business.(5:52): Aspect number 5 - Create a game plan before you start implementing the strategy.A plan gives you a clear picture of how you will reach your goals, and it helps prevent you from making poor decisions. If the plan is clear, then mistakes are less likely to be made, and you’ll be more likely to get the results you want. Once you have a plan, implement the strategy.(7:11): Aspect number 6 - Make sure to consider your budget while implementing a strategy.While an incredible business plan can propel you to success, having the right financial roadmap can ensure your success. Budgeting will help reduce your stress when implementing any new business strategy or change in work routine.(8:22): Aspect number 7 - Consider the risks of implementing a change in strategy.Every time you implement a new strategy, in any area of work or life, there's going to be some risk. So, before you implement a new strategy in your business, it's important to consider risk. Chances are that the payoff will be worth the risk - but sometimes not.(9:14): Aspect number 8 - Make sure the new strategy is not too overwhelming and is realistic.Every business must have a strong and clear strategy but if you want a new strategy to be successful, make sure it's not too demanding and it's attainable. If your new strategy is too demanding, it will not be attainable. If it's not attainable, you won't be able to follow it.(10:55): Aspect number 9 - Set a cutoff point and know when to give up on a strategy.When you're planning a new strategy, you also need to decide how long you'll wait before you give up. This is called your cutoff point. It's important to be realistic and objective about how much time and money you have available to try something new.(12:02): Aspect number 10 - Be transparent with your customers about the new strategy.As an entrepreneur, you never know when you might have to change your business direction. But it's important to hold off on implementing those changes until you have talked with the people who matter most in your business - your customers and clients.ツ CONNECT WITH ME ツLeave a comment on this video and it'll get a response. Or you can connect with me on different social platforms too:• LinkedIn: • Facebook: • Website:

#225 The secret to building lifelong customer relationships | Jeff Moore | Manuj Aggarwal

Season 1, Ep. 225
Highlights:(00:01)- But if we find ourselves spending more time, you know, chasing things that are not there, then we're taking time away from the customers that want to do business with us.(0:15)- I also have a saying, and this is really the saying that was born in the Thursday night boardroom, and that is learn to teach, teach, to know, know, and share, and do with passion.(0:28)- We all share the same frustration. Yeah, we don't feel understood.(0:35)- The connection that you have with someone you know, feels that you understand them and get them and they're comfortable with you. Because if that's not established, all the messaging in the world won't matter.(0:48)- I don't believe it's a game-changer. I believe it's an accelerant.(0:51)- There is going to be no back to normal. There's going to be a new normal. Yeah. But and but you know what, we're going to also recognize human interaction.(1:30) Introduction to Jeff MooreJeff is the director of seafood and business and business development at the Global Protein Group.In 2019, Global Protein Group, the foodservice and custom products solution division of Porky products, was one of the largest traders of beef, beef, pork, and poultry in North America generated about $2 billion in sales. Jeff is known for short-term, short-term sale cycles, the high comes convergence, value base, quantifiable Business Solutions, team building, and world-class lifelong customer and supplier relationships.Jeff is the founder of Business Development, marketing, and entrepreneurial lifestyle, and business advisory mastermind group called Thursday night boardroom, and over 800 members from 26 countries from different industries have been part of this group.Jeff is an experienced leadership coach, Speaker F is also the creator of multi-layer Strategic Initiatives involving suppliers and customers in tandem, that share a common language called value.Interview questions-(3:38)So can you tell us how you got started? What is your journey like in the business world?(3:58) Jeff talks about how he started from making $300 a week. His family bought a seafood company and in 14-15 years they started making sales of 35 million. He shares that he was invited to the original Tony Robbins, the ultimate business mastery summit in about 2009. Jeff talks about the beginning of the ‘Thursday night boardroom’. He also recalls how watching Gary Vaynerchuk keynote at the ultimate business mastery summit changed their lives.(11:08)You keep pushing yourself. So what is that drive that pushes you?(11:37) Jeff talks about what drives him and pushes him forward is the acknowledgment. He shares that doing what you love matters but acknowledging that there's going to be another level that matters the most. He is reminded of the best leader he has ever worked for and tells about a significant thing he said that made a huge impact on him. He said it's about wanting to get to another level.(14:26)You treat the business as an extension of life. Like most people say, Oh, you know, I'm going to a nine to five and I'm, I'm done but, you know, you like to complete the whole package and you encompass life and business and, and family. So tell us a little bit more about that. Where did that concept come from?(14:40) Jeff says that it's all about asking questions. He shares what the Thursday night boardroom is all about: learn to teach, teach to know, know, and share, and do it with passion. He says that we focus more when we want to share knowledge with someone else. He says we actually learn as if it's an obligation to the person we’re going to be teaching this to or sharing this. And so we listen more intently and learn a lot more.(15:25)Now, let's talk about the Thursday, like boardroom like, you, you mentioned how you started it. And I've been a part of it. And it's fascinating how people come together. And you ask them one question, which is, you know, what is your selfish ask? So how, how did that transform? Like, I mean, obviously, you started watching these videos, but tell us the journey, because I've heard some amazing stories about people who have been there and collaborations that happen and everything.(15:50) Jeff shares what selfish ask is about. He talks about what kinds of questions they ask in the Thursday night boardroom. He says that all humans suffer from the same frustration, the feeling of not being understood by someone, and how it all goes away when we meet someone who empathizes with us. They're like, Oh, like this person gets me. He says it's about proactive empathy.(21:10)You know, how people brag about you, which creates this snowball effect of your business like you, you basically don't have to market as aggressively because you have like other people marketing you, right?(22:12) Jeff says that the aggressive market to him is off-putting. And he explains further why it is so. He shares that aggressive marketing, man that is about trying to convince somebody.He also shares what Dean Jackson talked to him about a bunch of times. He asks two questions- Are you convincing? Or you have a compelling story that makes people say, I want that, I want to do business with you, and without being harassed.MIDROLL: (27:15)(28:07)And I want to mention one thing here, you know, this Thursday night boardroom can be life-changing, but it's absolutely free. You don't charge for it, and anybody can join. So I mean, is there some story behind that as well. So can you share that with us?(28:27) Jeff says that the Thursday night boardroom is a place where you can go where you feel understood. He says that it's free but there's a cost. You come to the Thursday night boardroom to share, and probably that's why it is free. He also says that it's about catching the opportunity when you are asked the question, if you don't answer, your room is lost. There, they want to hear about how you overcame your struggles and made it so far.(29:52)I know I have struggled with messaging for such a long time. And you have this framework value. So can we talk about that? A little bit? Like, what, first of all, how important is messaging, and then we can jump into value?(30:08) Jeff believes that it's about the connections that someone feels. If you don't feel comfortable with them, then all the messaging will be in vain. Even if you communicate in the most compelling way, you'll be unable to persuade someone if they don't trust you. He says that when someone shares about what you’re doing with others, it’s a really big thing. The message needs to be simple. This will enable you to engage with them and respond to their needs.(34:41)So, let's talk about this, this, this panoramic experience that we are having, and I'm sure your industry has been affected. So in your opinion, how is the economy changing? Like we are socially distant and, and things are changing? So what do you think the future of business is going to be like in this socialist economy?(35:35) Jeff feels that the post-pandemic situation is not a game-changer but an accelerator. If you don't have systems in place to monitor your business, you're going to bleed money and eventually go out of business. He says there’s no going back to normal and that there's going to be a new normal. But he also believes that people are learning better ways to interact. There needs to be a lot of creativity and collaboration while we work in the new normal.(41:10)Now, before I let you go, can you tell us how people can reach out and if they want to attend the Thursday night boardroom?(42:05) Jeff shares how one can get in the Thursday night boardroom. It starts with going to their website where they will ask you some questions and here, they will take a look at who you are, what you do, and how you can contribute and benefit from the boardroom. Then you will be added to the Facebook group and the boardroom itself. He believes Thursday night's boardroom will continue via zoom as well.CONNECT WITH ME :• LinkedIn: • Facebook: • Website: