One step at a time — There is so much competition between brands and people that we often see ourselves in a rush to execute ideas without being sure. Think of progressive growth rather than wanting to be the first one to achieve something in haste. Are you thinking about the people about your organization? Are you offering complete solutions? Are customers happy with you? Take small steps to define a larger are sustainable future.

Have you ever noticed how often we equate success with more? Whether that’s more products, more profits, more activities or more accomplishments, we buy into the belief that we have to do more to have more to be more. And that will sum up to success. And then along comes The Great Resignation. Where employees are signaling that the “more” that’s being offered — even more pay, more perks, and more PTO — isn’t summing up to success for them. We visited with leaders who are redefining what success means now. Their answers might surprise you.

As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Ayushi Ramaiya.

Ayushi Ramaiya is a journalist and content marketer raised in Tanzania. She started her career as a General Manager for a print magazine and gradually moved to Business Development and Marketing for travel and tech companies. During the pandemic, she had the courage to start her own small business from home and today offers content marketing expertise to various organizations, one of them being Telebu– Unified Communications Specialist offering solutions worldwide.

Thank you for making time to visit with us about the topic of our time. Our readers would like to get to know you a bit better. Can you please tell us about one or two life experiences that most shaped who you are today?

At the age of 22, when I started my career as a fresh graduate, I had the privilege to manage a print magazine called ‘What’s Happening in Dar’, which was popular but was still a loss making business. With my writing skills, I was offered the opportunity to attract advertisers and manage the publications and I was flabbergasted. I said YES and gulped down the challenges only to realize later my potential and how I could bring readers and advertisers to boost the magazine readership and sales in less than a year.

This opportunity also unveiled my potential as a writer and I was offered many freelance projects from web content development to becoming a business development manager, traveling worldwide and, today starting my own small business. The sudden changes in my business career have proven to be worth and open new pathways.

We all have myths and misconceptions about success. What are some myths or misconceptions that you used to believe?

That’s a great question! Kicking off my career in my 20’s, I was full of doubts, including asking myself, will my profession as a journalist pay off and will I be able to support myself? I love traveling and I always wanted my career to support me in fulfilling my bucket list goals.

Secondly, I always used to compare myself with my friends and doubt if I was good enough. Since I have done my bachelors in media studies, I wasn’t sure if I would meet the industry standards.

As I turned 30 this January, I realize success has a unique definition for everyone. What really matters is whether I am happy or not. I do believe that mental health is an underrated term, or rather a problem, and if you are feeling unhappy in your head, no matter how much you have achieved, you will never be able to see yourself grow.

How has your definition of success changed?

Honestly, if I look back success to me was all about money. I saw my siblings graduate as doctors, accountants and lawyers and it felt quite intimidating. I realized after sometime if I compare myself to others, I will never feel successful within. As I look back, I am so grateful for every challenge that knocked my door.

It’s been a decade since I stepped into the corporate world and seeing myself grow as a small business owner with the privilege to work from home, learning and growing together with my clients, and simply connecting with anyone from the comfort of where I am brings me great joy!

I would have never imagined that I would make a clientele base from my bedroom where there is plenty of sunshine. I collaborate with my colleagues, and even teach students in Oman on Telebu Join video conference. I edit a publication which is so easy with online Word doc and manage my clients marketing on social media.

Success to me today is having resources available at my fingertips and how I am able to support businesses grow from wherever I am. Money is important, but more than that, it’s the little things like having access to collaboration platforms and technology that enables you to do anything on the go is the key!

The pandemic, in many ways, was a time of collective self-reflection. What changes do you believe we need to make as a society to access success post pandemic?

Yes. Absolutely!

What I personally experienced during the pandemic is that a lot of us including myself thought that this is the end of growth and business opportunities. Later, we did not have any option but to hustle, and stand up for ourselves. We also saw many businesses started to prosper. Startup business boomed, and online communication with apps such as Zoom. Teams and Join having an increase in demand. We saw a rise of possibilities, and accepted the pandemic, believing that this dramatic shift is just temporary.

Since the world was not ready for the pandemic shock, a lot of us were perplexed about our personal and professional goals. As a society, supporting each other during this hardship is crucial. Flexibility is another way we can help each other become successful. School going kids stayed at home for more than a year. Some people are still struggling to look for employment. New mothers started working from home for the first time. So we all need to have empathy and leave back the culture of pressure post pandemic.

Lastly, for me, as someone who works remotely 100%, I have seen that technology made me access people faster and more efficiently. Organizations today need to accept and adapt communication solutions that will not only save costs but also help to connect faster. We know for a fact that meeting in person had its challenges and many of us suffered. So why not leverage technology that will help us stay connected no matter what.

What do you see as the unexpected positives in the pandemic? We would love to hear a few of your stories or examples.

During the pandemic I saw small businesses rise up and this really encouraged me. Home-makers started their own cloud kitchen. Yoga instructors have been increasing their global footprint and making people stay healthy, no matter where they are. Grocery shopping has been the easiest with the rise of several apps. With the business growth in online business, I felt confident about my steps as a content marketer and offering my services online.

I have been amazed to see how businesses have been able to trust employees and experts with remote working opportunities. Of course the professional responsibility is about being accountable. However the relationships I have been able to personally build with my clients are impressive. At Telebu, I can speak to the VP of marketing with a business messaging app like Ping. I connect with the founder of a brand and discuss her next Masterclass over a Zoom or whatsapp call. My life has never felt so easy. I feel I am closer to my colleagues and transparent than I would if we were in a formal office setup.

We’re all looking for answers about how to be successful now. Could you please share “5 Ways To Redefine Success Now?” (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Live in the moment — We are often so apprehensive about the future that we forget what we want to achieve now. In the race of being ahead of the herd, we are forgetting what we want today, professionally and personally. As a small business owner, I have seen myself compromise on my current client needs because I want to capture a larger market. Remember your dedication defines your success for tomorrow so worry less about what will happen next.
  2. Learn how to adapt — By now we all know that the world will continue to change, sometimes dramatically. We have to be ready for what is going to happen next. By this I also mean, saying yes to future challenges even when you are not ready for them. Before the pandemic, none of us expected to work from home. However we managed and most of us love it. Saying yes to change means being open to more opportunities.
  3. Start innovating — There are so many problems in the world, which only human beings have the potential to solve. In today’s time it is essential to have an innovative mindset and believe YOU can bring change that you want to see around. Innovation doesn’t mean you need to have a huge capital or wait to launch something big. As a content marketer, suggesting themes for exhibitions, sharing how one idea could turn into a movement or suggesting companies how to execute unique marketing strategies than its competitors is still an innovation.
  4. One step at a time — There is so much competition between brands and people that we often see ourselves in a rush to execute ideas without being sure. Think of progressive growth rather than wanting to be the first one to achieve something in haste. Are you thinking about the people about your organization? Are you offering complete solutions? Are customers happy with you? Take small steps to define a larger are sustainable future.
  5. Prioritize your mental health — In the race of time and the pace at which the world is moving, it is important to feel happy and accomplished within first. A lot of people lives who we appreciate, follow and sometimes envy, have their struggles too. For me, not feeling overwhelmed with the tasks I have at hand, having clarity with my goals and feeling the joy of what I achieve every day still means small success.

How would our lives improve if we changed our definition of success?

Success definitely is about how you feel about yourself within, and the people around you. We need to start celebrating small accomplishments and focus where we are now. If we redefine success this way, we will be happier and value every small goodness around us. If your competitor achieves something great, be happy that you have the chance to achieve something better. In this sense, we will leave no stone unturned, of course moving forward with a positive attitude.

What’s the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our redefined success? And what advice would you offer about overcoming those obstacles?

The biggest obstacle is certainly our mindset. When we work on major projects and tight deadlines for instance, we should say, okay let’s give it a try. You win if you keep going but you lose if you give up from the start.

We also need to remember that we cannot accomplish alone, but we can do it when we work in unison. That is why no matter how independently you work, always choose to have a team or focus on collaborations and team work.

Sometimes, we might think our work is the best. I would advise be open to learning and always keep your mind open for networking, reading and listening to other experiences.

Where do you go to look for inspiration and information about how to redefine success?

I make sure that I dedicate to listen to Ted Talks for 20–30 minutes daily as it helps me to gain new perspectives in life. LinkedIn and Medium are other two inspirational platforms with unique content and resources for person and business growth.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He, she or they might just see this if we tag them.

Of course. It would be Sir Richard Branson and I would love to go with him to Necker Island for some sailing adventures. His personality and youthfulness inspires me to be brave at any age!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I am out loud about my travel lifestyle on instagram as thelostexplorians

I write many blogs for Telebu Communications on their website

And you can find me on LinkedIn as Ayushi Ramaiya.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this. We wish you continued success and good health.