As an APX mentor and part of our family, we already knew Neeraj would be a great speaker for our guests. He loves to communicate his ideas and is open for new inspirations. But read and see for yourself.
Neeraj was invited by APX as a speaker for our CREATE event, where we welcomed startup founders to exchange ideas, network and learn from experienced business influencers.
How do you get over a phase in your career in which you believe none of your plans is going to work out?
From a structural perspective, you need to establish a broad thesis and a vision for how you think the world will evolve and why your business has a place in that world.
Then go through a series of tests and try to find out whether your core hypotheses are correct. You shouldn’t look at it as “Hey I have an established strategy, and I’m going be completely beholden to it, no matter what.” But actually, you should approach it as a series of experiments. And you should have the discipline to trust the results. Leave your ego out of it and objectively learn from the results.
In practical terms, it’s also critical to be realistic in terms of the timeline necessary for trustworthy results. That doesn’t mean that, if, within two weeks you get bad feedback you throw your hands up in the air and give up. Rather, in the beginning, you should establish a structure and timeline, so you are setting deadlines and you’re setting a framework about what you want to learn.
In addition — you need a whole lot of grit and resilience. Building a career or a business isn’t easy, and won’t happen overnight!
Video: “What has been of more value to you in your career, network or education?”
Which type of people should you avoid during your career?
I avoid people whose ethics don’t align with my own. I tend to avoid people whom I don’t find a common ground with from a character or morals perspective. For example, I find that people who lie, cheat or take advantage of others in one part of life, tend to be people that you’re not going to have really positive, beneficial long-term relationships with.
Watch video: What do you reply to someone who says “You can’t make money by being creative”?
That’s obviously categorically false. I think that art is a huge part of commerce and it inspires people, culture and the way that we consume things. There’s always a way to turn that [creativity] into something that you could generate money from. It’s just about being thoughtful and strategic about your approach.
If we gave you 25k which startup would you found?
A business or institute that helps empower people to take control of their lives, especially as the world and economic systems continue to evolve. People’s skills will need to continue to keep up with that evolution so that they can meaningfully contribute and take part of the changing landscape. So, in the end, a business focused helping people to be productive and empowered.