Monday, February 8, 2016

It's My Birthday Blog!

Midnight Cake (Thanks to loving husband & awesome friends)

Its 12:35 AM, 8th Feb 2016. 

Goodbye 27, Hi 28! Only two years short of turning 30.

Age is just a number and I am Ok revealing it. (Not so girly? It's fine, I never was.)
Time is going faster than ever. Never mind as long as it's pleasant.
I couldn't stop myself from writing this post which made me look back and think of good or not-so-good things happened in last one year. I realized I am one of the tremendously blessed child of God. I don't spend lot of time with him yet he makes sure I get everything.

A Recap of Last Year
  • Professional Goals

    Got a decent growth which made the efforts put in career worth it. #FirstTimeHOD (Number 1 goal achieved. What next? Saving this for another post.)
  • Personal Goals

    a) Lost weight then gained weight - End result is I failed here.
         Need to start again from scratch.

    b) I understood it's Ok not to fight every battle. How did it help? 
    It helped me save lot of my time and energy. I consciously started doing this and now I am aware from within. Hence passed this.

    c) Family Goals - Managed to keep up with the title of a doting daughter, 
    adorable daughter-in-law and a good wife for another year. No major crisis hence passed it all. Besides this I didn't have anything major here considering a big change in career.
             [God Damn, have you heard of striking a work-life balance?
             Me: Yes, I have.. but isn't it supposed to be a myth? :p]
          d) I became far more organized this year.
              But I feel this is somehow the outcome of a big career change #FirstTimeHOD.
              I am now a morning person. And also try & do 90% of the things on or before time.    

          e) And I dare say I became a content Ninja this year.
              Published highest number of posts (26) this year.
              This number includes content posted on my blog, guest posts and LinkedIn Pulse.
              Few well-appreciated posts were 1, 2, 3.

What do I wish for coming year
I am quite happy with the way this year passed and thank God for an amazing life.
Though like any normal human being, I still have a list of things which I want this year. However as someone said, "Set some goals. Stay quiet about them. Smash the shit out of them. Then clap for your damn self."
So I roger the golden words for now.

What else?
Well happiness is being interested in big things and happy with small things.
I will keep loving, chasing and accepting whatever God has planned for me.

And now,
it's your turn. Give me any random thought or update on life in comments.
Stay tuned. Thanks for reading till the end.

Wishing you a Happy Day. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

#ValentinesDay Inspired SEO Quotes

My love for SEO knows no bound. And this love is growing every year. I am sure the way good things are happening at this end, the relationship is not one-sided. This Valentine's Day I am going to Publicly Display Affection for my eternal love by customizing some quotes:

Romance is thinking about your significant other, when you are supposed to be thinking about something else.
Nicholas Sparks

Romance is thinking about competition's strategy, when you are supposed to be thinking about yours.

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.
Judy Garland

For it was not the number of links, but the quality. It was not the number one rank but traffic.

I do not want horses or diamonds - I am happy in possessing you.
Clara Schumann

I do not want off page or links - I am happy possessing UX.

I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
Emma Goldman

I'd rather have content and user experience than off page strategy.

When love is not madness, it is not love.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca

When SEO is not madness, it is not SEO.

While working on Valentine's Day Gifting Project (Seasonal SEO), I came across this idea of creating customized quotes for something or someone you love or passionate about. Try this out for your passion of life. :)

Originally published on LinkedIn

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Spread Happiness & Joy with #BagOfJoy

My First #BagOfJoy 
It's 31st December Eve and I am excited to initiate #BagOfJoy Campaign by filling My Bag Of Joy with good condition clothes, handbags and few eatables. I will keep it with me on my way to office or whenever commuting on slightly longer distances with opportunity to help someone.
I pledge to share stuff from this bag if I find someone needy on my way.
This all started when I saw a friend practicing this. She does this with her daughter to encourage her for sharing and helping others. And her six years daughter's words,"Mumma, if everyone will share things, everyone will have everything" touched me.
Let's come together to create a world where everyone should have basic things if not everything.
Selfie with #BagOfJoy
I will be glad if I am able to inspire you to join this campaign. And if you do so, please feel free to share your joyous moments and pictures or selfies with me on or . 
If you are reading this, I invite you to fill your #BagOfJoy with stuff for needies and share happiness.
Also invite your friends to participate and let the World become a better place for everyone.
You may also join the official Facebook Page for updates on latest happenings  and news 
Alternatively you may read the blog

Sunday, December 20, 2015

In Conversation with Nicole Deinzer, Wonderful Blogger from Oakland, California

Internet has shrunk the World a billion miles. With new technologies and social in place, today its way too easier to connect with like-minded people across boundaries and geographies.

Well I think I was destined to land on the beautiful blog, Epifania by Nicole.

Nicole Deinzer, a blogger from Oakland, California who believes it is okay to not to go down a "traditional path" and sometimes it's better to build your own path.
After reading few of her blogs, I knew what I wanted. I wanted to get in touch with the lady behind the blog. Without delaying, I shot an email to her. :)

And the beauty of technology is today I am presenting her inspiring blogging journey in Oakland on my blog in India.

©Nicole Moreno-Deinzer

What is Epifania all about?

In Nicole's words, In life we learn who we are, what we are doing right, what we are doing wrong after 'epifanias'. Every section on the blog is meant to showcase those many epifanias.

How Nicole's Blogging Journey started?                                                  
Nicole: I had always written frequently since I was in seventh grade. I wrote everything from yearbook and newspaper articles to short stories and poems during school days.
In 2013 I found myself at a crossroad. My husband and I were planning our wedding and I was beyond happy that I was going to take this next step. But I was at a job that, although financially beneficial, took an emotional toll on me. During this time, I realized that I had stopped writing.
I wanted to bring this part of me back, so in 2013 I opened up my laptop and started writing about my wedding planning adventures.
That was the start of Epifania.

The Fear & How Nicole got over it..

Nicole: Initially just like most writers, I feared that no one would read what I wrote.
Sending out Survey to friends and key people in my network helped me overcome my fear..
To overcome the fear, I decided to do a survey. I sent survey to my friends and key people in my network. It helped me in two ways:
  • understanding their thoughts on my writing
  • what topics they expect me to write about

Based on this I made a few decisions.

1) Stick to what I know

No one is going to read anything you write if they think you don’t know what you are talking about. I continued to write about relationships because people trust in Nick (my husband) and my relationship.

2) created a content layout for my blog

Apart from relationships, I added book reviews because people in my close circle knew I read a lot of novels and biographies and thus I could do justice with the reviews.

Scaled ahead..

Nicole: After a few months, I again started to interview close friends. I was overwhelmed to look at the positive responses. People were very supportive of my blog and writing. I was pleasantly surprised when they said that they like my writing. :)
And then the online magazine Epifania ventured into fashion & style  when I started getting compliments on my own style.

©Nicole Moreno-Deinzer
The Most Important lesson learnt..

Nicole: Write what people think you are in an expert in.
I cannot write about parenting or homeschooling as those topics are not associated with my personal brand even if I think I have a lot to say about these topics.

Learning on the way..

Nicole: I have made mistakes along the way. I have written articles that were not true to my voice or did an interview but didn’t post the article. Oh so many mistakes, but it’s all a learning process.
Just the other night, I had to watch a video on how to use copyrighted songs in a YouTube video. Earlier this year, my sister gave me a tutorial on Snapchat.  Even if  you are not planning to create a business with your writing, you need an editor.

Each of my blog pieces go through two rounds of edits before they are published. Originally I did not want an editor because I was protective of my work, but having people look over my work and give it a second eye is as important as creating the right content to begin with. I never thought writing would take me this far. But it has. Always write. Always believe in your voice because no one else has your voice.

Final Thoughts on blogging..

Nicole: Everyone tends to think, blogging is just writing.  Many people think writers wake up and drink coffee and have a good time writing. But it takes a lot of energy.
Bloggers need to plan out content in advance . We constantly have to look at the metrics, network and build relationships with other bloggers, post on social media but make sure our message is tailored for each social media audience.
As bloggers we must accomplish all this while staying true to our own voice.
This may sound easy, but this is my creation. If I don’t pay attention to it 24/7, it will fail. There are days when I don’t feel like writing a damn thing. Days when family and school commitments get in the way. Days when I doubt myself or days when I just want to lay on the couch and cry!

Follow Nicole on Twitter @ nicolemdeinzer
Epifania Official Facebook Page:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lord Ganesha : The Lifestyle God inspires to be a Leader

Disclaimer: This article has nothing to do with religion. Lord Ganesha, the Hindu God is immensely popular in Asia and widely respected by Hindus and non-Hindus around the world.

I don't remember much but in my childhood days itself I chose Ganesha among all the Gods. Probably because he is different, the elephant head, big ears, one teeth and a big belly. He is cute and adorable. And his stories of coolness, wit and fun quickly connects a child with him.Over a period time I realized that Ganesha, the 'Lord of the Beginning' has several attributes which inspire an individual to be a leader.Whether I am travelling, at office desk, home or in the car, I keep a Ganesha Idol with me or near to me. It gives me lot of strength.
Large head of Lord Ganesha signifies to Think Big'Look at the bigger picture.' It is easier said than done.In our day to day lives no matter who we are, where we are; we all get stuck in small things and issues. And there is a temptation to lose focus, hunker down and get involved. Be it a small task, argument or situation.And while facing such issues when I suddenly look at him, his big head reminds me to use brain and be wise.
The Vision & the Decision
Remember the story in which Gods were asked to circumambulate the World thrice? It was to decide who should be worshiped first. All the Gods started on their vehicles and wanted  to prove their superiority. But Ganesha realized that his World is his parents. So he goes around them thrice and won. And by the way his vehicle is mouse. So if he would have thought on the same lines as of other Gods, he would have never won.
What made him win? His simple vision of not just to win the race but adhere to values, no false ego or superiority which lead to an effective decision.Today's World is highly competitive. This story gives a simple moral of how one can win even with less resources and presence of mind."Make the most of what you have."
Enjoy Small Things
We all know that Ganesha loves Laddoos or Modak (Indian sweet). And it is also said that offering Laddoos to Vinayak makes him happy and he fulfils all your wishes. (Vinayak is another name of Ganesha which means leader of its own).All such traditions or sayings hold a special significance if we pay attention to them. Big things are important in life but so are small. I feel his love for laddoo symbolically means that we as humans should also enjoy small things and moments in life.
Quick to Forgive
Ganesha is known for his friendly nature and easy going attitude. Be it with his fellow Gods or the followers.Once Moon laughed at Ganesha when he couldn't walk properly and fell down after eating many laddoos in the night. Ganesha became angry on moon and cursed that he would never be visible to anyone but when Moon apologized, he quickly forgave him and reduced the curse only to a single day.
Be Approachable
Ganesha's big ears signify that you should listen more.A leader must have listening skills. Listening someone's woes, worries or thoughts help you understand about him. It also helps in connecting to the person emotionally and building trust.People of all castes and religion adores Ganesha because of his friendly personality. Similarly a leader should be empathetic and approachable by all.
No Gain without Pain
It is said that Sage Vyas chose Ganesha to write Mahabharat (the longest Epic in the World). Vyas narrated and he wrote it. But there was a condition put by Sage Vyas that it had to be written non-stop.
While writing Ganesha's pen broke and since he couldn't stop he broke his tusk and started writing with it.
This is symbolic to the message that knowledge comes with sacrifices.

Final Words:
Lord Ganesha is bestowed with a very special body and appearance. Similarly we all are born with some special qualities.
Like my mentor says, Leaders are either born with such qualities or imbibe the qualities.
Important is to understand our own self and work accordingly.

Note: This is a guest post written for

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cracking the Rose Code: Short of words to express? Understand the language of flowers !

I commute around 3 hours to & fro from work every day. And I like to spend these hours by reading light & random things. Most of the reading happens through my customized Facebook feed.
As I opened Facebook today in the morning, a numerology article predicting the future caught my attention. Numerologist predicted the day based on numbers and recommended colors to wear.
I kept gazing the article and then turned to Google to find out messages based on color of flowers. This was a conscious search, a result of working in the Marketing team of a flower delivery portal. :)
I already knew some common interpretations like red rose signifies love while yellow signifies friendship. But suddenly I was wanting to know more on this.

Well, Google helped me in discovering many new and interesting things. I found that not just color but there is a beautiful concept coined as "language of flowers" based on color, type and number of flowers.
Did you know who introduced the language associated with flowers..
In 17th century, there was an Englishwoman named Lady Mary Wortley Mantagu (1689-1762) who was a wife of British Ambassador posted in Constantinople.
She once discovered that Turkish women play a game in harems called 'Selam'. Selam was a language which could only be decoded by attaching rhyming words with flowers and other objects. Apparently the delivery of roses to a lady in the harem was like a secretly coded letter.
She was an intelligent woman and an incredible writer.
In correspondence to her friends in Europe, she once wrote
“...I can assure you there is as much fancy shown in the choice of [flowers] as in the most studied expressions of our letters...” “There is no color, no flower, no weed, no fruit, herb, pebble or feather that has not a verse belonging to it; and you may quarrel, reproach, or send letters of passion, friendship, or even news, without ever inking your fingers.”
Lady Mary Wortley Mantagu is credited to have introduced and popularized the concept of flowers.
However the earliest record of the phrase "the language of flowers" is found in Christopher Smart's line in Jubilate Agno, 1759 to 1763 (Listen to the poem here):
"For the flowers have their angels...
For there is a language of flowers.
For there is a sound reasoning upon all flowers.
For elegant phrases are nothing but flowers."

Roses : the color, the number even the variety of Rose conveys a special meaning
That's true. By giving roses you convey a message much more deep without writing anything. I researched and here is the curated list of symbolic meanings & messages conveyed through different colors, numbers and varieties of Roses.
Symbolic Meaning Based on Color of Rose
Red rose symbolizes the expression of love. Red rose is often gifted to express deepest affection for someone very special.
In Greek and Roman iconography, Red roses are symbolically tied to Venus, the Goddess of love. Red color is also a color of heart & blood. Poets have immortalized red roses as the flower of romance & passionate love.
Pink Roses have been depicted in some of the earlier known art pieces. When roses first began to be cultivated, the majority of them existed in various shades of pink, from the palest pink to the deepest crimson. Pink roses signify love and appreciation but impart a gentler meaning than red roses.
Blue Roses don't occur naturally as roses lack the pigment that produces blue color. So blue roses were traditionally created by dyeing white roses. Later on first blue rose (blue moon) was produced using hybridization techniques. Though it was also not much of blue. Due t its absence in nature, blue rose represents mystery or attaining the impossible. Isn't that interesting?
White Roses are the symbol of innocence, purity, sincerity, spirituality, new start etc if you go by their appearance. It is also associated with new start or marriage.  In 1840 when Queen Victoria got married, the tradition of white rose bouquet started. In the language of flowers white roses means “I am worthy of you”.
Orange Roses were discovered in 20th century when the rose cultivators experimented and crossbreed the red and yellow roses to create orange rose, which later on depicted its meaning as love emerging from friendship. Orange roses signify enthusiasm, passion & gratitude.
Yellow Roses are the best roses to be given to anyone. You can never go wrong with the yellow roses as they are the traditional & universal symbol of friendship. Yellow roses symbolize friendship, joy gladness. In many cultures yellow color represents joy, wisdom and power. It has been related to the sunlight and warmth.
Black Roses have a variety of symbolic meanings like darker aspects of the universe, death, evil, witchcraft and revenge. Black roses do not exist, they are actually dark red colored roses and they appear black or they are created artificially.

Symbolic Meaning Based on Number of Rose
Single Rose symbolizes deepest affection and utmost devotion. It says “I love you” or “I still love you”.
Two Roses indicates two people joined as one. It says “marry me”. Two roses with their stem wired together signify a coming engagement or marriage.
Three Roses are considered as a traditional one month anniversary gift.
Six Roses symbolizes infatuation. It stood for the “need to be loved or cherished” or “I want to be yours”.
Twelve Roses says “be mine”. You can convey your message or propose your love by a perfect dozen of roses.
Fifty Roses are like sending a bouquet with so many roses to express a love with no bounds.
Hundred Roses represents an undying love. It signifies the long term love for hundred years or love until the death.
Three Sixty five Roses signifies constant and true love in terms of one rose for every day of the year. It says “I love you every single day” or “can’t stop thinking about you”.
Roses with different color and numbers have some meaning and it varies with the color and numbers. Using flowers to convey messages has been a tradition in many civilizations. Different number of roses represents different message of love.
Final Words..
Language of flowers is a wonderful concept. I kept the scope of this article limited only to Roses. However as already mentioned in Lady Mary Wortley Mantagu letter, there is no flower which doesn't have a verse associated with it. So I will keep researching more on language of flowers.And next time I plan to gift flowers, I will try to convey my message well with the right color and number of roses. :)
Note: I might be missing on few things. Would love to know more about your understanding on language of flowers. Do share in comments :)
The article is originally published by Neha Agarwal on LinkedIn

Sunday, September 20, 2015

How frequent job switches helped me fast-track my career

I started my career from a very small organization running in 3 BHK in my home town. They were 7 people working 6 days a week to deliver web projects outsourced from UK. I was hired as intern and was supposed to help all of them in their to-dos. I assisted them in web designing, development, writing, marketing as well as calling at the same time.

Within few months as intern the challenges got over due to limited projects and I resigned. I moved to Delhi & here also switched jobs frequently. One reason of my instability was I always need new things in my platter. And at that time nothing was satiating my soul for long. Though overall I was loving what I was doing.

One funny thing about India is that people of any age group or field
  • know which are the top IT companies (T,I,S) where Engineers get placed.
  • also know that job stability is very important
I was an Engineer which was neither placed in either of these top companies nor was stable in job.
During that period growth aspects in online marketing in India were limited. So for people around me, I was wasting time. And then e-commerce hit India. Things changed and so were thoughts.

I happened to be stable only in Jabong where I worked for longer than three years. Probably because my seniors were able to understand & engage me with new activities and challenges.
Later when I met my current CEO, I decided on the next gig.

Here is why I think frequent job switches helped me fast-track my career:

Building a strong skill set
Jobs in various companies helped me get involved in several kind of projects from different business niches and countries. Whenever I felt my learning curve started flattening out, I decided to move on.
This helped me build the expertise faster.

Interviews for Networking & Knowledge Acquisition
In the initial years of my career, I used to give at least two interviews a month. My idea to go for interviews was to understand what's going on in the market. Also I am a very public facing kind of person and like to interact.
Thus giving Interviews helped me gain knowledge and build a network.

Today if I sit back and count, on an average I have worked with number of bosses almost be equal to an average employee's total team mates in his entire career. No kidding.
This means I got a working experience with n types of boss personalities and teams which usually takes more than a decade to build up.

No Comfort Zone
Change is the only constant in life. I am used to of transitions and have taught myself to deal with frequent change. Today nothing bothers me, at least a change doesn't at all.

Leader, Manager or both
I got to work with leaders and managers. I realized I need to imbibe personality traits of both. Only a visionary or only a team-extractor isn't enough to build a successful team.
And every day I work to develop myself as both  i.e. A Leader-Manager.

Understanding Business Models & Operations
As a frequent job hopper I worked for both agencies and in-house businesses. Besides I started working from ground level in small & medium companies which helped me understand how these businesses operate and scale.
This developed my entrepreneur mindset.

Final Thoughts
Money was never the primary focus while switching jobs. Of course it's needed and I do negotiate on it but always considered it as a bi-product.
If job hops happen because your jobs aren't meeting your learning expectations, it's cool. Get your basics right and just be informed that Indian market and hiring practices are changing rapidly.

Don't take advise from people about how job hopping is a career suicide when it is actually a successful career recipe if done with the right motives.