[00:00] This episode of The Elevated Entrepreneur podcast is brought to you by the Cloudscape Care Package. This care package is designed specifically for retail and restaurant business owners. If you’ve got a retail or restaurant business or are considering opening one, then talk to us at cloudscape.ae, or drop us a line at email@example.com, and we’ll show you how the care package and all of its features including training, implementation and support can help you set up for success.
[0:28] Hello, elevated entrepreneurs, how are you? We are already in December, can you believe this is December, I saw a post on Instagram, March is coming in three months. And I could just barely get over the March that just went by. But hey, we are where we are. And I am so excited that you’ve chosen to spend this podcast episode listening to me. And what I’m going to talk about today. So very big welcome to the elevated entrepreneur podcast. If this is your first time here, I’m so thankful and grateful that you’ve chosen to do that. And if you’ve been listening to the Elevated Entrepreneur, I thank you too, because without your support, I wouldn’t be doing this. I’ve gotten so many messages, and so much love. And I really, really am so grateful for everything that you guys do for me.
[1:19] Now, today’s episode is a bit different. It’s because we’re talking to Darren Bhatia, and we’re learning from him how he’s going to wrap up 2020 like how I speak about myself and third person, I thought it would be funny, but I refuse to give 2020 a negative connotation. The year that it has been difficult. But you know what? My coach Warsh, she says if you give it a name, then it’s going to stick. And I refuse to give 2020 that name. Instead, I’m going to say that 2020 was the best year that ever happened. And I’ll give you my reasons why it’s the best year. And I’m talking about how I’m wrapping up 2020. And what am I looking forward to in 2021. I want to start this tradition here at the Elevated Entrepreneur podcast because I want to be transparent and accountable. And I don’t think anybody can help me be more accountable. Other than you guys. So with that said, I want to share what’s on my mind what’s happened this year, and what we’re going to be doing next year. So pick up your headset, pick up a coffee if you’re going for a walk or you’re taking a drive. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode. Help me cue that music.
[1:25] You’re listening to the elevated entrepreneur podcast, a podcast designed to help retailers, restaurant owners and entrepreneurs simplify business operations and use modern technology to elevate their business. here’s your host, Dhiren Bhatia.
[2:55] All right, let’s get started with this amazing episode today called Wrapping up 2020. I’m talking about how the year 2020 has been for me and what I’m looking forward to in 2021. I want to start this new tradition here at the elevated entrepreneur podcast where I share my thoughts and my goals with you and come back at the end of next year, and tell you how I’ve done against those goals because nothing beats full transparency, and nothing beats accountability. So I hope that you will be my accountability partners, and you’ll help me be accountable. So I want to talk about four key things. I’m going to talk about the highlights, I’m going to talk about lessons learned. And I’m going to talk about the best of books and podcasts that I’ve listened to, and what’s going to happen in 2021.
[3:43] First, let’s get started with the highlights. As I mentioned earlier in the introduction, I refuse to give 2020 a negative connotation. I think it is all about being positive and looking for all the great things that have happened and be thankful. This year has been a year full of highlights. And I want to tell you some of my own highlights because when I was sitting in 2019, I didn’t have that many plans and move that many goals, which is changing this year, by the way. But nevertheless, I did have a few goals. One was I wanted to run a half marathon. So if any of you know me, I’m a amateur runner. And I started to run many years ago, but I never really did any marathons and then sitting on Christmas Eve last December 2019. A few of my buddies and I ran for Christmas morning run, and we ended up running 10 K, and that’s the day we decided we’re going to run a 21 k marathon. And so that began a process of training and regimen that allowed us to run our first ever half marathon in February 2019. Yes,
[4:49] I can now call myself a full runner, and a marathoner because I did what I said I was going to do in 2019 and that has so much power, which we’ll get into later.
[4:59] Number two, I also plan to become 30 certified. So if you’re not familiar with Padi, it’s basically the body that certifies scuba divers. And at the beginning of the year in 2019, I wrote down a goal to say that I would want to become Padi certified and lo and behold, here I am taking some courses, and about to be certified by the end of this year, again, writing down goals, so powerful. And when you finish them, and you check them off the gratification that comes with it. Unbelievable. I also ended up traveling, as you all know, or if you’re not familiar with that story for four months this year, inadvertently, I wasn’t supposed to be traveling for four months, but because of COVID, and the lockdown that ensued, my wife and I ended up staying in Toronto for four months. Why is that? an achievement? Why is that an highlight? It is because it was never planned. And I’ve been talking about this two years, I’ve been telling my wife and my coach and my friends, that I’d love to be able to run my business while I was traveling. And sure enough, that they say be careful with what you wish for. And I ended up in Toronto for four months, where I had no choice but to run my business online. And do you know what? It ran just fine. Everything worked as normal. We have some amazing team members here at Cloudscape. All of them pitched in all of their efforts. And we never saw anything different. We continue to do our best work. And indeed 2020 is actually such a transformational year for Cloudscapes. I’m going to talk about again in a few minutes.
[6:35] As I mentioned earlier in the introduction of this podcast this year has changed so many things and our business is no different. We repackaged and repriced all of our products here at Cloudscape. So the Cloudscapes success kit and the business care package are two of our flagship products that we give to our customers, when we’re helping them get set up with the system for their new retail or f&b brand. And I’ve taken everything down to ground zero and built it back up. Why? Because it was a lesson that I learned in the early half of this year. With changing times, we must all change and innovate. And this is how we’ve done that. So I think that’s a great highlight to share with you.
[7:13] The fourth highlight is I started to journal. And it’s been something that I’ve been talking about for a very long time. But this was the first year that I’ve actually been doing it consistently every day. And journaling is such an important habit to create because not only does it center me, but it also makes me immensely grateful for all the things that happen to me on an everyday basis. And journaling is the reason why I’m learning to be more and more grateful every day. The other highlight that I want to share that is related to journaling is starting to use a planner. I was never a person that actually set goals and then check them off. But lately, I feel that planning ahead actually makes a world of difference. It’s called the full focus planner by a gentleman named Michael Hyatt. And I’m so grateful that that planner has really helped me become better.
[8:08] I also launched this podcast, can you believe it? I’ve been talking about the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast with my friends and family for almost two years. And it took COVID to make this happen. It took 2020 to make this amazing thing, get launched. And I’m so proud and so excited. Because I love when you listen to this podcast, and you take some things away, and you come back to me and say, This is helpful, or this was fantastic. So again, thank you so much for you taking the time to spend and listen to this podcast. Some of the other highlights, we said bye to some team members. And we said hello to some new team members. Yes, the team has grown this year. And we continue to grow next year, which I’ll talk about in our plans for 2021.
[8:55] We also completed two major tech projects internally at cloudscape. In a year where everybody else was thinking about how they could continue doing business. Not only were we thankful to get business, but also we continued to make changes inside the organization. You know why? Because there is never a better time. There is never a time where I’m going to be able to sit down and take time off work and make those changes. So why not use the year of 2020 to do that. So what are the two big projects? we migrated our website from web flow to WordPress, yes, I may not be difficult, it may not sound challenging enough. But with a small team and with a limited set of knowledge. I think we’ve done very well for ourselves and our brand new website cloudscape.ae. Now lives on WordPress.
[9:41] The second project that I talked about was actually we’ve moved all of our systems to Zoho. If you haven’t heard about Zoho, Zoho is is amazing set of systems that you can buy for a very good price and it gives you 40 different applications under Zoho one, including CRM project support and because our business is that particular model, we decided to move 10 different systems all into Zoho. And I must say it wasn’t easy at first, it still isn’t easy. But we continue to make progress every day. We’ve made so many changes because of Zoho. We’ve streamlined our processes, we’ve got better at understanding what is it that we need to do to make the most of Zoho, and I think that’s a great, great highlight to share with you. If any of you are interested in talking about Zoho, do, let me know hit me up, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or any other way that you want to get a hold of me on Facebook or Instagram, I’d be happy to share what we’ve learned so far.
[10:36] And the last highlight of 2020, this has to be one of my biggest proudest moments, I was asked to be a mentor, I have no words to express how grateful I am for this close and dear friend of mine, to reach out and ask me to be his mentor. And I’m so glad that I can share what I have learned in the last four years of running Cloudscape. And being the person I am, I am just so amazed and happy that someone has that faith in me to be their mentor. And I hope that I can live up to that expectation because I have some big shoes to fill. And I’ve got some amazing role models to help me get there. So those are some of the highlights that I wanted to share with you from 2020.
[11:25] Now, let’s go to lessons learned. As I say, it’s not mistakes. These are not challenges. These are lessons learned. These are things that we did for a reason. But we’ve learned from them, and we want to make better next year, we’re even richer for that experience. There were a few things that I learned this year, and I want to share them with you because I hope that they will inspire you to not make the same mistakes. Or at least think about how you can use these lessons in your life. First one is never say never. I want to share this because Never say never. It’s such a powerful set of three words, isn’t it? It’s so easy to say them. But when you actually listen to them. And when you actually go through a moment where you’ve said, You know what, I would never do that. And you ended up doing. It just changed the meaning of that statement, doesn’t it? For example, I never thought I’d be able to travel and work. It was a pipe dream. It was a dream that I thought was a few years out. I needed a big team. I needed to be able to delegate everything that I was doing and then go traveling work. But you know what? Never say never, COVID happened 2020 happen. My wife and I traveled to Toronto for a two week vacation. And we ended up spending four months because of the lockdown that came right after this two weeks. We couldn’t travel out of Toronto, we couldn’t come back into Dubai. And here I am running my business online. Yes, there was a couple of issues, there were timezone differences. But I have set an amazing team to thank for. And just the fact that we’ve always been a technology friendly business, we’ve been able to use all of those technology systems to the fullest effect.
[12:59] Second lesson on choosing a popular system over a newer system. So earlier in this episode, I mentioned that we moved our website from Webflow to WordPress. And a couple years ago, we decided to build a new brand new website. And instead of choosing WordPress at that time, I ended up choosing Webflow. Why did I do that? Well, I’m a tech geek. And I wanted to push the boundaries. And I heard good things about Webflow. We figured it would be a nicer platform to work with. And we ended up building our website cloudscape.ae. Over on Webflow. A year later, we realized that it wasn’t all red roses, there was some challenges that I hadn’t anticipated for, which is why I decided to move back to WordPress. Had I made that decision. In the beginning, it could have saved us some time and money and energy. But hey, like I said, I’m richer for the experience. And I now know what the benefits of choosing a popular system are. What I mean by that is, in our lives, we all have choices to make sometimes Should I go with this system? Should I go with that. And there are always the cases where I will know this system is so popular, everybody uses it. But I don’t see why I should use it. Or that system is newer, it’s got much more features, it’s definitely going to help me and you can take this and really apply to any system that you’re looking at in your life, whether it’s personal or corporate. My advice is to stick with the tried and tested there is a reason why something is popular. And there’s a reason why so many people use that system, whatever that may be that you’re looking at. So consider that when you’re making a choice regarding systems.
[14:31] Next lesson learned perfect is relative. And you may have heard me say this before, but I wanted to bring this up again because I think it’s one of the most important lessons I’ve learned this year in many different formats. Number one, the podcast the elevated entrepreneur podcast, yes, this podcast that you’re listening to, would have never happened. Why? Because I wanted it to be perfect. I had these grand ideas of what podcast I would do and the branding and the people that I would have on the show and the reach and all of those self limiting beliefs. You know, I’m so glad that I was able to take the time and launch. Yes, it’s not been perfect. Yes, there have been some challenges. But I’m so thankful that has launched. And I’m continuing to learn, and I’m continuing to make it better with your support and your comments and your feedback. So thank you, again, done is better than perfect. If you’re thinking about starting something, whatever that may be, it may be a new website, it may be a book that you’re thinking of writing, it may be a podcast that you’re thinking of launching, or even to start running, or even going to the gym, you know, it’s 2021. It’s the new year time. Most people make resolutions, and I’m here to tell you get started. It doesn’t get any easier. But it does get better. Because what is best today will be changed tomorrow, and you will keep pushing your boundaries higher and higher. So please get started. Don’t worry about what it is going to be like, what are people going to talk about? What am How am I going to make it through, you will survive, the sun will rise tomorrow morning, and you will make it better.
[16:04] The other lesson that I’ve learned in my business is the importance of niche. Oh man, I have countless hours spent in and figuring out what are our niches both personally and in our work in my business. Finding your niche or creating your niche is so important and everything. Whether you’re in a career, whether you’re in a business, it is important to find your niche and own that niche. And I’ve also learned that you may not necessarily create a niche, you’re actually going to land up in a niche that you’ve always seen exist, or it’s fallen in your lap. And yes, sometimes it might be the obvious one, it might be the simple one, but it’s worth pursuing it. You can grow, you can make more money, you can hire a bigger team. It’s all about finding that niche. By the way, we have a great episode on the importance of niche, it is with a phenomenal marketeer Subi Dedhia it is episode eight at eight B if you haven’t listened to it, head on over to elevatedentrepreneur.fm/8 or slash eight B. And you’re going to hear a lot about this particular idea of finding your niche as well as finding your ideal customer within that niche. So I hope that you will enjoy that episode.
[17:16] Now. The next lesson I learned is the importance of having a peer board. What is a beer board, if for those of you haven’t heard it, it’s basically a group of peers that come together every so often. And we help each other get better in our own businesses and our own large because I always say 10 minds are better than one. So it’s like a mastermind or a peer board. There are subtle differences between the two. But either way, both are phenomenal to have in your life. If you are an entrepreneur, even if you’re in a career, having a peer board, or a mastermind that you’re part of can be a game changer. And I learned this a couple of years ago, but this year really helped me understand the importance of having peers at the table, helping me make decisions, grow, learn, and figure out what I’m been doing wrong.
[18:05] We have an amazing episode on that very topic about the importance of masterminds for the entrepreneurs. It’s Episode 15, elevatedentrepreneur.fm/15. And the last lesson that I’ve learned that I want to share with you is about being able to make mistakes, we we should be able to allow ourselves to make mistakes and gracefully get back up and move on as if nothing has ever happened. Because sometimes when mistakes happen, we tend to beat ourselves up so badly that it’s hard to move ahead. I learned this lesson again this year when I decided to change the way we package and price our products at Cloudscape. A couple of years ago, I decided to invest in productizing the business. And so we did that. But I learned this year that the prices and the way we were packaging those products were not optimal. Yes, I could have spent a lot of time beating myself over because we lost a lot of revenue. But hey, what has happened has happened. You have to move forward. And that’s what I did. I decided to move forward by going back to the basics, figuring out what worked, what did not work. And then I changed the way we packaged and priced our products, which is why it’s important that I want to share this lesson with you give yourself the room to fail. And don’t be sorry about it. Don’t worry, shit happens. But we have to get up, hold our head up high and move forward.
[19:32] So I hope that you’ve enjoyed the episode thus far we’ve talked about highlights, we’ve talked about the lessons I’ve learned. And now I’m going to move to a really interesting section of the podcast called the best of podcasts and books that I’ve listened to and read in 2020 and I am an avid reader and an avid podcast listener and I listened to many but here are some of the ones that I wanted to share with you that I discovered this year and have been instrumental in my learning and growing.
[19:57] The first one is a podcast called 2Bobs with David C. Baker and Blair ends. It’s a great podcast, if you’re a creative entrepreneur, it’s a great podcast to listen to, there have been some amazing lessons that I’ve taken away from it. In fact, as I’m speaking to you now, I’m thinking of going back and playing a few of my favorite episodes one more time, just because there are two guys that are phenomenal in their industry. And they talk about those lessons here on that podcast. The second podcast that I listened to, and discovered this year is a podcast called Focus on This is by Michael Hyatt and team, I mentioned that I use their planner. And so with that planner, they also make this amazing podcast, it’s not necessary that you use the planet to listen to the podcast. It’s a good podcast anyways, to talk about journaling and habits and planning, really good key insights in that podcast. The third podcast that I listened to, and discovered this year is called Nested Folders. It’s about productivity with two amazing people, Rosemary orchard, and Scotty Jackson. And they talk all about productivity and how you can get better in your own personal lives by using the right tools and the right systems. The last podcast that I listened to and discovered this year is a podcast called automators. If you know me, I’m a big tech geek. And I love automating everything in my life, as well as my business and automators hits that niche very well. I usually smile when I’m listening to this podcast, because it’s very techie, it is very geeky. But it’s a great podcast nonetheless. And it’s by the great folks at Relay FM.
[21:29] One of the goals I had this year was to read 24 books, which is two books a month. I’m not close to that goal. I’m about eight books shy of that goal. But I’m so glad that I did have the time and the ability to read these books, which is why I’m sharing some of the books that I think were critical for my success. And I hope that you will give them a chance and also add them to your collection. So let’s get started with book number one, which is the Power of Habit. It’s by a gentleman named Charles Duhigg. And he talks about how habits get formed and why companies and people need to use habits and form better habits to be more successful in life. It’s a great book. The second book that I read, I thought was really instrumental in how we do things here at Cloudscape is a book called Measure What Matters by a gentleman named John Doerr . measure what matters is a book about goals, KPIs and measures for those KPIs. It talks about how all the bigger organizations in the world, including IBM and Google, use this very method to measure what matters. And it’s a great book to talk about OKRs, and KPIs. The third book that I want to talk about is a book called The Goal. The book goal is a technical book, really, it’s about how organizations including factories, can improve their process. It’s by a gentleman named Eliyahu M. Goldratt , and it’s a book that apparently has been given out to every one of the single Amazon managers, because it’s mandatory reading for them. That’s how popular this book is. And I’m so thankful to a gentleman named Muhammad Manji, a dear friend, who gifted me this book earlier this month. And it’s a great book to read, even though you may not be in the business of factories or manufacturing, but a good book to pick up nonetheless, if you’re interested to learn about process improvement and efficiency. The fourth book that I want to talk about is a book called limitless by a gentleman named Jim quick, and Limitless brands itself as an operating system for your brain. And that’s exactly what this book is. It’s a phenomenal book, to tell you how you can grow your mind and learn anything that you’ve been wanting to learn because everything that you need to learn new things is already within you. I want to thank a dear friend and brother of mine, Amit Bhojwani, for this amazing book, he gave it to me earlier this year in March. It’s one of those books that I will cherish and keep for a very long time, because there is so much good stuff in there. Thank you Amit for his wonderful book. And thank you, Jim, for making that book happen. And lastly, the book called Subscribed by a gentleman named Tien Tzuo. Subscribe is a book that talks about subscriptions and how they can be a pivotal force in every business and how they’re going to change our lives as consumers because we’re all moving into a world of subscription and which is why I think us as business owners need to consider bringing up subscription products that can further grow our business. And you’ll hear from me in the next bit about what are some of the plans here for me here at Cloudscape terms of subscriptions.
[24:09] Now, before I move to the last section of this podcast, I wanted to do a shameless plug about the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast and tell you the three top episodes at the elevated entrepreneur podcast so that you can go back and take a listen if you haven’t already, or you can help me share the Word with your friends and fellow entrepreneurs. So what are the three best podcast episodes here are the elevated entrepreneur drumroll please. Number one is How M’oishi Launched a New Product Line During the Pandemic. This is episode number four at the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast. If you haven’t already taken a listen or you would like to go back and review, you can head on over to elevatedentrepreneur.fm/4, to take a listen. Carol, who is the founder of M’oishi sits down with me and talks about how she started M’oishi i and how she scaled it even more so during this pandemic. Second best episode is Master the Art of Retail & E-Commerce Fulfillment with Muhammad Manji. I mentioned Muhammed earlier this podcast gifted me the book The goal, him and I sat down and we talked about how business owners need to learn about retail and e commerce fulfillment and how a outsource fulfillment center just like Muhammed’s can be a game changer for e commerce business owners. If you haven’t already taken a listen, head on over to elevatedentrepreneur.fm/5, and you find that it’s a episode worth listening to. And finally, the third best episode here at the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast, also one of my favorites, while all my favorites, but this one has a special place because it talks about how entrepreneurs can be better leaders, and it’s titled The Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide to Being A Better Leader . And I sit down with my coach Warsha Joshi, and we talk about some of the things that I think and she thinks are important for business owners looking to become better leaders.
[24:32] And with that, I’m so glad that we’re now in the final section of the podcast, which is looking to 2021. 2020 Thank you for the amazing year that you’ve been, but we move on, and 2021 is around the bend. And there are some goals and plans that I have set for 2020. And I want to share them with you so that you can help me be accountable. So let’s start with goals. Number one, me personally, I want to run a 42k marathon. And I’m super excited that I’m going to be doing it in 2021. And hopefully by the end of 2021, I’m going to be recording another end of the year podcast and I’m so excited that I’m going to be able to tell you that I finally ran my first ever full marathon. So wish me luck with training or in the regimen. Now we’re running long distances already. And we continue to get better every day. But it is a big mountain for me to climb. And I’m sure that I will. So wish me luck.
[27:20] The second goal that I’ve given myself is to do some travel. I know 2020 has been a year that a lot of people have not been able to travel. And with all the things that are changing, I hope that we can travel in 2021. But I want to do two special trips. One where I want to go diving with my newly found Padi certification, I want to be able to go underwater and see the beautiful world that everybody keeps talking about. And finally, I also want to take one trip where I can go on a motorcycle, ride. I’m also a motorcyclist. And I’ve always had this idea that I want to go to either India or Sri Lanka and travel on a motorcycle, and view the city and view the country on that two wheeler. And I’m hoping that I can do that in 2021. So that’s all planned for 2021. For my personal goals.
[28:05] For Cloudscape, we’ve got some amazing things lined up. I mentioned earlier that subscriptions are a powerful thing that is happening these years. And we also want to bring some of that into Cloudscape. And one of the things that we think we can deliver to this world is something called Cloudscape University. Cloudscape University is going to be a place where entrepreneurs like yourselves can come and learn about things in terms of software, or how to implement things. It’s something that I’ve been thinking about for many, many years. And I think 2021 is going to be that here, we’re going to launch Cloudscape University. So again, wish me luck. And I hope that by the end of 2021, you’ll see Cloudscape University in all its glory online.
And finally, another goal that we have for Cloudscape is about growth. 2020 was a year where we said bye and hello to some new team members, but we’re also looking to hire and grow the family even more with some amazing people. So I hope that 2021 is the year where we find the right people and put them in the right seats. Because as my coach Warsha says, the right people in the right seats can make all the difference.
With that said, I have now come to the end of this amazing episode. And I’m so excited to be talking to you at the end of 2021 and recap some of these goals and tell you how I fared. And I hope that you will take a moment in your own personal life to see what you have achieved. And be thankful and be grateful for because I’m sure you’ve done amazing things, no matter how small they are. They are achievements nonetheless and they are worth celebrating. But that’s it. Thank you so much for tuning in.
[29:43] If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to the Elevated Entrepreneur show at elevatedentrepreneur.fm or wherever you’ve been listening to this episode. And finally, if you would, please do leave the Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast A review so that you can make it easier for other entrepreneurs to find this show. Thank you much love and I’ll see you in the next one.