An Indian Civilizational Perspective

"Upbeat" by Rajesh Setty – great read for recessionary times!

During the last one year, no other book has impacted me as much as this one book called “Upbeat” by Rajesh Setty. Rajesh Setty is a serial entrepreneur and is a zealous motivator. He has an excellent blog full of inspiration and good information. I would STRONGLY suggest signing up for his weekly newsletter. It is the ONLY newsletter that I get in my inbox, that I read regularly every week.

In this book, Setty talks about his thoughts on how to work yourself back in a recessionary time. He uses his experience in the last recession as the basis. His advise is spot on and although it might sound commonsensical.. but its perfectly usable and timely. It can benefit BOTH individuals and companies.

Its a 90-page succinct read. Very pithy and no-nonsense, the advise is very usable… you don’t have read through motivational rhetoric to come to something practical.. that’s the good thing! It is divided into different sections:

  • The Trap
  • The Discipline
  • The Network
  • The Strategy
  • The Action

If you could implement suggestions from even one section (the first two maybe) you could be a winner soon.

I interviewed Rajesh about his book and the background on why and how he wrote this book. His views and thoughts are very instructive and informative.

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1. You have written about thriving through the tough times. What times in your personal life inspired you to write this book? Can you share how you handled at least one such tough times?

Desh, first thank you for the opportunity to have this conversation. I can share many stories and the set of events that has shaped me as a person so far are outlined in my story so far.

The story that led to the writing of this book is here below:

I had an opportunity to build my first technology startup during the previous recession. It was not easy. The easiest way to define what was happening then was that “nobody was buying anything from anyone and everybody was trying selling something to everyone.” If we loved bad news, then we were in luck. There was bad news everyday – on the TV, in the newspapers, on the radio and there was generally some bad news shared during any interaction with anyone – online or offline.

We learned a lot during that period as the only way to have survived running a “bootstrapped” startup was to stay Upbeat. So I wrote most of it during that journey but by the time I completed the book, that recession was over. So I packed it up and and kept it aside. I didn’t have to wait for long as there was a another recession very soon. I unpacked the book, updated it and got it published.

2. What is the central idea of the books in 140 words 🙂 ?

There is no guarantee that you will succeed just by staying Upbeat but you can be guaranteed to fail by choosing not to stay Upbeat.

3. How is handling the tough times different from handling the “good” times?

During good times, one can be Upbeat to get ahead and is useful for people that are ambitious. Being Upbeat will help but if they are not, it won’t be a threat to their survival. So in other words, being Upbeat during tough times can be a competitive advantage.

During tough times, you can’t afford NOT to be Upbeat. Things that were working would have stopped working and you need all the energy to go all out and make it work. Being Upbeat is NOT optional during tough times. In fact, NOT being Upbeat is a competitive disadvantage.

Rarely can you take massive action in a NOT so Upbeat mode. Tough times call for uncommon and massive action – so being Upbeat is a pre-requisite for that.

4. Are you a realist or an optimist by nature?

I am an optimist and I have three mentors who will put “reality” back into my head as I start going all over the place 🙂

5. There are many Personal Development Gurus from Dale Carnegie to Tony Robins to Deepak Chopra. Is there any one who has affected you in your life to do better?

I have ALWAYS had multiple mentors starting 1983 when I was a journalist writing for a local newspaper. This was at the age of thirteen. That was the first experience for me to have mentors and luckily I realized the value of having them. I would never have it any other way.

Since I fear that I will leave out many names if I start listing who all have influenced me, I will just respectfully bow away from answering this question.

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