See, my routine usually involves a quick jump on a plane, a dash to the hotel, ticking off the necessary tasks, a swift return to the hotel, and off again on the next flight. Nothing special - typical business stuff. I was in Barcelona as part of the EIT Sustainable City Accelerator Program cohort member, attending the Tomorrow Mobility World Congress from the 7th to the 9th of November.
Now, while my time in Barcelona was eventful, this blog post isn't about those details. Instead, I want to share a more personal journey — how the practice of meditation and insights from the classic book, "See You at the Top" by Zig Ziglar, became unexpected allies in preparing me for my first investor presentation.
As I stood in Barcelona with only a few hours to spare before the investor presentation, the rush of preparation was a stark contrast to the calm atmosphere of my meditation practice. It might seem like an unconventional approach, arriving just in the nick of time, but that's how I roll. No elaborate pitch rehearsals for me — just a quick shower, a bite to eat, and walk to the venue. Why walk? Because at least I can experience something from the places that I visit rather than taking public transport.
The philosophy guiding me through these moments is simple:
- We bootstrapped our business, achieving more than some well-funded startups - so I have nothing to be ashamed about
- My family takes pride in our journey and accomplishments - they are always by my side
- True friends, who know I always give my best, carry no worry.
- Advisors, witnessing my progression from kitchens to boardrooms, have no concerns
Why not savour the moment? What could go wrong? I came a long way to be there. Yes, those crucial 5 minutes mattered, but the ongoing journey mattered even more. "See You at the Top" by Zig Ziglar played a crucial role in shaping this mindset. Here's a nugget of wisdom from the book:
"A poor self-image leads to self-defeating behaviour - so be proud of yourself. If you're doing your best and you always did, there is no reason to look at yourself in a negative way."
So, let's talk about aiming for the top. The first step? Evaluate your self-image—how you see yourself. It's a fundamental building block for success, influencing your performance.
Childhood experiences often mold our self-image. A casual remark like calling your son the clumsiest boy unintentionally contributes to an inferiority complex. Many of us have been there, hearing words from parents, teachers, or strangers that make us feel worthless.
This brings me to meditation — a practice I am doing since 2014. It's been my compass through life's storms. The essence of meditation lies not just in the steps but in our attitude toward it.
The technique is a tool; attitude is the key.
The same applies to how we see ourselves. When meditating, I approach every session with an open mind and curiosity. No judgments, no forcing — just be present. Some days are tougher than others, but with practice, the attitude becomes second nature, and the technique falls into place.
Speaking of presentations, approaching your audience with an open mind is crucial. I'm not talking about speaking in front of thousands; it's about seizing the opportunity for people to listen with an open mind.
In the pursuit of being at the top, change is essential. So, when presenting your life, company, journey, or beliefs, take that first step on the invisible ladder of success—evaluate your self-image and see yourself positively. After all, success is an inside job, and it starts with how you view yourself.
As the saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.”
Those who find success understand there are no shortcuts, there’s no free lunch if you want to make it to the top. Instead of passively waiting for opportunities or relying on luck, they actively cultivate a positive mindset and aim for excellence in their daily professional endeavours. This proactive stance not only unlocks opportunities but also paves the way for a consistent and enduring journey toward success.