For the last of my two-part series on the importance of taking positive action in the new year, I speak with, perhaps, one of the most inspiring people I've had the good fortune to meet.
Mayur Ramgir, 34, is the founder of US-based Zonopact, an innovative software development company specialising in cloud-computing solutions including the Clintra CRM system. Since its formation in 2014 the company has turned over more than $1.3million in sales.
But the journey wasn't an easy one. Ramgir's father died when he was just six years old, plunging his family into financial uncertainty. But Ramgir rose to the challenge, and has created a life for himself that is truly awe-inspiring.
He now wants to share the lessons he's learned in a new book, the award-winning Unbarred Innovation: A Pathway to Greatest Discoveries.
Mayur, if you could sum up the message of your book in one sentence what would you say?
I would say, innovation is a human instinct and our behavior and lifestyle play a key role in nurturing it.
Would you say that your parents instilled the philosophy of entrepreneurship into you?
While they never really told me that I had to start my own business, they always emphasized the importance of creating a positive difference through whatever I do. They always told me to be someone who can bring about a positive change; someone who can touch lives.
What are the main barriers to innovation that you most commonly encounter?
I would say everyone's case is different but you can definitely categorize the barriers into two types: the 'actual' ones and the 'perceptual' ones. The perceptual ones are the most difficult to overcome because they are not really barriers at all, but yet we see them like one.
The actual barriers come down to a lack of resources that you need to put your innovative ideas to use. The Socio-political situation of the region they are based in, for instance. And that is where I think people who have found success should come forward to hold the hands of those in need. Now interestingly enough, money I think, is not an actual barrier but a perceptual one. Why? Because more often than not, a lack of money upfront is the reason behind innovation.
Finally, there are psychological barriers like a fear of failure or disregarding your own ability to innovate. Unbarred Innovation covers all of the barriers and provides a very simple approach to overcome them.
Do you truly believe that there is an innovator inside each of us?
Not everyone has to be a genius to be an innovator. In fact, we already may have innovated something in our lives without even realising. Innovation is about bringing about an improvement; finding a better way to do something; a way that saves time or money. So, even if you have invented a faster way to tie your shoe laces - congratulations! - you are an innovator.
Do you confine your philosophy and method to business innovation? What about someone needing to innovate behavior patterns in relationships?
My idea is of 'unbarred innovation' and of adapting innovation as a lifestyle. Limiting it to one area would be contrary to the whole philosophy. You can't really master the art of 'innovation' unless you have incorporated it in every walk of life.
Relationship is an important part of anyone's life. Parents, friends, colleagues, loved ones - using an innovative approach can help you avoid conflicts, and even resolve them more effectively.
Have you been happy with the reception your book has received?
I am not an author by profession, and I did not write the book with the intention to be recognized as one. But I guess it is about writing what you know about. I have received three different awards so far, including a ReadersFavourite.com International Book Award and the Business Category of the 2016 Northern California Book Festival Award. My inbox is flooded with messages of readers sending me tokens of their appreciation. Knowing I have been able to create a difference is truly heartwarming. I can't be any happier!
What would you like readers to take away from your story?
The biggest take away from my story would be to stay confident and consistent no matter the barriers and failures you have to face. Sooner or later, hard work always pays off, but one needs to know that the efforts are invested in an idea that is 'innovative' and original, with focus on the bigger picture.
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