The Paper Napkin Project

By Govindh Jayaraman, an EO Ottawa member and CEO of Asus Medical Corp, Asus Energy Corp and Suma Energy, LLC.

How often have you had a great idea you didn’t follow through on because you lacked the self-confidence? It happens to the best of us. For a few years now, I thought about writing a book about all of the incredible people I’ve met in EO, wherein I would share their powerful wisdom with the world. Unfortunately, I kept talking myself out of it. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking: I’m not successful enough; I’m not famous enough; and I’ve made too many mistakes to be credible.

My book concept was as follows: In true “Engage the World” fashion, I would travel the globe and connect with 20-30 of my heroes over lunch. We would break bread and chat about life and work. And then I would capture the secrets to their success and write them down on the paper napkins from the restaurants— an abbreviated approach to building a better business or life. The story of each restaurant, meal, conversation and experience share would serve as a chapter in my book.

But then it happened— the doubts started mounting. Pursuing this dream would require a lot of time away from my family and businesses … so I stalled. It wasn’t until a Forum mate encouraged me to look into podcasting that the idea finally came alive. No lunches to whisk away to, no time away from my loved ones— just myself and a guest getting our Gestalt on. We would conduct half- hour chats, and in our wake would be “pearls of wisdom.” Leave it to an EOer to open my eyes.

In the five months that followed, I spent time with an all-star cast of CEOs, leaders and “difference makers,” all of whom shared their secrets with me— some tactical, some inspirational. And every one of them hit home. For example, when EO Philadelphia’s Barrett Ersek said—“The opposite of fear is faith. Fear is prison. Faith is the ultimate freedom!”—I learned that it was fear that was holding me back from realizing my full potential, and that I could use that fear as fuel to eliminate the obstacles in my life.

And then there’s EO Atlanta’s Greg Crabtree, who shared: “Growth is not an ‘addition thing,’ but rather a ‘subtraction thing.’ What do you need to remove or give up in order to achieve growth?” When I heard this, I finally admitted to myself that I was pouring my money, time and effort into a failing business that didn’t align with my values, but that I fought to keep out of pride. I had to give it up— so I did. I used this EO wisdom to free me up to pursue greater ventures.

It’s amazing what can happen when you decide to fully engage EO. As it turned out, by interviewing successful folk about their secrets to personal and professional success, my podcast became a boon for me and my businesses. Both the podcast and its associated blog grew in popularity, and I discovered that the more vulnerable I was about my own journey, the more people gained from my contributions. I also learned that by opening yourself up to the experiences of those around you, it doesn’t mean you’re weak— it makes you stronger and more committed to growth.

Back to the book: When it finally came time to work on this project—an obstacle I was able to overcome thanks to the lessons gleaned from this journey—Rick Sapio, an EO Dallas member and podcast guest, suggested that I think of the best possible co-writer I could use to help get the book off the ground. Jack Daly, famed sales coach and speaker extraordinaire, immediately came to mind. While I was hesitant to ask—heck, I was afraid to ask—I did it anyway. And I was pleasantly surprised when he was eager to collaborate. It just goes to show you: Put yourself out there, and you never know what could happen. I did, and I found my voice as an entrepreneur in the process.

You can view some of Govindh’s napkins by visiting www.wisenapkin.com.

Categories: Best Practices Goal Setting Inspirational Productivity

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3 Responses to “ The Paper Napkin Project ”

  1. PITSO MOFOKENG on

    wow you really made me to be strong sir and you have inspired me to became what i want to be in life not to fear the world,( Fear is prison. Faith is the ultimate freedom! )quoted from your words. where to find your help sir?

    Reply
  2. Paul Easton on

    Thank you for this article, its was helpful to see those who are at a successful level still have same thoughts as those starting out. I have had the same idea in my head for several years, and am now just putting it into action, with a simple goal – “Make a Difference – – change the World” (LemonAngels.com) I was prompted by an EO Presentation in New Zealand I was invited to which helped to push me into action. I enjoyed the high quality of people involved and look forward to meeting more. Thanks EO

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