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‘A Checklist For God’s Own Office’, An Excerpt

What happens when a vacation turns into a business opportunity? James Joseph, an NRI professional decided to take a family vacation in Aluva, Kerala where he stumbled upon a business opportunity in the form of jackfruits. Today, he is the founder of a successful entrepreneurial venture called Jackfruit365, an initiative to create an organized market for nutrient-rich jackfruits in India.
His book, God’s Own Office is a part-memoir, part how-to on how to integrate with the local community and set up a home office alongside nurturing your entrepreneurial ambitions.
On October 14, 2017, James is going to share his wisdom in a TedX Talk on how to set up God’s own office. He’s also going to dedicate the book to the late President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Here’s an excerpt from the book God’s Own Office, it’s a checklist of what you need to have to set up your own home office in a remote part of the country.
A Checklist For God’s Own Office
1.Do you have an unwavering conviction to return home?
2. Do you have a constant focus to return home? Does that keep you awake?
3. Have you earned the right to return? Can you pass the Mohammed versus Mountain test?
4. Can you still uproot your family? Can you still pass the inchworm test?
5. Do you have the right location for God’s Own Office?
a. Easy travel connectivity to your base office
b. Reliable digital connectivity
c. Constant source of positive energy to work alone
6. Can you arrange enough backup to avoid disruptions?
a. Power
b. Broadband
7. Do you or your employer have the right technology for remote working?
a. Digital presence information
b. Instant messenger
c. Online audio/video conferencing
d. Desktop sharing
e. Remote access to corporate network
f. Cloud services to store and share data
8. Can you make your home office sound proof?
9. Do you have the discipline?
a. Work without supervision
b. Handle interruptions by family and guests
10. Can you still stay on top of the mind of your colleagues and management?
11. Can you be a local ambassador for your employer?
12. Do you have options to adopt start-ups near your home town?
13. Can you ensure the safety of your family when you are away from home?
14. Can you allocate sufficient time to help your children remain globally competent in a small town?
15. Can you help your children integrate well in a regular school?
16. Are you willing to help people around you?
17. Are you happy to reconnect with extended family back home?
18. Can you find enough activities to recharge yourself in a sleepy village?
a. Adopt a farm
b. Participate in cultural activities
19. Do you have the resilience to stomach the dark sides of a small town?
a. Avoidable deaths around you
b. Bureaucracy
c. Need for extra humility, patience and tolerance
20. Will the economics of God’s Own Office work for you?

5 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

If you’re a writer, you must have experienced the treacherous phenomenon called the ‘writer’s block’. It is the phase when you feel stuck and drinking any amount of coffee cannot get you to finish that one page.
Michael Burns, author of Hack Into your Creativity, gives us some brilliant writing tips and prompts for every type of writer to help them out of the ‘block’.
Here are five easy and exciting ways you can overcome writer’s block:
Writing Prompts
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What Happens Next?

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Character Building
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Everyday Magic

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Tell us which tip did you find the most helpful.
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5 Ways to Transform the Space in Your House to Eden

Whether it’s a neglected balcony, a cluttered verandah, or a bare stairway, Gardening in Urban India will show you ways on how these spaces can be revived with a careful selection of plants and accessories. Get inspired by a range of styles, layouts, and techniques to create your own green space.
Here are just 5 of the many ways you can transform that extra space into a beautiful area.
Patio and Verandah
An extension of the living area, patios and verandahs are just the right spaces for small gardens. Most patios are made on concrete or stone bases. A raised wooden base, or deck, lends a more warm and natural look to a patio.
Give your apartment’s balcony a makeover by using the walls, railings, and the floor for creating multiple levels of greenery. Assess the space available, and factor in the amount of sun and wind your space gets to determine the plants that will do well in your balcony.
Outdoor Space
Be it a moderately sized front lawn, or a small, cosy backyard, outdoor spaces can be designed to reflect your personal style. Experiment with different seating ideas, varieties of foliage, accessories and pathways.
Rooftop gardens are excellent examples of breaking away from the traditional ground-level garden. Make sure you place the major weight of your pots along the edges, and keep the middle, the weakest part of your terrace structure, free
Instead of leaving windows bare, treat them as small extensions of your home. Paint them in bright colours, hang plants in pots, or frame them with trailing climbers. For apartment windows, use planters that can withstand strong winds and sun on the outside.
How excited are you to start transforming your home?

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