How to Convert More Calls by Studying Less but Smarter ?

When it comes to GD WAT PI preparation, most students get it totally wrong. They spend majority of their time working on wrong things. They focus on being efficient rather than being effective.

That’s why they don’t achieve their full potential and often fall short and engage in cycle of giving CAT & other entrance exams over and over and settle for inferior college when they definitely would have gotten into better college the same year.

In order to work smarter and reap disproportionate results you need to do exactly opposite of what you have thought to be true.

For that you need to understand this Eisenhower Matrix

Before I explain you how to use this matrix to derive maximum out of your preparation and focus on being effective than being efficient, I would like to tell you a story.

In The 80/20 Manager, Richard Koch tells the story of a Prussian army commander and his unique method for utilizing his officers, according to their intelligence and their work ethic

  1. Officers who are both lazy and stupid – leave them alone, they do no harm
  2. Officers who are both hardworking and stupid – fire them at once, they create trivial work for everyone else. (Many students come into this category)
  3. Officers who are both hardworking and intelligent – useful for administration and executing plans. (These are the students who usually get calls from top colleges, they have good academics, they are very sincere etc etc)
  4. Officers who are both lazy and intelligent – promote them to the highest ranks. They will have the best ideas and will see how to implement them without creating trivial work for everyone else. Great advice for managing your staff. But also great advice for managing your own brains. (Very few students actually belong to this category)

Ref :

If you want to be no 4, you need to act like them. Because it’s counter-intuitive approach, most students would not do it because it flies in the face of whatever they have learned over the last few years. Work hard, pay your dues and all that nonsense.

Now, I am not saying that Hard Work is not important. What I am saying is you are not being a Lazy Sloth by following this instead you are working hard on aspects which help you to be more effective rather than being efficient.

Look at this matrix I=Important U=Urgent NU= Not Urgent NI= Not Important

Where you should spend most of your time ?

Important but Not Urgent

1. Identifying & perfecting hooks because if you don’t have anything interesting to talk about during interview or in your SOP, you are going to get irrelevant questions or Current Affairs questions.You need sufficient hooks to divert your interview to your strength points.

You should not give them chance to talk about Current affairs or some irrelevant questions.

2. Focus on questions like Intro, Why MBA, Gap, Grad Score, left the job.These are the highest leverage questions usually students tend to avoid forever or they work on it but in haphazardly fashion. If you work on answering these questions whenever they are relevant.You are working on the most important thing.

Work on them first before moving on to questions which are not that important…because they can’t make or break your interview.

If you want to identify your hooks,  learn Irresistible Intrigue Formula here

Along with that I talk about several introspection exercises which will help you develop your hooks inside GD WAT PI Revolution.

If you want help with Why MBA, read this blog post

If you want to Learn how to answer these difficult questions including Why Gap, Why Poor Grad Score, Why did you leave the JOB, I teach a new methodology called A.R.M.S. read about it here

Face the fear. Work on it. Take help. Work on fixing your weakest links first which can be exposed during the GD WAT or PI .instead of working on strengthening insignificant links

3. Another method I teach in GD WAT PI Revolution is Scenario planning where you write answer to a question and create branches on which questions you can possibly get by saying this. Then you create questions on sub-questions. You think of hooks you can use to divert them towards your areas of strengths and interests at all the time.

But you can only do it when you work on identifying and perfecting your hooks.

4. Working on your head-trash

This is very important topic which deserves attention.

I know students scoring meager 94%ile and convert IIM calls (Open Category) and students who score 99.8 %ile and struggle to convert any old IIM calls.

I have worked with several students & I have realized that

Your ability to succeed or fail has far more to do with how clear your mind and emotions and beliefs are, than it has to do with your academics, intelligence.

If you don’t believe you deserve success…no matter of what happens…somehow you will find a way to sabotage your success.

How to uncover lies you believe to be true ?

How to know whatever you believe is a LIE or not ?

If you believe that you are fundamentally wrong , then that’s a LIE you have believed.

Statement 1 : I can’t get into IIM-B because I scored 98%ile and I don’t’ have any experience and I don’t have confidence to communicate my true value.

Statement 2 : I can’t get into IIM-B because i don’t think I can succeed there. There will be probably students from top colleges, I won’t really get good placement and I have to settle for mediocre job so It’s good idea to settle for X college.

In first, you can work on improving your confidence, improving your skills.

In second, you somehow believe that you are worthless. That’s the worst feeling in the world. You can’t probably do anything to fix it.

If you feel you lack skills, you can do something about it..when you feel useless, you will sit and do nothing and accept the results.

5. Essay Practice

If you have to write Essay and become good at it, you have to focus on identifying your weak spots. Whether it’s content, whether it’s finishing it in time constraint, whether it’s developing the content etc etc.

That will help you to correct your approach. Instead of writing random essays on random topics, this approach will help you much better.

6. Practicing/Rehearsing Answers. This is something very important. If you rehearse the answers, record yourself and watch it, see it yourself or show it to your friends who can give you candid feedback, you can experience a lot of improvement in your performance.

Instead of just writing answers and assuming everything will be fine, you are making yourself vulnerable in front of your friends so that you can improve. You will also know which pointers you need to remember whenever you are preparing for Interview instead of just cramming the answers.

7. Researching using Linkedin, talking to current/past students and asking them insightful questions to help you answer questions like Why MBA, Specialization, Why that B-school, and learning about what future holds. This is utmost important because most students live in the world of I think, I feel, I suppose instead of doing the hard work on what’s the reality, what’s realistically possible.

8. How to make sure, you get the results you want by using Six Sources of Influence,

Harness all these 6 factors to make the desired change. I have a whole lesson dedicated on how to use this for your GD WAT PI prep inside GD WAT PI Revolution

Here is how to use this


9. Investing into right resources.

Some students have this habit of saving money, going for classes which attract bottom feeders who thrive on free information and don’t want to pay for any stuff
If you do that, you will waste ton of your time. Instead spend good deal amount of time on finding right people, right resources which will speed up your progress. I include Refresher which covers more than 250 topics which will help you with current affairs so you don’t have to google for 100 articles unless you want to go in depth.

In Interviewer Seduction Formula, I provide sample answers for each question which helps you give a perspective on how others think thus reducing the time required for you to come up with answers.

I have also included SOPs you can model which will help students model the SOPs (not copy them)

I have also included Case Studies of Past students who have gone through different challenges and emerged out successful.

Money buys speed, if you don’t invest in yourself, your progress will be much slower.

If you want to choose right course/coaching class for your needs, read this blog post

Urgent and Important

  1. Submission of SOP/Form. This can become urgent only if you don’t write or fill up your form on time dragging it to a deadline.
  2. Applying to certain college. This is sometimes necessary something urgent but if you know it in advance which colleges you are applying tothen you don’t have to do it at the last moment.
  3. Reading Pagalguy and referring relevant experiences of students from where you had received calls. It can be necessary sometimes however most students tend to waste a lot of their time here.

Urgent but Not Important

Busywork : The work makes you feel busy but it doesn’t give you the results you intend to get. Here are few examples

1. Watching random news. This is never useful strategy if you want to prepare for Current Affairs especially if you are doing it without any purpose, you might spend a lot of time there and still get nothing useful.

2. Emails/Calls : Most of the calls/emails are never important. If you are using Gmail, there are certain filters which will help you sort out important mails from mails which are not at all valuable

Most calls are never urgent, if you ever realize that, you will spend your time in working on right things instead of getting interrupted by these calls.

3. Meetings/Interruptions : Office meetings which tend to take a lot of your time, Interruptions like whatsapp, social media, are hardly important.

Not urgent/Not important

  1. Web browsing
  2. Social media
  3. Pagalguy : Reading SOPs, reading nonsense and wasting time.

Almost all SOPs on pagalguy are waste of time, those who really write great SOPs will never ever post their SOP on pagalguy because they know that everyone is going to copy that so those who post are by definition mediocre ones.

Takeaway :

1. Focus on doing right thing instead of doing things right.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

When you are working on right things…Non urgent but important things…You are being Lazy but Intelligent…You are being effective…You will likely to perform much better in GD WAT and PI, even compared to those who are Hard Worker and Intelligent…Despite working less because they are efficient…you are effective…

2. Domino Effect : What one/two/three things I can do today that will topple the domino ?
You do this once you wake up in the Morning. It sets the tone of the day. Instead of checking whatsapp, Facebook, Emails to start your day, start with the activity/activities that will topple one domino after the other.

It can be writing your journal, it can be exercise, it can be a walk, it can be anything which sets the tone of the day.

If you start your day with news, social media, email, you will be completely frazzled even to start any meaningful activity.

It’s called Keystone Habit

This way you will maximize your chances of converting your best calls…You won’t have to work so hard just to get by…instead every area of your life will be improved…you will be in B-school of your dreams…instead of wishing and hoping….

Choose wisely, convert the best.

If you want to kick-start your GD WAT PI Preparation, check GD WAT PI Revolution

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Interview is NOT a selection process

Interview is not a qualification’s more of a disqualification process. Read that line again and see if that makes any sense.

Most of students believe that Interview is a selection or qualification process and not a disqualification process.But I strongly believe that Interview is a Disqualification process.

It’s just like Sales & Marketing.

I would like to quote a story I learned from my mentor Perry Marshall

In a noisy club in Las Vegas, a professional gambler pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of his jacket, racked it, and looked around to see who recognized the ratcheting sound and turned their heads.

He said to his protege, “, the people who turned their heads are not marks. Do not play poker with them. Gamble with everybody else.

Source : 80/20 Curve

In Sales and Marketing, Marketing is a process of Racking the Shotgun. You rack the shotgun so that right people would respond to your ads and buy your product/service.

When it comes to selecting a right candidate for a particular B-school “racking the shotgun” happens at every stage.

(Source :

  1. When you apply for CAT, XAT, NMAT, SNAP, IIFT, they rack the shotgun.
  2. When they give calls to candidates based on their score, academics, work experience, they rack the shotgun.
  3. When you submit SOP/Application form, they rack the shotgun again, when they Interview you, they again rack the shotgun
  4. When they declare first shortlist, they once again rack the shotgun.

Imagine what would have happened if they would have called everyone for the Interview.

Imagine if there is no CAT, XAT, IIFT, SNAP, NMAT.
Imagine if they don’t consider your Work experience, Academics.

That would have created a lot of headache for those institutes including  added monetary expenses, wasted time and wastage of lot of other valuable resources.

That’s why they rack shotgun so that they can only deal with few people who they think are more qualified to get into that Institute and save themselves from a lot of hassle of dealing with wrong candidates.

On this occasion, I would like to share my experience with racking the shotgun and how this process has served me and how it can serve you in the long term if you choose to follow it.

When I started GD WAT PI Revolution, for first 2 years, I always used to get these questions.

  1. Are you an MBA ? (Are you really qualified to help me ?)
  2. Why your course is so expensive ? I think I should go join that X class, they are giving me 90% discount. (I don’t really find your course any valuable than other course in the Market, why should I pay you so much ?)

    I don’t get the first question nowadays and if I get the second question then I tell that person to join the other course but I still find many of them come back and join my course. Strange, isn’t it ? (The process I teach when it comes to answering any question is “Identifying the Question behind the question“)

I really didn’t have good answers to these questions back then. I really tried hard to convince them on why my course is great but all of my persuasive arguments fell on Deaf Ears.

I was asked to make discounts on their terms or else they would go and join other famous and well known class.

Have you ever got this question, why should I select you ?
If you really feel the need to justify it very hard
despite they reading your form, SOP,  it’s early sign that you have lost half the battle right from the start. I am being dead serious here.

When you really don’t have much to talk about you.You have to work really hard to convince the other person why they should select you. If your SOP/Form or Intro gives them the glimpse of the kind of person you are…You don’t really need to justify yourself.

I get a lot many students asking me this question “I really haven’t done much to talk about/write about in form/SOP, what should I do ?

In a few cases, the student is being very modest about his accomplishments but in many cases, the student hasn’t done anything worthwhile to talk about. Not just in Academics, but in all the other areas. It becomes really difficult to help them in that situation.

The only remedy for this is “Actually become better, do something worthwhile to talk about yourself” A good book you can read is

There is no shortcut for this. I had to learn this hard way. If you are looking for any shortcut, there ain’t any.

If who you are is really more valuable than your accomplishments…if you can convey that in the interview then you don’t have to convince them very hard….

If they still don’t get convinced, it’s not your fault or problem. It’s their problem. If they can’t recognize your talent, they don’t value your talent, why would you even want to get into that B-school. I know it’s hard for you to digest this especially when you don’t have much choice.

If they can’t see your value…it’s their loss, not yours. Instead of feeling rejected, think that Thank God, I am rejected. So now I can get into B-school where my talents are valued..It doesn’t matter if it’s IIM or XL or whatever Top B-school….

2 years ago, a girl approached me for help. She had calls from almost all the institutes except IIMs. Let me share her background with you. She was gold medalist during her Engineering but she had taken a break for UPSC preparation for 4 years.

Despite scoring very high percentile, she was wait-listed for NMIMS, Symbiosis.

Similar example. Another girl with very good academics, very high percentile and close to 4 years of experience. She was also rejected in NMIMS, Symbiosis.

Both of them believed it was because of 4 years of Gap or 4 years of Work Experience.

I don’t know have enough information to reach any kind of conclusion here but what I found out is both of them got into college which was right for them.

UPSC girl got into XLRI and 4 year work experienced girl got into IIM-Bangalore.

What happens when you select wrong people ?

I want to share my first hand experience dealing with wrong people (who are not ideal fit for your product/service) who buy your course and what happens afterwards ? But let’s start with quote.

Smart people and stupid people get equal airtime.
And since stupid people tend to shout longer and louder than people who have acquired wisdom and judgment, ignorance generally prevails.
Perry Marshall

3 years back, someone happened to buy my course from a link in facebook group. Let’s call him Mr. R. He had calls from IIMs, FMS etc etc. 3 years back…I didn’t have sophisticated members area, case studies, whatsapp group and everything else I have right now.

It was specifically mentioned that you will get access to the entire material through emails and if someone wanted material immediately, he/she just had to email me

But Mr. R (being very smart) didn’t possibly read this and started creating ruckus in a group.He even warned other people not to buy my course & threatened to file complaint in cyber law and write a bad review in PG and worst of all, he threatened me to sell my course for 100 bucks on Internet. I had a strong thought of refunding this person and in fact I did send him message for the same but he never responded back.

However, I was not sure if that would have helped. Because it was my first year of launching the course, I was terrified of bad review right from the start. I didn’t want to give impression in the group that I had to give refund & my course is bad because usually people act on the perception.

However, I regret not issuing refund to this person because this person really acted like an a**hole and was pain in b**t. If he would have been more civilized while asking for refund , I would have gladly given it to him but instead he chose to abuse me.

In fact, I had to ask one of my students to comment on thread and share his experience to mitigate the bad effects and next year, it happened again…but I became wiser that year.

There was someone had IIM-Bangalore call. Before buying the course, he called me up and asked me if I offered the refund on the course or not. I said YES and I also added that if you are buying a course while keeping refund in mind..then don’t buy it anyways but this person still bought my course

And then he started complaining.

I can’t access members area…it’s very difficult…I can’t find lessons, I can’t log in.

And he had 3 years of work experience in IT, scored close 97-98%ile and he couldn’t navigate successfully through members area. When no one else had any issues, he started having all these issues.

Then when it was time to submit the SOP, he refused to go through any lesson, then sent me SOP for review, when I sent him the corrected version, he refused to make those changes and instead sought help elsewhere…then just few hours before submission, he started calling me, messaging me, emailing me for feedback. I usually don’t like to help people when they are in this kind of situation.

But I still picked up his call and helped him with SOP but then afterwards he started telling me that he didn’t benefit at all from my help because he knew all the things right from the start.

This time, I realized that if I keep entertaining his behavior, he will probably end up being like the same person I encountered last year. I immediately decided to refund him. It felt like someone took major load off my shoulder.

When I spot these kind traits in a student during initial interaction, it’s big NO NO for me. I don’t want these types of students buy my course.

I actively dissuade these people from buying my course.

Another example of how to attract wrong kind of people.

  1. Give them Huge Discount
  2. Give them unrealistic expectations
  3. Don’t tell them what is not covered

There are lot many courses/coaching classes when it comes to preparing for GD WAT PI. Some of them are really really good but many of them are not.

How do you tell the difference ?

  1. Are they offering huge discount based on your percentile or any weird reason ?
  2. Are they catering to your wild fantasies or giving you unrealistic expectations ? (100% Converts in last 3 years, 1945 selected in IIMs this year)
  3. Do they tell you what they don’t/won’t/can’t cover ?

If you don’t get satisfactory answers to these questions, run from that coaching class/course.

How I disqualify students ?

  1. I don’t offer any discount on any basis even if you have scored 100%ile. When I do offer it rarely, I do it on my own terms, not on student’s terms. I don’t want students who are Price Sensitive who will do anything to get something at the lowest price. I care about Quality, not the Price.
    If someone starts bargaining with me or threatens me to go for another course/class, I gladly tell them to join that course/class. I don’t debate with them or try to convince them.
  2. I tell students what it really takes to convert the B-school call, even if they feel bad, offended and even if they don’t buy my course.
  3. I tell/expect every student who buy my course to read FAQ completely and know what I cover and what I don’t cover.

Another example

2-3 years back,  a lot many students used to send me SOP and Interview questions to review, even those who hadn’t bought my course.I did that for a while without asking them for money. I thought that they would follow my advice. To my dismay, I realized that they were hardly implementing any of my suggestions.

Whenever, I used to follow up with them, they would say something like this “I actually took suggestions from my class teacher or my college senior from that Institute” I always used feel betrayed…Why these students are not following my advice ?

Then I would look at the students who bought my course, percentage of students applying my advice was way too high compared to the other group.

I suddenly realized why it was happening in the first place.

The answer was “They were not paying the price

One might argue that : Information should be free. Why don’t you just share your knowledge for free ?

if information is defined as that which most people don’t know or can’t know, then free information isn’t really information at all, is it?

So next year onward, I started refusing to check any SOP, Interview Answers of students who didn’t buy my course.

Some of these students got very furious, they started blaming me
You are just here for money. You have become a business. You have become money minded. You can’t you just spend 10 minutes on our SOP. How selfish you can become.”

Some even unfriended me and unsubscribed from my email updates….

One might argue : Good riddance.

It might sound rude but I know how true that is….
When you pay for the advice…your chances of implementing it can go through the roof

When I traveled to Las Vegas for Business Conference. I did learn a lot but I also realized that I was not applying many things which I knew then. I realized that I need to apply them in my business.

I started applying them when I traveled to US and saw many others applying it and getting results.

(Me with my Mentor Ryan Levesque)

If you are preparing for GD WAT PI and want to improve your odds of selection, check out GD WAT PI Revolution and remember “Don’t buy for wrong reasons and with wild expectations” Do it for right reason and with reasonable expectations.

Carpe Diem

Adopted from Perry Marshall’s blog posts



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What Jack Bauer can teach you about handling Ethical Dilemmas ?

If you are fan of 24 just like me, you have probably seen Jack Bauer successfully navigating through ethical dilemmas.

First is that Jack accepts responsibility for the terrible things he does at times.  These are ethical dilemmas so by their nature, none of his options is good, but sometimes it is the only necessary option.

Inaction is not an option because if he doesn’t act, something bad is going to happen, events are unfolding, and a choice has to be made.  A choice can’t be avoided.  He can’t opt out.  But he neither apologizes for making hard decisions nor avoids the consequences of acting.  And that’s part of the terrible choice involved in dilemmas.

Second is that Jack is a professional making deliberate choices. He’s often thought reckless.

Jack does terrible things in the face of terrible sin.  But they are directed at the proper targets.  I think it’s wrong to accuse him of behaving recklessly.

Jack is a professional, a skilled field agent and extremely specialized one.

Despite the reputation as a reckless, he’s actually quite specific in the application of extreme measures in the face of extreme circumstances. It’s a terrible professional obligation in the face of evil.

Jack also seems to recognize that in the personal price the character has paid over the course of the show like losing his wife, losing almost all of his lovers, his father & brother.

He recognizes that if his actions are necessary at times, they are not easy ones or free of consequence.

Jack Bauer killing Ryan Chappelle

Jack Bauer killing Curtis Manning

Jack Bauer Threatening Saunders & sending his daughter into Virus infected Plaza

Jack Bauer holding Charles Logan Hostage aiming Sniper on his head

There are so many moments in 24 that poses a question. What would you do if you were in that situation ?
I don’t know if Jack follows some kind of methodology to arrive at any decision, I think he does it mostly based on his gut instinct.

As you know, to develop gut instinct, it takes years. You don’t have that much of time, so in order to solve Ethical Dilemmas, here is framework you should follow

Checkpoints for Ethical Decision-Making

A. Recognize that there is a moral issue.-identify issues needing
attention; sift moral questions from manners and social conventions

B. Determine the actor-If this is a moral issue, whose is it? Am I morally obligated and empowered to do anything in the face of the moral issues raised? Stakeholder thinking limits options.

C. Gather the relevant facts– part of the fact-gathering process involves peering as far as possible into the future.

D. Test for right-versus-wrong issues-legal test

E. Test for right-versus-right paradigms-what kind of dilemma is this?Truth versus loyalty, self versus community, short-term versus long term, and justice versus mercy (Choose Truth over Loyalty, Community over Self, Long term over short term,Mercy over justice)

F. Investigate the “trilemma” options-Is there a third way through the dilemma? Unforeseen and highly creative course of action.

G. Make the decision-requires moral courage, attribute essential to leadership; distinguishes humanity from the animal world.

H. Revisit and reflect on the decision-go back over the process and seek its lessons(Ref :How Good People Make Tough Choices )

If you want to know how to use this framework in Case Discussions/Group Discussions, check out GD WAT PI Revolution

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