Avikant Bhardwaj | Founder - Now Boarding Cafe

Avikant Bhardwaj is the founder of Now Boarding Cafe 

Avikant Bhardwaj has been an educator by profession. He used to be a banker before the cafe he worked with a lot of investment banks and then he realized that it was no longer his calling. He then moved into education where he spent a few years teaching and then decided that learning design is something that he had really gravitated towards. And then the idea of board games that he always used to play came into the picture. So learning with board games gave rise to what they have built today as the Now Boarding Cafe. 

What do your mornings look like?

So yeah, my morning is generally late because of the cafe and it starts a little later than what I would want to because I get to sleep a little later. So when I get up I wrap up on my news as I get ready for the day, and try to get in some form of exercise either like sort of walk or join or swim or sometimes go to the gym. But like because of the recent developments with the cafe haven't been getting enough time.

It is not as much as I would have liked, but I try to squeeze in some form of physical activity. 

So then I get ready for my day. Then I have breakfast and come to the cafe and that’s it ☀️

What do you do in the evenings?

Evenings are mostly here at the cafe, so not much to do outside. We spend a lot of time with the customers here. We spend time explaining games, playing games with people, and making sure that everybody is taken care of and that's mostly just how my evenings go. 

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

Work-life balance is something I've been dabbling with for quite some time now. This is because we manage the cafe along with our regular nine-to-five jobs. So we have to also make sure that like we spend enough time dedicating ourselves to the cafe as we do our work and have time left for ourselves.

So then that becomes a challenge.

So in order to make sure that we have enough work balance, I try to compartmentalize certain times like certain hours to the cafe and then to work and then to ourselves. So that we have a clear idea of how much time we are spending on each thing and whether that is enough for us or not. And if that goes here then we have to relook at our daily schedule and make sure that what we are doing is good enough for us.

How do you stay on top of trends related to your work?

We mostly do it by talking to each other and having an honest conversation. But sometimes you do have a blind spot about things that you need to improve on because you may have like a certain perception about your own image. So sometimes as you look inward and as you reflect you get thoughts about what is going well, and what is not going well.

But even above then we generally have an honest conversation about dinner once we close the cafe about like hey what's going good cafe-wise or personally in our life and just like work on that. So that's mostly like how we try to see what's working and what's not working.

What do you do for your mental health?

Mostly I try to spend time doing things that I like to do, which is either running or lifting weights, or playing board games. So if there are not enough customers then I just like to pick up one of the games from the shelf and just start learning it. So the more time I spend with the games or the more time I spend with myself out in the street running, that's what gives me like a balance in my head.

Any advice to other entrepreneurs?

Finally, I'm doing something that makes me happy personally. So yeah, identify what works for you. Like what is one thing or two things that make you happy that you don't have to do for the sake of what other people have asked you to do or what your responsibilities are? Just identify what inherently makes you happy just by doing that particular thing that doesn't feels like a chore. And then just keep doing that and dedicate some time every day, every week doing just that so that you have something to do for yourself and not what is expected out of you. Thank you 🧡