Quarterly Update – JFM 2021

The quarterly update for JFM of 2021. I talk about things I did, I missed, lessons I learnt and plans for the next quarter.

This is a letter that I send to some of my mentors, friends, clients, and others that have shown a disproportionate interest in my life. Since I am embracing living in public, here is the unedited letter for everyone to see, read, consume, comment on, etc.

In case you don’t want to read this longish letter, an abridged version is here.

Hello! Hello!

So, you may remember me from conversations that we’ve had over the years (or recently, in some cases). This is my periodic update to people like you that have shown an active interest in my life. Even though brevity is not my cup of tea, I will still try to make this email as short as I can. Here we go…

I am not sure how it’s been for you, but for me, JFM 2021 has been a turnaround compared to how 2020 was.

For starters, I am generally more hopeful about life and things. This has happened because I was lucky to have landed a couple of projects that are paying me well, making me learn new things and connecting with new people. Yay!

Further, I am a little more grounded. Physically (thanks to COVID) and metaphorically (thanks to all that’s in my head).

Finally, I am very very happy that my loved ones and I are safe in these uncertain times. I do have a few friends that get infected but most of those are doing ok. Phew! Hope you guys are good as well. Please stay safe, stay indoors and stay cool!

So, coming to the report for Q1, here we go…

A. Wins / Achievements

  1. As we speak, I am on a 119-day streak of writing every day. I have not missed a single day! You can check out some of the posts here. Knowing myself, this is probably my biggest achievement of the last quarter.
  2. I now ‘live in public’. It translates into my intention of getting my thoughts, actions, and reality in sync. See some posts here. This was one of my goals for the year. I am embracing it and I count that as a win. Must write a longer post on this sometime.
  3. AD, the team and I took The Podium into another unchartered territory with events and masterclasses. In the event, we invite some established founders / investors as jury and give aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their startups to them. The idea is not to get them to a funding round per – if that happens, great. But the larger intention is to give the participants feedback on what they are up to. The next one is on the 24th of April. Lemme know if you want to attend. This is important to me as it takes me a step closer to being a VC.
  4. I am now live on Youtube. This is the first time ever that I have appeared on the Internet. This allows me to now chase more opportunities on Youtube. Let’s see where it goes.
  5. On the work front, I continue to work as a brand planner for a digital agency. I also picked an additional project to help market a cloud-computing tool. Both these are ongoing engagements and I think I need one more project and I’ll be sorted. Help me find this additional project? Other things like Podium, PPP, TRS remain on the back burner for me to be honest. I need daal roti right now.

B. Losses / Shortcomings

As against the planned goals for 2021 (listed here), here is what I have missed…

  1. No action on #book2. I think I am fooling myself that I want to write a book. If I wanted to, I would do something about it. I mean I have been writing morning pages for 100+ days and I ensure that they get written. But the book, I don’t even get started! I don’t know why. There’s something in me that makes me want to not let go of this. And then there’s something that makes me want to not even get started.
  2. I had planned to do a project a month. We are in April and I don’t have a single project to talk about. May be I will ship one of those this month. Or may be a quarter. Let’s see.
  3. I have yet to take any action on fitness so far. I am not walking, I am perpetually tired. I am not eating right. I don’t know what to do about this.

Apart from these, here are the things that I could’ve done better.

  1. I still have a hard time saying no to things. A lot of my actions are still guided by emotions (I am far from becoming a robot). I need to be this. Don’t ask me why. I just think that you need to be attached to the outcome, rather than actions.
  2. I remain a fool and a sucker for approval from people and I continue to be taken for a ride!
  3. I am still unable to close windows. Read more about it here.
  4. I wanted to start the Marketing Connect Podcast Season 2 but I haven’t been able to. I had to prioritize and focus on work that gives me revenue and a stronger shot at connections. More on this in a bit.
  5. I was unable to find a place in Goa. Rather, I am back in Mumbai. Stuck here to be close to opportunities, reliable Internet, and well, people! The time I spent in Goa between December and March was great fun. Even though the world is moving to Goa and is happily working from there, I haven’t been able to. The simple reason is that I refuse to live in a “city” like Panjim / Porvorim. And the phone / internet remains unreliable at non-cities like Anjuna / Vagator. And I need reliable, fast access to communication for work I do. I wrote this long post on my Goa experience. Of course, I will have a leg in that place. Let’s see when and how.

C. New projects that I am excited about? What do I plan to do in the next 3 months?

As always, I am that kid in the candy store and I keep looking for things to work on. Here are some old / new toys that I am incredibly excited about. Maybe these could be the things that I will ship in AMJ!

  1. The SoG Book. I want to bind some of my best letters into a book that I share with people. For some reason, a finished product delivers a better impact than an ongoing one.
  2. The Investor Thesis podcast. Along with the marketing podcast, I am now working on the investor’s one. I want to learn more about how to make investment decisions as I move beyond what I already know. If you know any VCs, do connect me, please.
  3. The Killer Boogie routine. See this. I am told you can master this in 20 days. I am giving myself a quarter.

Apart from these three large things, I also will also work on the following…

  1. The SoG Grant. The idea is to support creators with a no-strings-attached, microgrant for a project of their choice. More here.
  2. Get active on doing video. All this while I did not want to be on the Internet But I realize that with time, I cannot avoid that. So, why not embrace it? And thus, I will get active on video. Just that the world has had enough and more gyaan on youtube. Who needs yet another person paddling common sense on Youtube? Plus, the production quality is already through the roof – better cameras, tight scripts, slick editing, gaming of algorithms, and all those hidden tricks of the Internet! I don’t think I stand a chance. But that’s the fun. No? Let’s see though how it pans out.
  3. Oh, I may also raise about 5 crores from friends and family to create a micro VC fund to support aspiring entrepreneurs with angel rounds. I am doing this with a couple of friends. In case you have money that you are ok to lose in order to support other entrepreneurs, please do let me know.

D. What help do I need on?

So, apart from the things that I talked about above, there are indeed a few things that I need help on. Here’s a list.

  1. Connect me with the biggest hustler you know of. You know, someone who’s out there seeking work, delivering work, making connections, doing things that are out of their league.
  2. Help me get “meaningful” work and keep me away from a Naukri! In the past, I have worked on events, brand strategy, digital marketing, product, and more. I know this sounds scattered but I do have the requisite expertise and demonstrable experience. Do help me find gigs (freelance please) with businesses that are doing interesting and impactful things. I want to stay away from the run-of-the-mill stuff, please. 

E. Finally, what can I help you with?

If there is anything that I can help you with, please do let me know. I am very handy with marketing, content, the Internet, and more. Plus, I am told I am very resourceful ;). Please DO ASK!

***

So, this is about from the update. Thank you so much for reading this. And your patronage and attention. Means a lot! 

Thank You!
Saurabh Garg
Andheri, Mumbai
10 April 2021

PS: Should you want to give me anonymous feedback on this email (or anything else under the sun), please use https://forms.gle/28bVP8DYz2WGdHdp8. And yes, I LOVE not-so-kind, brutal, and honest feedback.

Here are previous updates.
2021 – Annual Goals
2020 – Annual GoalsJanFeb-MarApr-MayJun-Jul-Aug
2019 – AugSepOctNovDec