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

060321 – Morning Pages

Update on new projects, personal board, irrational attempts at finding peace in religion, chase of fame and more. Read on.

4:42 AM. Yeah. That early. I just woke up. Eyes are still groggy. I am yet to even wash my face. I slept early last night. Actually not slept. I forced myself to sleep. There’s a lot on my head but I am not sure I want to write about it here. I know I promised to live in public but there are a few things that I am still not ready to share with the world. There are other things that I can talk about. Let’s go!

So I have decided that am going to be in Mumbai for the next three months. At least. So the Goa experiment is done for the time being. Unless I can do things from here. Not sure if that’s meaningful. Or may be I will travel there on this weekends as I stabilize things. Let’s see. For the time being, I need to get some stability in life in terms of money (not career) and that may not happen when I am in Goa. So, Mumbai.

At a new project level, I have started to work two things. I’ve been working on these for a while now but made a promise in my head over the last few days about these and then actioned baby steps on these.

  • A, An anthology film project. If there’s anyone that wants to contribute, happy to share more details. I will need to hustle like mad to get it going. Let’s see what I do. I am giving myself this year for it.
  • B, The Investor Thesis Podcast where I plan to record with investors and see what they’re up to.

More on both these in next few days.

In other news, went to one of the marquee address in Mumbai yesterday for a meeting. I was bowled over by the lavishness. This is exactly the kind of place i had hoped I would get to live in life. May be this is life’s way of showing me that acche din are around the corner? #lifeGoal

After the meeting, I walked around for a bit yesterday. And it felt good. Even though the chappal I walk in is broken and all that, I walked and it felt really nice. Now that I have decided to be here, may be I will add at least the commitment to walk in the list of things that I do? In Goa, to be honest, I didn’t really walk. Even to pick up water, I would take a scooty.

Oh, yesterday, I was so fucked in the head (about the thing that I refused to talk right at the beginning that I needed to let the steam). And there was no way to do so. I mean there’s no one who understands me or who I can talk to about. So I walked around. And took a step in the direction of being irrationally religious. It sucks. I can see myself falling down the rabbit hole and I don’t know how to stop it. I know that the concept of God and religion and a higher power is flawed and for the weaklings. But when I walked, I moved in the direction of Siddhi Vinayak. I have scoffed at religion and temples and all that all my life but for some reason, I felt compelled to walk there. I even looked up direction on maps. All this while I did not want to go there. And yet I continued to walk there. And then I reached. No, I did not go outside. No, I didn’t feel anything special. No, I was not elated. But I did walk till there. But I walked till there and then took a cab home. And I did. I think this is how people become superstitious. Weak moments make men do funny things. Let’s see if I do this again.

Yesterday, I took Krishna’s advice where he said that every time I spend any discretionary money, I must save an equivalent amount. I started already with it. Let’s see if I can continue with it.

Oh, I connected a mouse to this computer and wow, I love it! Lol.

Ok, each passing day I realize that I need to get famous. No one appreciates what you do and what your ideas amount to. But if you are famous, even your discarded napkins are useful. I know that I am not inherently talented and I thus need to work hard. And that means I need to up my creation and distribution game by multiple notches. Yeah yeah, easy thing is to work on #book2. But then I am sort of unable to even start it! Maybe just like today, I will wake up at this ungodly hour and I will dedicate these few hours to book2? But what about the time I need to deliver on three jobs that am juggling at the same time? Arrgghhh, damn these questions. Life would be far simpler if I had a rich father, rich girlfriend, or a cushy corporate naukri where I would push papers and live easier. I don’t praise myself a lot and I am not trying to compare myself to others but I think the way I have been able to cope with disappointments one after other, I am good! Lol! Vain, Mr. Garg, fucking seeking validation all the fucking time!

I also spoke to VK about random things yesterday. With her, I have actioned that idea where I want to make my personal board a little more active. She has consented to be the first member. Yay! I will add more people over the next few days. I am hoping to have about 10 people there. Each has to be honest, upfront, invested in my success, and must want to help me reach greatness. Let’s see how it goes.

So, this is about for the day. Need to get moving with work. Quite a few things on my plate. Over and out.