So there are quite a few things I want to talk about in this post - after all been sometime since I posted. And beware, this will be a longish one. In case you want to read. Get a coffee maybe?
P.S.: If you do read these posts, please please do tell me. I need to know if you do. I am actually thinking of writing a monthly newsletter to people who care (and to people who I want to care for me). Let's see what I do about it. But do let me know if you want to receive it. Here is a form that you may use.
Without further ado, rants for the day...
So work is going ok. In 3 short months since I started (and 15 long months since I quit my last full-time job), I've seen ups and downs already. I have won clients, lost clients, clients have disappeared, someone has taken money and not delivered and everything in between has happened. I've been lucky and I've been unlucky and nowhere else has "this too shall pass" been so accurate!
I am actually making decent money (though I need to make a lot more and I define decent as being able to pay for expenses at home and yet having something in the bank) and doing some ok work. Need to upgrade what I do and make more more than decent. Of course its tough.
Decent is happening because am juggling two things and it's not easy. No, I am not saying this because I want this to be glamourous about what I do. But because I love both things. I can't choose one over another. Call it lack of focus but I can't. One is live experiences (events, travel, adrenaline rush) and Two is communication (brands, behavioural science, communities, platforms, social, networks, people and such). I wish there was a way to marry the two.
To do more than decent, I will have to put more than decent effort.
Anyhow. The point is not work. The point is that I am now seeing my limitations as an individual and as a professional. I've always taken pride in being the supercool and super-great guy who can do everything but now I am realising that I am not as cool as I think I am. Lemme give an example.
I have realised that I am super good (may be even great) with getting things done. I am a great manager and I can deliver. But I suck at ideas. And I suck so bad that I can't crack new clients if I dont take external help. Funny because I believe that no one wants brilliance with ideas - they rather want predictability in delivery. But then to be able to get the client on your side, you need to show your prowess with ideas. And I suck at it. It's almost like a vicious circle. Almost. But it is.
I spoke of this problem to friends and mentors. I was told to hire talent. But who would want to work for a nameless, directionless dude like me? I haven't won any awards, I have no portfolio to show (which clients are also surprised about - after all I've been a pony all my life and haven't done any award winning work), I have no contacts in the industry, I dont inspire people. I can't mentor. I can't teach. I dont offer any reason to anyone to work with me. Unless they are desperate. Or delusional. And no, I cant pay. No I am not whining - just putting facts on paper.
So what is the way out? I dont know! Do you? Help me!
The other example of my limitation is the constant struggle to grow. Thing is, all my life, I've worked with agencies with deep pockets (CLA had a rich client when they started, Gravity had years of experience and SWL was profit making). I've always had a structure to support me. I was not responsible for paying salaries. This time, there is nothing except the thin air beneath my feet. So that sucks.
There are more things I can talk about that talk about my limitations but guess you get the point. I am not as cool as I think I am. And I need to accept it.
I shall at some point write a longer post about about and my operational issues (BD, Hiring, Delivery etc) and strategic issues (Why am I doing this? What is my objective? What is the big picture? The purpose etc). Some day!
I restarted Yoga with Shameem. And like last time, shes ensuring that I dont aggravate my hernia. It's been 5 classes and I know that my body has deteriorated so much in the last year. And more importantly, just like work, Yoga is making me aware of my limitations (the physical / mental / emotional ones).
And it's humbling to see an old man do asanas with ease and grace while you struggle to even get into the formation. Simple thing like touching the toes without bending the knees seems like a task (and there was a time when I could do it as if I did not have a spine). But I shall get back to shape. I like being active and I need to get back.
So I hope I continue going to her. I know that these are tiny steps towards reaching my #lifeGoals of running a marathon and climbing the Everest. And may be other goals as well!
C. Kindness of strangers
The most recent fan mail for #tnks came from a 70-year old man, a retired banker, from Telangana. He used the kindest words ever and I was so touched, so thrilled that I wanted to get the second book out that day itself. Of course the book is long way from completion but I do aim for a end-year release. Thank you Sir for writing in. Hope I dont disappoint you with Book2.
Then, Rana Sir gave me another advance yesterday. I will use his advance to work on the next book and get the Hindi edition of #tnks out.
Then, last week two people (unrelated to each other) sent me two separate "feelers" about trying to put some sense into me.
First, this lady read the blog and without knowing me personally took pains to write to me to tell me about specific things that she has inferred from the blog. She thinks I whine a lot and I am concerned about my fitness. She may be right about fitness but I sincerely think that I dont whine as much. I could be wrong - lets see. What do you think?
And if I do come across as a cry baby, I need to send out better vibes. I can't change my situations but I can change the way I look at them (glass half-full). So, thank you N. Hope you see a measurable change in how I write and the vibes I send out. Hope you continue to read. And I will summit the Everest.
The other person sent a longish whatsapp message. Again telling me of things that I need to improve on. I am on it. Thank you A.
D. Travel Book
A new project. I have decided that I will start work on the travel book. With Vivek. He is my travel partner (apart from R & gang and sgMS) and in one of the random WhatsApp conversations it popped up that we ought to do a travel blog together. And here I am. I've added it to the list of things to be done in this year. Lets see when we get around to doing it. I suck at travel writing and I know I need to improve on it. It can only happen with practise. I did write one (on Udvada) and I will write more as I start going out to travel. If... if only he finds time to meet me.
So that's all I have for the day. But before I disappear again, here is a pic that I took at a Starbucks. *drops hint at Vivek*
Over n out!
P.S.: I will try to make the next post soon! Do fill in the form at the top of this page.