Winter is coming!

So, I sent this email to some people that I work with. Triggered by some incidents at work. What those incidents were, different talk for a different day. The lesson, pertinent. For each day, for each person. Especially for knowledge workers in this information age and economy. 

Oh, some of my people told me that this sound condescending. Which it may. And if it does, I apologize. But the message is an important one to be sent around! 

Read on... 
So I wrote a 2500-word email on how we need to be reliable as knowledge-workers and a collective and a company and all that. I called it "Winter is Coming" and I meant to say that the way the world around us is moving, most knowledge workers would find it tough to find work in an environment when purses get tightened, costs plummet and more and more people join the workforce. 
But in the morning while I was editing it, the email disappeared.
And there went my angst with it.
I think it was good that it disappeared - I had written nasty things in it. 
Well, that email was triggered by three separate instances of people telling me that people I promote (you guys, your ideas, and your companies) are NOT reliable at all. 
Let that sink in. 
Not reliable at all. 
I was told that we promise the world and then we don't deliver. Heck, chuck the delivery, we don't even call back. We go radio silent for days. Clients keep chasing us but we don't take their calls, we don't respond to their messages while we are active on twitter and all that. 
Guys, everyone can see that you have time for chilling but no time for work. 
And 2 of those 3 told me that they are taking their work elsewhere. We may not be paid a lot by these people - we are in the build phase of our lives - but each interaction, each opportunity is worth a lot! We can't afford to lose opportunities. 
Boys and girls, I am ok with sub-standard work but I am not ok with not being reliable. And of course, sub-standard work is not cool. We must strive to do great work. More on this someday later.
So, as someone who has partnered with you (or hopes to partner with you soon), I can not have this.
I will not tolerate that we are not reliable.
If we cant deliver a certain thing, we MUST say so.
In as many words.
If we cant deliver, let's apologize and not keep them guessing.
It's ok to say no. But it's not ok to not deliver. 
In the business we are in, reliability is THE most important thing ever. If we cant be reliable, we have no rights to be in the business. In fact, we will be out of business before we know it. The world is run by people that are reliable. You could be the most brilliant person ever but if you are not reliable, you are nothing. I learned the lesson the hard way. Till a few months ago I was loose with what I said. But I am changing and improving. And can I request you to please improve as well, please? 
Each of you is better than me.
And I am super proud of what you do and super grateful that I know you and work with you.
But I am NOT ok with this thing about being unreliable.
This may be a tiny thing for you - for the world, it is LARGE.
Think of the times when you have promised things and not delivered. Swap yourself with the person you promised things to. Now, if someone tells you that something will be done by a certain time and then they don't do it, how do you feel? That is how the world feels when you don't call them back or do as promised. 
Not pointing fingers at any one person in particular. Just want to make sure you know who we are. Reliable. Trustworthy. Accountable. People that believe in Zubaan Ki Keemat. 
Ok enough. Have to go. That's the lesson for the day. I get so riled up with this! Imagine if I can write these 500 words dripping with exasperation, imagine the effort I had put in for that 2000-word essay! May I will re-write that 2000-word essay. But for the time being, the word reliable has to be tattooed on our foreheads. Please :D 
Love you guys!
PS: Not every one of you is unreliable. But I want to reinforce this as the number 1 thing that we stand for. 
PPS: Sending this to some people that I don't work with right now but am hoping to work with, in the near future. Please tolerate this outburst :)

The Birthday Blues

So, for the record, birthdays are the absolute worst thing in the world for people who are underachievers and are not ok with their underachievement.

You know what am saying? Some people do well for themselves. Most people don't and yet they are ok with it. And then there is a handful like me who want to do really well really bad and are unable to and have no clue what to do about it. And for people like that, people like me, birthdays are the worst thing ever.

The very idea that I am a year older with nothing tangible or emotional to show for is the worst ever. Most years I escape the feeling when I get away from the world I know and thus even the idea that it was the day when you were born almost 4-decades ago. This year, thanks to the lull in the business and dwindling bank balance, I had to stay put. And it was a terrible decision. I should've gone away.

Anyhow. So because I could not get away, I was watching this documentary on Bill Gates - where he is talking about his life and what he wants to do with it. And there's just one word that came to my head as I was seeing it. Wow.

Bill is a living example of what exemplary achievement is. On all counts. Business. Impact. Philanthropy. Investing. People. Growth. Partnership. Relationships (though he could do better on that count). Think of a thing and he has excelled at it.

Now, look at me. All 37 years of my existence. What do I have to report for these years?


But then, thanks to Bill, I am inspired to do more with my life. Really am. But I am also a tad bit depressed about my inability to have led a meaningful life. Or have any impact. Or reach any sort of success with anything. It's been 37 years and these years that I have spent amount to nothing.

I don’t have a thing that people evaluate others on - financial savings, tangible assets, intangible impact, etc. I don’t have a thing that will be remembered after I am gone. Fuck the legacy - I don’t care what happens when I am gone but I want to make a tangible difference to the lives of people around me. And beyond. I have nothing of that sort happening. If I had a fat-ass naukri, I would tell myself that at least I have this fat bank balance. But that too is, well, blue!


Chalo, enough.

Hope tomorrow is a little better.

#untitled - 20092019

Yo Fam (see am a hipster - I call readers "fam". If you are old like me, you may want to read what fam means here)!

Trust you are well. I am ok. I could be better though. Such is life. You know, ups and downs. Ebbs and flows. Light and darkness. Yin and yang. Yes and no. Fuck I can make a long list of dualities that us humans are subjected to all the time! But that's not the point of this post. The point is, well, no point.

Thing is, I haven't written for a while - not here, not on book2 (which is a focus area for me this month), not on SoG (even though, thanks to a tweet by Ashish, it got more than 20 new subscribers), not on my echoChamber, not on my tracker that tracks EVERYthing I do. Heck, I am not even posting on twitter (well, I am. But not as much as I would like to).

There's this lull. I think its a reflection of how things are around us. Almost everyone including me seems to be struggling to make ends meet (except the ones that have stable naukris - and what's a stable naukri, well I don't know). And because there is this general pessimism, it probably has trickled down to me. And you know these things tend to have a feedback loop. I am not happy. That means I don't feel like working. I am not working and hence I am not creating anything. I am not creating anything, I don't see the output. I don't see the output, I don't get happy. And I get unhappier. And the thing spirals down to a point where I hit rock bottom.

This spiral had to be broken. And that can only happen if you are creating (in my case). Works different for different people. So, I am back to creating. Starting with this blog. And then extending this to work. And beyond.

You know, how they say that you can't control shit that happens in the world but you can control how that manifests at your end? That!

That's about it for the time being. Good to be back.

Oh and in case you did not spot anything amiss, I think I would say I've done a great job. And if you did, pray tell me. And if you don't care, well, who does :D

Hello, September!

I send a monthly letter to a few people that have helped me grow in my career. This is a slightly edited version of this. If you want me to add you to this list, please do let me know.

Hello, September!

This is Saurabh and this is the September version of my monthly emails to people who care :) In case you forgot what I wrote in August, it's archived here.

August was long and yet it flew away faster than the fastest Bullet Train that has been promised to us Indians. August was faster than you can blink. I mean I couldn't even read and respond to your emails and the month had gone by!

I will talk about what I did in August, but before anything else, thank you!

Thank you! 
For being around.
For helping me when I was in a soup.
For tolerating these emails.
Even if you don't read these, the thought that you are reading these emails keeps me going. You know, Eklavya?

So, in August, I had said I'd do the following...
a. Finish Show Bible for my second book
No, I did not do it.
I tried. I could not.
It is taking longer than I expected. I did put in the effort and yet it is far from the finish. It is taking me longer. I will work on this in September as well.

b. Lose 1 inch from my waist.
I did this one.
Thanks to a combination of a lot of things - sleep, tracking what I eat, mindful snacking, a 3-day fast to get into the healthy habit and walking more than what I would typically walk. And a lot of effort from BR on helping me understand the importance of food.

I want to lose another inch this month. Even though I am on the road a lot this month, I am hoping to add running / brisk walk to my fitness regimen this month on. More on this in a bit.

c. The other notable things that happened in the month of August 2019 are... 
  • #tnks (my first book) got shortlisted at the South Asian Film Market at Singapore South Asian International Film Festival. Was a big deal for me. I hope it gets picked up and gets converted into a film. If it does, it will be a step closer to where I want to be as a writer. Also, when I was in Singapore, I understood how much harder and smarter I need to work to be able to reach where I want to be! I learned a lot and I was left humbled. I even wrote a short post on it. If you are curious, you may read it here.
  • Bin Bulaye, the first short-film I co-produced with a couple of people is now ready for release. This officially makes me a filmmaker that has shipped some content and marks the start of my career as a filmmaker. The next step is another short and then after a series of such steps, someday, an actual feature. Oh, for the next short, I am raising money. In case you know people who want to fund indie, short films, do connect. Please note that "investing" in a short film does not give any returns per se - so these are risky "assets" (the largest return you'd get is bragging rights). And if you want an esoteric answer, as a filmmaker (or a creative individual), you do these things and put your life and money and effort and blood and toil and everything else into the art to be able to open the eyes of people who've shut them tight. Indie films allow you to do that.
  • Launched will chronicle the journey of a dear friend Sujoy and his wife as they attempt to become the most-traveled couple from India. So far they've been to 120+ countries. I am helping them put the website and a partner in the online piece. Let's see how it goes.
  • Gave my first paid-for talk on a stage to an audience of 100 odd people. On branding and storytelling. And oh boy, what a bad job I did there! I need to work hard on my presentation skills. I am thinking I will join some acting school or something to improve how I talk and how I conduct myself on stage. Thankfully the presentation I made at Singapore about my book was pretty cool. Phew!

So, September.
In this month, I plan to work on the following...

a. Show Bible for the second book
Been on this since August 19.
It is taking longer and from what I've seen, it will take more than just a month :(
So, even though I will gun for a finish in September, it may stretch into October. Let's see.

b. Start running
Not walking, not jogging. Running.
This means that I need to be able to 4 kilometers in 30 minutes.
I know it is not fast. But that is what I hope to do. To start with.
If I can do this, in October, I will add weights to my training regimen.

c. Get up and running
I've always wanted to have a home for all that I do and think and play with and all that.
I've had the domain name for a while but never cared to work on a website.
In Sep, I will.
And along with the website, I will stop underselling myself and start marketing myself.
No, I don't want to go overboard but I want to be known a tad more. After all the size of opportunities you get is a function of the number of people you know! This thing about being known more has got reinforced after the trip to Singapore. In fact, I ran an experimental survey where I asked people to tell me what they think of me and this is what they had to say. Not really in the zone that I want people's perception to be about me, but it is a great starting point.

d. Do a one-month reading deep-dive into one specific topic
I plan to read about one topic in as much depth as I can. And then try to put a blog post about it. For example, can I read A LOT about whatever Warren Buffet has said (and see all his videos) and then catalog them into a nice note that can be a primer for others? Much like what Tim Urban is attempting about "everything". Or what Julian did for writing, muscle, and growth. And of course, I will continue to read about a wide range of things, apart from this one thing. I just need to find a subject. If not Warren, then maybe I'd read about crypto. Or about what Jeff has said? What do you think will be in demand in times to come?

e. Work towards creating a business that takes me beyond India
The intent is to go global and have reduced dependency on the motherland for my survival and growth.

And why would I do that? Long story. I'd write a post about it someday.

But help me. I can straddle between digital marketing, events, and strategic marketing. If you know of opportunities, would love to pitch in. And apart from that, please do tell me what other things could be done that take me beyond the borders. I've been meeting people and I have some ideas but I need more help.

That's it. That's how September is going to be. And no, these are not too many things.

So that’s about it.
Thanks again for your patience.
And all the help.

Hope you have a good day and a good month ahead.
Please do let me know if I could be of any service to you.

Gratitude and Respect,


Saurabh Garg
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Updates from previous months - 0819


Previous updates: Aug 2019
All posts here.

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

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