REFLECTING ON 2020

2020 has been a year like none before, a year when the world stopped. There are a few things I learnt that I cannot forget.

1. THE UNIMAGINABLE CAN AND WILL HAPPEN : No one could have ever predicted that the world will grind to a halt.

One cannot control external events in life one can control how one responds to those events.

2. HUMANS CAN ADAPT SOON : The world quickly adapted to the new normal and moved digital. Non essential consumption stopped overnight.

Be flexible, this is going to happen often in the future, entire industries and jobs would get disrupted. One cannot hold on to Ego of the past and not change.

3. WE CAN SURVIVE WITH A LOT LESS : That I could do without buying anything other than essentials for months was a revelation , it was clear that I needed a lot less to survive.

Often we land up buying things we do not need and then stock them to use at some later date . Clutter is stuck energy.

4. CUTTING OUT DAILY COMMUTE SAVED TIME : Locked down travel stopped completely, this resulted in excess time on hand , while some struggled some made best use of the time to self develop.

Cut all non essential travel , it also helps our planet.

5. THERE WAS NO OPTION OTHER THAN GOING DIGITAL : Even those that were reluctant were now forced to go digital. This is a trend that will continue.

Reinvent, Reinvent , Reinvent .

6. REMOTE WORKING WORKS : That I could service clients from across the world has been a plus . All organisations other than those that need physical presence have adapted to remote work.

Interesting thing I notice is that where innovation is needed and deep collaboration is called for teams have started coming together again while the bigger organisations that have process driven work continue remote work.

If you can move to smaller towns with great views , quality of life matters .

8. MORE ME TIME : The time saved on travel did give me lot more time to be with self and reflect , read books , meditate.

Build an inner practice for calm in turbulent times .

Here are a few more tips on things I will follow .

1. Build a contingency fund for emergencies , one cannot predict events that may occur but one can build a reserve that protects against shocks.

So I plan to build a contingency fund besides two years survival fund aside. Before I spend income I will save for contingency, this is the essential.

2. Cut down the non discretionary spends and focus on what is truly important . I have been fascinated by minimalist lifestyle and now I even know it is possible.

3. Invest on experiences, travel places , explore the world post the vaccination. It was something I had postponed , won’t do that again. And travel can be low budget .

4. Make my bucket list of things to do and tick off each one . Life is uncertain don’t wish to die with incomplete dreams.

5. Don’t take life for granted , live every day fully . This is the most important lesson of the pandemic. Live , Love, Leave a Legacy behind.

6. Build inner resilience it is a must , faith , surrender, prayer , meditation are practices I will continue.

7. Keep reinventing and learning new things daily and always be ready for the new world. This is a habit I will never stop.

Finally don’t take life toooo seriously!

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

I LOST A CLIENT AND THIS IS WHAT I LEARNT

Recently one of my clients backed off just when I thought things were looking up , social media presence was up , engagement was high and now it looked the sales funnel would kick in as we identified the niche and the product offering.

And yet the client backed off , why ? “Don’t have the funds and sales have not yet happened so I am unsure of the future.”

I was disappointed, things were just falling into place and looking up . It had just been three months since we began working on the account and we had even compromised on our fees .

So what did I learn ?

1. WHO : This is the most important question, clearly decide who is your client for the product or service you wish to offer .

In this case even before I took on the client I knew that the budgets were tight and social media needs time to build presence , but I had made the mistake of taking on the business.

Looking back I would rather focus on clients who were in it for the long haul rather than let’s see what happens.

2. EXPECTATIONS : It’s important to set clear expectations . Building a brand on social media is a long term game and if the client was not ready to play for the long run , I could just have avoided taking on the client .

This is also fair for the client as they are clear of what to expect . Being optimist is good but it needs to match reality.

3. LET GO : You could make a mistake in the client you picked up but as soon as you realise that something is not clicking take a quick decision and let go . It saves time and effort for everyone .

Let go of clients ;

1. Who don’t see value and are not willing to pay for the value you add . Better focus on those that see value .

2. Who do not commit to what it takes to succeed . If you are not well and you refuse to take the pill the doctor advised, you cannot blame the doctor. Either convince the client on importance of following the plan and if they yet refuse , just get out.

It is important to FOCUS you have limited time and resources . You cannot be everything to everyone.

I feel It’s a good learning to “LET GO OF BUSINESS/ CLIENTS THAT THAT ARE NOT COMMITTED TO CREATE MUTUAL VALUE.”

#Passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

ASK THE QUESTION WHY

One of my clients had set a goal in mind , to get a million followers in a defined period. And I told him that is the wrong place to begin.

Why do we do anything , why do we exist , what is the purpose of it all , these are mans deepest questions . Business or career is not distinct from life , it is part of life , it is where we spend most of our time of waking hours once we get past school and college. Yet we see them as distinct compartments. I see life progress in three stages .

If I look back at my own life the three stages I experienced are :

1. Clean Slate : The early years of life are like a clean slate . Nothing is written , and then impressions are formed , by parents , by family , by society , by the education system . What was a clean slate full of possibilities , gets restricted , the open space shrinks . We get defined , what we can do , what we cannot do , what is possible , what is not possible .

The school , the college , everything defines us , we have to be hammered with education and information to fit in , to be part of the crowd. The clean slate slowly gets filled up , possibilities and dreams are killed.

2. The World : We are told now its time to get serious . Till a stage in life we are sheltered by our parents and then we suddenly go out into the world . The period of learning at school and college is over , now we are told yo enter the real world . Finding a career , making money and then more money , running after fame and power , looking for approval .

This is the phase of being on a treadmill that does not have a stop button.

3. Before the End : At some stage the realisation sets in that the pursuit of happiness is an illusion that is shattered by death. We know that all this life as we know it will end some day , we look back at memories . Studies of people at end of life have found that one of the things that most people regret is not having lived their life fully , not having taken the risks , they played safe and chose to follow the crowd .

We see it and yet we do not see it. Before we know the game is over. It’s too late .

So why am I sharing this in #passionproject , because I feel we need to wake up . We do not have unlimited time on the planet earth, we are travellers here . Asking the deeper questions adds meaning to life , to everyday , it is the reason why we wake up every morning.

FREEDOM : When I peel down the layers I find that the deepest desire we all have is for freedom , freedom to live life on our own terms , freedom to find and live expression for our unique gifts , freedom to live from possibility .

CONTRIBUTION : Before we leave this planet , did we make any difference , we were all born with a unique gift . Did we contribute with our gifts ? Did we sing our song .

PASSION : What is that one thing that we are passionate about , that does not feel like work , that we can keep doing whether it is a weekend or a weekday. If we focus on our passion and become the best at something, not in comparison to others but simply perfect our art whatever that maybe we will be deeply fulfilled.

When everyone is running on a treadmill, it is important to pause , get off the treadmill, step back and ask the deeper questions . Don’t just live , but live a meaningful life. You don’t begin with aiming for a number, you begin with asking “Am I singing my song ? and am I having fun on the journey?”

#passionproject

Sanjay Mudnaney

THE FIELD IN SOCIAL MEDIA

Digital Marketeers need to understand field vibrations , frequencies of their tribes . If you can tap into the frequency of your tribe you will build deep connections .

Fields are alive and have a vibrational energy , human networks are fields . It is almost like culture of countries . You visit one country you find one culture you visit another it completely changes .

The person who visits may remain the same yet each field is different , it has a different culture a different vibration and the individual needs to adapt .

Social Media Fields

Instagram is visual , Facebook is social , YouTube is stories , Linkedin is professional , these are broad vibrations of the social media fields . The go deeper as you connect with tribes in each of these fields .

Tribes have their own frequencies . I was once a part of raw vegan tribe on facebook , the tribe was highly supportive of newcomers who wanted to adapt to a new lifestyle , there were tribe leaders who had mastered the craft of raw vegan food life over the years .

I am part of the Shitzu tribe who are pet parents of shitzus , from their care , to cute and happy stories to grieving the community is a support network across the world .

I maybe the same person but when I move fields I adapt to the energy frequency of the field.

Connecting Frequencies

Digital Leaders need to understand field vibrations , frequencies of their tribes . If you can tap into the frequency of your tribe you will build deep connections .

Much of this is sensing and observation of the community .

I have particularly seen this in cause marketing , the mistake many nonprofit marketeers make is they fail to sense fields and this does not help connect and build tribes .

I am passionate about certain causes but I have yet to see any cause marketing reach me though my interests are clear and available on social media.

My spiritual practice has been a great help in sensing energies of fields , it takes a few moments .

As the world moves digital we need leaders who sense the frequencies of their tribes and communicate accordingly.

Do you sense the vibrational frequencies of fields on social media ?

Sanjay Mudnaney

http://www.crowtales.in

BRAND + GOOD = CHANGE

The future of Brand communication is Storytelling for good in the digital world , stories that inspire change , stories that connect with the heart , stories that are passed on .

The world had changed long before the pandemic , it started with internet , networks could connect across the world , I found one school batch mate and then a few more and then most of them . We met again after 35 years ! This was magic , I could find my school St Xaviers batch of 81 Tribe thanks to the internet . We once again bonded and stories came alive , thanks to the internet.

But then one one more change had already happened and that was the launch of apple smart phone , it was a phone , it was a music pod , it was internet all rolled into one . Over time apps were built that allowed for social connections , that allowed tribes of a few to connect . The smart phone was the world literally in our hands.

When people connected , they shared stories , stories of their lives , they listened to stories , stories that made them laugh , stories that inspired them , people shared stories with their friends and their family members . Like a virus pandemic that we see now spreading across the world , stories spread , the word ‘Gone Viral’ was born.

Control Shift

A bigger shift was occurring in the marketing world . Interruption marketing as we knew it was losing it’s grip , mass media , mass media advertising was losing meaning as consumers could no longer be interrupted . They did not want to be interrupted and they had also lost trust in Brands. They had logged off mass media and switched to consuming content on the smart mobile device .

A bigger shift occurred when price of data fell , now there was no restriction on the quantum of content being consumed , more mobile phones , more data being consumed , this was gradually killing interruption marketing .

Shift to Video

No one would have imagined that anyone could own a personal broadcast network and that could be beamed across the world . So long as you had a single viewer that was sufficient. Long tail had arrived. Influencers arrived , they were the new media , they could influence decisions.

As networks improved along with fall in data prices video became the primary data consumption capturing 80% of the data traffic.

Now stories were being told on video and stories were being shared across platforms like YouTube, facebook , Instagram , Linkedin.

Brand Story

Brands saw the shift from mass media to digital , from advertising to entertainment and they started to shift . Brands were now telling stories to capture audience attention , they are entertaining , educating , informing , there is a shift .

Brand for Good

There was another challenge that was faced by Brands , Brand Trust was at an all time low and in the post COVID world this is even more true , consumers expect Brands to be compassionate , they need to move from selling to connecting . These are troubled times where consumers feel the need to be cared and supported . Brands that care are top of the mind of consumers.

Amongst the gloom and doom consumers are looking for stories of good , stories of hope . Brands need to connect with stories of good .

Time for Good Stories

As head of social responsibility and Co-Founder of Mastek Foundation, I could see that there was a gap between doing good , philanthropy and business purpose . Now they all come together . They are not different divisions . Thankfully I wore both the the hats , head of marketing communications and head of Corporate Social Responsibility. I saw this change early.

When I combined the idea of students working on projects to build IT solutions for social sector with mentoring from Mastek employees I found I was building a strong employer Brand Story.

The Future

The future of Brand communication is Storytelling for good in the digital world , stories that inspire change , stories that connect with the heart , stories that are passed on . These would be stories told through visual mediums. There are so many good stories to be told.

Brands exist for a purpose and it is time to tell those stories . Every Brand has its own broadcast channel , its time to put the switch the channel on.

I am now on a mission to connect Brands with Good through Storytelling on good in the digital world.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder http://www.crowtails.in

Founder http://www.brandforgood.in

I WANT MILLION FOLLOWERS

One of my prospective clients said “I want to have a million followers on social media ”

The internet , social media and the smart phone changed our world . Today anyone can own a personal media company and broadcast their message , there are no gatekeepers. Daily millions of messages are being broadcast from personal social media accounts, a few of them get followed and a few of them get followed again and again a over time a few start getting millions of followers.

They all have million followers

The Dalai Lama has over 19 M followers on twitter , Industrialist Anand Mahindra has 7.8 M followers on twitter , Jay Shetty has 6.2 M followers on Instagram , Marie Forleo has 6.5 M followers on YouTube , Sadhguru has 5 M followers on YouTube , GarryVee has 2.72 million followers on YouTube, Simi Arora has 35 k followers on Linkedin and Puru has a few hundred followers , “who is Puru?” you may ask , I will tell you in a while .

What is common amongst all of them ?

1.They are all passionate about what they do

2.They did not chase followers , their tribes are built by value they add to their followers

3.They are out to change the world in their way

4. they are focused

5. they are persistent

They begin with passion

None of them began by chasing millions of followers . They began by being passionate about their craft in whichever field they belong to . And they mastered their work with years of hard work and practice , whether it is as a spiritual guide or a business leader , coach , actor or an influencer it has taken them years to get there.

If anyone tells you that there is “get rich quick , get a million followers in days , he is selling snake oil , run”. There is no substitute for passion , focus and persistence .

I spoke to Simi Arora , she gave up her corporate job to become a full time life coach because she figured out that is what she is passionate about , her own experiences in life going through depression , her struggle pulled her towards her calling as life coach. She has been guiding her tribe with a thoughtful message a day on Linkedin over the past 3 years.

They begin with a question “what can I change in the world ?”

Their passion is the driver , they connect it with their idea to change the world , Mr Anand Mahindra being an industrialist and a business tycoon shares stories of inspiration and support to small entrepreneurs on twitter , Rahul Subramaniam has been lighting up the world for his Linkedin followers during lockdown with his comedy series ‘building uncles’. Each one in their own small way is changing the world . It could be making people smile , find inner peace in troubled time , getting to live a health life , helping them reverse disease , entertaining their fans , teaching healthy cooking , they all are out there to make a difference with their passion.

The question to ask is not “How will I get a million followers?” but “what difference can I make in the world ? ”

But I am no leader

Puru works at Decathlon cycling division at R City mall , Mumbai, he is a passionate cyclist himself and cycles to work . He is passionate about helping other cyclist . He created a WhatsApp cyclist group and organises weekend cycling rides , he supports cyclists . He does not sell , he guides you to take the best decision . he enrolled me on the cyclist group when i visited Decathlon to buy a cycle , though I purchased a Trek bike , he has kept in touch . He even did a video call to help me set up my home trainer at 9 pm in the night and the next day though me how to change home trainer cycle tyre.

Every organisation would love a Puru , He is indispensable for Decathlon. He is not even in any leadership position , but yet he is a leader and he understands building tribes . He brings smiles to cyclist and those exploring cycling. He has a few hundred followers.

I saw a traffic cop recently in Pune , he was different , he danced while managing traffic and enthralled the people , made their day with his moves , one sees so many traffic cops this guy was different , he was not a leader but he had his followers , the day he is not at that junction he will be missed . He is passionate about his job and he is out there changing the world , making the world a bit happier for the motorist who pass by near him.

Puru , the traffic cop , the influencers no one began with the goal of having millions of followers in mind , they began with with their passion and desire to make the world a better place with their gift.

Be Authentic

Whatever is their idea or belief tribe builders are authentic . What they do and follow is not a fad or the ‘in thing’ , they do it because they believe in strongly. Milind Soman a model turned fitness brand ambassador is a avid bare foot runner he is a iron man and puts himself through the grind to stay in shape . It is hard work , this is not just a camera moment , fitness is his life. Only then when he builds a movement around Pinkathon it works because he has credibility , hundreds of women join the fitness movement for a cause.

Stay Consistent

The Dalai Lama has been spreading the message of peace all his life , Punit Rao has been sharing his fitness tips on Instagram for many years , Simi has been adding value to her tribe on Linkedin for over 3 years ! Be regular , share your gift with your tribe . One of the problems I see with Non Profits I talk to is the lack of regular effort to build tribes . This cannot be a sporadic exercise to connect with your tribe , it needs frequency to keep up the engagement.

Anyone can build a tribe , you have free access to your own broadcast channel on social media . Are you ready ? Stop now and ask the question “What am I passionate about ?” , “What do i want to change in the world ?” !

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject