THINGS THAT NO LONGER IMPRESS ME

  1. Name brand of clothing

As long as it is comfortable and fits well I don’t care.

  1. The price of the car

My current car the Honda City is over eight years old and it serves me well , does the work of transportation when I need.

  1. Square footage of home

A smaller home is easier to maintain, I am not impressed with bigger homes.

Our current home that is around 1000 sq ft with a space for my WFH that is sufficient.

  1. Amount of money in the bank account

Nothing wrong with money , it is exchange for Value you bring to the world, it lets you live life on your own terms .

But beyond a point it only matters if you can help others or what good you can do in the community with what you earn.

The lockdowns have demonstrated how little we need to live.

  1. Gadgets we use

I do buy gadgets but as long as they serve my work beyond that I am not interested In buying the latest shiny object that is out there.

  1. Social media likes

People put out pictures of their vacations or food they eat , tell their best stories.

But I know they are only part of the story not the whole story.

I was not always like this , I have changed over time .

I understood that what truly matters is health , family , friends and freedom.

We deeply yearn for ‘Freedom’ to live life on our own terms but we start imitating the culture.

It is not a restricted lifestyle rather it is focusing on what truly matters in life.

I am sure the pandemic has been a wake up call for us to reflect on what is truly important.

Do you agree ?

P.S- ( Need to yet work on the nutrition bit )

SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS HAVE POLARISED/ UNITED OUR WORLD

While in the midst of a worsening pandemic in India I am seeing the worst side and the best side of social media.

In our school alumni group I found there is very strong polarisation for and against political points of views.

This is true globally we saw the same recently in the US . We see different flavours of the same across the world.

The problem gets bad when positions are so strongly held that each is not able to see the other side of the story that the situation reaches a breaking point in long relationships.

And it gets worse with manufactured truth to fit ones world view . The fallout is violence as we saw at the Capitol Hill , it could sow distrust in communities and groups with opposing view points.

Every hour the trends on Twitter change based on the two view points , further adding to bitterness and division.

The hate created is so deep that it has forced platforms to ban certain handles from using their platforms for good.

Is social media responsible for dividing our world?

I remember a time in our early childhood when there was no social media there was lesser polarisation , friendships were not so bitter.

Then again I have not seen any better example of how social media is being used in the worst time during the current pandemic where ordinary people are seeking help and are getting helped by strangers .

Twitter , WhatsApp, Facebook have become a way to reach out and ask for help real time , people who need oxygen or a bed in a hospital or medicines turn to social media.

And they get helped by complete strangers !

Few celebrities have leveraged their social presence to amplify the message of those in need.

Many are using social media to raise funds for oxygen cylinders and concentrator. So many lives have been saved because of social media.

Social media is a double edged sword on the one hand it can divide us as a society on the other hand it can unite the world for good.

Unfortunately politics plays a role , fake news can be easily spread to divide for motives. Those on the edge can be converted with constant visual content.

Interestingly platform algorithms show you more of what you want to see . That is how AI and ML gets smarter. The ultimate objective is to hook you to the platform , to get you spend more time on the platform.

How can we stop hate being spread through social media platforms ? Is there a way out ?

Has social media become a Frankenstein monster that is now difficult to control?

There are no easy answers , there are powerful vested interests.

I would yet say there is enough good about social media which is why it needs to exist . It brings people together, it connects people and hearts .

It is the one thing that has kept us sane in prolonged periods of lockdown.

It is for us the users of social media to keep the balance on the side of good , on the side of humanity and guard against hate and spread love and compassion.

HOW BEING VULNERABLE CAN MAKE A BRAND MORE POWERFUL

A brand is like a living person.

It needs to be authentic to build trust.

No person can constantly be winning.

There will be days of struggle , days of failure.

There are moments of truth.

“Always good” is based on untruth.

Trust cannot be built on “Untruth”.

Can a brand be authentic and own up failure, say sorry ?.

Can a Organisational or Person brand share vulnerable moments ?

It’s difficult to be vulnerable. But it builds trust.

I experienced these both at Mastek where I headed Corporate Communications.

Mastek was the first company in the IT industry to give a profit warning ahead of quarterly results.

There was no precedent.

Obvious repercussions were bad press , investor calls .

Yet it emerged more powerful as a transparent and ethical brand.

The next story is of vulnerability.

Ashank Desai the Co Founder had an difficult early childhood.

There was his story of poverty and struggles.

Ashank has shared his story and lessons to inspire youngsters.

This has made him a strong person brand.

Being Vulnerable is strength.

Real heroes are authentic, they also fall.

Yet they get up and fight back.

Make your brand story more powerful.

Tell a authentic story. Be vulnerable.

A SMALL BUSINESS STORY

Every business has a story.

I met Renuka after my cycling today , she has a food truck that sells healthy detox juices.

I asked her her story.

Renuka had lost her job of 19 years during the pandemic.

She was managing the CRM at a real estate company.

The business vanished , “we were like white elephants for the company, I was fired after 19 years.” she said.

I did not find any regret in her voice.

Renuka has a charming smile and is a happy person.

I proved her further, why healthy juices .

She said her parents suffer from Parkinson’s and diabetes.

She learnt the benefits of healthy juice detox from her grandmother.

One thing has changed for her after she started the business, she now gets up early at 4 am to make the juices.

“ I was never a early person but all that changed after the job loss” she says.

He food truck is called ‘Naividyam’ which means ‘offering to God’.

She is not just in the business of making juices for her her work of healthy juices is an offering to God.

I made a small video on her story from my mobile phone and shared it on my social media.

There are stories and and stories .

We forget to tap into the power of story to build human connections.

When a brand story integrates with that of the customer magic happens.

Renuka can be just running a food truck selling healthy juices , but she has a story.

The story of her struggle , the story of her food truck , the story around her healthy juices , then the stories around her customer.

We forget to tap into the power of storytelling in business.

Renuka is inspiring, I like her spirit to fight back.

She has no regrets but a lot of hope.

That is the story of every business owner. The story of hope despite the challenges.

Tell your story

Sanjay Mudnaney

#brandstory

http://www.CrowTales.in

PUT YOUR EXCUSES ON HOLD

The cage is fictional, there is none , we create our imaginary cage .

The day I understood this I experienced freedom.

When you put your excuses on hold the other side is joy.

In school and then college I was always on the stage participating in elocutions and debates.

I loved the stage and the audience in front of me.

When I would be on stage I would be in a zone.

I loved to communicate ideas , enrol and inspire audiences.

I could get those around me find their expression and express more fully.

But then life happened. I put myself on hold.

There were more important things to do.

“I will do it some other day in the future” I said “when the kids are grown up , when I have enough money in the bank , when I am well settled.”

I kept postponing my dreams to the future.

Then I turned 50 and it occurred to me I have finite time.

One day I made a bucket list and I jumped head on.

I wanted to sing , I went ahead and recorded my first song in a studio. It’s there on YouTube.

My first song recorded in studio

I bought myself a professional home studio equipment , now I sing whenever I feel like.

I wanted to cycle . I was warned it is risky and this is not my age .

I went ahead and bought a cycle , I invested in the best I could.

I am now a cyclist, I cycle every day , weekends is for long distance.

When I cycle , it’s just me and the wind on my face , I can feel the freedom.

I wanted to see the stars I went ahead and bought a professional telescope.

That experience of watching the planets was surreal.

Felt the vastness and being one with existence , limitless.

I wanted to write a fiction story book . I did that and self published it . It’s on Amazon .

I got my first royalty check , felt good.

I wanted to teach non profits the art of fundraising with storytelling.

I travelled to five cities and over 500 non profits in India attended my workshops !

I always wanted to start my business.

I kept postponing afraid of the unknown.

I finally jumped in at 55 !

It is profitable and growing.

But more importantly I am doing what I always loved to do , helping individuals , businesses and causes express themselves fully . Live their potential.

I wanted to tell stories of good through films . I had no experience, no team and zero budgets.

One fine day I just decided I will do it . And that too during peak lockdown !

In a few months we have made over 10 short documentary films .

Launched the YouTube channel’Heroes of India’.

We now release two films a month.

I wanted to camp next to a waterfall overnight in heavy rains.

Camping next to a waterfall

I did that , the sound of the water splashing against the rocks and tapping of raindrops was out of the world experience.

From a typical corporate formal life , no fun wardrobe and look , I decided to just be myself.

A small step but one more step in the direction of freedom.

I love being myself

When I stopped my excuses , I truly found my joy.

Have to do it for pay check was an excuse.

Have responsibilities was an excuse.

What will others think was an excuse.

I cannot do it was an excuse.

I am not capable was an excuse.

I will do it sometime in the future was an excuse.

Excuses kept me safe in my comfort zones.

We have reasons , many excuses, why we postpone life.

We make up by trying to live on the weekends.

We trade our joy with a cage.

Sometimes the cage is golden. Yet is after all a cage.

When I look deeply there was no cage , it is all our own creation.

Now I have stopped all excuses , I have started living every day , every moment.

I have no regrets as every step of the journey has been a learning experience.

I refuse to die with my song in my heart.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

P.S – Passion project is a message, life is finite , don’t die with your song in your heart

WE LIVE A STORY

We are here for a finite time and one day nothing will matter.

Dreams and worries will be buried , turned to ashes when it all ends.

Just in a moment everything will be over.

Finally it all ends , one day sometime in the future even our planet will vanish into a void.

How can we make sense of anything.

What is the point of it all , all our struggles are meaningless.

We add meaning to this seemingly meaningless existence with our Stories.

We seek to be immortal with our Stories as we fear vanishing into a void.

Religion is a Story that gives meaning to our lives .

Country is a collective Story of the tribe.

We are willing to die for our Stories and we are even ready to kill.

We create villains, the others , fight , create divisions with our Stories.

We live and die for our Stories.

All creation happens with a Story.

We create the Story of life after death as not existing does not make sense.

Leaving a legacy is a Story of our desire to be immortal.

We stretch beyond our physical limitations all because of Stories we tell.

In our Stories we have our heroes and villains .

We admire heroes and despise the villains.

We try to be like our heroes as we admire their stories.

We learn to hate our villains.

We try enrol others into our Stories.

Then there are those who we call our leaders who tell us a Story we all buy into.

We hear their Stories, get inspired and become a part of their tribe.

We are not ok is a Story told by advertising.

We need to get somewhere from here is a Story.

From here to there is a Story.

Success is a Story so is failure.

Self identity is a Story.

Yet finally it all ends and nothing matters .

Life is just a grand Story.

We are the Stories we tell .

If this is so why not tell a Story that inspires.

We have the choice , only humans have this choice to choose their Story.

Why not have fun while the Story lasts.

Why not live a Story that makes waking up every morning exiting.

Why live a Story of fear , survival, limitation.

Why not live a Story of gratitude and love.

Remember finally it is all meaningless .

In a moment it all will just vanish.

Till then let us have hell of a ride and live this life Story fully.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

WHAT IS PASSION PROJECT ?

What would you do if you lost your job tomorrow?

You think that is not possible. Think again .

Thousands lost their jobs suddenly overnight during the pandemic. No warning.

One of my colleagues from the first company I worked at connected with me , he was looking for a job , he was desperate , months had passed with no income and bills needed to be paid.

His wife was seriously sick , he did not even have a Mediclaim and medical bills added to his misery.

On the other spectrum I have heard the term repeated ‘Thank God it is Friday’. Employees postponing their lives to the weekend and the next vacation.

This got me thinking, something is wrong in the way we work and plan our careers.

Why would anyone want to trade life to pay the bills ? And yet find themselves suddenly stranded without the means to pay the bills.

I have been blogging on #passionproject for a while now .

In this blog I will answer why I feel this topic is urgent and why this blog.

#passionproject is URGENT because I see everyone is going to be impacted.

Everyone.

It is about emerging of a new world and the way of work and living.

It is not the future but it is happening now at this very moment.

The rules of the new game are that those who play for survival will have the greatest threat to their survival.

Skills that can be defined will be replaced !

They will be replaced by someone or something cheaper somewhere in the world.

Distance will not matter , the work can go anywhere, remote working is no longer a buzz word .

Not just change but speed of change will add to uncertainty in careers and jobs.

Technology developments will cause disruptions.

Entire industries will vanish overnight, a business can get wiped out in no time.

Jobs can be lost suddenly , there will be zero security , not that there was any earlier.

Adapting , innovating and taking risks will be the only way to thrive in the new world.

What worked yesterday will not necessarily work today and definitely not in the future.

Q: So is there anything that is going to be constant and in demand ?

Ans : Yes and the term I use is ‘Passionate Artists’

Passion for what you do as a quality will never fade away.

The world needs passionate individuals ,teams and leaders.

The future is for those who follow their passion and make their work a piece of art.

Art and artists at work will always be in demand because they cannot be replaced by someone or something cheaper.

Artists do not follow the crowd , they create their own art , their life is devoted to mastering their art .

Their art is valued because of the value it brings to the world .

They will never go out of fashion as they are not defined , they are not boxed and they don’t draw boundaries.

They don’t guard territories.

Passionate individuals stand out from the crowd because they are like none , they don’t hide in the crowd , they stand out.

They will challenge the status quo. They will rock the boat.

Passion project is my small attempt to inspire those that have forgotten their dreams , their passion, their art .

By not taking the risk now , by not stepping up to their possibilities, their individuality they are risking their future.

By being in comfort zones , they risk survival. There are no comfort zones any longer.

I see an urgency because those who burry their dream to survive are hurting.

I have seen friends and colleagues lose their jobs some struggle to survive and yet bills need to be paid . They are up the wall.

Passion project is also a soul journey for me to meet passionate people and discover and live my truth.

We all know this , each individual has a gift and it is unique.

Fear of the future and bills that need to be paid holds them back from living fully.

Comfort zones are cozy.

There is urgency also because the time we have on the planet is limited and no point of dying with your song yet in your heart , with regrets of not having lived.

Passion project is a message to discover and live your passion whatever that maybe.

And it is not about money or success or fame . Those are incidental.

The measures of success we have defined as a society are broken .

Living fully in ‘this momentum’ , NOW is all that is to life.

Doing something you ‘hate’ or living for the ‘paycheque’ is not in alignment with why we are here on this planet.

We are here to share our unique gifts with the world.

Also it is not about a goal . It is about the journey. It is about each day , each moment.

It is about being and living authentic life not a projection of others or the society.

It is about living your possibilities fully . It is about singing your song .

Ultimately it is about freedom to choose and living life on our own terms .

Passion project is a urgent call to be more alive , Free , NOW !

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

DROP YOUR AGENDA TO FULFIL YOUR AGENDA!

I have been reflecting on the subject ‘What is the concept of business and why does all commerce exist ?”.

If we look around most of the time of the human race in the world as we see today revolves around the idea of ‘Money’ .

‘Money’ is central to everything, things we can buy , things we can experience, status , power even health services we can access with money.

Either you are a seller or you are a buyer as an individual or as a collective called the organisation.

Employees sell their time and expertise to organisations , organisations sell services , expertise or products to the masses .

Central to every transaction is “Exchange’ and if we dig deeper there is the concept ‘Perceived Value’.

When you dig deeper there you find there is ‘Agenda’ . “Why do we do anything?” . Every human being at any given point has an agenda.

Why do you do a job , why do you run a business, why do your customers buy . There is an agenda .

The agenda is always about ‘Me’ , break it down people are interested in ‘Self’ . No one is interested in the ‘other’ .

This is an interesting contradiction, all the while when any exchange is happening there are two parties and there is an ‘Agenda’ .

Even every noble cause has an Agenda , religion also has an Agenda.

‘Getting’ and Giving’ are two sides of the agenda . And there is fair exchange.

Agenda of Individuals

1. Survive : pay the bills , stay healthy

2. Thrive : fulfil desires

3. Fame : Get recognised and liked

4. Belong : family , friends, community

5. Contribute : Individual talent that is valued in the world , make a difference

6. Spiritual : ( a false belief , those who truly understand would know the falsehood of ego at play ) Going Beyond self

Agenda of Organisations

1. Maximise Profits and returns for stakeholders ethically

2. Consistently Grow in a profitable way

3. Survive through difficult times

4. Solve a problem in the world

How is this useful ?

Whether it is individuals or organisations they have THEIR OWN AGENDAS.

Yet the interesting part is is to fulfil Your own Agenda , you need to fulfil the Agenda of others – whether individuals or organisations!

It is in this space that VALUE Exchange happens. The question individuals and organisations ask is

“What is the Agenda being fulfilled and what the value they get so what is the value they they are willing to pay for”

Naturally low the perceived value , lower the pay.

Perception is not just the quality and quantity of service and product delivered but a more complex equation of how it is seen in the mind . Perceptions are held in the mind . A label can decide the value . It has to do with emotions. The shoes may come from the same factory but add a label and Value jumps . It’s fulfilling an higher agenda of being seen and liked .

Money is nothing but an exchange measure of the perceived Value delivered .

Where things go wrong is when individuals and organisations focus on personal agendas . No one is interested in YOUR AGENDA.

Do you hear these statements

“I want to grow a million subscribers”

“This year we will make a record sale”

“I want to change the world”

No one is interested in your agenda . Full Stop .

The other place things go wrong is when there is safe play . Playing safe you become a commodity. And commodity will be replaced sooner or later with something or someone cheaper .

When organisations become ‘Me To’ and offer commodities the only way to survive is by offering the lowest price.

The way to Thrive with Your Agenda then is

1. Fulfil the agenda of others – solve a problem for clients , customers , employer , donor

2. Be valuable – Don’t follow the crowd , Stand out , be different, be rare , be authentic

HOW I GOT OVER MY FEARS

I had the fear of flying, the fear would begin when I boarded a flight and if there was turbulence I would be in an internal mess .

I have seen panic attacks after I saw a close relative pass away suddenly with a massive heart attack. After the incident, I would land up in ERs at night with breathlessness , I was told that I am experiencing a panic attack . Nothing helped , no advice helped .

Today I love to fly places, turbulence is ok (unless it’s real bad ( : ) . I can walk into a cemetery , talk about death and be ok , panic just vanished never to come back.

How did this change occur?

1. Face the fear : I was running away , I wanted to run away . One day , I stopped, looked at fear in the eyes . Felt the fear in my body . I did not run . I got on the other side of fear and it vanished.

2. What is the worst that can happen ? I asked this question and the answer was “I will die”. And then it struck me “I am going to die anyway one day , everyone is going to die one day , why die NOW ! I will die when I have to , let me live NOW!”

3. In this moment : Being here now , dropping the future helped . I have learnt that in this moment, this moment as I write these words , there is no problem. When I get away from this moment, in the past or the future, stories begin .

4. Accept this deeply : In this moment, now there is no problem and “this moment is inevitable” , it has already occurred. No choice , can’t do a thing . Accept deeply without resistance.

5 . This too shall pass : I am not God , I am not perfect, I do get shaken up by events in life , I do falter , but I get up , I know “This too shall pass” , it does . One day we all will be dead and gone , my parents who are no more would have lived through so many fears , what is the significance now , nothing , it’s all dust .

When you deeply understand this that we are here momentarily on a journey as visitors on this planet , you will understand that this too shall eventually pass , everything will . Yet while on the journey, let us make the best of our time to live , love and leave a legacy behind.

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject

HOW BSR COACH GOT 1 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS IN ONE YEAR

Nithya Shanti a close friend had organised a session with BSR Coach a highly successful YouTuber . As a marketeer I am always keen to learn and took up this opportunity.

BSR started making YouTube videos because he was not confident and came from a vernacular medium school. This was his way of getting over that fear of speaking . He started with a goal of making 365 videos on YouTube.

Prior to 2018 BSR had made over 120 videos with fewer than 3000 subscribers on YouTube . He felt demotivated and gave up . He stopped making YouTube videos.

It so happened that he was called for Josh Talks ( equivalent of Ted Talk in India ) to share his experience on succeeding with speaking English. This video garnered over 5 million views. He was surprised. He analysed and understood what he was doing wrong .

He found that lot of people were interested in this content around succeeding with learning English . That was his first lesson . Below are few of the lessons shared by BSR that could be used to any YouTuber to grow a million subscribers.

1. Make content that is being watched , not content you think they like : It is easy to find the content that is being watched by audiences. Do a simple YouTube search . You need to focus on what is already working and watched.

Broaden your audience first before going narrow. If you want to target those with Heart disease take up all chronic health conditions that are being watched along with the narrow focus .

2. Watch time is important: Earlier he would make short videos and that was a big mistake . He realised that algorithms of YouTube looked for watch time and those videos were thrown up to audiences. From 3-4 minute videos he shifted to videos that were above 9 minutes.

3. Consistency : for past one year he has been consistently sharing his videos every Tuesday and Friday at 4 pm . He realised that the YouTube algorithm looks for consistency of sharing, also the audiences get used to the frequency and they expect the video.

4. Time : He found two time slots work for his audience 1. 6 am ( people have some time in the morning) 2. 4 pm ( evening break from work) .

5. Thumbnail: He understood that thumbnail plays the most crucial role . It is not the quality of video but the quality of Thumbnail that is essential. He found colours like Yellow and Red got attention . He recommends text occupy over 80 % of the space of the Thumbnail.

6. Title: This is next in importance , he studies titles that are working on the subject he would take up and puts up those titles and at times he would even copy titles . ‘How to’ , ‘Tips ‘ , ‘Secret of’ , are great title words used in title searches.

7.Language : He found that Hindi language has a far bigger audience and reaches masses rather than English which has a much smaller reach in India . He is clear he wants to reach masses so he uses Hindi more than English.

8. Give freely : He does not mind sharing freely, he is not bothered about anyone copying his content.

9. Negative Comments : He does not bother about negative comments and let’s them be . At first he would get demotivated now he is got used to it .

10. CTA : He has learnt that audiences need to be reminded to subscribe and he does that at the beginning and at the end . “Tell your audiences what they need to do maybe it is to join a program , have clear CTA .” he says .

11. YouTube live : He does long format YouTube live workshops with thousands attending. This also gives him longer watch time.

VIEWS and WATCH TIME are two most important parameters according to him to drive subscribers. One doesn’t need the best equipment and invest a lot of money to be a successful YouTuber he says .

He says all videos will not go viral and there is no way of knowing which will but a few that do go viral will add maximum subscribers. So consistency is important .

Organic way is the best way to increase views and subscribers he says . I have seen his sessions and I must confess that BSR is highly passionate about what he does and this is reflected in his session.

Thank You BSR Coach for sharing freely your success as a YouTuber and Nithya for organising this . May you inspire many more .

If BSR can achieve 1 million subscribers in one year through his dedicated focus and hard work, so can anyone if you pick up the best practices. Begin now and be consistent, no excuses.

P. S – Please do subscribe to the the BSR Coach YouTube channel

Sanjay Mudnaney

#passionproject