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 )

ALL CREATION HAPPENS OUT OF ABUNDANCE MINDSET

Look at any creator and you will see an abundance mindset . Creation never happens out of scarcity mindset.

Yet what we learn from our childhood is largely driven by fear and scarcity. Only a few kids in a class rank top in a defined curriculum so we are taught to compete . What is missed is that each child is different, each has a unique gift . We try to box the definition of success , only a few can succeed and most are doomed to live an average life is what we are told and what we also see.

Competition : if the resources are limited or only a few can reach the top then competition is a natural behaviour that is driven into children . We are constantly reminded that only the fittest survive and that it is a dog eat dog world out there. This implies that most have to either fail or live an average life and only a few can succeed. Every magazine puts the pictures of the top 50 most successful people in the field , what happens to the rest ?

Money : As we grow it is then instilled that the one who has the most money is the most successful so we get driven by greed and desire to accumulate more . Our bank balance starts defining who we are . The race moves from scoring high marks in school to who earns the most or has the most.

Yet ask anyone who has a big bank balance and they will tell you beyond a point having more money does not add to life. A bigger house beyond a point does not add to happiness.

Risk : The schooling system teaches us to avoid taking risks as failure is looked down upon . Safety of the crowd is what is hammered in every child.

“Don’t take risk , don’t be different” is a lesson we learn. At each step the majority learns to operate from scarcity, that there is not enough. Our definition of success. Itself pushes us into a scarcity mindset.

While you look at any creator the key quality is abundance mindset. What if you were to turn the game and ask different set of questions.

Q1. If there was no problem with money what would you love to do ?

Q2. What is your unique gift ? what makes you most alive ?

Q3. What is the value you can add to the world?

Q4. Who can benefit from the value you can add ?

Q5. How would you live if there was no limitation to what you could create ?

A creator mindset operates from abundance, is willing to take risks , The future of work is more individuals living their passion. The pandemic has made this even more possible as work from anywhere is now mainstream.

The keyword is ‘Value Exchange’ . There is enough in our world for everyone, we need to drop our definitions of success. Abundance mindset is what we need, knowing that we will be taken care as long as we add Value in our world.

IS YOUR BUSINESS ALIGNED ? LESSONS I LEARNT ON MY ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY.

When I started on my entrepreneurial journey I wanted to pick up any kind of clients , the focus was growing the business.

Over time I realised that this was sapping my energy and the clients either left or I had to let them go.

This was a waste of my time and energy. And here are a few lessons I picked up.

1. Scarcity Vs Abundance. It is the scarcity thinking that got me to pick up any and every client that came my way . What if there was no business was the biggest worry.

I soon realised this did not help. I would end up picking wrong clients or work .

This is also true for a job , picking up any job to pay the bills soon backfires as you hate working everyday.

Focusing on Abundance helps . There is truly enough in the world for your need. You need to trust the process of the universe.

This needs patience but it works. Define the kind of clients you want to work with it will save you a lot of wasted time and energy.

2. Greed finally hurts . You accumulate more , you get on a treadmill that never stops.

Focusing on having more drives you to pick up more work not necessarily what you love to do.

If you wish to live life on your own terms focus on what is truly important, cut the crap , de clutter life , drop the extras.

When you drop greed for more in life the pressure to go after any client or job also drops away.

3. Don’t look at others . This is one of the biggest problems, we constantly look at others and compare.

When your neighbour has a bigger car it becomes a problem. So we keep accumulating things so we can show off . We want to look better.

We chase business to compete and it makes us feel good . We always feel that the spotlight is on us while the reality is no one is bothered .

Everyone is focused on their life story not yours. So stop looking at others . Follow your path , it is different.

4. Cut the debt . A very practical advice , if you have debt you have to pay the bills . To pay the bills you will pick up anything that comes your way.

You get caged and stuck to a rat race as bills need to be paid. The bigger house and car is not worth it if it puts handcuffs to your dreams.

Cut your debt if you wish to live an intentional life and choose your work.

I went to zero debt before I began my entrepreneurial journey.

5. Listen to your heart . If it does not feel ok your heart will tell you . You will feel it in your body.

If you feel the dread of waking up , going to work or dealing with a client know that something is missing .

Check for alignment . You have to feel the joy of creating. If you find a client is always picky and is running you down , does not respect you , it is not worth it.

Not being aligned to your calling hurts you in ways more than one ways . Don’t postpone, get out , drop such a client or job , it’s going to be detrimental to inner peace .

6. Don’t pick up clients who don’t have money to pay . I have had such clients who want the work to be done but don’t have the capacity to pay .

They would promise to pay once their business picks up. I would pick them up anyways hoping when they when they do well they would pay .

This was a mistake they would soon drop out or drain me without any joy or value for what I put in as effort.

Bless such clients, to go on their someone they can afford. Don’t compromise it never works.

If the clients you work with don’t see value , it’s not worth it to hold on , bless them and let them go immediately. Either way they will go, it’s better you let them go.

If you don’t value yourself, no one else will.

7. Don’t pick up any business that does not align with your values even if it pays well . When your heart is not there in what you are giving out in the world , don’t do it.

There is karma and it will come back to bite you some day. Any business that is not aligned to your values where you feel people are getting cheated or the vulnerable are exploited, stay way.

Ask the question ‘why’ do you wish to become an entrepreneur and what is the ‘value’ you are adding to the world.

Find those clients that align with your ‘why’ and drop the rest . Trust the universe to take care . Focus on adding ‘value’ with your unique ‘gifts’.

Alignment brings joy to life there is no other way to live.

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.

YOU CANNOT CHANGE WORLD VIEWS , CHANGE YOUR STORY

I have been grappling with the insight , it is difficult, maybe impossible to change world views.

I see this in conversations now in school alumni groups and families.

There are two polarising views.

Each sees theirs as being the truth.

Each is trying to change and challenge the other view.

Only it does not change , there is conflict.

I have seen friends leave groups , stop talking to each other.

What is happening is , you cannot change world views , it’s tough, impossible.

Those that hold a view , connect with stories that fit into their world view.

Rather they always held that world view.

Stories tapped into their world view , made it stronger.

Let’s take the world views on for and against vaccination.

Those who are against vaccination hold their world view.

They find stories and research to support their world view.

Similarly Vegans have their world view .

Any story that taps into their world view resonates.

Time and energy to change world views is inefficient.

As a marketeer I would be more efficient telling a story that connects with the world view of the hero of my story.

Rather I don’t tell the story , the story is already told by the customer, I only tap into it.

Steve Jobs understood this .

He understood who the hero of Apple’s story was .

Those that challenged the status quo , those who think different , those that appreciated clean design were the hero of Apple’s brand story.

The campaign ‘Think Different ‘ tapped into this emotion.

The target audience already held the world view.

As a master storyteller Steve Jobs told them the story they wanted to listen to.

Good marketeers tell stories that their customers want to listen to.

And stories have the power to charge world.

Sanjay Mudnaney

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

WHEN EVERYONE IS SELLING , TELL A STORY

We get on any social media platform and we find it filled with Advertising.

Everyone seems to be selling something.

We are identified by various data points stored on us by the platform, maybe thousands , some even we may not be aware of.

The trail we leave behind on the digital world is monitored.

Algorithms try figure out what we are most likely to buy.

And the advertisements show up on our feeds.

This is interruption . We switch off.

We don’t come to social media to buy. We come because of our reasons.

It gets irritating, annoying at times .

Like a street Bazar with many stalls each of them tries to grab our attention.

Except we did not plan to come to a Bazar.

Grabbing Attention is critical , there are so many advertisements that throw up .

The algorithms and machine learning are always learning to read our minds.

“What are we most likely to buy” is the key question being asked by the platform.

This is their monetisation model . Nothing comes for free .

The term digital marketeers use is performance marketing. Digital Marketing that drives business and can be measured.

Interruption marketing has now moved from physical to digital world.

The conflict is consumers have a different reason to visit social media platforms .

They visit social media platforms to learn , to get entertained , to get information , to participate in connected communities , to build and be part of tribes.

With the smartphone in hand consumers set the agenda .

The control has moved from the advertisers and sellers to consumers.

Stories are consumed because they are entertaining, they inspire .

Humans are naturally wired to listen to stories, share stories.

Good stories are shared.

Video content is 80% of the traffic on digital.

Visual stories stand out .

Brands need to learn , stop selling and tell stories. Stop interrupting and focus on entertaining .

Because the control has shifted and consumers switch off from interruption.

Real stories well told , inspire, build trust, touch the heart.

Most important, when data is forgotten in minutes, stories are remembered over the years.

Future of marketing is Storytelling in the Digital world.

Every Brand has a story,

Every Organisation has a story ,

Every Cause has a story,

Every Startup has a story,

Every Leader has a story,

Every Employee has a story ,

Every Client has a story ,

Every Beneficiary has a story,

Every Tribe has a story,

Every culture has a story.

Dig deep an you will find each one of us has a story and our stories are common.

As humans our desires and fears are similar.

From ‘Here’ to ‘There’ is the most powerful story ever told.

Stories well told can inspire action , build tribes.

Stop selling, start storytelling.

In the Digital world we are the stories we tell.

Sanjay Mudnaney

Founder at http://www.CrowTales.in

Brand Storytellers

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