#SoGv2 - 03 - A story. And a question.

A story. And a question. (#SoGv2 - 03)

Hello! Hope Thursday is going good. I could've done with a better day. Maybe tomorrow. As they say, this too shall pass!

So, for the time being, lemme start with a story.

There is this potential client that I am in the process of pitching to. Let's call him A.

I met him at his office (on the Altamont Road, in Mumbai - its the same road where the fabled Antilla is). So his office is a 4-story old house and he sits on the 4th floor. If you know about Mumbai, you would know how buildings there are lined in congested lanes, each trying to out-rise each other for some sunshine and the sky. Like those Sequoia trees.

The 4th floor, the top on his building, is all glass and wood and lined by a 2 feet wide balcony on two sides. The balcony is so small that you can hardly even perch on it. But its a balcony none the less. And when you step out, you can get some fresh air. But because its Mumbai, all you can see from there is walls and windows of other houses that seem so close that it feels that you can listen to a pin-drop in there. And of course, you can hardly get any view of the majestic buildings that that road is home to.

So, when we met him, he talked about his stellar rise from the seed stage about two years ago to where he's now. And while he was doing that, he paused mid-sentence and got all of us out on that tiny balcony. And he said, "every time my sales team comes back and says that they've done something incredible, I get them here and ask them to look up."

And then he looked up. He did not speak after that.

Puzzled, all of us tried to squeeze into that tiny space and craned our necks. And the only thing we could see was the infinite sky and on one corner, the top of Antilla (MDA's residence).

And then Mr A said, "every time my sales team comes back and says they've done something incredible, I tell them that there's still a long way to go."

And that left my mouth hanging like it was left hanging when I saw PC in real life on the sidelines of an event some years ago.

The point of the story?
A, have big BIG BIIIIG ambitions. There is no room for people who think small.

B, Have your ambitions set so high that whoever you tell is compelled to tell 20 other people about it! And then see how magical things get! My ambition? Live till 120. At least.


So, after this gyaanvaani, coming to the thing for the day.

The SG Podcast.
Don't cringe. It's a working title only for the time being.

What is it?
I have been meaning to "expand" my personal media "empire" and because I love the idea of podcasts (so much so that it has become my number 1 media by time spent), I have been thinking of doing a podcast. Been thinking about it for almost 2 years now (I recorded a video-cast with Mihir way back in 2017 - lemme know if you want to watch it - will share a link). High time I actioned the podcast!

So, for a podcast, there are so many things that work in its favour - since its audio, you don't need to have the screen in front of you and you can consume it passively - while driving, waiting etc. Plus the cost of production is fairly limited and can be managed. Plus the conversations can be so rich that you actually add value!

So, a podcast.
And that means I need to figure out what to talk about and who to talk to.
And a thousand other questions. But the most important is what do I talk about!

What would I talk to people about?
Now, this is a tricky one. And this is where I need your help.

I am interested in way too many things and thus it is tough to pinpoint conversations around one thing. Except if I find a pattern. Here are some that I could find (thanks to generous inputs from MK and other friends).

A. Storytelling.
So, my work (as a branding consultant, event manager, author, blogger, newsletter-writer etc) is essentially telling stories that are memorable and impactful. As we go along, most communication is becoming storytelling - which it was ages ago (remember Aesop's Fables, Panchtantra, Gurukuls?)!

I can thus ask people about their favourite stories and how those stories define who they are. And then leave the audience with lessons around storytelling and how to apply those in their lives etc.

Would you want to listen to a podcast like that?

B. How I made my first crore?
Go back to the story I told you guys when I started this letter.

I talked about ambitions being so huge that it scares you and makes others talk to others about your ambition.

One of mine is to make a billion dollars. Now to be able to do that I will have to do far different things than what I've been doing. So, what if I talk to people who've made that kind of wealth and talk to them about how they started on the journey and how they made their first crore?

This conversation would be enriching at so many levels. I can learn about what these guys did differently. And I can share that knowledge with others - I mean, everyone I know wants to make money! No?

C. Futurism
Again, like money and stories, the thing that excites me is the new new thing. So much so that I keep jumping from one to another to another. You know, like a child that is lost in the candy store!

I can go talk to people that are pushing the edge and doing the new things. There is so much happening around us that we have to be the luckiest people alive (well, probably our ancestors were luckier - all they had to worry about was food, sex, sleep. Different discussion for a different day). The point is that I can chase the cutting edge and create content around it.

I don't know anyone who's not curious about what's in store for them tomorrow. These trends could be leading indicators. No?

D. Motivational Anecdotes.
Believe it or not - tons of people tell me that I must become a motivational speaker or something. I don't agree - tons of reasons.

But the point is, people, seem to want this sort of content. And what junta demands, we better give in. No? What do you think? Though I don't know what would that podcast look like. You know what am saying?

E. Anything else?
Apart from these four, can you guys think of something else?

It has to be at the intersection of three - things I like, things that people want to listen to and things that add value to them.

In fact, I have a better way to ask you for ideas. If there were a podcast that you would listen to REGULARLY, what would it be about? Just hit reply and tell me. Please.

That's about it!

Oh, I have a confession before I sign off.
I made a promise that each letter (at least the SoGv2) would add value to you. This one does not. I know this letter is about me, me, me (as KRK would often say). I've had a bad and busy last few days and thus I haven't had time to learn new things. And thus haven't been able to contribute.

I could have skipped and waited for the right time. But no, I did not want to break the chain. Today is the 6th day in June and I've sent 6 letters!

Please bear with me until I get back on track. However, if you think this is not worth your time, you may unsubscribe at any time.

That's it for the day.
Please do let me know what you think I should do with the podcast.

Thank you for your time!
With gratitude,

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Previous letters are archived here and here.

TAGS: Podcasting, Ambition, Sequoia Trees, Help.


Please note that with SoGv2, I have split my letters in three,

1. SoGv2. Sent every Tuesday and Thursday (unless I am on the road). In each SoGv2, I try to touch upon a thing that I believe can make us better. By standing on the shoulder of giants.

2. #5onFriday. Weekend read. Sent every Friday evening for your weekend reading pleasure. This is a compendium of the best of what I saw, what I read, what I recommend et al during the week gone by. This will have things from various disciplines that I am interested in - sports, poker, crypto, travel, fashion, films, writing, events, branding, Apple, entrepreneurship, philosophy, futurism, investing, wisdom, longevity and a million other things.

3. #1KWAD. 1000 words. Sent on the other 4 days of the week. More like a blog post that I would ideally make on my personal blog. Sent to only those who choose to subscribe. You will have to explicitly tell me to add you to this list (hit reply).

You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time you like.

And, in the end, in case you have some extra lying around, I am at 1ABmUxhpbaXpBDrxtkpH8zFMBWSLCbK3sr.