Digital Marketing, Life, Transformation

Money #Day 10

FLOW (4)

“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the “gotta have it” scale.” Zig Ziglar

Money ranks high up in the priority list of basic necessities. It’s vacuum can spell catastrophe. This post is not about its excessive preoccupation, but about not disregarding the importance of money; contrary to the thought of infinite write ups available, which propose that the intent is supreme. If there is no commercial viability, the idea dies its own death, and so does the intent.

Money is important, and the earlier we learn it, the better it would for us to respect it and put it to good use.

Rule no.1 that would be universally true is that managing money, is a function of behavior and not statistics, budget or maths. This would be the most fundamental change that you would have to make. Behavior mandates that you strictly have few guideline rules for yourself, such as the one that I follow, inspired by Mr. Dave Ramsey: no debt. This is the rule that you would live or die for. Therefore, if it means junking your credit card, do be it. If it means carrying more cash in hand, I would do so. There should be one guiding principle for this behavior which is sacrosanct.

I have seen that you fundamentally need a shake-up if you want to change to a new habit or change behavior; easily would be the most difficult job in the world. I would not wake up on one side of the bed one day and find myself to be a changed person. There are rigors to be followed to instill this discipline. The benchmark is 66 days, which is the essence of my 66 days rigor. Changes at fundamental level change the lifestyle, which one should be ready for. This is on an average, however may take more or less depending on individuals.

Rule no.2 is that you should be able to know where your money is going. Mr. Dave Ramsey proposes budgeting as a great way to achieve this. He has been fanatical about budget, so much so that he takes this as a counseling tactics to get husband and wife on the same plane. And that is true, improper financial planning is reason no.1 for the couple to separate. And if they are aligned, it will restore understanding and financial success. Again, this is a function of behavior, where the husband and wife need to be transparent to each other, get committed and follow the budget. Budgeting also gives the picture, where the money is going and therefore your ability to control it. I would recommend that you also keep and expense tracking app and note the tiniest of spends that you are incurring. I feel that not just us, such deep discipline should be inculcated in our children as well. A good financial well being amounts to success and confidence.

Rule no.3 are goals, therefore one should have a set of goals. The most important goal is to save. Starting with at least 20% of your income and depending on your expenses. But by and large the thumb rule for saving should be 20%. This should be going first from your income to any instrument of your choice. And then one should put in the expenses, starting with the most essential ones to the least. Such as you would want to mandate are Food, House (rent) and maintenance essentials such as electricity, water etc. Mr. Ramsey proposes baby steps, which I would highly recommend, no matter in which part of the world you are in. His process are unique and if you follow them, you can expect results. The other part of the goals are life ambitions and essentials such as buying a house, kids education.

Rule no.4 is not to be emotional in making a financial decision. Impulsive decisions are recipe for disaster. You are much better off delaying gratification, thinking more about it, discussion with your spouse before making the decision. This is hard exercise, especially when it concerns the loved one, your kids or an immediate family. One needs to very rational in money matters.

Lastly, Rule no.5 is continuity. Like any other habit, if one leaves any of the plan midway, you will not get the benefits. Continuity in the long run multiplies and compounds and gives you superior results. This is the real key to financial success to be regular with your belief and practices. It would definitely require rigor.

Money requires a hard taskmaster to manage it.

I hope that you start your financial/money management behavior when you finish reading. And when you would look back, you may reflect this as the most important step that you would have taken towards securing success.

Layout courtesy: Canva.com 

PS: If you are interested in a budgeting sheet, please do leave your comment or subscribe to the mail.

 

 

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Digital Marketing, Leadership, Life

Momentum #Day 2

A Rolling Stone...Gathers Momentum

Few words caught my attention today. And since we are talking about our habits and 66 days, my theory is that I’m naturally getting attracted to these words as is my subconscious.

The first word is,

Focus

and the second word is,

Intensity

I picked it up from Dave Ramsey’s book “Entrepreneur”, a classic book and I highly recommend that everyone get a copy of it. I have been reading and hearing Mr. Dave a lot these day and he’s a great voice to echo at least early morning. His debt free philosophy is remarkable, which I’m following these days. But more revolutionary is how he lives this philosophy every day of his life, encouraging a number of people to experience this freedom. And it is a powerful state to be in. I’m planning to gift “Total Money Makeover” to both my brother and brother-in-law. Though, if you call Dave in America, you might get it for free (if you’re are a business owner) however, I would rather pay Dave royalty for the book as a tribute to the wonderful work that he is doing. The tenets of book “Entrepreneur” is universally applicable and doesn’t limit to a business owner. It exudes his passion on every page, and if you have heard Dave Ramsey on podcast (or his youtube channel), you will love it even more.

I always knew “focus”. Since I’m an introvert, I can focus more than the average on any subject. I could understand later that my focus comes from my nature of unravelling the mystery. Like a hunter waiting for the prey, I would wait till I find it easy and drag the kill. I also find it very spiritual to be focused and concentrate. However, the part I have been missing all this while was intensity. With both these what you would discover, as I have, is momentum.

But I missed out the most crucial point.

Continuity

The single most important factor in any day life, be it your family, finance, habit or work is continuity. This is the single most underrated, un discovered word in the universe. Continuity is why the tortoise prevailed over the hare, not because the tortoise was hard working. Continuity is magical. One small thing, done continuously over a period of time, persistently, delivers miracles. Small amount of money, invested continuously over a period of time becomes millions. You may equate this to 66 days of habit formation or 10,000 hours to achieve mastery, but if you are not consistent, you don’t reach anywhere.

So, we want to be very careful what we want to do on an everyday basis, thoughts or actions. We are a creature of our habits.

One small action, repeated over a period of time becomes a habit.

It is my firm belief that consistency is the single most important measurement of success. If one breaks continuity, one breaks momentum and moves further away from goals.

Dear God, I pray that I’m consistent with my actions and goals.

My night audit on day 1 went well and as I was relishing the feat with a amazing chocolates gifted by a dear friend and from Vivel Patisserie (http://vivel.com/), I was caught red handed by Priya. This particular experience went to my “I could have avoided section”. I was happy that I had a list of 12 in my “Good” list, significantly higher than a list of 7 in my “Bad” list and a list of 4 in my “I could have avoided list”. It was also good to rue over some of these points as I was dozing off to sleep. Maybe some of these have started to work already, within the realm of me that I have not connected to yet. Too surreal to think about it as of now.

Good feeling to have hit the bed with more gratitudes than regrets.

Digital Marketing

Unconference

unconference

Last Thursday was my “Unconference” day, through Meetup. My first opportunity to interact with Dubai’s startup community. The subject is a part of Lean Marketing principles.

It was great.

The venue was a boutique villa in Dubai knowledge village. The place is owned by Tecom  and provided to promising startup ups at a subsidised cost, even the license  comes subsided if the pitch goes through.

The organisers were consultants: Jorge Castellote & Francisco Lafuente. Though there were few participants, all actively partipated.

And thankfully we didn’t have pitches, which is usually the case with most of such conferences.

It is to be seen how this theme of “Unconference” and “Lean Marketing” shapes up. This region which strives for perfection, will it adopt lean marketing principles?

Decision is to meet every month. I will extend the next invite when I get an update from the organisers. Fill the contact form if you want to be on the list (For Dubai only)…

Digital Marketing

Snap!

Snapchat

Today I’m reminded of the day when I first used a chopstick. The place was highly inappropriate; an uptown Chinese restaurant. Better still the table was right in the centre of the restaurant visible from a distance. I didn’t give up; it took me about an hour and a half to finish.

From how of “holding the chopstick” to “recovering from trauma of embarrassment”, I learnt it all that day.

Strangely, Snapchat is making me feel deja vu. I’m loving it though…

Also comes a firm resolution from this new milestone in my life. I’m going to be on mobile only. This would be my last post from desktop. As Gary says “We are not in Mobile first world, we are in mobile only world” and yearning for attention.

Bye bye Macbook, hello iPhone & Huawei!

Snapchat

Digital Marketing

Storytelling

ben-and-holly

One of the games that I often play with my 6 year old daughter Dhriti is “Make Up”. She and I take turns to provide the other 3 words all disconnected and the other person has to make up a story.

I love the game because this is one time that Dhriti likes to let loose and try to beat me with her little stories; her enthusiasm is infectious. I realise that I have so less of it; my storytelling abilities.

It is always better when we put some joy back into a banal ritual and let our passions engage. The single most important thing for success.

I was reminded of this when I was lying back in my apartment going over the rituals of the day. I was wondering if I had missed out on any important data or left out any opportunity to maximise conversion. It is measurable and hence we should maximise it.

Banal and boring. Where is the story mister? Said a guy sitting on my left shoulder. Leave out everything else, did the visitor have a good time on the site. Did you make him dream? Will he come back again?

Where the story of data ends, imagination starts and that’s the scary part because it is a rare commodity these days. Build engagement, start a conversation, zero moment of truth is rare because it is tough.

Data is an enabler, not the engine.

How do we rise above the mundanes of daily sales target, conversion optimisation and ROI maximisation? Feel from the heart, truly while conversing with our users. This is the only skill that cannot be copied. Experience is just one of the events in this funnel.

That is why this is the most difficult, because it requires imagination and faith. Not data, but true grit. This is not about Kaizen or Disruption, but about the age old way of doing business, which we may have forgotten. Was it lost while I was trying to uncover data?

Did you have a good time playing the game?

 

Digital Marketing

Disruption Vs Kaizen

aditi-back

What would be your first choice for marketing strategy: Disruption (1) or Kaizen (2)?

Digital Marketing

Moneyball Marketing

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There are few movies that I keep watching again and again. Moneyball is one of them.

The movie is the story of Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, who faces a daunting task. Beane must reengineer his Oakland Athletics baseball team and assemble a competitive one to win among the bigger leagues. Else the game is over for Billy Beane. And there is very little money.

A very familiar situation for start ups.

He is surrounded by traditional scouts, who have age old wisdom to select players. Billy decides to build a team of undervalued player by taking a sophisticated programmatic approach to analyze players. Data driven decision. Oakland team scouts are first dismissive of this approach, because this is against scouts experience and intuition. Beane uses on-base percentage (OBP) to choose the players. Oakland’s reach stages beyond expectation and lose in the post season.

Billy could have become the highest paid general manager of Red Sox that season.

Moneyball is a classic story of growth hack. You need one thing to bring about the disruption; give up the old and believe in the new. Change the game.

Here is a classic quote…

“Any other team wins the World Series, good for them. They’re drinking champagne, they get a ring. But if we win, on our budget, with this team… we’ll have changed the game. And that’s what I want. I want it to mean something.”

The constraints drive you up the wall, but make you discover the best. But all of it starts from one strong BELIEF.

Whether Billy Beane wins or gets defeated in the end is not the moral of the Moneyball.  What is more important is what is lived for and what he believed in.

How many of us would have to conviction to carry along this far?