Thank you Indian Cricket Team for the Best Father’s day gift.


Team India, thank you, for the best Father’s Day gift.18amir-kohli-wkt

I don’t believe in Father’s Day per se’, however, yesterday you made me believe in it. Three different sports that India represented yesterday and you gave the best result. Ironical but true. The IPL tamasha, the non-stop praises heaped on our players by commentator made my kid believe and I’m sure many kids around that Team India is invincible, it plays to win. You shattered this belief with your stupendous loss yesterday. Thanks.

What a gift. The way you gave in to the spirited Pakistani team, the same team that belongs to a nation that is an infestation ground for terrorists and continues to hurt us politically, economically, socially daily, should be a matter of shame. That’s not a rightist speaking – that’s a father speaking whose kids are aware, informed and have a lot of questions about India, Pakistan, Trump and the world in general.

You showed us finally that cricket is not a team game. My heartiest thanks to Ravindra Jadeja. Had he not done what he did, probably Hardik Pandya would have gone ahead and made a century and maybe snatch a win for India (a very unlikely event though). Had that happened, then today’s newspapers would have been screaming aloud – the advent of a new hero ‘Hardik’. Nobody would have bothered if India won or lost, the PR machinery, the BCCI would have made sure that the brand Hardik is built up till the next World Cup. They have been doing this for decades corrupting the public imagination, building a hype of ‘invincible’ and ‘Gods’ while all that the country can showcase is 3 Titles out of possible 12 over a decade.

Ask any corporate leader (not a manager) about this achievement and he’ll say unacceptable. It is a lousy record given the fact that we have ‘individual’ record breakers and yet we don’t have a team.

Now, my kid can relate to the fact that why this game is followed by a limited few countries and even amongst them we can’t win. He can explain that it is not players with immense experience and records that matter but those that have a will, an intent to win do.

An individual player game is probably more stressful as the pressure and burden of carrying the nation’s hopes is not divided amongst 11 players. Kudos to Kidambi Srikanth for bringing the title home. It’s his win. It’s India’s win. How can I forget the glorious win of Team India in Hockey yesterday? Amazing. The shoulders of the opposition team, Pakistan, were drooping yesterday and that made a statement.

A despicable loss doesn’t tantamount to a “well-played” game by the opposition. That’s the line being used by one and all. But, thanks. At least in the eyes of my kids, they can differentiate between a spineless effort and a spirited win. At least they can open their eyes to so many sports, the countries that play those games and the champions that rule them.

To those who believe they we should believe in the spirit of the game, I and the nation today believes in 2 words – India, wins!

Vlog world, here I come – Week 16 (tcoawe)


intro
Money speaks especially the policies locked in cupboard!

Too much is happening in the Content world. By the time, you grasp a concept and get your hands dirty, there is another type of marketing or content being baptised in some corner of the earth and most of the times that corner belongs to US. No, that is not us, as in Content Masala brand that I have created but it’s USA.

Finally, I took the plunge in the world of Video blog or Vlog, as it is commonly called and in 4 days have got around 400 views on my You tube channel. Along with 50 odd subscriptions, I’m happy that the organic reach has yielded decent results for a non-celebrity, non-CXO profile. It’s just the beginning and sustainability is the key word. Go ahead and check the trending video. It’s honest, unbiased and gives you a choice about your investment / insurance portfolio.

 

https://youtu.be/PkxkwyYqr1Q

 

I’ll like to share some key insights while delving into a new content form like Vlog.

  1. Take the plunge: You can’t get a perfect launch or content the first time. Unless you test it in the market, you really won’t come to know if your hypothesis about the entire project was right in the first place. What’s the worst possible outcome? You’ll fail and nobody will appreciate your work. That’s cool because this is my 9th video (not Vlog) and there is always something new to learn from each attempt. Remember the “Freedom” monologue from the movie Braveheart … well, something like that:)

 

  1. Be clear about the objective: An adage has remained with me for the longest time ever, ‘All form, no content’. It is for all those slick movies that have super effects, costumes, sets and yet no script that as a viewer you can engage with. Well, the same applies here. You are not an Agency or a Marketing Guru but if the intent and the objective of the video is clear then viewers do appreciate. Remember the dialogue from 3 Idiots “Kehna kya chahte ho”!:) (English translation – what do you want to say?)

 

  1. Don’t ESTIMATE the viewer: If you underestimate then point 2 holds true. If you over-estimate, then your content shall get squashed under the weight of your stressed-out mind and perceptions and will lead to inferior result. So, be calm and still in mind while being crazy enough to execute your plan. The only thing that you can control is your content design and promoting it; stick to it. Of course, you know your audience, hence you have an objective.

 

Lastly, your promotion and your content should be same language else the audience will repeat the dialogue from the movie Satya “Tereko kya lagta hai, humlog alibagh se aaya hai”. (English translation – Do you think we are fools?)

PLEASE do watch the video; it’s a English-Hindi combo. Subscribe if you like:)

Rishi Arya

About: I am an evolving Content Marketing Strategist who is currently pursuing certifications in Content Strategy and Digital Marketing. I’m also setting up my own venture called ‘Content Masala’. T.C.O.A.W.E (The chronicles of a Wannabe entrepreneur) is the blog series that captures my feelings in this process.

My blogs tend to reflect on my journey of 14.5 years of corporate experience in Sales, Marketing, Product Mgmt and Content Mgmt and my passion towards Writing and Content. I’m also co-authoring my 2nd book post releasing the first fiction novel on corporate love titled ‘Always Yours’.

Read my blogs – https://contentmasalaa.wordpress.com/

1 step towards being an Addict free – Week 15 (tcoawe)


quitting-drinking
Source: Mycity-Web.com

It’s been nearly three weeks since I last posted a blog. A couple of them were spent in vacationing with family and probably that’s the time when one learns a lot. The unwinding, the travel, the experiences of meeting different varieties of Homo sapiens brings out a different YOU.

It has helped me approach my work differently, being more proactive and involved and asserting myself clearly. The hills do that! The change in the perspective has led me to get affiliated with a wonderful person named Mr. Vasant Agarwal. He is currently working on a beautiful and need of-the-hour concept called Addiction. Yes, alcohol, tobacco, smoking and mobile phones, whatsapp, games, drugs … you name it!

In this journey of knowing each other and exploring the way ahead, to my mind the biggest step to stop being an addict is to “Realise” that you are one. Maybe there is more to it. It has made me pen down a few lines on Alcohol Addiction.

If you can relate to an alcoholic, then do share your experience. It may help us in shaping the project properly.

One for the road, one for the party,
One for my sad times, one when I’m happy,
One is to celebrate birthday, wedding, sagai#
One without any reason, aiyeee vayee*
Too many of them to celebrate life without any tension or fear
These are the times when I’m free from being a son, husband or a father
I know more about chaknas, chikni chamelis$ and quarters
But I dont understand why my kids are becoming losers

I work so hard and this small peg is my compensation
But why is that instead of joy I get only frustration
There are days when I lay in bed with very high fever
I recall the times when my doctor used to say you’ll damage your liver

I hid behind the glitter of the drink that tasted like nectar
It helped me run away from my responsibilities that I always thought were not mine but my wife to bear
As I spend my savings and time today in hospital and miss my grandkids’ cheer,
I realise that I do not miss the laughs of yesteryear but the warmth and care of ones who are my near and dear and their elusive tear.

# Sagai is hindi word for ‘Engagement’

* Punjabi version of “just like that”

$ Chaknas = snacks or food assortments along with liquor.

Chikni Chamelis = slang in hindi language for smart girls who wants to get hooked

Rishi Arya

About: I am an evolving Content Marketing Strategist who is currently pursuing certifications in Content Strategy and Digital Marketing. I’m also setting up my own venture called ‘Content Masala’. tcoawe (The chronicles of a Wannabe entrepreneur) is the blog series that captures my feelings in this process.

My blogs tend to reflect on my journey of 14.5 years of corporate experience in Sales, Marketing, Product Mgmt and Content Mgmt and my passion towards Writing and Content. The daily learnings and the surprises that life brings forth impels me to write on different topics.

Read my blogs – https://contentmasalaa.wordpress.com/

Read my book ‘Always Yours’ – Amazon.in/.com/E-book

The Sparrow predicts ‘Patience’ for Content: Week 12 (T.C.O.A.W.E)


img_20161221_182744I woke up in the evening to the sounds of mynahs communicating with each other on my window sill. After a gap of three days, my friends were back and it was indeed a pleasure to hear them. However, I missed the one sound that my kids and I have been yearning to hear for quite some time now; the chirping of sparrows. In fact, just a week ago, we bought a sparrow house from an e-commerce website. As it hung empty on the window grille in the other room, all I could mutter to myself was to have patience.

http://www.natureforever.org/house-sparrow-facts.html

The worrying aspect is the impatience of my daughter. She made a very cute drawing of different birds in the hope of attracting the sparrows. She had decided to stick the drawing on the sparrow house and only relented when I explained that the drawing may get torn and worn out and dissuade the sparrow from coming to a dirty house. A true portrayal indeed of an honest, imaginative and colourful mind thinking and implementing different ways to save the sparrow species from the urban decaying environment.

As I shared earlier, my worry is that she may lose patience and give up on experimenting with different things to make the sparrow feel secure, comfortable and maybe ‘wanted’ enough to build its home in the sparrow house.

Eerily, this thought or process holds true to the adage ‘Content is King’. As the 2017 predictions keep on coming and as I went through various articles and white papers published related to content throughout the year, I realised that this adage is hollow. It is a bankrupt thought process and a lip service if it is not followed up in true spirit along with adequate patience. Often short-cuts are made to release Content to appease the stakeholders and in the process the Content becomes a pauper. So, my prediction or the only principle for the year 2017 in the realm of Content is to have patience while keeping on experimenting.

The reasons are four-fold:

  1. The sparrow needs to spot the house: The number of houses, buildings and complexes are increasing daily and so is the competition amongst birds. The pigeons, crows, mynahs are the front-runners in our area to spot vacant lucrative spaces and they hardly leave anything for the poor sparrow. This is what happens to our digital content against the might of bigger players who use SEO/SEM techniques quite effectively and efficiently. However, we need to hold on to our niche’ and keep the website, the content as clear and trustworthy as possible so that sooner or later it is consumed by the target audience.

 

  1. The sparrow will eat what it likes to eat: We’ve kept a small water vessel on the top of the AC compressor unit next to the sparrow house. Well, the results are awaited. However, interestingly a month before my daughter started keeping pulses on a tray on the AC unit and soon enough it was devoured by different birds including the sparrow. As I googled today, I realised the Content it needs. The bigger realisation was how often our content through different mediums differs. What we speak through blogs, publicise through social media or release through different campaigns often speaks different Content Marketing languages. It is then bound to attract different audience who are not exactly our target audience and the entire objective is lost.

 

  1. Did you hear a chirp today? If it sounds like analytics then you are correct. Often digital content is not evaluated post its release in a scientific manner. How many impressions were generated, what was the reach, is CTR the right metric, is the medium or campaign really working? The chirp indicates that yes, the current combination of many variable parameters is effective. The next step is to tweak a variable and look out for more chirps. Nearly 70% content we create does not hit the intended target, so, it is imperative that we don’t lose track!

 

  1. Chirp, Chirp and No chirp: This happened with us around 2 months back when we made a make shift home out of cardboard for the sparrow. Maybe it was the season change that attracted many sparrows. The best part was that the makeshift model was tried by different couples on many occasions and yet it was never occupied. Then we forgot about it. It was a premature victory that we celebrated and forgot the big picture. I’ve experienced the same in the world of Content. There are newer concepts, tools, techniques available and the first success goes right through the head. It is extremely important to sustain the process and continuously reinvent the wheel as in the first three steps. The below link is an indication of what’s coming up next and what we need to be updated with so that the chirping stays put.

http://effinamazing.com/blog/analytics-predictions-of-2017/

If  Content is King, then treat it like one. It can’t be duplicated and used as and when required as the world is looking for originality. Content can be replanted as part of the campaign, however, any honest digital marketer will tell you that it can’t be reused across campaigns. Build some patience in the process while experiementing and let the sparrow fly in the house:) Amen.

 

Rishi Arya

About: I am an evolving Content Marketing Strategist who is currently pursuing certifications in Content Strategy and Digital Marketing. I’m also setting up my own venture called ‘Content Masala’. T.C.O.A.W.E (The chronicles of a Wannabe entrepreneur) is the blog series that captures my feelings in this process.

My blogs tend to reflect on my journey of 14.5 years of corporate experience in Sales, Marketing, Product Mgmt and Content Mgmt and my passion towards Writing and Content. I’m also co-authoring my 2nd book post releasing the first fiction novel on corporate love titled ‘Always Yours’.

Read my blogs – https://contentmasalaa.wordpress.com/

 

 

Week 11 – The 5 corporate mantras – T.C.O.A.W.E


win_20161214_10_18_10_pro-2

It’s been a busy week. Project submissions, new project understandings, submission of pilot work has been the order of the day. I also managed to attend an interesting session on ‘How to crank up your Content Marketing career’. Though it’s over, I’m still sharing a link so that interested Content Marketers can get an idea how to go through the recording of the webcast.

https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/webinars/16/12/live-webcast-how-to-crank-up-your-content-marketing-career?src=e-evt&cid=70132000001JFcgAAG

Now, this webcast and another interesting blog that I read the other day made me recall the interesting times of my corporate life. I had my highs and lows like all of us do during my professional stint. At times, I miss it:) However, post emerging from the shadows of that experience, I can now clearly visualise what really were my “Gap” areas in dealing with the highs and lows.

Let me share my 5 corporate mantras for “MANAGING” corporate life.

  1. NO HOPE: At the end of the day you have signed a contract with an Organisation. So, don’t hope for promotions, increments every year and Chairman’s award for every project that you successfully accomplish. Let me explain. Imagine the Organisation to be a person or rather a proprietor who is running the shop. Due to uncertainty in the financial ecosystem, the economic crisis and maybe the competition, the guy does not do well. Maybe s/he must shut shop. So, where does that leave you … with hope?

Pink slips are order of the day and there is nothing to feel bad about it.

Not getting promotions or that significant raise in salary is not an indicator of your performance alone. It’s an indicator of your Industry’s performance, Company’s performance and your function’s performance. So, be practical and stop being hopeful of goodies because the Organisation is not Santa Claus. 🙂

  1. DON’T COMPARE: This is a primary reason why we end up sulking and become over dependent on hope. We end up justifying our efforts and the work done by us and belittle the other person’s work (she is a bitch, he is a sucker, luck). In one of my earlier blogs I had clearly emphasised that if you sleep with the BIG C (comparison) then you are surely going to get three Small C for free (Crib, Complain, Cry). Sleeping with them is not a good feeling to have:)

It’s a mad world and every corporate employee is trying to make a perception of his work. Maybe s/he is not good enough to do that work but s/he makes a perception that the work completed by him or her is phenomenal. Getting into the details of why that person and not you will only lead to a lose-lose scenario and you’ll be the bigger loser.

Remember, if you are that person who really can’t create perceptions as demanded by your Manager, then please don’t. Be happy with your work, your salary at the end of the month and if you are still unsatisfied then move on. No one is stopping you because at the end of the day as I said earlier, it’s a contract. No feelings please.

  1. UPGRADE SELF: This is the most important mantra as this can stop the vicious circle of being in hope and complaining and comparing. Alas! Not many believe in the concept of upgrading self-skill sets. We know there is immense competition, we know that demand for newer skill sets is the order of the day, we know that we shall become dodos of the corporate world if we don’t change and yet …

The common excuse for not doing is that I don’t know what to do. More often than not, the answer is point no.5 and a practical and plausible way is taking feedback from colleagues, seniors, juniors .. everyone. If you are too shy or egoistic to do that then there are assessment centres to help you in this regard. You must spend money on yourself to gain money. Again, let me remind you that it is a contract and if you are expecting a wonderful, effective training program sponsored by the Organisation to upgrade you, then please do note that the L&D function will do as much as to fulfil its KRA. Period.

  1. WORK LIFE WHAT: You can replace the word ‘What’ by ‘Balance’ or ‘Integration’ or ‘Nothing’ … it all depends on you. Whichever way you look at it, work Is part of life. Home is part of life. Family is part of life. Whether you agree or not, your life today includes a bigger portion of work than anything else. Either you are travelling or carrying work at home or working in office, it all tantamount to the same thing.

Give yourself and your family a couple of decent vacations in a year and DO NOT work at that time. The portion of spending time with your family significantly goes up in your life. Make peace with that.

Still for those who are unconvinced, how many times do you engage in personal chat or search online for buying something for home or talk with your friends, relatives, kids while at office? An hour maybe? So, if we can carry home to office then carrying office to home shouldn’t be a burden, right:)

  1. FOLLOW THE VOICE: If you are in the wrong job, then you are leading a wrong life. It’s like you want to be in London but you board a flight for Singapore. Then obviously, you will find fault with the air hostess, the cabin crew, the seats will be uncomfortable and the flight will seem to be delayed … because you are not at peace with yourself. Your thoughts are in London and your body or rather your actions are not aligned with your thoughts. You may end up liking the movie, the food and even your co-passenger, however, deep inside you are yearning to jump off that plane. All you can do is to wait for the flight to get over and take the journey back home. Shit happens. Be patient. We can’t control anything, so don’t fret over it. Just go with the flow.

Unfortunately, many just accept that the destination is Singapore and stay put. They are too scared to go back basis their experience. What if I board the wrong plane again?

We don’t give credit to the inner voice as much as we should. Take a pause and listen to it. It’s risky but then in today’s corporate world, so is life.

Remember the interesting blog I talked about. It’s a good read. Personally I’m over such beautiful descriptions of corporate life.:)

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-bullshitters-just-survive-thrive-until-atul-mathur?trk=hp-feed-article-title-comment

 

Rishi Arya

About: I am an evolving Content Marketing Strategist who is currently pursuing certifications in Content Strategy and Digital Marketing. I’m also setting up my own venture called ‘Content Masala’. T.C.O.A.W.E (The chronicles of a Wannabe entrepreneur) is the blog series that captures my feelings in this process.

My blogs tend to reflect on my journey of 14.5 years of corporate experience in Sales, Marketing, Product Mgmt and Content Mgmt and my passion towards Writing and Content. I’m also co-authoring my 2nd book post releasing the first fiction novel on corporate love titled ‘Always Yours’.

Read my blogs – https://contentmasalaa.wordpress.com/

Week 10 – Speed Breaker – The chronicles of a wannabe entrepreneur


blog-1

I’ve just finished a recording of my first episode on life insurance policies in India. It’s going to be an offering from Content Masala for all the customers who have bought a life insurance policy and are blissfully unaware about the returns or rather the benefits of the policy. In India, unfortunately most of the policies are still bought from tax benefit purpose and it’s only on the renewal premium payment day we come to know about its existence.

It was a painful task on a physical note. The weather change and sudden temperature drop laid me low for a couple of days. The entire yesterday was spent on the bed. The positive outcome was that I could read up a few articles on Content and trending topics. Sharing an interesting article

https://mention.com/blog/humanize-your-content/

And this one is surely a must go through. I simply loved the GE podcast.

http://www.outbrain.com/blog/best-native-advertising-2016

So, speed breakers have their own role to play. It was my speed breaker day yesterday. It helped me reflect on my journey and above all relate to the one sound that gets lost in the noise every moment of our lives. The voice of my soul. No, I wasn’t meditating or doing a Bikram Yoga or anything of that sort. It was mere listening to my thoughts, anxieties, worries, smiling on the happy memories, looking up to a pleasant future and being in the moment.

It’s like road travel wherein you are cruising at say 80, 90 or say 100 miles an hour oblivious to the environment or other vehicles on the road and BANG! There is a speed breaker. You’ve got to slow down and just let it go. Get over the curses and the slight bump that your car had to endure and focus on the next 100 meters.

Interestingly, while I’m writing this a LinkedIn message has just popped up that says ‘Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic and time-bound’. Sounds like SMART goal, doesn’t it? Talking of goal … And yes, every 5 minutes there should be a goal scored in a football match because each player must focus on the tasks allocated to him. When I designed a program on SMART goals, I had taken the example of a football game. Chelsea may have a higher possession ratio, more attempts on goals and a better game, however on that day if Arsenal scores the only goal of the match from its only attempt then you know the winner. The key is to be ready for the cruise mode and non-cruise mode.

Smart footballers, smart professionals always know that there is a speed breaker ahead. You can’t anticipate it; however, you can be ready for it. And yes, enjoy it!

Rishi Arya

About: I am an evolving Content Marketing Strategist who is currently pursuing certifications in Content Strategy and Digital Marketing. I’m currently setting up my own venture called ‘Content Masala’.

My blogs reflect this journey besides other Content related topics. 14.5 years of corporate experience in Sales, Marketing, Product Mgmt and Content Mgmt has only affirmed my belief in the philosophy ‘The journey itself is the destination’. I even managed to release my fiction novel ‘Always Yours’ is an example of that. 🙂

Week 9 – ZMOT – The chronicles of a wannabe entrepreneur


win_20161201_16_09_28_proZero Moment of truth (ZMOT) is a term coined by Google in 2011, actually refers to the research which is conducted by a user online about a product or service before taking any action i.e. searching for mobile reviews before making a purchase. The internet has changed altogether the way consumers are interacting with brands, products or services this online decision-making moment is termed as ZMOT.

So, I discovered this term lately and coincidentally my current journey as a freelancer cum wannabe entrepreneur is undergoing ZMOT. So what is ZMOT for me. It’s as simple as telling the inner voice to ‘Give up’. The alternative choice is trusting and backing self and saying ‘You can’. Two simple words backed up enormous moments of different emotions – happiness, angst, frustration, sadness, anxiety, pleasure, satisfied .. It’s cruel to make decisions especially when you have to make one for yourself and not for others. And this is what makes my ZMOT difficult because I can’t really quantify or compare all such moments and say, ‘Hey, 66.78% of my productive time I’ve felt good about my current journey, so, let’s continue.’ And then a voice comes and screams – EXCUSE ME. Did you say Productive time?

Precisely at this point the guy in the picture comes as a last-minute research to help me make the decision about my Zero Moment of Truth in continuing this journey. He is my son, my buddy and the one person who is the bouncing board for my thoughts. (But he loves Liverpool. Grr. I hope Arsenal wins EPL at least this year).

So, he says nothing. Does nothing. And yet, on a daily basis we observe each other’s progress without putting specific emphasis on results. We do acknowledge the efforts put in and not really being bothered about the outcome of those efforts. Amongst all the hard work, there is time to live life. And often as I recollect, at different times of life, there are different people, a relative, friend, passer by or an acquaintance or even a pet who help you make your ZMOT before taking any action.

Ishaan is like that honest reviewer of a mobile phone who will rate 3.4 / 5 and point out the pros and cons unlike many who just give a 4 /5. Such an honest review, my buddy, is my ZMOT.

This is the peril of being a freelancer as I have realised the hard way. The lure of getting away from the struggles, chaos and going to back to the salaried version of hard work is too high! Hats off to all entrepreneurs who work 24/7. The week has been hectic, full of so close yet so far projects, pending assignments and submission of projects. A silver lining – Finally we’ve got a housekeeper:) ‘You Can’, is what I am going to stick around with and fight the inner demons.

The chronicles of a wannabe entrepreneur – Week 8 (Ctrl = NO ctrl)


 

01
Logo created through crowdsourcing. Content Masala.

On October 21 I shared an update on LinkedIn. Readers were encouraged to look at 5 options of my setup’s logo and give suggestions, opinions and choose which option they liked the best. Of course there were different kinds of results. It is an interesting case of analytics that I soon would be sharing. Some key observations from this exercise:

 

  • Most of the millennial opted for a cool and colourful look
  • The experts (designers, creatives) scoffed at the designs and when I asked for specific feedback, none actually bothered to reply
  • The professionals with at least 10 – 15 years of experience went for an option that was neat, clean without too many frills.

And then there were few remarks that said that I wasn’t serious about it, it was just a gimmick or rather a publicity stunt. Honestly speaking it did raise my ratings significantly and introduced me to many potential clients. However, in the realm of Content Strategy we emphasise on being truthful and trustworthy with our customers and that is what I was. Nearly 800 comments later, the logo of my setup ‘Content Masala’ is there to see.

The learning for me though at the end of week 8 is not that of being able to create a logo or my experiment with crowdsourcing. It is a simple learning about Control. You may recall that currently am toggling between networking, finishing projects, being the house-maid, managing kids and also the learner (pursuing Digital Marketing and Content Strategy certifications). As the maid and the father the realisation that there is nothing in our control dawned on me. The dust, dirt will come and wreak havoc around the house; my daughter will not listen to me will having her lunch and take her own sweet time; the kids will create noise at that precise moment when you feel like taking a quick nap and of course the door bell will ring when you need to rush to the rest room!

The only thing in control was to do. Period. From the setup perspective, I soon realised the importance of having a decent logo that would appeal to the customers, is innovative enough to garner a conversation and importantly truthful enough to communicate my introduction. The best possible option was to take feedback from all and though reluctant at first, finally I released on LinkedIn my views about the logo. That was the only thing in my control – To trust readers to share their opinions. What started as a trickle eventually became a huge inflow of ideas, opinions that finally made this logo possible.

So, that’s about my impression of being in control.

At a particular moment you can be in control of only what you are doing and definitely not its outcome. So, live in the moment and give your best.

An example is the outcome of my pilot projects. Lots of hard work, innovation and thinking gone behind them and yet no closure. Sigh. All I can say is that there is a lot of gap between the cup and the lip:) Unexpectedly and surprisingly, got a couple of calls for full-time job. Well, to choose or not to choose the job opportunity is definitely in my control. Or maybe not:)

Rishi Arya, Content Masala

Author of ‘Always Yours’. | Tweet @rishi011278 |

The chronicles of a wannabe entrepreneur – Week 7


win_20161117_09_48_05_proThis was not that I had in mind when I quit my 9 and 1/2 year job nearly 7 weeks ago. The opportunities were tremendous, the motivation was sky-high and above all the passion to create a mark for self was unstoppable. Today the scenario hasn’t changed much except for the fact that I have discovered the true meaning of struggles and sacrifices.

After a 14.5 year work experience post MBA in Marketing, the entrepreneurial spirit within me shouted aloud, ‘Let’s do it. You have relevant Biz. development, product management and Content development experience. It’s time to be your own BOSS.’ This inner voice is the first thing that I hear every morning. I simply followed the voice. In fact it started as a murmur 2 years back and since then gradually I’ve set path on this journey of being my own boss. Released a fiction novel few months back, completed domain certifications in Life Insurance and currently pursuing certifications in Digital Marketing and Content Strategy. http://www.amazon.in/Always-Yours-There-Something-Called/dp/9386073617

So, what really happened? Yes, the networking started, submitted pilot projects to a few and definitely improved my social presence. Online certifications meant that lot many hours were devoted to attending training sessions and then learning on the topics. Yes, it was challenging but fun toggling between projects submission (yes, earned a couple of projects), pilot project presentation, networking and being there for everyone to see. I even launched an initiative on LinkedIn inviting opinions for the logo of my prospective setup called Content Masala.

But then the housemaid crashed out.

So as the image depicts my mornings are spent in tidying up the house, rolling up the mosquito net and cleaning the bed sheets, taking care of kids when they arrive from school and doing those zillion things that a housemaid does. On a daily basis, before I start my freelancing work and before I inch forward in the process of setting up my own business, I have to ensure that the house is in order. My wife and my kids are all in this together and maybe it is a blessing in disguise.

Surprisingly, in the process I have realised that the accomplishments of small activities is much powerful than looking out for the big result.

I find the same happening with my work. Whether I am posting this blog or creating that short video or designing the ILT program … the efforts spent in achieving a sense of satisfaction at the end of each small activity is a unique feeling. This is something that I dint cherish as a corporate professional. Of course there are moments of frustration especially when the bank account doesn’t play the music of raining money at the end of the month. There is anxiety related to the outcome of each pilot project and yet there is only a sense of optimism and the shout of the inner voice all along.

Signing off till the next week’s chronicles (pardon me for using this word as it is not apt, yet, I like it so I used it):) .. another activity to complete, fixing evening breakfast for kid.

Rishi Arya
Content Masala ~ Create simple, engaging stories.

‘Dear Zindagi, I love you’ – a 1000 rupee note


100o-rupee-noteNot so long ago, I was on a table with all my brothers and sisters (except that freshly minted green beauty) being worshipped. There were lights all around, sweets of different varieties were placed on the table alongside. We were a family of around 1000 and each of us individually were worth a thousand. Within the kingdom of currencies, we were labelled as One bat and three balls. We were stacked together by a rubber band and the humans called as bundle. For simplicity sake, I shall refer to the human being as my master. Of course, he wasn’t my first master and as my forefathers always said I was destined to be of use to many masters.

As the family started chanting and started moving the thali in a clockwise direction in front of us, my heart swelled with pride. From the corner of my eye I could see the image of Mahatma smiling. As I looked around, happiness was writ large on the faces of all within my family and other families of 500 and 100. The family of 100 has been traditionally considered inferior and only a handful of them were privileged to attend this ceremony. Poor them. Amongst many bundles of 1000 and 500, I could still spot my girl, the freshly minted green coloured 500 beauty.

I still remember jab we met. My erstwhile master removed me from his wallet and handed over to his master, err his wife who in turn procured another note and handed us over to the maid. As a white-collar executive, I was used to staying at leather wallets or purse or handbag. The uncouth lady and unfortunately my new master lifted us up thrust us somewhere within her under her dress. It was warm, pitch dark and it was quite a bouncing journey. Yet, it was probably the best environment ever. We both were by ourselves and before we could know each other more, the journey had an abrupt stop amidst some yelling. As she removed us amidst the prying eyes of onlookers, we were quickly snatched by a hand and handed over to a shopkeeper. This time I was traded for some glittering liquid in a bottle. By evening we were collected and placed in a locker at our master’s place.

There are other pleasant memories too. Yet what has happened in the past three days is interesting to say the least.

Day before yesterday my master lined up all his servants and declared that he was offering them Diwali gifts. It was surprising as he had already given them the inferior 100 rupees note along with a rupee coin. More surprising was the fact that he had invited servants from other households too. It was separation time for my brothers and sisters. It was literally Ae dil hai Mushkil to see them go away after all the suffocation we endured together in that black hole called locker. I was choked by the time they handed me over to Pappu, the laundry man. We were 20 in all and the only satisfaction was the wide smile on Pappu’s face. However, the happiness was short-lived.

The master removed me along with 4 others and kept us on the table. My girl was gone! After a long time when I opened my eyes, I was appalled to see the inferior 100s surrounding us. They were stacked up like skyscrapers while we the family of 1000 and 500 merely stood like hospital buildings, waiting for treatment of nervous breakdown. It was not to be. Today, I’ve been thrown in a haystack and I can sense that they are burning me. Why? From being worshipped to being burnt alive is not a journey. Yet, when I see the faces of many human beings around and as I hear them, it sounds good to me. Maybe that’s life, that’s Dear Zindagi for me. https://www.facebook.com/DearZindagi

Still can’t believe though that they let the family of 100 get away:(



Rishi Arya

Content Masala

Simple, Engaging Stories

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