23! It seems like life happened! Closing on 25 soon!
I can’t seem to recall my 19-22 years now! Though I had a lot of fun in my teen years (I know I am still a teen). But adulthood is here!
Some may say this at 25, 26 but I said this to myself at the age of 18 when I stopped taking money from my parents and became financially independent.
I won’t call myself an entrepreneur yet but yes I have tried and tested many online income opportunities.
Over the past 4 years of my digital marketing career, I have learned a few things that I want to share with you guys today.
Hold on to your coffee mugs because this will take time!
So here are 23 life lessons I learned before turning 23 today!
1. Take Calculated Risks in life as I did with Bitcoin!
Every new type of investment has its peak point. Bitcoin had its peak in 2017 where it reached $20k (now at $5-6k)
I was following bitcoin since 2015 because of its tech. Tech to change the online transaction system making banks obsolete.
I got into bitcoin investing in August 2017 with Rs. 3000. Soon my portfolio went up to 6000 in no time.
As a teenager, I thought let’s put more! Greed sank in! I put Rs. 23k to which I got Rs. 36k Back within a few months!
Then there were ICOs (Initial Coin offerings) just like an IPO of a company. These coins can be bought cheap if you register for the ICO!
I bought 2 coins – DragonChain and Electroneum
The first one was backed by Disney!
Second one: Revolutionary new digital payment ecosystem
I was a little skeptical about investing in ICOS as I had no knowledge about them but I did put $10 that is around Rs. 650 in both the coins assuming that it is fine I lose Rs. 1300.
5 months later. I got 8000% returns combined! 8000%!!! You Do the Math!
From this experience, I learned that you need to take risks in life. Take calculated risks. Don’t listen to what the world says.
Out of 1000 such ICOs, I went with 2 coins researching about them before the investment. Yes. Maybe I got lucky twice!
Another thing that I learned was the following:
It was a 10 year period of bitcoin (launched in 2008-2018). Every investment market has its own cycle. Be it Real Estate, Gold, Stocks, or Bitcoin.
One of the Rotarian told me to remove my money from bitcoin as it is going to crash soon because of the government regulations.
I believed in bitcoin technology (I still do), but investing and technology are different. I was so optimistic that I didn’t remove any money till bitcoin went down up to 60%!
A big mistake I can say. Finally, I exited from the market with 6x profit but it’s okay. Shit happens and you learn!
2. Moving on! (Rickshaw scene)
This is one of my best findings which came through an unusual experience on the street.
One day I was driving home and a car broke the signal and stood still in the middle of the traffic. As usual, people honking. Even I did the same. I stood there honking at the person, giving him looks and making him realize that his foolishness has resulted in this traffic jam.
While I did this for the next 5 seconds, one rickshaw driver who was on the other side asked me politely to go from the other side. Yes, there was enough space to move on from the traffic yet I stood there just to honk and teach the person a lesson.
A few seconds later when I came out of the jam, I realized how easy it is to move on from such situations.
You don’t need to teach everyone a lesson. If we humans were so good at what we do, the world would be a happy place to live in.
Sadly that’s not the case so think past the bad situation and try to move on! BTW This is from 2016.
Warning: This may or may not work in relationships!
3. Luck is when Opportunity meets Preparation
I have always believed in luck. I consider myself a lucky guy considering all my life decisions. I have always been optimistic about things. Maybe optimism may have turned tides my way. *points to the book: THE SECRET!*
One such incident that happened and I will always remember is regarding my driving license.
I visited the driving license issuing facility and forgot a few of my documents home. So I wasn’t allowed for the test.
While returning home, I was in a car with my friend and his dad. My friend said, “Your visit here could have been more fruitful if you would have brought the docs”. To which I replied, “Yeah right! Never mind Bad Luck”
Instantly, I hear “What? What bad luck!!!?”. This is his dad talking to me after 4 hours of utter silence.
They said there’s no such thing as bad luck! It’s your problem that you didn’t get your docs. Don’t blame it on luck.
I didn’t notice this but this quote later reminded me of this situation:
“Luck is when opportunity meets preparation” reminded me of this situation.
You always have to prepare for the judgment day and when the opportunity knocks, you have to be present for it with all your preparation!
People usually do the opposite and wait for the opportunity unprepared. Prepare yourself first!
4. Setting SMART Goals in life
YA YA! Everyone acknowledges how setting goals will help them in life but very few actually do it.
I can highly vouch for this now:
People with goals succeed because they know where they are going. It’s as simple as that – Earl Nightingale
I recently did the following strategy and a lot of things got cleared as I wrote down my goal on paper. Whatever tasks that I did after that, I questioned myself. Is this task/work taking me towards my goal in any way?
If yes, I would do it.
If no, I would skip that for later.
Even I ignored goal setting and planning for my success before but trust me you will be amazed when things actually start making sense (and some don’t tbh) after you set your goals right.
‘SMART’ Goal Setting Technique that I follow:
Specific – (simple, sensible, significant)
Measurable – (meaningful, motivating)
Achievable – (agreed, attainable)
Relevant – (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
Time-bound – (Time-based, Time-limited, Time-sensitive)
One of my long term goal (at least for now):
I want to book a 2bhk in Undri by the end of March 2023
Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Bound!
“If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.”– Lou Holtz
Give it a shot at least in this quarantined period! Write down your Top 5 goals!
5. Trying out New Things
If you one of my closest friend (or in my close friends list on Instagram), there is a high chance that I have told you about some weird habit that I am going to start tomorrow!
I like trying out different things. Example:
- Starting 15 instagram pages in different industries.
- Trying out new experiments in digital marketing
- Trying out home workouts
- Trying out 21 days habit challenge (I strongly Don’t believe in the fact that after 21 days, a habit is formed! Tried and tested. It takes lot more than that!)
- Trying out reading habits – 10 pages per day, 1 Hour day, etc
- Trying out meditation
- Doing Surya namaskars for straight 120 days!
Here is the proof of me doing Surya namaskars for straight 120 days:
Trying out new things every now and then has always got me excited. Even if I have left things half done, there’s this weird satisfaction I get after exploring new things and I will continue to do so!
Moral: Try new things quite often! Travel is one thing that I want to explore and haven’t explored enough.
6. Optimizing your Daily life
I have tried to optimize my life a lot!
Trying out different sleeping patterns eg: not sleeping in afternoons, sleeping from 12 am-4 am, sleeping and waking up at 5 am, waking up at 6 am, waking up and showering with cold water than a meditation on headspace (Go-to Meditation App).
I love reading productivity-focused blogs and medium.com as well. Now I may not be as productive as I should be in terms of work and life but I love those articles!
These optimizations might feel like a cage sometimes like waking up at 4 am! but this is how I want my life to be, disciplined yet enjoyable.
Try becoming the best version of yourself via different experiments! Do what suits you!
7. Always Be hungry to Learn
Everyone thinks when they start working or after graduation, there’s no need of learning new things or they get caught up in work that they don’t get time to learn new things.
When I was in college, I used to surf random stuff on youtube and take notes. Be it styling, hair products, marketing stuff, sales or fitness.
Learning is what I feel everyone should continue no matter how much you age or gain experience. I imagine myself learning new things at the age of 60 as well!
Learning always leads to new opportunities. Whenever I get bored, I try learning some or the other thing from youtube or other sources.
Yes. It does get me in the world of “just watching and not executing” phase but something is better than nothing right?
For me – The day you say I have learned everything in life is the day you will start aging!
8. Your Network is your Net worth
I second this a lot! Just a few months ago when I was working alone, I thought this may not be true. I used to read this in every motivational interview but ignore it completely.
I felt I would never get into partnerships or collaborations later. I am a lone wolf and I can survive myself.
But when I partnered up for Dikhava Digitals, I got to know my network is what helped me get clients initially. We live in a community-driven world. Your network plays a crucial role in your business. Don’t ignore anyone who can help you in some or the other way later.
I am glad that I get to connect with so many high network individuals through my network or Rotaract that I can contact easily and ask for advice if needed.
I build contacts that can help me in finance, life, career, and business. So go out there, build some great connections (not on Linkedin) that will help you in life. Don’t ignore this advice at all!
Industries where you must have at least 5 good contacts in my opinion:
1. Health/Fitness/Nutrition (Doctors)
2. Finance (Mutual fund advisors, CAs, Tax Consultants)
5. Start-up communities (in case you are launching any business anytime later)
Wonder why Marwardi’s are so successful? Because of their NETWORK and Collaborations!
9. Starting with a WHY before every work
Ever noticed you gave up on something or someone after a while? This happens when you don’t know exactly why you are doing it!
I didn’t know the importance of “WHY!” before reading the book: Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
Here is where the “WHY” comes into the picture. Try figuring out “WHY” you want it? Is there any specific reason why you want to do this?
In the book – Start with Why, there are examples of how big companies have used this technique and made trillions! *hints: apple*
Apple has always been a consumer-oriented company. Though I hate their crazy pricing and after-sales support, the products that they offer are incredibly perfect (some may go wrong as well)
With the iPod, they focused on the problem of music CDs. With the iPhone with a combined iPod and mobile phone.
Having a clear sense of why will take you much more ahead in life than just starting any work without a reason.
Example: Why do I want to work more than others at this age?
My WHY: I want to be successful in life way earlier in life than others! Retire Young!
10. Importance of a Mentor in life
I have always felt the need of a mentor in life. People at my age are busy partying, going on a vacation, living off their parent’s money, etc which is fine but I want to be different.
I have looked up to many entrepreneurs as a mentor online. Be it Garyvee, Digital Pratik, Rahul Bhatnagar. Some on digital platforms, some offline but I never really figured out how to work with them.
But it was November 2019, I landed on a strange blog via a Whatsapp link in an old group which was dead! The title:
Now, who won’t click on such links! As a productivity nerd, I did!
You cannot imagine the randomness of this event! I never read articles or check links that are shared in whatsapp groups. Without indulging in the conversation, I quickly landed on the blog and started giving it a read.
I explored other pages on the blog, signed up for the newsletter, took up all the free courses, even added him on LinkedIn.
I didn’t even think of him as my mentor while reading the blog. But somewhere I knew I need a mentor in life now.
I randomly texted him on whatsapp. He likes to keep it simple. He has given away his whatsapp personal number online which was strange in my opinion at first.
Did you even notice the first text that was sent on 18th Oct 2019 and then 25 November on his birthday!
That’s how long I took to make the best of this opportunity!
Fast forward to 26 March, I am working with him on multiple projects and while writing this, I am feeling proud of myself that I texted him that day without the fear of getting judged or anything.
If I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t be working with this guy today who has 10+ years of experience in my industry!
The Secret: Follow up with your mentor and offer your expertise for free to them. Give it a shot like I did and you may not know what will it bring to the table.
11. Importance of Financial management
Rich Dad Poor Dad – My very first book and a book that changed my financial mindset.
I knew how to make money with my time but how can my money make more money is what this book taught me.
Those simple terms like – assets, liabilities, cash flow, 4 quadrants and “why your house is not an asset” changed the way I looked at the finance in general.
This book not only inculcated long term investing mindset in me but also helped in cutting down my expenses on materialistic products.
I used to think about Fixed deposits and other safe investments before. Now I think about mutual funds and stocks all the time! Oh and sometimes Bitcoin!
Trust me. No one got rich by fixed deposits and keep their money in the bank. Whatever knowledge that I have today in the investing world, I attribute it to this book!
12. Balancing Social and Entrepreneur-life
Social life did take a hit when I actually started blogging. I got so carried away that I skipped birthday parties, night outs and outings. I used to come home. Start working on my blogs, Youtubing and learning everything till 2-3 am!
I noticed this change when a few of friends got distant from me. But then the best ones have stuck around for me till date. I was going to mention a few names here but the list is pretty big and I really appreciate their patience and love!
So whenever you start any venture, you will unknowingly ignore your social circle which is okay. Few may drop but the best ones stick around. I take this way:
You have to sacrifice a few people or your favorite things for your greater good.
But do try to balance your social and work life. It’s challenging task as well as fun at the same time.
13. Be a Multi-tasker but don’t Multi-task!
When I started out, I wanted to test a lot of things. Youtube, Adsense, Affiliate, drop shipping, building instagram accounts and much more.
Don’t do the same mistake as I did. I started many experiments and left them halfway as I lost my WHY for them. Instead, start with 1 thing and test it out completely. Once the first thing is set up, you can move to the second experiment/idea.
It’s completely fine having multiple tasks at your hand. I use TICK TICK (Not TICK TOK) to manage my to-do list for the day and week.
Don’t multi-task! I repeat!
I used to ignore this and work on creatives alongside but that took my focus away from my writing. Work on multiple things but don’t multi-task at the same time.
14. Being Proud of yourself/Appreciating Yourself
I used to achieve my targets and do nothing about them. I never celebrated them as such.
Sometimes you have bigger goals to achieve and you completely ignore the joy of achieving small milestones in your journey.
I still remember getting my first cheque from Adsense of $107! I was proud of myself.
But when I crossed my highest income in a month, I wasn’t that proud. I was just okay with it!
In your entrepreneurial journey, always look back to what you have achieved so far and appreciate yourself for it. There have been times where I have said to myself – “Have I really achieved anything? This won’t happen when you have achievements to look upon.
I bet this phase will come in your life as well. Just open up old photos and compare yourself. Not in terms of looks only but also what all things you have achieved in life so far. Learn to appreciate yourself!
15. Significance of Fitness/Health in life
I was always a skinny guy. I was actively participating in all the sports. So “fatty-ness” was not my concern until Diploma where I started blogging and used to sit for hours in front of my laptop.
Fortunately, I haven’t come across any major health issues as of now. Touch Wood!
I strongly believe in taking precautions rather than cure!
Start forming some of the other fitness habits like one of my friend walks for 45 mins daily. You don’t need to be a gym freak to get fit.
Just a normal diet and little exercise can do the job (Depends on how obese you are though)
Then there are all those limiting beliefs and negativity that are floating around fitness.
“If you take protein, you will just bulk up”, “Not good for your kidneys”. There are different types of protein you get in market. When I recently joined gym, I got to know about the various pros and cons of eating WHEY. Don’t trust advices blindly.
Even if you don’t have time, you can at least start with 30-40 jumping jacks in the morning for warm-up as soon as you wake up. It will help stimulate blood to your brain. That’s it!
Exercising does have a lot of great benefits mentally than you can imagine. I have felt it myself. One of the reasons why I hit the gym (at least sometimes)/exercise at home is to get those mental benefits throughout the day.
16. Always being Presentable no matter what the situation/occasion is!
This is one of the lessons I learned the hard way!
I was Secretary at one of the Rotaract Club that we chartered and during the election for the president, I lost.
I was overconfident about the fact that I have seen this club for 2 years and any tom dick harry would appoint me as the president. BUT
During the interview, I wasn’t prepared with my plans. No right formal attire for the interview. No vision for my presidential year and that I guess resulted in my loss.
I did quite blame myself for weeks about not being presentable enough to get rejected knowing I was the right choice for it.
Spoiler: Turns out something else had happened in the backend. Let’s not go into it. LONG STORY!
Point being, People are going to judge you no matter what. I don’t mean here to please people with your clothing style or whatever. You don’t need to be Ranveer Singh. BUT
Be presentable and carry yourself well. I try to be presentable most of the time. Be it my club meetings or client meetings.
17. Sharing my Knowledge and Insights for free
When I started blogging, no one would ask questions about it. Everyone knew I had started a blog. But when I started earning through it and few of my friends got to know that, questions started flooding in.
I never ignored anyone. I used to sit and answer every query from friends or others. I didn’t think much about sharing my experiences with others. But one fine day,
One of my friend texted me that her friend needed some advice on Fb and Google Ads.
She called and asked me questions that literally took an hour. She was applying for a big multinational company and soon got the job as well.
After a few months, she came back to me with a client that paid me well for very little work.
I never knew this would happen and when I look back at it, I think what if I wouldn’t have helped her. I wouldn’t have got the client in the first place.
So, what goes around comes around! Start helping people for free when you are just starting out or at least when you have time!
18. Documenting Everything for future
I have started this blog few weeks ago but I have videos of myself talking about my experiences. Wins, Losses, Mishaps, etc. Now when I have started writing this blog, I know how important it is to document everything you do.
Your documentation now can become a case study for later!
Let that thought sink in!
Now whenever I start anything, I record the basics of it and keep on documenting everything in some way or the other.
For habits tracking, I use habits app for android in order to start tracking my progress.
19. Taking up work even if you have less idea about it
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” – Bill Gates
I have a habit of taking calculated risks. If I feel I cannot do the work, I say no to projects. But very recently I have changed this strategy in some cases.
Recently I took up a project that felt impossible at first, later I did some research and it was a 4-hour thing that’s it!
To those who want to know, building a client’s landing page on GetResponse.
Point being, Sometimes you do underestimate yourself. Take that “look so impossible” task and start researching about it!
You might not deliver quality work or get that done properly but at least you will get to know something new.
20. Patience and Hard work will always pay off!
I worked hard for my current lifestyle! Be it traveling, partying or buying new goods.
Many of my close friends know how much I earn via my blogs. They think it was easy when I tell them the process and timeline. Yet most of them don’t know that I worked hard for it. Many sleepless nights (okay not sleepless but 3-4 am nights) and then doing college in the morning.
I worked on blogs and skills for a very long time without expecting a dime for 1.5 years. The problem today is, people expect way too much considering their knowledge and expertise in the field. No one will give you money if you are not valuable to them. If you bring the same skill set to the table as lakhs of people do, you are easily replaceable.
Find that one skill and be exceptionally good at it. You will have the power to demand any salary you want!
Now I was lucky enough to start earning at an early stage from my blog while some have toiled for years and got nothing. This is what I call – Opportunity meets preparation!
For those who are working hard on their skills and reading this, keep it going, buddy! Patience and Hard work will always pay!
21. Set ONLY 1 Habit at a time!
I have tried setting a lot of habits. Waking up, Writing one blog a day, Reading for 15 mins, Reading 10 pages, Not eating outside, Going to GYm, Meditating for 10 mins, Suryanamaskars, and many more.
This is what I found about creating habits:
Set only 1 habit at a time. I used to start 2-3 habits when I felt motivated. All of them would fail as usual.
Last year, I did only 1 habit. No waking up, No gym, etc. I noticed I was much more consistent with it than creating 3 habits simultaneously.
I have shared my experience with habits here: Testing 3 Habits vs 1 Habit at a time [Experiment]
22. Jack of All, Master of One!
When I started out, I used to learn everything. Graphics, Writing, Facebook ads, Funnels, WEbinar, Instagram Marketing, Pinterest Marketing and many more. Got hands dirty with everything.
Not only in my field, but I used to explore finance – FDs, RDs, Mutual Funds, Stocks recently. Personal productivity – Habits, etc, etc
Going over everything at the same time which was wrong. Sure. Jack of all helped me. It will help you as well. You may know bits and pieces from everything but in the end, nothing matters more than mastery of one.
As of March 2020, if people ask me what I am good at in digital marketing. I can say, I know decent enough of everything. I don’t have a single skill that I am master of!
Don’t do what I did. Explore other avenues but stick to one thing. That One skill. That one Blog. That one idea. Don’t spread out yourself too thin as I did. I am still exploring everything so that I find something that I am passionate about and work for it.
Regarding passion, ask yourself this simple question:
Will doing ____ for 3 years without any significant results will be okay with you?
If yes, you can think over this ___ as your passion. I know it seems easy but it’s not. TBH even my ___ is still blank!
23. Importance of Deep Work
What is Deep Work according to Cal NewPort:
“Professional activity performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive capabilities to their limit. These efforts create new value, improve your skill, and are hard to replicate.”
I treat deep work as:
Work that helps me focus on 20% of my tasks that will bring 80% results for me. In my case, this can be blog writing, building links, creating a valuable content piece like this. This type of work needs my creative side of the brain.
Whereas, shallow work: searching for captions, Netflix, creating blog graphics (which I am not good at). Basically, all the work that is monotonous and doesn’t need my creative thought process.
I am still experimenting with the Deep Work concept and recently got this book by Cal Newport.
So far, I am seeing very positive results from my deep work sessions.
I usually turn on zen mode, turn on Spotify playlist – Music for Concentration and work on my stuff.
I think this will help in the long run and I will start increasing my deep work time which is currently 45 mins to 2-3 hours.
Imagine 2-3 hours of creative output! Give it a shot!
Deep work is what got to write over 4700 words of this article for the first time in my blogging career.
Comments, Constructive Criticism and Optimism are always welcome in the comments below!