100th Post on Medium

Today I complete my 100th post on Medium! Yay!

This is beyond the 600+ posts that I have on my personal blog since 2003. My first post on Medium was 5 years back in 2015, and that means I have averaged around 1.6 posts per month there.

Is this sufficient to get noticed on Medium considering the volume of content that gets published on Medium now? I know it’s NOT. But it’s still a win for me, my own small personal win. To be able to dedicate some time to write despite all other madness in life.

Writing consistently requires effort, and that too a lot of it. 

To add to that, just writing is not enough these days. A whole lot of work needs to be done for content distribution and reach too. 

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Restart Writing: How to generate content ideas

In case you’re expecting this post to be about tools, well, there will be some mentions below. But before we move to tools, let’s discuss the power of “I” in generating content ideas.

It’s wonderful to know that the last post resonated with many of you. The most common response that I received was – realization is there but how to restart? Sometimes the mind is too blank or blocked to think about a topic or, where to start from?

I don’t have any formula for this but I am happy to share what works for me when I get stuck with ideas and thoughts. I simply start with “I” on my notepad.

While I am using the word “simply” but trust me this “I” is very powerful when it comes to my writing process.

This “I” leads to myriads of thoughts and opens up the opportunity to multiple trails.

I think
I read
I watched
I traveled
I observed
I felt
I …

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Getting back to writing? These ‘R’s help me always

In writing, habit seems to be the much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. 

– John Steinbeck

Last month I didn’t write anything, not even a single blog post here or on my personal site. Partly because I was very busy on the work front and partly because I slipped off my daily writing routine. I write first thing in the morning before my family wakes up. Of late, lots of late-night work calls and general randomness in life during this whole work-from-home and school-from-home phase have been making it difficult to wake up early. 

But if I look closely, the key reason to not write would be – not sticking to my schedule.

Following a writing-schedule requires self-discipline and that too a lot of it.

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Entrepreneurship lessons revisited during the COVID crisis 

As part of one of my recent projects, last quarter I got a chance to interact with some awesome entrepreneurs from Central Europe. While the discussions were primarily around pivoting during the pandemic, there were many other learnings for me about entrepreneurship and life in general. Sometimes candid conversations give us many more insights than planned discussions.

As Charles Handy said, The best learning happens in real life with real problems and real people, not in classrooms.

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Introducing – Connecting The Dots

My this site has content accumulated for almost 17 years now and has more than 500 posts. That means, on average 2.5 posts per month. At times there have been periods of lull and at times my writing has been on a high. What has kept me going on till now? Passion? My love for writing dates back to as early as when I learned alphabets. Perseverance? I am a creature of habit to the extent of being boring at times but somehow that’s the life I like – of habits and discipline. Or something else? More on it in my next post soon. But if there is one thing that I have understood about writing in the last 3 decades, it is the power of consistency.

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What is branding?

No, I am not going to write yet another post on a topic for which more than 10,000 books &  8,000,000,000+ google search results exist. Even though millions of resources exist but there are only a few that catch your attention and this post is about that :).

I recently shared a personal anecdote on how brand influences action. What I bought was just another drugstore brand but why I bought it, had some correlation between brand and buyer behavior. The why of my buying behavior resonated with fellow professionals in some of the marketing and startup groups that I am a part of. While I received much positive feedback about the post but it also ignited a discussion on what is branding? Not surprisingly, everyone had an opinion, but not a consistent one. These groups have a mix of professionals from marketing, product, design, and entrepreneurship background and all these roles require an understanding of branding, albeit of a different scale. So, it was interesting to listen to different perspectives, especially from designers and marketers. 

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Little things you wish would continue post-COVID too: Lockdown Diaries

Last weekend, we went to a public park nearby after lockdown of more than 75 days, and what a refreshing change it was! To see the greenery, to breathe the fresh air, to feel the wind, it was all so beautiful. Perhaps more so, because we were experiencing it after long.

That’s the thing about humans, we hardly appreciate things whose lack we haven’t experienced. With the infrastructure to reach anywhere across the globe anytime, and with the possibility to even travel to space now, none of us would have ever imagined that there will be days in our lives when stepping out of our home would become a luxury, something worth celebrating and cherishing. 

Such is the power of scarcity, we run after abundance but it’s often the scarcity that makes us appreciate.

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The value of Brand in the time of uncertainty

A couple of weeks back, I was in urgent need of a moisturizer and everything was closed due to lockdown except for essential services. To add to that, I have relocated to a different country recently and I am hardly familiar with my surroundings yet. I went to a shop nearby that had slots allotted to us hoping I will find one of the known brands there. I had a few minutes to browse the store and pick up something before the slot was over. With most of the labels here being in either German or Hungarian, I generally rely on Google translator for help but even that was giving trouble due to flaky connection. I couldn’t spot any familiar product on the shelf. I kept on trying to read different product descriptions with the help of the translator until I spotted this:

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Coping up with the new normal

Yesterday the internet was flooded with pictures of schools reopening in China.

These photos give me hope, hope for tomorrow, hope for normalcy but these pictures also tell me that the normal tomorrow won’t be the same as the normal earlier. 

There is going to be a clear difference in life for many of us.

The product person in me looks at these cute, beautiful hats and says – ingenious! 

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