2020 was a very different year. It was full of uncertainties. It was dark.
As everyone else, going into 2020 I too had a lot of goals. But most of them became irrelevant after the pandemic hit. We were all locked into our rooms. The only goal was to stay safe.
However, the pandemic had a silver lining. With work from home, it gave us a lot of free time to discover ourselves be it picking up a hobby or starting your side project.
Here’s my learnings from the last year. Every year I write a year in review blog sharing my wins and failures for that year. It’s a good habit and I recommend everyone doing it (even when you’re not comfortable sharing it in the public).
The biggest highlight of 2020 has to be this blog, ContentZeal. After a lot of planning and procrastination, I finally launched it. In the past, I’ve launched and started many blogs. Some have worked, some failed. But in the process it has taught me a lot about blogging and content marketing. It has played a critical role in shaping my career.
So, what’s ContentZeal?
ContentZeal is where I share my learnings as a content marketer. You’ll find growth stories, reviews, tutorials, teardowns, and more.
In a very short time, it has garnered a lot of traction and I’m glad. Few blogs like the Freshworks Growth Story and LinkedIn Ad Examples blog was really well received on social media. The Freshworks post for example got almost 500 hits in a single day. I even republished it on HackerNoon.
I even launched a free 7 days email course that contains actionable content marketing strategies. Basically, I’ve put in everything I’ve learned as a content marketer while working with various SaaS companies.
As we move into 2021, I plan to add more in-depth guides. So keep an eye out.
My learnings and why should someone start their own blog
Joining Vernacular.ai (my third job)
After my stint at Exotel, I joined Vernacular.ai as a Content Marketer. There’s something about working at early-stage startups that you don’t find anywhere else. It gets the best out of you. After the first company (AirCTO) that I worked for got acquired, I had no idea where my interests lied. But after almost two years, I know I want to stick to B2B marketing. Exotel has played a very pivotal role in that.
I really owe to my colleagues (Gayatri, Sahith, Sooraj, Varun, Surbhi, Rajat, and Rumman). Thank you!
It’s been a little more than four months here and I’ve throughly enjoyed it. We’ve raised Series A funding in June and we’re already working with the top enterprises in the country. I’m really excited to achieve great things here.
Changing a job amidst a pandemic and my learnings
Well! Changing a job during the lockdown was weird. There’s something about the office environment that can’t be replaced through a Zoom call.
I’m really waiting for everything to go back to normal and go to the office. Hope that time comes soon.
Here’s what I’ve learned in the past three years working at different companies –
Managing my personal finances better
In my last year in review blog, one of my goals was to get better with money. I’m happy to share that 2020 was considerably better. Every month I invest a sizable portion into mutual funds and in equity. Here are my tips (as a complete newbie) for anyone planning to start investing –
- Don’t wait for the perfect salary. Irrespective of what your current salary is, you can start investing. Start with what you’re comfortable with. Just ensure to create a plan and follow it every month.
- If you’re confused about where to start, check YouTube. There’s a lot of great channels that can help you get started. Be it mutual funds, tax-saving schemes, or the equity market.
Here’s what my friend, Tarun who recently started investing had to share –
I recently stared investing in the equity market. Every month I ensure I invest a sizeable part of my income. Even as a beginner, in only a few months of investing, I’ve received good returns. I usually get advice from my friends. Even though I was thinking to invest for a long time I never started. But finally in Oct 2020, I gave in and started investing. I must admit it does feel good to see my money work compared to just see it my bank account. In 2021, I plan to diversify my portfolio.
Today apps like Zerodha, Groww makes it very easy to start investing. You just need to create a habit and stick to it. It’s no rocket science. Try investing an amount you’re comfortable investing.
Remember, it’s never late to start.
Contributing to SaaS Sessions
Side hustles have changed my life, literally. They can really help you gain knowledge and pick skills that are difficult otherwise.
So, when Sunil reached out to me if I was interested in helping him out SaaS Sessions, I couldn’t say no.
What started as a way for Sunil to learn from the best folks in SaaS has turned into the most popular SaaS podcast in India. In little less than two years, it has crossed 10,000 listeners. It’s crazy what consistency can do for you. To date, there are more than 75+ episodes. If you’re passionate about SaaS, I’d highly recommend SaaS Sessions.
Alongside the podcast, there’s some exciting stuff planned. Follow us to stay updated.
Connecting with awesome people on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an amazing platform. It’s more than just a job-hunting platform. Personally, It has enabled me to reach and connect with people I never thought I’d do. In my opinion, the benefits of networking are very underrated.
In the past two years, I’ve connected with some awesome founders and marketers. It has helped me make some great friends. Even as a complete beginner, don’t hesitate in reaching out to people on LinkedIn. Just try to be natural and avoid spamming.
Along with connecting with people, never shy away from sharing your learnings and commenting your point of view. Each one’s perspective matters. A few months back, I posted a video launching my 7 days free email course. In just a few hours, it got hundreds of views and got me subscribers too.
Whether you’re looking to improve your skills, get your next opportunity, or just connect with peers in your community, start connecting with people on LinkedIn. It will greatly impact how you think and to your career.
Another year, new goals
I can’t believe it’s already been a month. As with any other year, there’s a lot that I’ve planned for 2021. My primary goals is to be more consistent with ContentZeal, doing great things at Vernacular.ai, staying healthy (that’s very important), and hopefully (fingers crossed) explore new places.
That’s it. Hope you were able to learn a thing or two from this post. If you found it useful, feel to share it with your network. It really helps.