Year in Review 2019 : My Wins and Losses

It’s the start of another year. New goals! New challenges!

There’s a great chance that you’ve already gone through plenty of these posts already. But weren’t you curious to know why are so many businesses and influencers making these #YearinReview posts?

While for businsses it’s branding, personally this is a great way to start a year. Looking back at your wins and failures is the best thing you can do at the start of every year. This helps you start the year with a positive mindset and a clean slate. Remember this is more about self examination rather than being mad about your losses. 

I did one last year and I thought to make one this year as well. Before starting to write this one, I looked at my yearly stats and found that over 500 people read my last “Year in Review”. That’s amazing and motivating.

I don’t want to bore you with a lot of data, so I thought I’ll divide this into five sections. You’re free to jump to any of the sections.

Career

I switched companies in April last year. This was because my last company, AirCTO got acquired by GoJek (the “super” app). You can read more about the acquisition here.


This meant I had to find another job. When I was looking for a job I was really confused about the role and the industry I should work in. I just knew one thing, I wanted to specialise in one field.

After a lot of thinking, I realised that content is something that I’ve always been passionate about and I wanted to learn more.

I was lucky to join as a Content Marketer for a startup based out of Bengaluru, Exotel. It’s been about 9 months and I don’t regret my decision. It has been an amazing journey so far. There have been a lot of learnings (more on this later) and challenges.

I’m thankful to my mentor, Gayatri who has really helped improve my writing skills and my perception towards content. The whole team has been very friendly and fun to work with.

Here’s some of my learnings in the last 9 months –

1. Different content has different goals 

All content are not the same. The content which can attract you links might not get you a lot of traffic. On the other hand content getting you a lot of traffic might still fail to attract links.

Hence before writing content make sure to define a clear “WHY”. You can broadly divide content into 3 categories –

  • Informational article (getting traffic from Google) 
  • Data driven article  (Attracting links )
  • Bottom of the funnel content (solving user’s pain point)


2. Spending enough time in promoting content is key 

I know you might have heard this multiple times and there’s no denying the importance of content promotion.

If you’re struggling with promotion try-

1. Using communities for promotion (no spamming please)
2. Build links to get consistent organic traffic

3. Working in a team is difficult but it’s necessary for growth

When I worked in AirCTO, I was the only one responsible for marketing. While this meant I had to plan and execute things myself, it gave me a flexibility to experiment new strategies and work on my own pace. But there are downsides to this too, especially the learnings/feedback that comes by working in a team. 

4. Being organised is key to deliver more  

Lately I’ve been exploring a lot of tools to keep myself organised and be productive. Here’s what has worked for me –

– Pomodoro Technique (try 90 minute intervals)
– Trello and Notion (especially for managing my work)
– Creating a To Do list (use Todoist or TikTik)

5. Building connections increases your love for the skill

I spent a lot of weekends last year in meeting a lot of SaaS marketers. This was by attending meetups, conferences and connecting with them on LinkedIn. I’ll make sure to continue doing this year too. 

6. Failures, Disappointments is part of life

You can’t expect everything happen the same way you’ve planned. There will be failures, rejections and disappointments. At the end it’s a part of life and it’s necessary to accept it and move on. This is true not only professionally but personally too.

Personal

Apart from feeling old, a lot happened personally for me in 2019.

1. The love for SaaS and B2B marketing has grown manifolds 

B2B and Saas marketing is something I wish to keep doing in the future too. I wouldn’t have given the same answer 10 months back when I was hunting for a new job, but it’s clearer now.

2. Got a new ride and multiple Apple products 

In October last year I gifted myself an Iphone XR and a series 3 apple watch. Though I managed to get a Ipad Air and Macbook Pro in college itself, I know I needed these gadgets to get most out of the Apple ecosystem.

I got this shiny new ride too, the Aprilia SR150. 

 
 
 
 
 
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Lifeline ❤️ #apriliasr150 #apriliagasam #sr150carbon

A post shared by Himanshu Gupta (@himanshugupta2k9) on

3. Taking my health seriously 

Getting fit was one of my goals last year and I tried my best to work towards it. I purchased a Cult fit membership and I don’t see myself leaving it. 

This is mostly for two reasons –

1. Flexibility – With multiple centers and multiple workout options, you never run out of options.
2. Group workouts and trainers – For someone lacking motivation for gym (like me), I love the idea of group workouts.

In addition to this I’m also trying to eat healthy food and avoid junk.

4. Side hustles has taken a back seat 

2019 has been a disappointing year when it came to pursuing my side hustles. I failed to achieve most of my resolutions. I found it very hard to take time out for my personal projects.

However I managed to work with few established SaaS companies and help them with content marketing and SEO.

But I aim to change this in 2020.

5. Getting better with money 

I am really bad when it comes to managing money. This is something I am trying to get better. Incase you have some tips, please ping me. 

6. Love for graphic design 

I think it’s crucial for all marketers to learn the basics of design. After designing graphics for AirCTO my love for minimal design has increased. You can check my Dribbble profile to get a glimpse of some of my design work. 


Tools I love –

– Canva
– Sketch
Colour Picker extension
– Dribbble for inspiration

Travel

 “Never Travel with someone you don’t love” – Hemmingway

 I made very few trips this year. There were two that I’d like to share –  

Manali


Last year started with a great family trip. The snow and the beauty of the hills left me awestruck. It’s always great to spend time with your family.

Pondicherry


I ended 2019 with a small trip to Pondicherry with my college friends. It was extremely fun and I wouldn’t have wished a better way to end 2019. 

Plans for 2020

1. Work more on my side projects

My main goal for 2020 is to work on more side projects. This would include research, writing, promoting and designing content for my personal blogs and other organisations.

PS- I’m planning to launch a new blog soon. You’ll probably hear about in the second week of February.

2. Getting more organised and productive

For the first part of this month, I spent a lot of time in understanding how you can become more effective. But I realised it depends on how well you manage time. 

Remember being busy is not even near being productive.

PS – I started Bullet Journaling to solve this. Wish me luck 🙂 

3. Attending more meetups, building more connections

Meeting people who do the same work as you do is so motivating and inspirational at the same time. You’ll always end learning new ideas and even sharing your personal experiences. 

4. Save More

As mentioned earlier, money management is something I want to take seriously this year. It’s not about earning more but “saving”” more.

5. Play with paid channels

While organic channels are  the best when it comes to ROI, we all know it’s becoming harder day by day. Paid channels gives you the flexibility of driving and experimenting with different audiences on various content forms.

Conclusion

2019 was a great year for me. I want to make 2020 even better. With time flying so quickly, it’s sometimes very hard to focus on what you’ve plan for that year. Hence it’s very important to prioritise the tasks and goals in hand. 

Happy 2020 😀 

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