TGOG: Chapter 1, Ready Player One
My weekly entry of my progress, experiences & learnings playing The Great Online Game
Hello fellow players! Welcome to the first edition of The Great Online Game where I'm documenting growing my startup, building my personal brand, and most importantly growing as an individual. I intend to be as transparent as possible with numbers as well as all my learnings and experience.
My drive for creating this newsletter is to first and foremost keep myself accountable, and document my journey. As a side effect of doing this, I hope this newsletter provides inspiration and invaluable insights you might then apply in your own life. Life is a game and this is simply my story of how I'm choosing to play it.
🎥 Why am I creating content?
Clarity of vision is so important before deciding to do something. I spent 10 days weighing the pros/cons of building a personal brand, what my niche would be, and the system I would implement to make it as frictionless and efficient as possible.
On the flip side, planning too much without any action is also not smart. I'm currently building MindGarden which is more than a full-time job, which is why I had to spend an inordinate amount of time looking at overlapping incentives and structures.
I definitely don't have everything figured out, but I had enough conviction and direction to begin making content and pledged that I would not quit until I had produced at least 100 different videos. This would give me more than enough time to solidify my niche and perfect creating valuable, shareable content.
🐳 What happened in the last 2 weeks
I created my social media pages for Tik Tok, Instagram, and Youtube, and posted 6 videos. My first 3 videos received less than 1000 views combined on Tik Tok, which was definitely demotivating considering the amount of effort I put in. However, interestingly enough the same videos accumulated over 30K views on Instagram.
I had tried to start on Youtube back in December of 2021 but ended up having to put that on hold given the fact that scripting, filming, and editing one single video took almost 6 hours of my time. These short-form videos are much easier and faster to make, and they honestly produce more views and followers.
Editing definitely takes the most amount of time, so I decided to take a shot and outsource it. The way I see it if it takes one hour to edit a video and you value your time at $50/hr it makes a lot more sense to hire someone overseas to do it. It was probably the best decision I could have made, the editing is fantastic, and super affordable and now I focus all my energy and time on scripting and filming.
At the rate at which I'm growing, I can see potentially hitting 15K followers before December rolls around. Here's the thing though, I don't care about the number of followers I end up having, what I really care about is amassing 1000 True Fans. More than this I want to create a community of builders, content creators, and people chasing personal growth. That's my north star, and everything I do revolves around that. A discord community is currently in the works which you can join here.
🌻 MindGarden Update
Monthly Active Users: 6011
Daily Active Users: 403
New Downloads Jul 3rd-17th: 896
We're currently in the process of doing a huge revamp of the app, both design and feature-wise.
As many readers may know, we are currently struggling with getting retention up. Only about 8% of users stick with using the app after a 30-day period (Calm & Headspace is at 8.5%) . We came to realize that even a 5-minute meditation on day one of using the app was way too big of a commitment, especially considering the fact that our target audience is Gen Z.
We're shifting our app from a meditation app to a mental health app first. We're adding breathwork animations so users will now have visual cues to breathe in and out, and of course, there will be a flower growing in the background.
Mood Checking is now rewarded with coins and now has over 36 variations compared to only 5 before. Journaling is now a full-screen page and is recommended daily action on the home page. Our hypothesis is that users will now track their mood and journal much more frequently which as a result will lead to more breathwork/meditation sessions. We're really focusing on baby steps for the users and stacking these small wins so they eventually have the confidence to do long unguided meditations.
I spent about 4 hours designing and recreating certain screens in the app last week. Last month we completely changed the art style of the app. Then spent about 12+ hours coding them up. We also have one contracted IOS developer who helps out and eases the workload off my shoulders.
We switched from a Mada -> Fredoka font, to give the app a more playful light-hearted vibe. All in all, this update that should be released this week is going to be the biggest change in the history of MindGarden, and hopefully will be the catalyst to finally finding product market fit.
🎮 Leveling Up
Here are currently the buckets in my life in which I'm trying to improve every day:
- Design (UI/Graphic Design)
- Personal Branding (Content Creation / Community Building)
- Gamification / User Experience / Behavioral Design
- Self-Improvement (Exercise, Meditation, Journaling)
- Creating Systems (Automation, Coding, Zapier)
These are the pillars by which I gauge my personal growth. Just like planning my content, I spent a lot of time thinking about which buckets are worth investing time into. I am still in the process of figuring out the leveling system, so these are rough estimates of where I think I am.
I chose these buckets because the majority of them overlap and synergize with each other. They all have enormous leverage, compounding returns, and are crucial in getting MindGarden to become a household name. Considering the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, this may seem like a ton of different areas but there were also numerous fields that didn't make the cut: drawing, animation, video editing, artificial intelligence, crypto.
I am extremely meticulous about how I schedule my day and track almost everything. I approach my day the same way a professional athlete approaches theirs, with extreme discipline and detail. This is simply the only way I am able to consistently perform at a high level. Please let me know if you would like a dedicated article on how I plan my day!
🥅 Goals for Next Week
Create 7 new videos, 4 vlogs + 3 talking heads. Continuing to experiment, and figure out my niche as well as a system that makes creating scripting, filming, and uploading content effortless.
Finish and upload the new big update to App Store.
Create new screenshots
Create version updates + monthly investor update page on a public notion page.
Spend at least 3 hours writing/learning (reading ≠ learning)
Deconstruct/Study 3 competitor apps
Finish 3 videos from ShiftNudge.com
6 AM wake up, Meditation, Yoga, Read fiction 1 hour before bed, every day.
📚 What I'm Currently Reading/Consuming
Jony Ive The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products
Sid Meir's Memoir
Don't Make Me Think
A Theory of Fun (Rating: 9/10)
That’s all for this week, thank you for reading this far. There’s definitely a lot of stress right now but it’s good stress. This newsletter will continue to evolve over time no doubt, just as I will. If you have a friend who would also enjoy following my journey please share!
Until next time, logging out.