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24 Hours with Happy Marketer’s Damini Roy

24 Hours With... spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Asia’s marketing and media landscape. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Damini Roy, digital strategy lead at Happy Marketer

5.50 am: Alarm rings. I’ve chosen this alarm tune purposely: it’s a make-you-want-to-dance kind of happy sound that shakes me out of my morning stupor faster than anything else. After a few feline stretches, I’m finally awake.

6.20 am: I’m out the door walking towards the MRT station. I know what you’re thinking – why is she up and about this early?Confession: I’m a yoga junkie. The thought of sweating it out on my yoga mat first thing in the morning is very satisfying (that, and the cup of hot chocolate I treat myself with after class, of course).

7.00 am: On my yoga mat, I’m ready to Nama-slay (yes, I can be pun-ny too).

Most often, the class is less about physical endurance and more about mental tenacity. In the small moments that I’m awkwardly stuck in a yoga pose, the mind slows down enough for me to reflect on that one mental precondition that I want to tackle for the day.

8.30 am: I’m showered, changed and at my work desk: email and Slack scan to see key project updates. I populate and update my to-do list for the day.

9.00 am: As I scan Google Calendar, I realise I’m due to go to a conference today so my plan for the day takes a slight hit.

I quickly double-confirm I’m not scheduled for any client meetings or internal updates. Then, I move some tasks around and set up an auto-message to be excused for my slightly delayed email replies.

9.50 am: I’m at the Brandminds Asia 2017 conference venue, just as the morning coffee is winding up.

11.15 am: Session One is great – I’ve learnt some more things about digital disruption, its impact on the Asian consumer landscape, as well as the acute need for creativity in the current marketing climate.

1.40 pm: The conference is going well: lots of learning and connecting with like-minded folk. I quickly grab a bite for lunch, and excuse myself to check my inbox.

Seven emails need to be replied to urgently – I move from mobile phone to laptop screen, take a seat and start tackling them one by one. I plug in my earphones and crank up ‘Misirlou‘ on my Spotify (if you want to double-down on tasks with full concentration, I highly recommend this song).

2.45 pm: I’ve reached teatime break three of the conference – and I’m mentally reeling from the thought of listening to Gary Vaynerchuk in the next session.

I consolidate my notes from the session, and quickly find a quiet corner in the coffee area to take an internal call. My team in India is at their desk, and after the morning check-in: they’re ready to deliver on the agreed outcomes for today. On-time, on-target is the daily motto.

3.35 pm: Through a series of random and fortunate events, I find myself in a private audience with the man Gary V himself. He’s in his signature grey shirt, jeans and sneakers, talking to a journalist. As I’m seated less than 50 metres away from him on an angular chair, there are multiple thoughts going through my mind.

  1. Don’t freak out, fangirl.
  2. What next?

Colleagues at my firm Happy Marketer have been doing #HappyHourLive sharing sessions for our Facebook community for over two years now, so I think – “Well, here’s a great opportunity to pick Gary V’s mind firsthand, why not do a quick Live session with him?” After rapidfire introductions (Gary V speaks very fast too), he agrees to do a casual Facebook Live chat with me.

With no prior preparations, I carpe the diem out of this lucky chance and hear Gary V’s thoughts in-person on:

  1. How to balance the hustle with the humble, patient hardwork needed to see long-term results?
  2. What 20-year olds like myself should be focussing on for a more wholesome professional growth?
  3. What really matters in life?

As I go in for a handshake with Gary V, he gives me a hug instead and the fangirl in me is taking a mental snapshot of this fleeting moment for my highlight reel of 2017. Almost as a parting memento, I get Gary V to take a fun Boomerang with me – he’s awesome and accepts my request.

4.10 pm: I’m back at my seat in the conference venue. After quickly picking some highlights from the morning’s sessions, I’m ready for Gary V’s keynote.

5.45 pm: The keynote is much shorter than expected, and the Q&A session has been going on for 20 minutes now. Entrepreneurs, brand-side marketers and “hustlers” alike are asking questions.

6.20 pm: The Q&A session is still ongoing. This is the longest, most detail-oriented Q&A session I have ever witnessed at a conference. Gary V’s committment to providing personalised, tangible value to as many people as possible is mind-boggling. He keeps going from question to question, with no signs of tiredness.

6.40 pm: I sneak a peek at my inbox, and realise I have to firefight an internal issue. I step outside the conference hall and make a few calls on Slack.

7.25 pm: All dangers are averted, projects are on-track and I can finally take a breather (phew).

As I’m stepping out, I bump into a co-attendee who wanted to find out more about what I do at Happy Marketer. We agree to a quick chat right away.

8.40 pm: I’m finally in a cab on my way home.

9.05 pm: UberEats is the urban version of the knight-in-shining-armour. I have a light dinner, and settle in with my book. It’s a date: Rumi and I.

10.00 pm: Book set aside, phone off, lights out. I’m tucked into bed, thankful for a great day: full of both the “daily”ness and the surprises.

As I drift off, I’m thinking: “Another day, another adventure. Can’t wait!”

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