42 min read

Annual Review 2024: How I Became a One-Person Business

(And unlocked the Life of Freedom that I set out to achieve 24 months ago)

⚡️27th November 2021, A Saturday night in the city of Gurgaon, 2 friends decided to take their first BIG career/life decision: "No Job in 2022"

⚡️ 24th December 2022, After 12 months of no job, saying NO to startups, MBA, and every other conventional career path, we discovered the journey of a Minimalist Entrepreneur. (Now, we call it a One-Person Business)

⚡️24th December 2023, Today, as I write this blog, after 24 months of starting my entrepreneurial journey, I'm almost choked up as I proudly say for the first time, "I have FINALLY figured it out!

As a One-Person Business,

– I can live wherever I want.
– I work with industry leaders who inspire me. (and it feels like play!)
– I have a tribe of people who're obsessed with living an 'Insanely Great' life.

And, within 3 months of starting my 1st business, I've breached my (high-paying) salary as a Credit & Fraud Risk Analyst at American Express.

From struggling to earn a sustainable income to live in Bangalore to unlocking a Life of complete Freedom to live and work from anywhere in the world, 2023 made us go through battles that we never could have imagined, but in the end, gave us memories that we'll cherish for a lifetime!

This blog is my humble attempt to take you through 12 months of the most transformative year in life.

I hope it gives you the nudge of inspiration to push for 'Insanely Great' in the coming year!

Quick Recap - How did we reach here?
Q1 2023: Mission Survival - Introduction to the "One-Person Business"
Q2 2023: True Freedom of Location - I'm a Ghostwriter!
Q3 2023: Jordan Mode - Building & Launching my One-Person Business
Q4 2023: I've done it! Now what? - Gearing up for the "Avicii Years"

⏳ A Quick Recap

How did we reach here?


That's the word we use when an idea feels so 'Insanely Great' that we should just 'Go for it'. Go for it right now. Go for it ALL IN!

And just like 2022, (and I'm sure I'll be saying the same thing in 2024 review), we started the year with, 'Lagey! This year is going to be THE YEAR'.

But I don't want to start the story from a void. So here's a 20-second recap.

What happened in 2022:

January - March [Q1]
– Aditya (me) & Chetan land in Bangalore to ace GMAT.
– I go on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Gokarna.
– I meet Charith. This marks my entry into the world of startups.
– I come back.
– I ace GMAT with a 760 score.

April - June [Q2]
– We find an apartment in Bangalore, name it 'Hoegaarden'
– I read everything I can about startups & products
– I do my first market research freelance gig for a CRM company
– I do a Himachal Trip with family

July - September [Q3]
– I become a co-founder at a startup, named "Rekonsile"
– We do a kickass house-warming party
– I tear my ACL in an unfortunate football accident
– We have a HUGE fight at Hoegaarden between friends
– We emerge massive clarity: "No Startups"

October - December [Q4]
– I discover OKRs. Chetan discovers The Minimalist Enterprenuer
– Chetan launches his website. I launch my website.
– We go to Goa for a trip (My first after injury)
– We decide to go on ALL IN on the path of a Minimalist Entrepreneur
– I break up with Rekonsile. Step down as the Co-founder.


So, here we are, starting a fresh year, ready for round 2 of my attempt at 'starting my own business'. Super excited and raring to go!

Q1 2023: Mission Survival

Introduction to the "One-Person Business"

I was facing a BIG problem.

12 months of no job, and earning almost nothing, I was facing the MOST DREADED moment in the life of any risk-taker: "ZERO in my bank account."

I had <30 days!

Goals for the first 3 months

The time for experimentation was over.

Now, things were real. And I started the year with solid goals based on the OKR framework I'd learned last year. Here's what they looked like.

🎯 Committed Goal #1: Reach Financial Sustainability

Key Result: Secure 40k/month income in the next 3 months

After a LOT of research, I landed on 40k as the number that'll make sure I can survive with a decent life in Bangalore. It was by no means aspirational, but by all means, I still had zero experience of doing anything real in the world of business. And that's what made it significant for me.

🎯 Aspirational Goal #2: Figure out the Business Model for the Minimalist Entrepreneur Journey

Key Result: Crystallize the Business Model Canvas for the next 12 months

40k/month was survival. Meaning, do whatever it takes to make it happen.
But this goal was for the long term. We had a sense of what the journey would look like, but we didn't know anything about how to bring it to reality.

Business Model Canvas is a framework that forces you to determine:
– Who are your target customers for the business?
– What value do you offer them?
– What products/services enable you to create this value?
– How do you price your products/services?
– Who are the key players you need to run the business?

The goal was to figure out answers to all these questions in the next 3 months. And set the foundation for the 1st real 'Business'.

And the plan was:

In January & February, I'll figure out how I'll make the 40k/month (without taking up a job), and then, only after I've figured it out, will I even start thinking about the business model stuff for the long-term.

Made sense, right?

Survival first, then we go searching for the 'Insanely great'.

My first gig as a "Freelance Marketer"

In an ideal world, you want to find your clients online.

But to do that, you need to know:

  • Who do you find?
  • What do you offer them?
  • How much do you charge?

I didn't have a clue about the answers to any of these questions.
[Yes, NOW I do have solid answers to all of them. But we'll come to that ;) ]

Time was running out though.

So, I decided to go to 2 people who I had built trust with, in the past year, and who I knew were running profitable businesses.

  1. Pradeep, Founder and CEO of Being the Parent
  2. Sridhar, Founder and CEO of Trunorth/Kreat.ai

I went to them and this is how the conversation went.

"I'm looking for a role as a Freelance Marketer. I've known you & your business for a while now, and I genuinely think I'll be able to contribute. I DON'T know what exactly I can do, but if you can suggest me the role, I'll learn quickly and be valuable"

I'm not kidding.

If you have any experience with business, you'll know how shitty a statement that is, to say to a business owner when you want to offer your services.

This was my proposal:

I can't tell you how BAD this is!


Since they had seen me put in the effort and fail with Rekonsile (my ex-startup), they trusted me with 'authenticity'.

And, they decided to give me a chance!

I landed my first 2 gigs purely based on authenticity and honesty.

(But, the goal wasn't achieved! Because I hadn't shown the courage to talk money numbers with either of the 'clients' yet)

And then, the most dreaded moment of my Life!

To track progress on my goals, I created a beautiful worksheet.

"The Dreamline Tracker": One of my most powerful inventions!

As you can see, it wasn't until the end of February, that I earned any money from the freelance gigs. (And I had <30 days to figure out the 40k/month)

Which means?

YES! I did go to an actual ZERO on my bank account.

Wow, I cannot forget the moment.

I was in a wine store, and I had to pay Rs. 1500, and my PhonePay went RED saying, "Insufficient Balance". I checked both the bank accounts and I had a total of Rs. 900 left. Not enough to even carry me through the night.

First, I took a step back, closed my eyes, and breathed. 5 deep breaths.

Then, I called Chetan, and said, "Bro! I've hit rock bottom. Would you please transfer a few 1000s to me?"

His immediate reaction was, "Oh! Finally :)"

We had a laugh about it and he transferred me the funds to keep me alive. I lived 1 month off borrowed sums and then the pain of it all propelled me to have the money conversation with clients. Within 30 days, I closed my first 3ok/month.

Looking back, what happens when you hit rock bottom?

Guess what?

NOTHING happens!

Even when you hit rock bottom. You are the same person. With the same problems. We fear the imaginary situation of being broke and on the road a lot. That's what keeps so many people from ever starting.

But now that I've experienced it, it's not that bad at all. When you're driven by purpose and you're working hard towards it, your friends, family or someone will come and help you. That's how humans are wired. We're not in this alone. And we never will be.

A one-liner lesson to take away ->

We hype up our problems wayyyy too much. Reality isn't that bad ;)

And a quick observation:

Look at the tracker. For 2 whole months, I had Progress = 0, but Confidence = 10.
If there's anything that depicts who I am, it's this!

Hey, I'm Dan Koe!

Okay, coming back.

Late January: I'm broke, working for my first 2 clients, and fighting it out.

Every day was an uphill battle against survival, so I wasn't even thinking about my other goal (to figure out the long-term game).

But then, out of nowhere, I stumbled upon a post on my LinkedIn. There's this guy who's going viral on YouTube and people can't stop talking about him. I clicked a few links, and I saw this.

Immediately, I was like 'WOW'. Talk about 'Made for you' content

A week or so later, me and Chetan watched it together. It was such an iconic moment, I'll never forget it.

The video starts with: "Work Less. Earn More. Enjoy Life"

And continues to explain EVERYTHING that was missing from our understanding of the Minimalist Entrepreneur.

41 mins later.

There was stunned silence.

We got up from the table, took it all in, and the only words we could say were,

It took about 20 mins for us to calm down and come back to reality.

Life had changed.

One-Person Business.

That was the new name of the game!

A Tribe is born in Sangla, Himachal Pradesh

For the next month, I continued working for Pradeep & Sridhar, while parallelly binge-watching Dan Koe every chance I got.

But in the background, another story was brewing up.

After I had posted last year's annual review, a traveler friend of mine, reached out to me. We'd met in my solo travel days (almost 2 yrs ago), and stayed connected on Instagram. Inspired by the story, she wanted to know more. In details!

Now, we (me & Chetan) had stopped trying to 'convince' people to be on this journey with us.

We knew that the battle was with the self. So for 6 months, we were focused on playing the game solo. And not involving anyone else.

But we both have 1 big weakness.

When someone proactively reaches out and shows enthusiasm, then we can't help but respond.

Rashmi Sharma was the 1st person who joined the two of us on this journey!

Over 4-5 short video calls, I saw the the same spark (and frustrations) in Rashmi that I had 2 yrs ago. And I knew in my gut that she was made for this game.

So, we planned a trip to Sangla, Himachal to introduce Rashmi to our world.

First week of March, I did 2 things:

  1. I finally closed my first monetary deal with Pradeep. We decided on 30k/month as my pricing. The first 'Sales call' in my life was disastrous. But it taught me a LOT. I would become A LOT better at it VERY FAST soon :)
  2. I liquidated 30% of my stocks from Index funds that I had bought during my salary days at AMEX. So I had the freedom to travel to Himachal.

And I was off to Himachal! Once again! (it never gets old)

Sangla, a remote town in Himachal, celebrates a beautiful HOLI!

We celebrated Holi.

We inhaled the magnificence of the mountains for 4 days.

Then we started discussing life.

I knew that the 'Why' behind our struggles would only make sense when we're in the mountains. And when I can say,

"See, we can have this for as long as we want, whenever we want. And that's the dream!"

On a peaceful quiet morning, gazing at a river beneath the mountains, I explained for the first time: what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and why the world is wrong for following the "default" path.

And there, on 7th March 2023, we (me & Chetan) were not 2 solo adventurers anymore.

Our movement had inspired another human. With the same intensity with which we started.

We were now a Tribe!

A Tribe of humans who refuse to settle for a sub-optimal human experience.

A Tribe of one-person businesses who live their lives "by design".

[By the end of the year, "Lagey!" the tribe (running name) would be 6 people! There would be 6 'Flip statements'. Keep reading ;) ]

Coming back to Bangalore, I had a Tough Realization

After spending 8 days in the mountains, the traveler inside me (whom I had kept quiet for so long) resurfaced!

I fell in love with the slow, beautiful life in the mountains all over again.

But I couldn't extend my stay :(

Because I had to come to the office for both of my freelance gigs.

I had developed in-person dependencies with teams.

And unknowingly, I found myself in a very similar situation to how a 'salaried' employee would.

Even though I was not at a job, I had somehow managed to create a job-ish life!

This meant I had to leave Himachal within 10 days of arriving. And it's a minimum of 20 days less than how much I would've wanted to stay.

With a heavy heart, I came back.

But not before I made a small change to my goal.

Goal for Q1 was: Secure 40k/month income in the next 3 months
Goal for Q2 was: Secure 40k/month completely online income in the next 3 months

A simple tweak made all the difference in the world :)

Q2 2023: True Freedom of Location

I'm a Ghostwriter!

Back in Bangalore, my life with 2 freelance gigs resumed.

Summer had started to kick in, and I was earning 30k/month while working 5ish hrs/day for 2 startups. Yes, technically I was "learning a lot". (I've grown to understand that this phrase means practically nothing!)

But, I wasn't happy with life.

The pain of "No freedom to travel" was building up.

And every time pain builds up, you know you're getting ready for a breakthrough!

Business 101: Essential Education that Schools forget to Teach us

All of March, here's how my daily schedule looked like:

Wake up at 6 -> Read books for 2 hrs -> Hit the Gym -> Shower, Breakfast, Black Coffee -> Go to Co-working Space -> Work on my Freelance Gigs -> Come back home -> (Do something till the end of the day) -> Sleep at 11

Looks pretty monotonous right?


Within <30 days, 2 hrs a day, reading content from 4 legendary business leaders completely transformed our understanding of business and life!

Here's a quick summary of everything I learned:

  1. Dan Koe taught me What is the philosophy behind running a "Business":

Business is simply a vessel for Value Creation.

Humans are social creatures. We help other humans solve problems that they don't have the information/expertise to solve. In return, these humans pay us back in the form of "money".

So the whole game of business is to give structure to this transaction so that both parties build trust to 'Actually' invest time & energy into solving problems.

Hence, business is not a complex concept.

It's just a humble act of figuring out how to solve problems for people and then actually going out and helping people out.

But why not do it without having a business?
➡️ Because when you're a business, you're accountable to deliver on your promise. It's not just talk.

  1. Alex Hormozi taught me How to create Offers so good that people feel 'Stupid' saying NO:

Now, every business has 3 elements:

  • Market -> Who are the people you're helping?
  • Offer -> What are you offering them?
  • Traffic -> How do you find these people that you're trying to help?

In his breathtaking book, $100M Offers, Alex Hormozi has given a Step-by-Step Process about How to create Offers that are so good that people feel stupid saying No.

This skill, without a doubt, is the single most important skill I've learned this year.

If you're an entrepreneur, you'll be BLOWN AWAY by this book.

Dan Koe, Alex Hormozi, Russel Brunson, Tim Ferriss
  1. Russel Brunson taught me How to create a Mass Movement of people who'll pay for your advice:

Russel Brunson is the OG internet Entrepreneur who invented 'Sales Funnels'.

From his brilliant book series "The Secrets Trilogy", the first one I picked up was called "Expert Secrets", How to Create a Mass Movement of People who'll Pay for your Advice.

This book gave me answers to the other 2 elements of business.

  • Market ->Who are the people you're helping?

Russel argues that every human being is an Expert in something.

It's because they've solved problems that other people are struggling with daily. They just don't realize it because it feels obvious or effortless to them. So, the key to picking a Market is simply self-reflection.

"What problems have I solved for myself that I can help other people with?"

  • Traffic -> How do you find these people that you're trying to help?

By becoming an Attractive Character & Building a Mass Movement of People.

The Internet allows you to find anyone who resonates with your values. So, by creating an attractive digital identity for yourself, and talking about the transformative journey that your business takes people on, you can attract all the right people organically.

In his book, Russel outlines the End-to-End process of how to build your Attractive Character and then create sales funnels to build your movement.

  1. Tim Ferriss taught me What it means to be "Rich" and Live a "Life by Design":

And all of this business stuff for what?

Tim Ferriss, in his ground-breaking book "The 4-hour workweek", solidified our understanding of "Why" we were on this path of an Entrepreneur.

3 standout concepts that I got:

  • The Definition of New Rich
    The Old Rich measured Richness by only 1 metric: Money. The New Rich measure 3 metrics: Time, Money & Mobility.
  • The Goal is NOT to RUN a Business
    Think about your business like a Train. The goal is not to become the driver, conductor, or platform manager of the train. The goal is to instead be the owner of the Train. We do this by building a ‘System’ that is capable of creating value without the owner being involved! That’s how we achieve Freedom :)
  • The Dreamline
    A very important question is, “Why do I want the Freedom of Time, Money & Mobility?”

    Tim gives a brilliant framework to answer this HARD question. After this exercise, for the first time, I knew EXACTLY why I desired Freedom. What did I want to HAVE, What did I want to BE, What did I want to DO, and How much Money do I want to achieve everything I want.

    (And it’s so liberating when you come up with the actual numbers)

I’ll write a detailed blog post about doing the Dreamline Exercise in the coming weeks. It’s life-changing for anyone who wants to design their life intentionally.

So, equipped with this education, by the end of March, I was finally ready to become a Business Owner. And life was about to change, dramatically!

Welcome to the Tribe, Sakshi Wahi!

Another beautiful story for you guys :)

I first met Sakshi at Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay's cultural festival in my 1st year.

Me, Chetan, Sakshi, Yugansh & Pragati became a group in all the Mood Indigo years and we used to do 1 trip every year since graduation (2020).

Last year's trip, the Goa trip I mentioned in Recap, was with the same group of amazing humans. But for Sakshi, it turned out to be more than just a trip!

On the last day of that trip, we had a 30 min parting discussion on, "What do you want?" and "What's wrong with a 40k/month job?" and "Why we're meant to do more?"

It took her 2.5 months to become mad at her life and take the first step. On 15th March, she reached Hoegaarden. With a 1 month break to 'figure out her life'.

2 weeks later...

30th March: After a painful day's work, we were having a rant session on the terrace of our building. It was 7:33 pm.

Sakshi: "I am so done with this. This is NOT what I want to do. Don't they understand SUCH simple things? Why should I do xxxx? This is NOT what I signed up for!"

Aditya: "I have a radical insane idea. It's something you NEED. Will you say YES?"

Sakshi: "Maybe"

Aditya: " I have the Redbus app open and it shows a Bus available to Gokarna in less than <30 mins from now. I have selected the seats and have the payment screen open. Say YES, and I'll book them."


Sakshi: "Yes"

Next day, 10:30 am: We were sitting on the beach in Gokarna :)

I knew Sakshi had to experience this side of our life, for her to start wanting it.

We had no return tickets. (And that's a rule!)

Post Himachal, the newly resurfaced traveler in me was super happy.

We swam on the beach.

Did a couple of late-night parties at the beach clubs.

Hit the road for a few road trips.

Listened to Naval Ravikant, Dan Koe & Ali Abdaal on repeat.

And by the time we were done, Sakshi had her first "Fuck it!" moment.

One iconic moment is etched in my memory forever:

For 4 days, we had been discussing how I would need to help her convince her parents why she needs to quit her job and move out of home. We had a tough talk in the morning. She was petrified. Just couldn't find the courage to believe that she could do it. The courage to say out loud that YES, I can do it.

Evening time, I went to take an update for her. I planned to suggest that I'd help her create this pitch for her parents (and that she didn't need to do it herself).

But I go to her, and she says:

"I just talked to my Mom. And it's done! I've told her everything. And I've told her that I'm going to quit my job. And I've told her that I'm moving to Bangalore maybe. And by the end, she was so proud of me that she became more excited than I was!"

Not for the first time this year, I was stunned.

One more member had joined our tribe.

Now, we were 4!

On the bus to Gokarna, we'd thought, "Let's come back in 3 days".

We stayed in Gokarna, and then Goa for a total of 10 days! (:

Nicolas Cole, Dickie Bush & The Espresso Hour

After coming back to Bangalore, things started happening at lightning speed.

Mid-April, I made 2 important decisions:

  • I closed both freelance gigs -> I was earning a sustainable income, but I wasn't creating any substantial value for either of the clients. And I had tried a lot of different things. So, I decided to close the loop and start again.
  • I decided 'Writing' is how I would earn money -> I had tried and experienced how various roles felt while working on freelance gigs. And I understood that the best way I could make a significant contribution while maintaining the freedom of time & mobility was if I became a writer.

So now, again on a clean slate, I was ready to figure out how to become a freelance writer.

One evening, at the gym, I searched 'podcasts on writing' and landed on Cole & Dickie's podcast The Espresso Hour. It's a podcast dedicated to how you can build a business with 'Writing' as a skill.

It was perfect! Made for me!

I started listening. And I just COULD NOT STOP.

For the 10 days, every single day I listened to one 40-minute podcast while at the gym.

  • How to generate Endless ideas to write about
  • How they earned their first $1 writing online
  • How they created an Email Marketing Campaign worth $1M for their business
  • How Dan Koe built his business with writing
  • How Justin Welsh built his business with writing

I was BLOWN AWAY! (Yet again. Can't even count how many times this year now)

Every podcast is just Cole & Dickie having a candid conversation, and yet I can comfortably say, The Espresso Hour completely changed my life.

And things were only getting started.

We had no clue HOW BIG an impact these 2 guys were gonna have on our lives in the next 3 months.

But there was one last hiccup before that happens :)

1st Failed Investment (The Money Game on Twitter)

Another one of these evenings, I open Twitter and I find this text:

Would you say NO?

I did not. I said, "Sure, send it over!"

And he did. It was quite impressive too.

The guy was real. He was running a one-person online coaching business. And he was helping beginners launch their one-person coaching businesses. It was interesting.

With the doc, I got another text from him:

Again, I couldn't say NO.

So, I hopped on the call.

And somehow, that guy, within 3 days of randomly cold texting me on Twitter had sold me on his coaching program for $3000. (That's almost 2.5 Lac Rupees)

(I had to take some funds out of stocks & ask some more from friends and family for this)

As the payment went through, I was shocked, and flabbergasted by what had just happened. I was a 1.5 yrs battle-tested entrepreneur, and within 3 days, I had spent 4x the amount of money I had earned in all that time.

This made it real.

If that guy can do this to me, a random guy living in a third-world country with purchasing power parity, I can do it too!

The Last Failed Attempt: One-Person Coaching Business

Great! I had enrolled in this course, and we were supposed to hit $10k months in 12 weeks. From Rs.40k/month to this! But hey, if that guy freaking hit TO ME, I can do it too :)

And I started.

Over 3 weeks, I applied ALL the knowledge I had gained in the last quarter.

And now, working with a coach, it was super exciting!

However, one question was troubling me through all this:

"How would I coach someone, if I myself haven't done anything spectacular yet in the world of business?"

But I pushed through it. And started building the offer.

[Also, it was raining in Bangalore, and it had been a while since Gokarna, so we decided to do a change of scene for a week ;)]

After 7 days in the clouds, celebrating Sakshi's birthday in Zostel Munnar, and my offer ready to be launched, we came back to Bangalore.

But things were about to change. And EVERYTHING was about to start happening.

Biggest Challenge, Biggest Breakthrough

Remember I tore my ACL ligament in a football incident last year.

After Munnar, I realized that I was still not okay. My knee was hurting. I could walk a lot and despite being functional, I wasn't fit.

So, after I came back, I called up my doctor Parents, and this time the conversation was like: "I'll do whatever you ask me to do for however long you want. But figure this knee sh*t out for me"

The next day, Mom called me and said, "Book a ticket to Mumbai, we have an appointment".

Within 4 days of being back from Munnar, I packed up everything I had into my traveler backpack and set out for Mumbai. With no return ticket (That's a rule!)

It was MADLY raining in Mumbai. I reached Kokilaben Dirubai Ambani Hospital for my appointment.

The verdict: I was going to need a 2nd surgery 💔

And amidst mad rains in Mumbai, I was facing the biggest challenge of the year.

The rehab was tough.

And I was NOT going to delay my coaching offer launch too.

So, it was war! But it was also so much fun. All thanks to Dr. Shilpa & Dr. Vidyadhar.

In 3 weeks post-surgery, I launched my offer and started getting global prospects (talking to people from Switzerland is pretty fun).

But something wasn't right. It didn't feel authentic.

Then one evening, on the first day that I went out on my own feet, I had a call with Chetan. And it marked the beginning of a new world.

I'm a Ghostwriter!

"How would I coach someone, if I haven't done anything spectacular in the world of business?"

This question was the source of trouble. And it was true, to some extent.

On the call, I finally called it out.

The coaching offer is great. But it's NOT the right time for us to have coaching offers.

We first want to do "Done For You" offers, where we prove our mettle by learning a skill, AND THEN transition into "Done With You" offers where we coach people on whatever we learned!

It felt so liberating to say it out loud.

But then came the question, "Alright, what do we do next?"

And almost unanimously, somehow, the answer was, "Let's be Ghostwriters!".

We'd known about ghostwriting for almost 6 months now. At times, we even used to joke about how awesome it would be if we became a tribe of ghostwriters :)

There, at that moment, we decided to go ALL IN.

The Biggest Breakthrough: Premium Ghostwriting Academy

The next day -> I called my coach and closed the engagement. Now, I was again on a clean slate. This time, to become a Ghostwriter

The next day after that -> Chetan had his first sales call. (as a recipient)

A little background for this:

Nicolas Cole & Dickie Bush (again) run a high-ticket offer called Premium Ghostwriting Academy (PGA). As a lead magnet, they've created a Free Educational Email course. It's called Premium Ghostwriting Blueprint.

After our call, Chetan binged on the email course and eventually booked a discovery call with PGA.

And just like I had, by the end of the call, Chetan had made his first dollar investment: Enrollment into PGA.

And we knew it from every fiber of our being.

We really were onto it now!

What to do was clear. We had our dream mentors guiding us. It was time to put the foot on the accelerator. And press HARD!

Q3 2023: Jordan Mode

Building & Launching my One-Person Business

🚨 Full Transparency: I have committed a CRIME!

Is it true that Chetan Sharma bought PGA's course?
-> YES

Is it true that I (Aditya Kasture) have used the course without paying for it?
-> YES

Is it unethical?
-> YES

No number will ever correctly reflect the value Cole & Dickie have created for me & my tribe through their books, content & now, PGA. I will forever feel gratitude towards them for this service.

And I'm sure, someday, when we're working together on something, I'll show this write-up to them. My public written confession.

The way I know these people, they'll probably say, "You made my day :)"

So, What exactly is my Business?

I'll use the same 3 elements to understand the Business: Market, Offer, Traffic

  • Market -> Who are the people you're helping?

CEOs, Business Owners, and Founders who aren't using Social Media (Linkedin & Twitter) effectively to attract opportunities for their Business.

  • Offer -> What are you offering them?

Here's the problem as explained by Cole himself:

The people who have knowledge to share (CEOs, Business Owners, and Founders) don’t have the time, or the skill set, or the desire to write. It’s a horrible use of their time relative to how they “earn” in their careers. BUT, their knowledge is immensely valuable to the world.

The people who have the time to write (us, Ghostwriters) oftentimes lack decades of knowledge. They aren’t a seasoned executive, or a successful founder, or an investor with a long track record. BUT, their writing skills are immensely valuable to people who don’t have the time, or the skill set, to articulate their knowledge via writing.

So, here's what a Ghostwriter does:

A Ghostwriter extracts valuable pieces of insight from the Business Owner's knowledge and creates a library of content that can be shared with the world.

Publishing this content attracts opportunities for their business in the form of clients, community & industry connections.

And, My exact offer is:

I build an Educational Email Course Asset that allows clients to capture prospect email addresses and book discovery calls on autopilot.

And I charge somewhere between $3,000-$10,000 for end-to-end fulfillment.

  • Traffic -> How do you find these people that you're trying to help?

There are 2 approaches:

1/ Cold Outreach in the Short Term:
Remember the cold pitch I got on Twitter, Cole & Dickie teach a similar cold outreach process that works. I got my first 2 clients this way. With cold outreach, you have complete control over your business. Keep reaching out, and you'll keep landing more clients :)

2/ Warm Outreach in the Long Term:
Once I build a roster of successful case studies, my content & referral systems will start attracting clients on autopilot. Then, cold outreach won't be required.

That's the business. All of it!

4 weeks of Building the Business

Dickie once posted a beautiful tweet:

Only 3 reasons you’re not where you want to be:

  1. You don’t know where you want to go
  2. You don’t know what to do to get there
  3. You’re not doing the things you know you need to do

For 18 months, 1 & 2 were the problems.

But now, we had everything. A step-by-step processized roadmap on how to build a Premium Ghostwriting service from scratch. The only thing left was "Doing what you know you need to do"

And I decided to go full throttle.

Here's how things happened:

July 17th -> We start PGA.

July 28th -> I launched my 1st Educational Email Course: OKRs Introduction Playbook. If you want to do it for clients, you must do it for yourself first. So, this was step 1. I leveraged all my OKR expertise from last year and chose OKR coaches/founders as my niche.

July 31st -> I revamped my profile on all social media channels and created a list of 50+ prospects that I would target for my first round of cold outreach.

From 1st of August, the game of cold outreach began.

Within 4 weeks, I had setup my tech stack, changed my positioning and launched a fully-functional one-person business from scratch.

That's how quickly things happen when you have massive clarity on what to do.

After this, it was a game of volume. If you send out 1000 emails, you'll get 10 booked calls & close 1 client. By the second week of August, I had sent out 3oish DMs, and had 2-3 replies, but no sales calls booked.

So, I decided to level up in intensity through what I called a Jordan Mode!

But my Mom had other plans :/

The First Tribe Offsite, Chikhaldara, Amravati

A big chunk of my Enthusiasm as a human undoubtedly comes from my Mom.

And this is a classic example of the kind of stories she likes to create :)

7th of August, I started my disciplined routines and was fully into the Jordan Mode. I had told everyone at home to NOT disturb me NO MATTER WHAT for the next 4 weeks. Even on 13th, my birthday, I want to have a disciplined day with nothing "special" planned. They nodded. Poker faced. Especially mom.

So, like a good kid, I went to the gym on the morning of 12th August. During the workout, I listened to a podcast which had me pumped up for the day to come! I even knew what focus music playlist I was gonna play as soon as I took a shower.

I come back home, and the bell rings.

I go out and see who's there. And I'm shocked. Paralyzed. Standing at the gate was Pragati, one of my Mood Indigo group friends! I was so baffled by what was happening that I probably behaved in a non 'warm' manner for a while I think :/

Within the next 2 hrs, the whole group was there! For the first time in my life, my college friends were in my hometown, about to give me a surprise birthday gift <3

And that's not it!

Next day, Mom had arranged a road trip for us. She freed up the car, booked a cozy Airbnb, and gave us more food that I was comfortable carrying.

So we were off to Chikhaldara, a cute hill town in my hometown district.

Me, Chetan, Sakshi, and Sarilya (a.k.a Gujiya), were off for our first EVER roadtrip as a Tribe! [Sarilya joined the tribe through Chetan same time as Sakshi]

My Jordan mode was destroyed for 2 days, but yet again, Mom had proved that no matter how old, mature & interesting I become, she will always have the skills to surprise me! And I am grateful :)

All of us were together in a room after only 30-40 days, but it felt like we had met after ages.

The weather was perfect. The clouds were happy. And we started talking, as a tribe.

And you know the best part:

Nobody had any plans for what's coming next. And absolutely anything was possible. We were there with full freedom to do whatever we want next.

When that happens, you almost always know someone's gonna say something crazy and others are gonna respond with 'Lagey!'.

And here's how it happened:

I officially explained the "Jordan Mode" to everyone. What I was doing, and What they destroyed. And by the end, I suggested:

"Well, technically all of you should be doing the Jordan mode too. How about we do a destination Jordan mode? All 4 of us. A sprint till we land our 1st clients!"

I cannot express how incredible it feels when a group of humans driven by the same cause listens to a completely irrational idea and without hesitating just say,


The verdict: 4 people, 1 mission, 1 month of Jordan Mode at ........ GOA!

The First Client Sprint: Jordan Mode in Goa

Okay, so all of us had 2 weeks to convince our parents that we're going to GOA to work :)

Now, this was difficult for everyone. But in different ways:

  • For me: I was 2 months into rehab from my surgery. And I couldn't afford to slack off on the physio. So, Gym AND Swimming Pool, Non-negotiable. If I could arrange that in Goa, then sure, I can go!
  • For Sakshi: A girl, travelling with guys, and living in Goa. Do I need to explain why it was difficult for her to get a Yes! Oh, but she did :)
  • For Gujiya: Working from Goa! Why? Why not do it from home? Why Goa? And 100s of other traditional family questions. Oh, but he got a Yes too!
  • (Surprisingly, Chetan had everything sorted. No convincing. He was already on the digital nomad life)
How did we get these YESs?
-> If you have this question, just wait for 5 mins. And I'll give you everything you need!


So, we Booked a couple of beautiful Airbnbs in Goa, Booked our tickets, Pitched our Parents, Packed our bags and whoosh! 2 weeks, later, we were in Goa ;)

Discipline in Goa

First day, super determined to make a dent in the universe, we settled in Goa, and opened 3 bottles of beer :)

Because we're still human. And only robots can get straight into working once you reach Goa. So, yeah we did let go for a couple of days. And it was funnn!

But then we did a weekly review and started the Jordan mode.

Here's what my schedule looked like (on most days):

Wake up at 7 -> 2 hours of Focused work -> Coffee -> Gym in Goa (YES, I've done that now!) -> Lunch -> 3-4 hours of Focused work -> (Something in the evening) -> Swimming Pool -> Sleep by 11.

Again, let me be clear. It was on most days. We did NOT have a perfectly disciplined Goa. It was messy. That's how human lives are!

But we were together and working on the same thing. The synergy was real. And the results were about to come!

Nothing Happens, then Everything Happens. And Everything FINALLY Happened!

6th September -> We Reached Goa.

9th September, we started working. The process was clear. We knew what we had to do. And it was just a matter of an uncertain number of failures before we hit success. And everything started happening 18th September.

Here's the timeline:

21st September -> I close my 1st client: $1500

24th September -> Sakshi launches her "Moving Out Playbook": A complete guide to how you can onboard your strict parents with your life decisions. More than 150 people have gone through the course already!

25th September -> I close my 2nd client: $3000

5th October -> Chetan closes his 1st client: $4800

18th October -> I close my 3rd client: $5000

Within 3 months of starting our one-person ghostwriting businesses, Me & Chetan had closed $14,300 (12 Lac Rupees) in revenue, combined.

That's a business doing 4 Lac Rupees a month!

Remember, it was not more than 9 months ago, that I was somehow making Rs. 30k/month.

I can still re-live the exact moment:

I had a sales call at 2:00 am in the night. I was fully prepared. With a super impressive offer script. I go on the call. And 40 mins later, as I close my laptop, my Paypal shows $1500 (1.25 Lac) in my account.

Everyone is awake. Eagerly waiting for me to come in and share the news. I take a deep breath. Go in with the Paypal screen opened, and keep it in front of the Tribe.

And the whole gang ERUPTS!


There was no keeping calm anymore!

The dream life wasn't just a dream. It was real! And I had proved it!


Thus, Q3 came to an end.

Jordan Mode was done!

I am now a growing one-person business, doing $3000/month, working 4-5 hours per day, with the freedom to live anywhere, work with anyone, and do whatever I want :)

Finally, the question that I had waited for 2 years, was in front of me.

Q4 2023: I've done it! Now what?

Gearing up for the "Avicii Years"

We stayed in Goa for 1 more month.

Me & Chetan started working with our clients, and others were still in the cold outreach stage of their business. Now, there were 2 options in front of me:

  1. Start Travelling: The dream of restarting my solo travels was a real possibility immediately now. I had the funds, time, and freedom to do that. I had the destination in mind too!
  2. Continue the Jordan mode for 1 more iteration: I had clients. But an even bigger, and more real measure of success is when I have first successful client case studies. So, the other option was to double down on work, prove my mettle, push my revenue to $5k-10k/month, and then start the travels.

I thought long and hard about this for 2 weeks. Then made my decision!

Coming back to Bangalore

Why? Why not start the dream life? And Why Bangalore Again?

Biggest Learning of 2023: 2 Zones of Life by Design

Over the years, I have experienced all types of life designs:

  • Living in cities with a Job
  • Living in hills/mountains with a Remote Job
  • Living in cities without a Job
  • Living in hills/mountains without a Job

And one dilemma has ALWAYS troubled me:

"When we are in the cities, it doesn't feel right. The traffic, the 9-5 stuck world, the concrete jungles. It's so much better to stay in the hills/mountains?"


"When we are in the hills/mountains, there are no washing machines, kitchens, gyms, and a home. So it's too difficult to maintain discipline when a LOT of your time goes into getting these things right!"

November 2023, I finally uncovered the reason behind this.

There are 2 zones of Life by Design:

1/ Eliminate Chaos Zone: Jordan Mode is an example of this zone.

When you know exactly what you need to do for a certain amount of time in life, and you know discipline is the key to getting it done fast, you must eliminate chaos from your life. Curate your environment as intentionally as possible and make it super easy to live disciplined.

This is NOT the time to party, go out, and have fun. This is the time to put your head down, say NO to everything, and do what you know you must do!

2/ Attract Chaos Zone: Solo Travel is an example of this zone.

When you're looking for inspiration for the next project, you want to take a break and create experiences, you must invite chaos into your life. If you stay in your lane and don't let random, unexpected hits of inspiration guide you, you'll never break out of your bubble.

This is NOT the time to become disciplined and say NO to everything. This is the time to do weird, radically different things and enjoy the beauty of chaos.

The Essence of living your Life "by Design" is to find the balance between these two zones.

After Goa, I decided to continue with the Eliminate Chaos zone.

[Well, in hindsight, Goa maybe wasn't the best choice to do the zone in the first place]

I chose Bangalore as my next city. [Weather. Too important.]

Hoegaarden Returns!

Our lease for Hoegaarden was about to expire and we were going to let it go.

But I returned to Bangalore, and it was love at first sight. (For the second time)

A wave of emotion and realization hit me. There is NO BETTER place to Live the Eliminate Chaos Zone than our lovely apartment.

We had a whiteboard, a Steve Room, a fully functioning kitchen, and a washing machine. And the location was ideal. We had a gym, swimming pool, 2 lush green gardens to go on walks, and good coffee places. There was no way I was getting anything better suited to eliminate chaos.

And I immediately decided to renew the lease and take full control of Hoegaarden.

For the next year, Bangalore will be my 'Eliminate Chaos Zone'.

Whenever I want a period of hyper-focus and discipline, I'll come back to my apartment in Bangalore. For a Jordan Mode!

Introducing Avicii Years

When I was in my first year, I first listened to a song by Avicii, The Nights.

It starts like this:

You can do anything you want in life, you just have to be willing to work hard to get it.

That's when I decided that when I die, I want to be remembered for the life I lived, not the money I made.

And it continues:

He said, "One day, you'll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember"
My father told me when I was just a child
"These are the nights that never die"

Every year, people from my college made videos & dance choreographies on this song. But I always kept away from it. From this particular song.

And the reason was:

I knew that my nights weren't here yet. My Avicii years are yet to come. But they will come. And that's when I'll start writing the script for my song.

Today, 28th December, 2023, I publicly say this:

The next 2 years (2024 & 2025) will be my Avicii Years!

Now begins the making of my version of "The Nights". I've waited 7 years to start this project. And I'll be making it for the next 2 years.

Here's what's going to change:

  1. New Priorities

Since 2022, the sole priority has been Education and learning how to win the game of Wealth. How to make money while following my curiosities and maintaining the freedom to travel.

Now, the north star metrics are Health & Experiences.

In the next 2 years, I will NOT be running behind scaling my one-person business to 5k, 10k, 20k, 50k. Yes, I'll keep working and keep improving. And maybe the revenues will grow. But that's not my #1 priority.

  1. No change in my core Business

As is evident from my blog, I've fallen prey to shiny object syndrome countless times. But, now that stops. Being a Ghostwriter remains my core business. And I'm committed to playing this game for the next 5 years at least!

I'm a Writer.

That's a part of my identity now. And I'm going to go deep into the art and craft of writing. Expect a lot more content on all platforms going forward.

  1. Travel (Now, we go Global)

I've kept the Traveller in me quiet for a long time. And it's time to change that.

Solo Trips through Europe, Hikes in Canada, Meeting my Tribe of Mentors, Closing Deals in suits, Skydiving, Scuba Diving, Paragliding, and so much more.

I've dreamed about all of this. And now, I'm going to start living all of it :)

And here's the plan (knowing fully well it's not gonna work out this way):

2024 -> 6 months of Eliminate Chaos, 6 months of Attract Chaos

2025 -> 4 months of Eliminate Chaos, 8 months of Attract Chaos

I've used these last 2 months of 2023, to dig deep into what I want. And now, I am confident and SUPER excited about starting the 1st of my Avicii Years.

Life's been crazy. And it's about to get crazier ;)

Twin Weddings to End the Year :)

One last story before we end the journey.

I've complained about now having been to a wedding like 100 times before this year. So, almost like a reward for a hard-fought year, I got not 1 but 2 invites to weddings.

1/ Traditional Rural Indian Wedding at Parli, Maharashtra

We took a Bus to Osmanabad. Then to Parli, a remote town in central Maharashtra.

This was the first time in 12 months, that I was taking a complete break from work. I had pre-completed all my deliverables with clients. And this trip gave me a LOT of time to think and go on walks.

I was listening to James Clear's Atomic Habits too.

And in the trip, I designed a beautiful effective framework that helps you make an Identity shift for yourself. For now, I'm calling it the Identity Matrix.

Will be talking about it soon.

We saw a raw side of Humanity in Parli. People oblivious to reality and just mindlessly following the wrong concepts that society has proliferated. Without ever questioning anything,

It was pure at times. But it was also dark to think about. It gave me a new sense of gratitude for the environment I was brought up in.

2/ Destination Wedding at Lonavla, Maharashtra

Now this wedding, was a complete 180!

Osho Siddhant, CEO & cofounder of Bombay Locale, and a friend who I've luckily managed to stay in contact with was getting married. And being film people, they had decided to pull off a Destination Wedding.

And man, they did it in style!

Beautiful venue, Impeccable sets, and the typical flare of a drama company, Osho & Anupam finally set a solid benchmark for weddings.

Only people from 1st and 2nd circles.

Everyone having fun. And everyone taking a break.

It was the picture-perfect Bollywood ending to the most transformative year of my life.

We came back with tons of memories, new friends, and stronger relationships with a bunch of super talented, and just amazing humans!

I started writing this blog 2 days after coming back from the wedding.

And I've been writing it for 5 days.

🎓 signing off...


What a journey it's been!

We started the year struggling to make 40k/month, experimented with 4-5 business models in the middle, and ended the year as Ghostwriters earning $3k/month.

And personally, I have gone through highs where the excitement physically made me jump to crippling lows that made it seem like nothing could ever go right.

And yet, Just like I wrote in last year's blog,

Steve Jobs' words kept echoing in our minds.

"Have the courage to follow your Heart & Intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become"

We continued following the voices of our intuition, irrationally believing that we were going to make it through. We didn't know what we were doing. And yet we knew exactly what we were doing. It's paradoxical for sure :)

In the end, we found our calling and achieved what we set out to achieve.

But it would genuinely be wrong of me not to acknowledge the immense support I've received throughout these 2 years. I'll end this year's review with a few words of gratitude.

  1. My Parents, Rajesh & Maneesha Kasture:

No matter how crazy a decision I've wanted to take over the years, I've never once been objected to by my parents. For 2 full years, they've taken the full brunt of "What does your son do?" questions from everyone around them. They've irrationally believed in despite all failures. And supported (financially & emotionally) me whole-heartedly.

Thank you Mom & Dad (I know they'll read this). It wouldn't have been possible without you.

  1. My Tribe (Chetan, Sakshi, Rashmi, Sarilya):

I'm not a very nice person to deal with at times. I've been pretty harsh, cold, and closed off at times. And yet these people have always been there to bring me back from the trenches. We've shared experiences that'll always be the foundations of who we become in the future. And I couldn't be more glad that it was with you guys.

But guys (I know they'll read this too), let me tell you, the party has only just started. Keep with me :)

  1. Dr. Shilpa Lad & Dr. Vidyadhar Lad:

In our pragmatic, logical world, these 2 people offered me a place to stay in Mumbai despite never having heard of me 24 hrs earlier in the day. And they treated me like a family member through all of my stay. I'm super grateful to you two.

I'm going to reciprocate the same kindness out to the world whenever I get the chance. (Cause I'm sure that's the only thing they'll ask from me)

And lastly,

Thank you!

For trusting your valuable time & attention with me to hear my story.

I truly appreciate you. And I hope you found education, inspiration, or simply entertainment from this roller coaster of a journey I've had.

Next year will be a completely different story. With a lot of new characters. But one thing shall remain the same.

I will still continue to listen to the voice of heart & intuition. I truly believe it is the purest way to build this truly amazing life that I would love to live <3

I'll talk to you soon,

Signing off,

Aditya Kasture

Hey again, this is Aditya! Thank you again for reading my Annual Review.

If you liked it, I would love to hear your thoughts. Words of encouragement are like gold in this world of entrepreneurship.

If you REALLY liked it, please share the blog with anyone who you think would also get value out of it. If we can inspire even 1 person to follow the voices of their hearts, all the effort will have been worth it.

Also, As I said,

I'm going to post a lot more about my story from next year.

And here's where you can find me:

Instagram: I'll be sharing travel content & live documentation of what I'm doing

LinkedIn: I'll be sharing all my learnings. You'll find educational content about ghostwriting, one-person business & life as a Digital Nomad.

I appreciate your support and I can't wait to show you what's in store ;)

Join me in my journey?