Come Have a Drink With Sanjay

Personal branding is a key element in career and business growth

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An interior photo of a gorgeous pink and gold champagne bar

Coffee Oysters Champagne in downtown Toronto, aka Sanjay’s secret lair 

When I started writing for public consumption I heard the advice that I should find a niche and write about that. That didn’t sound fun — I’d rather write about whatever comes to mind, and I’ve had a great first year of writing about whatever random thing comes into my head. 

But it turns out the niche advice wasn’t completely wrong. It’s good to build a brand around your content, but it is possible to do that without restricting your content. 

Over time, I’ve come to write about many things, and I’ve created a brand around my online personality. It’s something like “a rich guy with no filter who writes slightly funny essays about all the dumb stuff he’s done and keeps doing, with a little advice thrown in.” 

The great thing about having a brand is that it suggests other things I should be doing with my content and my life. I own a couple of bars in downtown Toronto, and I write about them occasionally. I’m also a pretty sociable guy, unlike other writers, for whom reclusiveness is a feature, not a bug. Authors I admire, like Scott Galloway and Tim Ferriss, make a point of telling readers that they’re different in person than in their writing and that they are quite introverted, preferring to communicate via their online presence. 

I see this as an opportunity! I get requests from people all the time to connect one-on-one, and I thought a great way to do it would be to host a monthly meetup at my bar. That’s killing three slow-moving birds with one stone. I get to visit my bar, hang out with people who think they’ll like me, and promote my writing, all while drinking espresso martinis and being treated like a boss. Maybe that’s four or five birds. Whatever, it’s a lot of felled fowl.

Think about this for yourself. What unique attributes or interests do you have that you can leverage into a branded online persona? Some writers like David B. Clear draw their own illustrations. Some, like Hogan Torah, talk about their unique experiences with drugs. Some, like Annie Trevaskis, talk about autism and leverage it as a superpower. What’s your brand? What do you bring to the world?

As branding goes, if this works, it’ll make me relatively unique in the online writing space. What other writer can you meet by going to their bar and hanging out? 

I could imagine this going horribly wrong in all sorts of ways, so I ran an experiment a couple of months ago, trying this as a one-off adventure. Ten people showed up over the course of a couple of hours. There was one guest who wouldn’t let anybody else talk and another who had clearly been drinking before he showed up, but overall, everyone got along, I had a chance to talk to a friendly audience, and everyone said they’d like to do it again.

So I’m going to do it again! (And again and again). Starting this Thursday, July 25th, and once a month after that, you can come join a monthly meetup for people interested in networking and discussing the subjects I talk about — business, finance, mental health, and enjoying life. It’s only in Toronto for now, but if people enjoy it, I might expand to other cities I visit regularly, like LA, New York, and Miami.

You can also communicate with me via social media or email me at [email protected] anytime. I just have one request.

Please stop asking me to invest in your business. 

The meetup will be Thursday, July 25th, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Coffee Oysters Champagne, located at 214 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5H 3S6.

Please email [email protected] to confirm your attendance and the time slot you would like to reserve: 6:00 pm, 7:00 pm, or 8:00 pm. Each meeting will last one hour and will include 5–6 participants, along with complimentary light food and beverages. After your slot, feel free to remain at the venue to mingle and engage with the SanjaySays community. Remember, these sessions are designed for group interaction and networking; they are not one-on-one pitch sessions with Sanjay.

Raad Seraj, host of the regular Mosaic psychedelic salons, will be on hand to facilitate discussions and address any inquiries you might have.

For this meet-up, please come prepared to answer the question, “What is it that you want out of life?”

  1. The bar in question, Coffee Oysters Champagne

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