Turning older, this simple phrase is enough to send spine chilling thought to anyone. Breaking the norm, I planned to enjoy the bumpy ride of life when I turned 30 two years earlier. Life is all about choices you make, something that makes sense today might not bear effective fruit later. Turning 31 a year earlier infused me with some new goals, it’s time to make the journey worthwhile.
A year starts with celebrating birthday. When you see the collective plan, you know where to start from. Visited amazing Dubai the time I turned 31 and celebrated with my wife and brother in the future city of the world. It was something I’ve cherished for. A way to kickstart the year.
August was all about the preparation. To live a great year, the necessary kickstart was already done. Time to set the bigger goals and the opportunities to shine into. I’ve set a primary goal 1.5 years back from August 2019 that I have to be in the frame of 80kg and bingo I nailed it in the birth month. Way to celebrate your 31st. 15 kilos down and there was I, celebrating life like never before.
September was about relishing the opportunity for a beautiful life. Visited friends and family as much as I can, making sure that the focus for “Larger Than Life” starts with cherishing the family and friends I have. It was a beautiful month. Travelled to Chittagong to attend the wedding of our office executive. Trained hard to regain the fitness I’ve achieved. It’s a continuous process, you do not stop. We bought beautiful Saregama India Ltd.Caravaan. We love to listen to it every day, a superb addition to our already amazing home. Collaborated with Biye Shamlao for interesting video content. Checkmate™ brand going strong.
October was a crucial month for the mission to progress. From Checkmate, we were honoured as “ Best Production House ” award from Ice Today by Bengal Foundation. A big leap for the Checkmate brand as we achieved the highest recognition in the “Wedding” sector in Bangladesh. I had to think about the rebranding of an already successful brand, the way we have produced contents up to now, time to work on the process.
While the pressure was building for an upcoming Wedding Season, me & Aroni thought of a quick breakie. Who knew it would have been the last time we’ve stepped out of Bangladesh for quite a while. We visited our favorite city, Kolkata for the “N” th time. 4 days of timeout from the hustle and bustle of Dhaka life, we enjoyed to the full. We have partnered with Don Sumdany Facilitation to be a part of “RISE”. Checkmate’s journey to numerous corporate partnerships was on a high. I had to visit 2 times to India in the same month as covered a multi-city wedding event. The best part to end up the month was back to back 4 day shoots. It was interesting as I had to step out from airport and rushed straight to the venue. One hell of a ride! In November we launched CxG (Checkmate X Gala) a unique blend of partnership in Wedding Industry. That one of a kind shooting experience was a one timer experience. Looking forward to more in coming days.
By the time December jumped in, we had already sorted the office and ready to go Full Throttle. It was a great month of shoots and adrenaline rush. We also partnered with “ Rajshahi Royals ” of Bangladesh Premier League to become their official Photography Partner. Later on they have become the Champion of BBPL 2020. What a proud moment to be alive.
2020 started with the planning of “Headshot” the unique product to be launched later on. One would say why incorporate a separate product from an already successful Wedding Event Documentation firm, but I always believe in progress. Change is the most constant event in our life so it was time to make the best use of it. A big plan of launching was planned and we’re anticipated to have the product ready by March 2020. It was a month of Big Fat Weddings and frequent travelling. Wrapped up the month with a Destination Wedding in Mymensingh. All I can say, ended up the month on a significant high.
Leap Year month of 2020, February arrived with much fanfare. At the beginning of it, we’ve enjoyed the long-cherished wedding of Mirza Bhai. It was great to be a part of his family, he was there in thick and thin for the major portion of my life for the past few years. But apart from the enjoyments, the workload was everywhere as the season was coming to an end but post-production remains. We finally had a day out with Checkmate Team in Mid February at Tamim’s place. I’ve embraced the amazing Apple iPad as my primary computing machine for a day in day out works. I had to apply an immense change to my working pattern but was excited to work with the computing powerhouse. So far enjoyed the journey and looking forward to it. The month of love came up with “Ultimate Love”.
In March, I felt that a daily camera has become a necessity for now. I always wanted to carry a small camera with me. It was time to live the dream. Ordered FUJIFILM X100V. The month shattered the whole world with the worst-hit pandemic in 100 years. We were affected by Covid-19 Research and News. In my country, we registered the 1st case on 8th March and the 1st death on 18th March. Till date the world is suffering from the pandemic, 2 Million people affected and 750,000 people are dead worldwide. For the first time in life, I was into nationwide lockdown.
April & May were the months of cultivating hope. I was staying at my in-laws for the months and thought of working on the next big idea. Everything was at a standstill, for the 1st time in my life, I had to close down the business for 70 days straight. No orders were catered, we had to cut down salaries and was thinking of a lot of transitions. Life was tough, but the support of the family was immense. We often do not care how lucky we are until we lose them, but I’m forever grateful to my family for being the pillar of my life. During the pandemic days, the support was all I’d need to survive the toughest period in my career.
There comes a saying, necessity is the mother of invention. Everyone was stuck at home and instead of focusing on the core, many of them started deviated out. Pandemic have taught us many things but what we require to save our business was the first for many new gen business owners. Tried to imply something from scratch, I started out my Facebook Live Show : Couch Talk with “M”. The 20 episode daily got featured in National Dailies like The Financial Express. Also The Business Standard featured my career as the choice for an alternative option. Co-Hosted the show on Wedding Photography at Photo Discussion Facebook Group, got associated with two of the prominent Photography and Media clubs of Bangladesh. Became guest speaker of various photography clubs as the expert on Wedding Photography. April & May was the launchpad for the next stage of life.
June was the toughest. We were already 2.5 months into the pandemic, and nothing was going as per plan. Everyone is uncertain and in a limbo where we’re actually going. It’s a genuinely tough time, and I had this depressing period for 45 days. I knocked here and there for work confirmation and due to the nature of pandemic, most of the answers came as a “No”. Finally launched “Headshot”. Not the way I wanted it to be but injected fresh fuel into my journey to be the “ Docu Maestro ” of Bangladesh. The newly formed entity serving as a strong wing of Checkmate. Long way to go champ!
July was the month of resurrection and unbelievable opportunities I had come across. The goal was to set up the personal branding to a sustainable level so I can place myself to the next pinnacle stage. Launched www.maminurrahman.com my personal website on the brink of a decade of my professional career. As the month started rolling, the vision was coming clear to me on what I’d do next. It was time to #JoinTheVision.
One of the anticipated turns in my life, I became a part of the New Gen Digital Marketing house in Bangladesh. As the founder and CEO, July ended up on an all time high. While during COVID-19 the stories around was full of tough calls and choices, I took off to a different arena in my career. The House of “Nomad” is breaming with opportunities and we are poised to make it one of the “PowerHouse” in Digital Marketing arena.
Till now, my 31st, 2019 August 14 to 2020 August 13 is full of surprises and opportunities. It is one of the most important years of my life. Starting the year in a never forgetting fashion, getting awarded by the topmost recognition in Bangladesh, a stellar wedding season, in-office management of Checkmate was the way to end 2019. While 2020 presented with the toughest situation for the whole world, the goal was to make the best out of it. Starting my 365 Photo project, embracing a full-time photo companion, documenting the #StayHome pandemic, starting the live show in Facebook was just the beginning. You’ve to love what you do, the return is enormous. Launching “Headshot” the talk of the town corporate portfolio solution in Bangladesh, furnishing own website and becoming the Founder and CEO of Nomad Digital represents a whole new challenging year ahead.