What I'm up to (updated on June 29th, 2020)

• 7 minutes to read

What up! It's been a pandemic since I last updated this, so I've got a lot of stuff to update you on.

Current location & travels

Guess what? Still stuck at home.

It's been three months since my last update. It was around early March, when the COVID-19 pandemic was breaking out on a global scale, and we had been just called into lockdoen in Barcelona. We didn't know how long was this gonna last for.

Of course, many of my plans went right into the rubbish can, but I'm happy to say that this is way better now than what we've been through, and I want to send a big shoutout to the families of the affected. Fortunately, I haven't had any close case, but I know others who haven't been so lucky. We're in this together.

I started in 2020 with the intention of travelling less, as during 2018 and 2019 I had travelled over 50% of my time. That is A LOT. In fact, before we were shut into lockdown, I had only flown to the US for the annual Startup Grind Global Conference, in Redwood City, California. In regular years, between January and February I would've done at least three different trips, but I didn't know what the future had in store for me, or for the whole planet, for that matter.

Other unfortunate consequences of the pandemic is that a few of my friends have had to postpone their weddings. I had a couple in Italy, and the most important one for me, one of my best friends, Diego, was getting married in México. Last year, I was supposed to visit México, but he told me "hold it off till next year, so you can come for the wedding and then travel around". I guess I will have to wait for another year, to visit México!

I was also supposed to visit my sister in Holland, on my way up to Inferno Metal Festival, but that got postponed too, and like a lot of things, it'll have to wait too.

For now, I have no clue about what I'll do this summer. Last week, I spent a long weekend in an airbnb outside of Barcelona, with pool and barbecue, and we spent a couple of days at the beach, and it felt fantastic. I wouldn't say I recharged my batteries completely, but it felt good for a change to switch context, house, meals, etc.

Goals

I wrote this post at the beginning of the year to track me, to see if I'm doing well at building habits and following them, and the truth is that 2020 will be an odd year.

I seem to be very consistent and disciplined when I am on my own, either at home or travelling, but when other people are around, my habits don't rank too well in my priorities list.

For instance, I kicked off the year pretty well during the Xmas break and the first month, hitting my goals pretty much every day, but February was the opposite: first I spent two weeks in the US for the conference and then doing business, so I pretty much missed all of my goals for two weeks straight, and when I came back to Barcelona, I had friends visiting for the other two weeks of the month, so I failed miserably at habits.

The lockdown has been great for my habits, as I have almost nailed ALL OF THEM for three months straight, but as the opportunities for meeting people opened up, I've been back to an irregular schedule again. I guess the main thing is that I know I can follow them but I also don't want to be a slave of my habits.

Side projects & interests

2019 wasn't a great year for side projects. I have literally spent 0 minutes in side projects, as I've been more focused on getting habits right and writing my first book.

In general terms, I am getting more and more into investing and M&A. This is because I am doing business development for my company, so I get to know a lot of people and therefore a lot of deals. One of my goals this year is to grow my network of investors, brokers and companies that normally acquire startups, and cultivate a good relationship with them.

This way, I will not only find out about interesting deals for me to invest, as far as startups are concerned, but I will be able to help my clients at MarsBased, our partners and also the Startup Grind Barcelona community, including our sponsors and providers as well.

So far, I have invested in Kantox, Consentio, Mailtrack, Hireflix, Globatalent, Vocdoni, Upstock and four other companies. I plan to become a full-time investor someday!

If you've got an interesting project, let's talk. I'd love to help out, even though my maximum ticket is 5k euro. I like helping the startups I invest in by giving them clients through my personal network.

As for non-work side projects, I'd love to start a band this year. I've had a bunch during all these years, but I feel like I've never committed 100% to any of them. I also want to be as fluent as possible in Greek by the end of the year and improve my German.

What am I working on?

At MarsBased, since we're always booked up for the next four to six months, I am working to get us more press and to get to speak in bigger events and podcasts this year, whilst growing the company on the content side.

Since the company is really stable on sales, I can concentrate on enabling the rest of our company to do their best. I am also getting some consulting projects, which allow me to bring extra money into the company.

As for Startup Grind Barcelona, we have been forced to cancel our annual conference and to move our monthly events to online. Sucks, but people before business.

Last, but not least, I will be promoting a bit more my first book. Here you can find it on Amazon here.

Food, drinks and such

In 2019 I've overeaten in excess. Indulging in too many social events and celebrations, I've really missed any regularity in healthy eating habits and I've gone up to 90kgs, my maximum weight ever, for the second time in my life. This time, however, I'm much more in shape, as I've built up a considerable increase of muscular mass.

Since I didn't take any action to correct course in 2019, I will have to do it this year. I've already done some change in mentality and taken the first actions.

Last year, I didn't do as much cardio as I used to do (mostly running) and have done more weight-lifting, and I think this has played a role in the change of my body shape. That, and beer.

Like in the previous years, I am getting more and more into sub-genres of Black Metal. I was always a Black Metal person, but now I'm pretty hooked on Depressive Black Metal and Raw Black Metal. It's a kind of music I don't get tired of.

Random trivia

I'm on a 33-book reading challenge on Goodreads. I do this every year to force myself to read outside of the computer screen. I do read on my Kindle, though, as I only like paper books for decoration purposes. I find them uncomfortable to read in bed.

Last year, I read 33 out of 32 books. I am trying to read my age in books every year. It'll be a challenge, but for when it becomes ridiculously difficult, I plan to work less and have more time to read.

In 2019, I only got one tattoo. I want to resume this year, and get, first and foremost, a David Bowie tattoo. It'll be the German chorus of Heroes.

If you know me, you know that I am a huge music fan, and I can't conceive my life without music. I'd say I listen to music to most of the time I'm awake. I also go to one or two concerts per week. I like to contribute to the concert-goers scene by submitting the setlists of the concerts I attend to Setlist.fm.

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit

CEO and Founder at MarsBased and Director at Startup Grind Barcelona. I run a team of 20 people, where I spearhead the sales and strategy areas. My background in consulting and development (ex-Deloitte, ex-VASS) and my international profile help me with the technical and the business perspective. I love loud guitars, cats, travelling and tacos.