How Being A Content Writer Turned Me Into An Entrepreneur
Written By: Trina Moitra
My dad is the quintessential Indian father. Seeing his daughter squander away her mathematical genius was for him an unthinkable option. The fact that the poor daughter (nee me) had a long standing love affair with words…be it Shakespeare…or the stories of Stephen King, was an issue he refused to acknowledge, let alone come to the forefront.
But it is said that “Destiny bows before none”…and maybe it indeed was my destiny to delve into the magical world of freelancing and subsequently copywriting. After I graduated from an engineering college, albeit reluctantly with a sour puss attitude, I faced the absolutely depressing vista of working as an esteemed IT professional at an extremely popular MNC- where by the way my seniors had ventured and were regretting their decision every day! But what saved me was a stretch of inexplicable illness coupled with a nasty breakup.
BOTTOM LINE: I was in no shape to honor the joining date of my future employment concern and had to relinquish the offer!
“NET SURFING CAN CHANGE A LIFE”
Who says so? I do! Because mine sure did! There I was irritated and heartbroken, feeling alone, useless and worthless. And I found release in aimlessly shuffling through the twisted by-lanes of the virtual world spending money on online shopping and doing sporadic research for the book I was trying to write. I wasn’t on Facebook or Twitter and so my depression was unbroken! No friends trying to cheer me up or no silly updates about fat babies with fatter dogs smothering each other with the typical “Facebook” brand of fake love. It so happened that one fine day (evening) I stumbled upon an interview with a freelancer and stopped my quest for ballet shoes long enough to read through the article. It was about a Romanian lady earning a six figure salary off a portal called Elance. She waxed eloquent about the various features and said a something that made me sit up and do a double take!
She worked from home, choosing the projects which took her fancy and her efforts were always rewarded with hard cash because of something called Escrow Payment Protection!
“THE AHA! MOMENT”
If my life was a Hollywood musical or a melodramatic daily soap, a bright light would fill the room and well trained limber dancers would gyrate around me as I sang paeans to the generosity of God and his ways. Well, nothing like that happened. I just went to Elance, registered myself, bid on a few jobs and then went to sleep after binging on chocolate ice-cream- the ravages of such atrocities I still bear in the form of a few rolls of tummy fat! In retrospect I realize what a huge impact that half an hour had on me and my career. 12th October 2012, 9:30 pm was the turning point of my life!
“HOW THINGS ROLLED”
What happened from there on was a dream. I scored my first job in just 4 days. And the gracious client gave me a glowing review. That really pumped me up and whetted my appetite for more. As it is, I had nothing to do and no pesky boyfriend to mess my schedule. I started dedicating more and more time to the portal. I felt like a kid in a candy store. These jobs were just waiting to be taken and they all paid in green beautiful dollars- not ten or twenty but hundreds and in some cases thousands of dollars. I think I went a little crazy bidding and working. I must have put in 18 hours a day for 5 months straight.
Around December I was invited to be part of the prestigious Mobilizer Program wherein I trained and registered other talented individuals to sample the joys of a freelancer’s life. I was a part of the Elance home team and could get a budget approved for my events and promotions. I loved it (and still do). I had inadvertently been bitten by the “Entrepreneur bug”. When the money started rolling in, serious money, I realized that freelancing was not something to be taken lightly. As I acquired a plethora of new skills, I could fully appreciate the fact that I was a one woman business. My words were my asset. And I started treating the whole thing with apropos gravity and seriousness. I got my marketing collateral in place, worked on my branding and voila, this July I received an offer from a long standing client to get officially involved with his string of companies as a Chief Consultant.
Right now I am in the process of establishing a comprehensive SEO and marketing course in Kolkata for small companies in collaboration with Imagic and knocking around somewhere is the plot for my next book! Yes, the first one did get published even though it was primarily catharsis for me during my rough patch.
“SO WHAT DID I LEARN”
I learnt a very important lesson. With no disrespect to the moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas the world over, writing as a passion is a powerful gift. It is fully capable of launching a career and even building a business from ground up. It doesn’t matter if someone is reluctant to become a doctor or an engineer, it doesn’t matter if that CA degree seems like a lackluster burden. If you feel that writing is running through your veins and you are incomplete without the special rush it bequeaths the chosen few with: Go for it. Give it your all and you will never look back in life. Not everyone is blessed with the boon of articulateness and creativity. And there indeed is a HUGE market for the right mix of dedication, willingness to learn and expressive prose.
PS- For the orthodox conventional idealists, you can still have the dreamy enigma that authors do, without having to starve yourself! Just carry a “jhoola” and wear a pair of geek glasses.
About the author:
Trina Moitra is the published author of the book The She-Bang and the Mobilizer of freelancing giant Elance. She works in the capacity of Chief Consultant for the Director of Times and Trends Learning Solutions Private Limited and adores dogs! She is open to providing help to all newbie and established freelancers at the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra