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I, me and my life on my terms…

A few days back I met Ramya [Thanks Ramya :)] to discuss a social media tool, her company was working on among other things. More on the tool in another post; this post is about the rest of our talk.

I had met Ramya through my blog. We exchanged a few emails and decided to meet. Ramya had questions for me that a lot of others have asked on what I do, why I do it, how I live this life, etc… You get the drift. Talking to Ramya was a walk down memory lane and I wanted to take you along. :)

A bit about me – I am a freelancer, have a range of skills, I do my own thing on my own time, travel a fair bit, have all I need, do not work for a corporate company and yet enjoy every moment and live life on my terms. [This is as people see me :D, I do have my own low moments :) ]

Disclaimer: The walk starts now and may be a bit long so if want to turn back now, you can…

I have always been a bit of a rebel, from way back when I remember I wanted things a certain way and wouldn’t settle for less, I did the unacceptable as normal. I remember my first cycle – I wanted a boys cycle and my parents said no, I waited 2 years stubbornly before they relented (it helped that picking and dropping me off at school was getting tedious).

I didn’t want big things, I just wanted what I wanted big or small but mostly it was small. Small things make me happy, I don’t care so much for the quality or brand of stuff as long as it does the job, I don’t care much for money or tomorrow.

Then about 10 years back I started to learn some lessons (lessons to me that is). I realized the value of today, of now, of each moment. I figured that money had no value because it can’t buy happiness, peace or love. Ok no more gyan, I’m sure you have these answers too. :)

Anyway so going on, I caught the travel and biking bug in my early twenties almost about the same time. Then on I started to crave to be free, to not have to work, to do my own thing…. I was not happy with the way my life was and so I started to plan to start anew. I quit my job as a corporate trainer and with 30K in hand I set out to travel in 2006. The plan was to travel as long as possible and when I ran out of money come back. But what did happen was I got a travel writing job on the way and they paid me to travel, I met some great people who sponsored some food and stay, relatives & friends boarded me for months and some friends who even travelled along. What did happen was I travelled for 8 months before I finally came back home.

To most of my family what I had done was mad while I was doing it (later it was something to brag about) but they supported me. I met some amazing people who gave me insight into myself and the world around me. I had come back with a lot of data and numbers. I realized that I didn’t need a lot of money but wanted a lot of time; I became a freelancer.

I started out doing proofreading and language editing and soon moved on to writing scripts and storyboards for learning modules. Before long I was working on website content with a lot of research involved. Sounds like a lot of work? It was most times but I loved it, I also loved saying no when I wasn’t in a mood to work.

I worked with Spiti Ecosphere an NGO in Spiti in the Himalayas for 5 months and came back to continue as a freelancer. I had met the man who was ‘just right’ for me, and we fix like a puzzle. I got an opportunity to market BookBuzzr a free online book marketing tool. When I started out it was a challenge, I had in my travelling lost touch with the internet and had to learn a hell of a lot and let’s not mention marketing. So I did what I do best, learn new stuff. BTW social media is fun and amazingly challenging.

So this is where I am today…

Disclaimer – Here on there is gyan, you can turn away now if you want to :)

To be a freelancer, according to me these are needed.

– You need to find out what you want to do. This is the toughest but you also can do it by trial and error :)
– You should make sure you have no financial obligations or at least have enough saved for those.
– Be open to less money more time. There are no guarantees of jobs here.
– Tell all you know about what you do. Word of mouth is the best way to get jobs.
– Setup a blog and get a website.
– Learn and set yourself up. Build a reputation.
– Work ethic and conscience is very important as there will be distractions galore.
– And having a supportive family and friends is a plus.

I love my life and how I live it. True I haven’t got a plan for 5 years from now but am sure I’ll figure it out on the way. I don’t have a huge bank balance but I know that somewhere somehow I’ll make as much as I need. I live a somewhat minimalistic life, I question everything as ‘Do I need this?’ and act only when the answer is ‘yes’. Above all I have a great life-partner and family who understand me and what I want to do and love me enough to set me free.

Photo Credit: Chenthil

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