I am an average person. There is nothing extraordinary about me. But I have always yearned to do something meaningful, something that is of value to others but of a lot more value to me.
What is it that I value? I value independence. To be able to do things that are meaningful to me without being bound by the constraints of a 9 to 5 routine job or a HR-prescribed job description and role. I guess most of you would like that too.
I love to learn new things, develop new skills (I am trying to learn Python coding right now while I write this. Why? I will come back to this some other time.), acquire new knowledge, forming connections and applying them to create something of value to me and to others.
You would be musing – so what is stopping you?
The problem is lack of time. With the responsibilities of the repeated tasks of my day job, the time spent in commuting and managing the household, there is hardly any quality time left to pursue my interests, the things that I love to do.
One of the most common solutions would be to segregate my task list and delegate the repeated or simpler ones to someone else. This idea did cross my mind.
But my lizard brain popped in a thought –
will the other person do the job with the same honesty and diligence as you?
Will he or she understand the objectives of the task?
There you have it. The stumbling block – trust.
That was my aha moment. I realized that the world does not need insane skills or razor-sharp acumen. They need open and honest collaboration and co-creation for growth, to build synapses, to form dependability. All these help us to prioritize our tasks and succeed in life.
To achieve more in this lifetime.
This got me thinking. There could be many other people going through similar challenges like me.
How can I help them?
What am I good at?
What can I offer to the world that they might need?
I decided to deep dive and came up with two specific things:
One – I can manage data. I have the skills and experience of tossing and turning, mixing and merging data to extract meaningful information. Something that is actionable and hence, has some value.
Two – I can write (well) using very simple terms and words. I have the ability to understand a wide variety of topics from manufacturing businesses to service sector, pharmaceuticals to power generation, B2B or B2C.
I can gather additional data and information and use them in writing a piece in English that is easy to comprehend and act upon.
This output can be a blog post, webpage content, presentation slide deck, report, a script for a video or podcast or even an infographic.
Basically, I can convert a dry, boring topic into a nice small and engaging story to make it appetizing.
Having identified my skills, I was brought back to the original challenge – trust. Even if I am good at these two things, why would someone trust me?
There is only one way to build trust – through live demonstration and experience.
I decided to practice building trust in two ways.
One – I delegated lot of my routine tasks by giving one task at a time and observing the outcome. That is how I built trust on the person to whom I delegated the jobs. I also freed up my time to pursue what I like.
Two – I started taking up outsourced content creation and content marketing projects from digital marketing agencies and individuals. These people in turn focused their scarce resources on activities of greater value and outcome.
How did my customers start trusting me and give me projects?
Trust is not built overnight.
It is built through a series of transactions. It is an iterative process.
I started taking up projects and did them absolutely free of cost.
In due course, the customers came back not only with more projects but pushed me to decide on rates and start billing them. They started getting value through working with me and started developing trust in my ability to deliver.
And that is how I got the idea for my business and started executing the plan to move from idea to existence.
Have you read my “About-us” page?