Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Freelancing Mantra: Think The Right Way

The mind is everything.
What you think you become.
~ Buddha

Namaste Friends and Freelancers!

We think all the time, don’t we? Even when we are sleeping, our subconscious mind keeps thinking about things we see, feel or experience when we are awake. This is when we dream – happy, pleasant and calm. But we often see nightmares as well, which are the results of the negative thoughts, feelings or experiences. To avoid these and to have only pleasant dreams, we need to experience only the good things in life and you know for sure that is it not the case every time. We cannot control what we experience from the outer world. But we certainly can control what we want our minds to be busy with, inside us. We would want to think about the right and positive things rather than the negatives and wrongs.

It is very important to think right in life, not only in freelancing. When you think right, you tend to do right and when you do things right, the right things happen to you. It is a cycle of Karma and it is true in every facet of life.

So, today we are going to talk about preparing ourselves for a career in freelancing and we will start with that one thing that matters the most – thinking right.

Let’s see the various ways of thinking right and how these can help us in having a successful career as a freelancer. First thing is the mental attitude.

Mental Attitude:

Having the correct mental attitude is almost 90% of our freelancing success. As I tell to my students and friends from the freelancing fraternity, freelancing is not a ‘quick-earn-money-and-get-rich’ scheme. If you are not one of the luckiest blokes on this planet who gets to sell from Day One, your freelancing career will not take off with a blink of the eyelids. Having said that, there are few who are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, in the world of freelancing; while a few take years to earn their first legitimate dime. You cannot be weak mentally, thinking you have already gone far enough when you succeed in freelancing; and certainly, need to be mentally strong when you are starting and have achieved nothing, to be highly consistent, persistent and disciplined. Whatever your stage is, your mental attitude needs to be on top of everything. Knowing what is right for you and doing that right thing at all times – be it in lows or in highs of your freelancing career – is all that matters.

They say quality is doing it right when nobody is watching you. This is absolutely true. You need to carry a quality mental attitude at wherever you are and in whatever you do. Having big dreams when you are low and remembering your roots when you are high are the two key things to have a quality mental attitude which is so very important for your success as a freelancer.

The Right Feed:

If you sow an apple tree, you will get apples from it when it grows up. This is so simple to understand, but yet so tough to follow. We all know about it, but we fail to follow it in our daily lives – in action and in thoughts. To make the mind yield right, we need to feed the mind with the right things. If we feed wrong things to the mind, it will not yield the right things for us – will it?

Most of us are avid readers. Reading is very important. But be careful about what you read. What you read is directly fed to your mind. If you read the wrong things, you will let the wrong things be fed to your mind and then when it is harvest time, you will get only the wrong things out of the yield. Remember, Garbage In is Garbage Out. Do not read garbage!

Similarly, be careful about whom you meet and speak to on a daily basis. Positive people leave behind positive vibes and negative people leave their negative vibes behind them. And after they are gone, you would be floating on those and that will impact your thinking as well. Be with positive people – with those who smile, laugh and think as you do. They are a good feed to the mind. They will help you think right – now and every time.

Power of Association:

The last point also tells us that we need to be associated with the positive people, so that their positive vibes flow in to us and make our thinking positive and help us think right. Power of Association is very critical and important in your career as a freelancer. I will definitely like to talk about this at a later stage, but let me tell you now that being with positive people and those who think like you do, help us in a big way. When we see people around us doing things that we would like to do, it gets into our subconscious mind as well and creates a drive from within to work towards that goal. When we think alike, we tend to think right – that which is right for our common and individual goals. Just being with likeminded people help us come out of the languor we often get into and fail to perform or produce quality work. Sometimes it is the competitiveness and at other times it is the fear of missing out that works and lets us paddle through and forward.

Associate with other fellow freelancers you know – both offline and online. They may not be doing the same thing that you do, but they can obviously help you think right – in the right direction; and put your thoughts on the right path.

The middle path (Madhyam Marga):

One most important thing about thinking right is to take the middle path. This is coming straight from the books of Buddhism, which preaches us to always travel on the middle path – the Madhyam Marga. It is all about having a balanced thought. Thinking balanced!

Think of your success and dream about making it big, but do not forget about your starting point. This will help you to control your thoughts and not fall prey to false praises and appraisals. When you think right, fake admirations and accolades will not let you bubble up, filled with gas and become complacent and satisfied with what you have achieved. You will remember to strive even further to achieve even more.

Similarly, when you are starting and have achieved nothing, keep your dreams high and think about a time when you have reached there. Remember, to compete against the top in business you need to perform like them and if you keep thinking that you are small and cannot do what they are doing, then you will not be able to reach anywhere. This is where you should always keep your dreams big. Think like the big guys, act like you would, when you are successful. In management terms, they say, “Fake it till you make it!” Fake your thoughts; think as if you are the big achiever and you will see things slowly falling in place and pushing you to that direction.

As mentioned earlier, think big but do not forget your roots. It is important that we keep a balance in your thoughts as well. Take the middle road. Have a balanced thinking. Think big; dream big and you will soon be achieving what you were thinking all this while.

That’s all for today. I hope you are liking these preparatory articles. These are to prepare you and your mind and body for freelancing. Freelancing is a way of life and you need to be prepared both mentally and physically to take up the challenge and fall into the new lifestyle which may be little unknown and mysterious to you. Do let me know how you are liking these in your comments below. I will like to read about you and your thoughts. Thanks for reading mine!


Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us. You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! 
The Channel name is The Indian Freelancer and can be accessed here: www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer 

Thanks a lot, 
The Indian Freelancer 
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Freelancing in India: the mental roadblocks

Namaste Friends and Freelancers, 

How are you doing today? Hope you all had a great start to the new year. I had an awesome start myself. Things are going awesome and super with me this year and I hope it is the same case with you too. 

 Well, today I am going to talk about the very basic reason behind this blog and our YouTube Channel – Freelancing in India. Why is freelancing a challenge in India and what are the various roadblocks? We will see those today, in details. 

Freelancing in India is not a new thing and neither it is unknown to the Indian online fraternity. There are many around the country who have been freelancing for years and some of them have even taken up freelancing as a full-time source of income. However, it is still done in a very haphazard way and there exists a peculiar phobia of getting started. Even after starting, very few are actually able to continue or make it big while doing online freelancing in India. Most of the freelancing careers in India cease after a couple of months or years of starting or they end up being a mediocre, irregular and insignificant source of income. 

The Indian Freelancer
Why is it so? Why is online freelancing in India not as lucrative career option in the country as it is in other countries and continents? With the constant increase in population and decrease in the government and non-government jobs, freelancing is actually an awesome career option. Do you know that? Do you believe in that? Does the country believe in that? If not, why? Let us look into this today. 

Why is freelancing not the top career option in India? This has got to do with the Indian culture and the way Indians approach a professional career for themselves and their family; or the way one aspires to earn money. The Indian habits do not let us take up freelancing as a career. Even though we have come a long way from the traditional thought of higher education followed by a government job, we have not completely accepted the fact that there can be career options other than a government or a non-government or private job. Freelancing opportunities in India are not less but are very much industry specific. Let us talk about these things in a little more detailed way so that you will understand what I am talking about. 

Old school of thought: 

There are grades and levels created in almost all realms of the Indian society. There are biases based on caste, language, customs and what not. There are places still where one is graded based on the kind of work that she or he does. And even in modern urban societies, even though not visible from the outside, this idea is there in people’s mind. The old Indian school of thought definitely sees freelancing as a lower grade job or profession than being in some fixed job. Not very long ago Government job used to be the main criteria of labeling someone successful or not. As people realized slowly that government jobs are drying up, private jobs took their place; however, these jobs were mainly associated with the place or city of work as well. If you are working in Bangalore, Hyderabad or Pune or any other Metro city, then you are successful, otherwise not. Freelancing as a career option was not even in the list. 

Indian habits: 

Habitually, Indians are not very keen on taking up freelancing jobs as primary source of income as there is no stability or consistency in those. Lack of knowledge or basic idea about the freelancing work culture may be blamed here. Most parents in India, even today think that their kid needs to be either a doctor and have his own nursing home or an engineer and work in an MNC. This is what they put in the minds of the young kids as the benchmark of success, and everyone start putting their efforts in trying to achieve that – both the parents and the kids. If you think about it for a moment in depth, you will realize that this in some way also restricts and kills the creativity in the child, and many fail to choose the career they would be more fit for. Freelancing in India cannot thrive if we do not come out of these habits. 

Middle-Class conventions: 

This is what a middle class family does, who are not into any kind of family business. Family business is one legitimate way of doing something apart from the conventional careers. But if you are not lucky enough to born in a business family, then you are not left with any other option other than becoming either a doctor or an engineer. In last couple of decades many Indians have grown from lower middle-class to upper middle class and the thoughts have also changed little bit, and not drastically. There are options found and explored in the fields of entertainment, infotainment, sports and media. Even though these are also types of freelance work, but they got into the list of ‘respected jobs’ around the country. Today, many people are OK to send their kin and wards to work in such domains and still feel good about it. So, the affirmative nod for freelancing in India is very industry specific. 

Definition of Struggle: 

If you want to struggle for 5 years to become an IAS or for 10 years to get a role in a television soap or even an ad or for about 20 years to have your own hosted program on a news channel, it is still considered fine in India; not struggling for a few years to establish yourself as a freelance blogger or a freelancer YouTuber or maybe a service provider on any of the freelance websites online! By struggle in freelancing, I mean putting in efforts to learn and convert your knowledge to earn. Freelancing online is not an ‘earn money quick’ or ‘get rich quick’ scheme and hence it needs lot of efforts in learning and then persistently and constantly putting efforts to get jobs, work and deliver. There is a lot of effort associated with freelancing. And even after you have made some name in the market for yourself, it is not necessary that you will get the next job without any effort. Hence, the struggle in freelancing is perennial and lifelong. 

So, you can see that most of the roadblocks are in our minds and not necessarily in practice. Mostly these are about the aspirations, conventions, habits, opinions and the way we look at freelancing as a career option in India. Again, this is not necessarily a case only in India. Freelancing in a few other south Asian countries are also as tough (in the mind) as is freelancing in India, but people are still trying to break these barriers and make a mark for themselves in the vast world of freelancing. 

There may be a few other things that have stopped you or anyone you know from becoming a freelancer. Please let me know in your comments and we can surely talk about those in future as well. 

We will next talk about a few other topics which will help you get going with freelancing. I am definite that these WHYs are more important to talk about before we start on specific WHATs and HOWs. Do let me know how you are liking these posts in your comments below. 


Thanks for reading this post. I hope you liked it. If you did, please do not forget to subscribe to us. You may also want to check out our YouTube Channel, where we post videos with various freelancing tips and tricks, which can definitely boost your freelancing career and business! 
The Channel name is The Indian Freelancer, and can be accessed on www.YouTube.com/TheIndianFreelancer

Thanks a lot, 
The Indian Freelancer 
Let's Learn and Grow Together!