A Soft Skills Journey That Completes Two Years

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It’s been a journey that completes 2 years this month. July 2014 – a milestone in my life when this blog was conceived and I set out to share my knowledge and experiences on this blog. And I can’t thank all of you enough for the love, support and encouragement you all have shown to this blog. Even though posting on a blog and setting up a thriving training business is hard, I have thoroughly enjoyed pursuing my passion. It has had it’s own ups and downs and I thought this is a good time to look back on them. 

It’s scary to traverse unchartered territories when you start something new on your own. It is stepping out of your comfort zone and bid adieu to the predictability of life. You can follow others for inspiration but one’s own journey turns out to be unique and different. It is waking up every morning and taking the next step forward without letting the mammoth journey ahead intimidate you. Easy as it sounds, some days arrive ponderously with self doubt that refuses to go. But ploughing on is the only choice. When I look back, there are a few things that come to mind that might help you in your journey too. So, here they are in no specific order:

Passion for and belief in my mission is the single most thing that has kept me going. My zest for what I do stems from my belief that skill training can actually make that critical difference to our nation. Even the current PM has now launched the Skill India campaign under NSDC to work towards this goal. What can be better than being a part of this ambitious plan!

Self motivation is the only thing that you can bank on in the long run. As I said earlier, self doubt is a part of anything new in life. And it becomes harder to combat that when we live in a world that only celebrates success. Expressing your fears and doubts isn’t encouraged. And when it comes to professional challenges, it becomes even harder to acknowledge and share them. Your inner strength to your rescue. Revisit your mission statement, reinforce your belief in yourself and move on. This is what I did – every single time. 

Reading -mostly online – gave me all the information I needed to know about the project I was about to embark on. Like they say – I cant travel the world and so I read. And that’s true for other things as well. I spent hours at a stretch for weeks to gauge the current landscape of blogging and training. And to comprehend the labyrinthine pathways of how social media works and can help me in my goals. So, read voraciously. It is time consuming but is also adds to your knowledge like nothing else can.

The hardest to achieve when you work from home is Discipline. There is reams written online about finding being effective while working from home. Especially for start ups and entrepreneurs. But what brought discipline in my life was the boon of a co-working space. That made me step out of my jammies and the house and get a few hours of uninterrupted work done. It is there that the blogging for beginners series was conceived and social media plans made. I think as a woman, it is more important to step out of the house. Or domestic concerns always divert your attention away from work. So I think investing in a co-working space is one of the best things I did in October last year.

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The first Blog Like Suman in December 2015 – blogging workshop for beginners

One of the biggest lessons I have learnt, especially in the last two years, is to Stop comparing myself to others. The shoes always look shiny on the outside. But everyone has earned his/her own blisters through the journey. And I can’t compare my step one to step three of someone else. I figured that all of us have our own paths to reach our goals. And will have different milestones and stops at different times. I have seen others do achieve what I have been struggling with. And I am sure what I do might seem effortless to others. We could help each other out but never aspire to go through someone else’s journey.

Small victories keep you going since it goals keep shifting and sub goals become important. In fact, only recently did I realise that my social media and blogging goals have been met with success to a large extent. While there are other goals yet to be worked on. There are also other little milestones that keep you going along the way – Like getting 500 likes on Facebook, completing 100 posts on the blog and the highest number of views in a day – all three coming almost at the same time. The yearend stats in 2015 – 18770 views from 10388 visitors from 144 countries in 15 months of its existence was another such moment.  

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250 views from just 93 visitors was definitely a high point for the blog!

It is easy to get carried away with your work since 9-5 is no longer the norm. I found that working by myself came with its own challenges. My to-so lists became never ending. I was struggling to keep up with weekly posts and regular social media updates. Work was constantly on my mind. I’d sneak in work time even during weekends hoping to cut tick a few tasks off my list. But I had to draw the line somewhere. Again, thanks to co-working offices, I try to make the most of week days and shut shop on weekends. (unless there’s something pressing) We need to find ways to de-stress and draw boundaries between work and life. 

One year into my blogging, I realised that I needed more hands on board. But with the passion, time, effort and hard work that I poured into the blog, it was imperative to find someone with similar work ethic. And that is an arduous task. After months of search and a couple of misses, I found a team of bubbling girls with a social media start up. And I can confidently say that my life hasn’t been the same since. They not just brought a fresh wave of energy and creativity to my brand but also inspire me to keep going. And it is great to finally have like minded people I can bounce ideas off. The videos you see on my blog are their handiwork – from creative conception to editing.

Some goals are met and some not yet. I still haven’t figured everything out to the tee. I sometimes still struggle to figure out the blog post for the week. No matter how planned you try to be, life has a way of throwing things at you. You have no choice but to drop the plan and grab the challenge thrown at you. Scary and unpredictable though it still is, a lot more when I started, I have come to love what I do. I believe in my story and see the self doubts make an appearance less frequently.

I hope you will continue to be a part of my journey which seems to have just begun. I am sure that through this blog and the training programs I do, it can make a worthy contribution to making India a skilled country.

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