For those of you who have been following this blog since the beginning, you will be aware that I escaped the corporate cubicle aka the day job, in April 2016.
Because I no longer wanted to spend my time doing work that didn’t inspire, fulfil or resonate with me.
Instead, I wanted to do something radical.
I wanted to:
- Follow my dreams and passions
- To be an author
- To be an entrepreneur
- To add value
- To have fun
- To unleash my highest potential in this world and leave it in a better way
So what did this translate to in terms of day to day reality?
It meant I left the day job to follow my dreams to writing books and running my start-up. And all those months on, I can say it’s the best decision I ever made.
Yes, progress may be slow at the beginning, and I must admit that I wanted ‘success’ to arrive the day after I quit the day job.
But things don’t pan out the way you imagine. They turn out better.
Every time you transition to do something new, there is a period of intense work that precedes ‘success’.
After all those months, I can finally feel like I’ve hit my first ‘success milestone’ which is to get the book edited.
Although I still have one more round of edits and a proofread to get through, I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Gift of Editing
The editing stage took a lot longer than I had imagined.
But where it took me longer to get the book into the shape I was happy with, in hindsight, this gave me the time I needed to learn about writing and rewriting. And I was able to give the book the focus and attention it needed.
What I am learning is that no time is lost when you are writing a book.
Every step you take is required to get to the finish line. Even if, in my case, I ended up taking many more steps than I had anticipated.
I have now even started to think about plans for a book launch and what I would like to do which is exciting!
I couldn’t even think about this a few months ago as I felt I had so much work on the book to do that I couldn’t commit to a launch date.
But I now feel confident that my book ‘Escape the Cubicle’ will be hitting all good bookstores within the next ten weeks.
So where am I now?
I am in the process of reviewing the second edits and making relevant changes. I am giving myself ten days to make these changes.
I also now need to settle on a book title and get the cover designer to mock up some samples. But I can’t get the cover designed until the title is confirmed and this is still not finalised.
I need to so some research on my title, take a look at what my competitors are doing. What types of titles are they using?
I had a few ideas, but the feedback has been that the titles are too long. I need to think of something short, snappy and sticky. The title should be easy to recall and remember.
I will then make a short list of possible titles and share this with my email list and friends and get their opinions. I have been experimenting with Typeform as a way to gather feedback.
What have I achieved this week?
I have finally managed to set up my MailChimp email list. I don’t like all this tech stuff (but hey you got to do it!) and I did struggle with setting it up.
But after I did it, it all became so obvious (why was I tearing out my hair with those embedded forms and sign up forms?!)
Lesson learnt: things are always hard until you know how to do them. It may be hard at first, but it’s not impossible.
But its equally empowering when you figure out how to do something. And in fact, I will now be helping another author friend with setting up her email list.
Set up a Reader Magnet
I am giving away the first chapter of my book as a reader magnet, i.e., the freebie (something of value) you give to your readers as a thank you for joining the list.
It’s pretty exciting to have people sign up to your list. So far my subscribers are people i know, family and friends for which I am very grateful for (thanks, Gopi, Aman, Jitty, Sai just to name a few!).
Quality Vs Quantity
As the business progresses, my aim will be to add more readers to my list. but I would rather have readers who want to be on my list rather than having a huge list for the sake of it.
I want my readers to love my work, and I want to give them as much value as I can.
So if you want to check out my email sign up, please click here and pop in your email address.
You will get the first chapter of my upcoming book ‘Escape the cubicle” a book to help you quit work you hate and identify what you want to do.
Here is a snippet of the first chapter but you can get the rest and other launch freebies when you join the list here.
PS- let me know how your author business is growing. What are you struggling with? How can I help? Let me know in the comments below.
Escape The Cubicle – Sukhi Jutla- Chapter Preview
Chapter 1. My Story
‘’And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom’’ – Anais Nin
My Personal Quest for Purpose and Passion
My journey to finding my purpose started almost ten years ago. I had a nagging little feeling at the back of my mind that I didn’t want to study economics at university or pursue a career in finance. But, like many, I drowned out that doubting voice to uphold expectations from family and society.
After graduating from a top -tier university, I followed the crowd into the twinkling (and somewhat deceiving) bright lights of the City of London, where I secured a very well paid job in the heart of the financial district. There, I sat alone in a grey corporate cubicle, staring at Excel spreadsheets for fifteen hours a day, slowly feeling the life and energy sucked out of me through the piercing fluorescent lighting.
That nagging feeling quickly turned into a heavy ache in the centre of my chest. This was worsened by a dragon of a boss, who evidently hated her job (and possibly her entire life) and made it her personal mission to make my life as miserable as hers.
I fled that corporate cell after two years.
By that time, I knew I had to spend my days doing something that mattered to me, satisfied my craving for learning and enabled me to grow as a person. So I jumped ship from an investment bank to a management consultancy. I was doing work that was better suited to my skills, travelling the world and living the life I had imagined. But after a short five years, I felt that familiar ache in my chest flare up again. Although I had changed jobs, I had only moved horizontally into the same field of work. Although something had changed, nothing had changed.
So I went back into the market searching for a job that would make me happy forever. But deep down, I knew this couldn’t make me happy, as I no longer wanted to work in finance or for a corporate giant. But what else could I do after over a decade in this sector? I didn’t have any other skills. I couldn’t see any other opportunities.
I spent many more months in a confused and frustrated state. I felt stuck in a job I didn’t care about, not knowing how to move forward. All I knew was that I didn’t want to do it anymore. Long hours drained my energy. I had put on weight over the years, neglecting my health. I had chronic neck and back pain thanks to stress and being desk-bound, hunched over a laptop working on meaningless PowerPoint presentations that I knew no one cared about, myself included.
It got to the stage where I dreaded going into the office. I hated the four-hour daily commute, squashed trains and working with people who drained my energy. I was increasingly dissatisfied with the way my life was turning out.
I had checked off the boxes I thought would make me happy: an excellent education, a well-paid job in a respectable industry. But deep down I was fed up, frustrated and unhappy. Feeling stuck and stagnated, I felt like I had no control or direction over my life. Like a drifting ship in a vast, tumultuous ocean, I felt utterly lost. What I did know was that I no longer wanted to do this type of work or live this lifestyle anymore. But I also knew I had no clue as to what to do next.
And then I got a wake-up call from Life.
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