An Army kid, Protima has grown up all over the country until her family settled in Pune where she completed her schooling and rest of her education. From agency life to providing content, it’s not a very conventional jump. Then what triggered this idea? “I loved writing, it was strangely therapeutic. I started off being a food blogger, but it was writing that attracted me. I wanted to write about whatever I could. Hence, I made the decision to be a freelance writer – it gave me my creative space, plus I was not bound by any rules.”
What started as love for writing, soon started getting her Indian and international clients for whom she now provides content. Protima also has her personal blog Dumbbells and Drama .
Protima loves the challenge of writing, “It’s not simply about putting information out there. It’s about connecting with people, sharing stories, and positively affecting lives. I love writing. On days when I don’t have anything to write, I am a cranky, sad, annoyed child. Just like those days when I miss workouts.”
Right, that brings me to Protima’s workouts. Highly inspirational and focused, she inspires people to embrace fitness through her posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Curious about how it all started, I wanted to know more. “I was a different person in 2011. I was lazy and insecure, and my diet comprised almost entirely of pizza and whiskey. There was no time for working out while living out strange experiences in a strange town with strange people. I needed to first worry about getting to work on time after cooking early in the morning.”
By mid-2013, things changed for her. With no one to share pizza and whiskey with, her diet improved quite a bit. “I started running and continued eagerly after a couple of people inspired me to set and achieve my goals. I had time to kill, which I spent at the gym. My interest in fitness challenges was a result of pure boredom. I went from 65 kgs in 2011 to 51 kgs in September 2013. I was shocked, overjoyed, and now addicted.
So if you ask what worked for me, I’d say seeing results did. Weight loss was goal number 1, and that had been achieved. I started concentrating on my runs and realized I enjoyed it because it was my version of ‘me time’.”
Coming back to her life as a content entrepreneur, how did her family take this? Let’s be honest, working from home is still not an idea everyone understands. “Both my parents are doctors. So, dropping out of Science, then later giving up my full time job after MBA and taking up a very unstable profile of a freelancer wasn’t a very welcome option. However, with time, my parents have relaxed and I too have settled in the profile comfortably.”
Protima begins her day very early and within half an hour, she begins working. Yes! By 6 am when most of us are just about to wake up, this girl starts working despite working from home and having the leisure of beginning work late. This is where her discipline shows its first sign. After working for a good four hours, she takes a break for the other thing she loves – working out! Next part of her day is spent working out of an agency office as a content consultant while her evenings are for meetings and networking. She tries to sleep by 9, though on most days it drags till midnight. Phew! This young woman keeps her days packed!
Before success come challenges and for a freelancer, challenges are endless. “Since I do not have the security of a stable job, there are times when I need to put in that extra effort to share my work. Its fine by me, but what gets to me is the fact that many inexperienced people get in the way of everything: working from home, freelancing – it all seems like a glamourous concept, but it really isn’t. When kids from college walk up to clients, and offer half your fees and double the work that is where the trouble starts. It really isn’t that easy. But I think that’s a case with every job, freelancer or full time. Good work wins at the end,” Protima echoes my sentiments here.
Talking about the other challenge most freelancers face, she said, “Another thing that I really wish would change is the payments bit – I wish there was a certain body that helped us solve all these payment issues; clients usually take freelancers for granted. I am blessed to work with a professional set, but I’ve had a bad experience and have heard of many who have faced this.”
Both the challenges are common and to be honest, quite frustrating. Most of us have made peace with them and found ways to deal with these challenges. How does Protima deal with them? “I have learnt the power of relationship building and networking. I have also taken up meditation to stay calm, plus I make a conscious effort to think positive, and avoid all sorts of drama in life. I cut out negativity, and it might sound clichéd, vague or maybe not important enough, but mental strength is what is needed most of the times.” Well said, and how!
Protima’s taken the content industry by storm and we wish her all the best for the future!