Anika Jindal of WhatAnikaSays: The Power of Flexibility; How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic
Make a schedule: Unlike a full-time job, there are no fixed working hours when you are working on your own business. So initially, when I started working on my blog full-time, I was working 24/7 which burnt me out. Then, I worked out a schedule so that I can focus on work without being too harsh on myself.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anika Jindal.
Anika Jindal is a personal finance blogger, immigrant’s wife and mom to a six-year-old. She helps people live a debt-free life by sharing budgeting, money-saving and frugal living tips through her blog. With her majors in Accounting and Finances, she is using her knowledge to empower families to live a financially independent and stress-free life.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up in India and after finishing my degree, I worked as an Audit Assistant for a while and then moved to the US with my husband.
Being raised by a single mom, I learned the importance of saving money early on. It wasn’t that we had a lot of money problems growing up but losing my dad at the age of 10, I realized how necessary it is to learn how to manage money well to get through any uncertainties in life.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It is hard to choose one but I recently have been motivated by this quote:
“Don’t settle for what life gives you; make life better and build something.” — Ashton Kutcher
This quote is so powerful. There are many changes that you may come across in life. You need to keep working around those challenges to build the best life for yourself.
My husband is an IT consultant and we have moved five times in the last 9 years due to his job. Apart from personal challenges, I had to face professional challenges as well with every move. So far I have been able to keep up with those challenges and restart my career every time.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
My all-time favorite book is Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson.
It helped me understand that you can’t be successful staying at your comfortable spot and expecting things will always remain the same.
Things are bound to change in life and it is important to be able to anticipate, monitor, adapt and enjoy those changes to achieve success in life.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
I was working as an Accounting Analyst in a corporate setting before the pandemic began and got laid off in October.
I loved my work at the job and wasn’t expecting to be laid off since I was performing some critical tasks for my team. Also, there was always a positive feedback from my supervisor.
But due to covid, the things went beyond my supervisor’s control and I was released based on the decision coming from higher management.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
I started my blog last year but wasn’t working on it 100% due to being busy at work and then managing my son and housework.
So, when I lost my job, I decided instead of working for someone else, I should build something of my own now so that my career is not in the control of other people.
Now I am working full-time on my blog and planning to grow it to a point where I can start earning full-time income with it soon.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
The company that I was working for had a “work from office” culture. Even though we worked from home successfully since March, they called all the employees back to the office starting June.
The COVID-19 situation was still bad and I wasn’t ready to send my son to daycare yet but I had to for keeping my job.
So, at that point, I already started thinking about working on my blog more seriously so that I can work for myself to have the flexibility to make the best decisions for my family.
How are things going with this new initiative?
It has been an exciting new journey so far. I have been learning a lot of new things regarding blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing and so on. My main focus right now is to create more and more useful content that can help me build my audience.
Also, I have been enjoying my time with my son and helping him with his virtual schooling assignments.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Honestly, there are many people who I am grateful for who have supported me in my professional and personal journey so far. But I want to shout out to two people.
First, my husband. He is supporting me mentally and financially in my new endeavor. He has always been on my side encouraging me to try new things in life.
Second, my friend Chhavi, who is a successful blogger at Mrs Daaku Studio and whom I connected online through a Facebook group. She has been helping me selflessly to build my blog without thinking about competition.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
One interesting thing that has happened to me after starting this new initiative is that I have gained a different level of confidence.
As an introvert, I am not the kind of person who can open up to strangers quickly. But now, I have been trying to be active in various blogging groups and reaching out to people with my questions. This has helped me build a relationship with other fellow bloggers which I think is very important to thrive in the online world.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
I wish someone had told me:
- To stop looking for a quick success: When I initially started my blog, I always thought I will start getting traffic right away and it’s going to be a cakewalk. But now I have realized building a successful business takes time. It needs a lot of consistent hard work before you start seeing results.
- Stop being a perfectionist: Perfectionism slows your progress. I spent a lot of time working on my website design and blog posts to make them look flawless. This slowed my progress and then I realized I could have spent that time working on other important tasks.
- Every business needs investment: There is a lot of free information available on the internet nowadays. But, if you want to build strong foundations for your business you need to invest in good courses and resources to accelerate your success.
- Make a schedule: Unlike a full-time job, there are no fixed working hours when you are working on your own business. So initially, when I started working on my blog full-time, I was working 24*7 which burnt me out. Then, I worked out a schedule so that I can focus on work without being too harsh on myself.
- You can only do so much: As a solopreneur, there are so many things that you need to do yourself. So, you must prioritize and take on as many tasks as you can comfortably work on, instead of getting overwhelmed and stressed out.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
2020 has been a long year and taking some time off the technology has helped me keep my mental sanity.
With virtual schooling and work from home, each one of us at home has been spending a lot of time on our laptops and phones. So, having some no screen time after 5 pm allows me to spend some quality one-on-one time with my son.
Also, I making sure to get some kind of workout done at least 30 mins a day for my physical as well as mental wellness.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I would like to help other women like me who got affected due to COVID or have not been able to work outside due to other reasons. I want to teach them that there are many legit ways to make money from home and become self-independent while taking care of the home and kids.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
Ben, the owner and founder of Dollar Sprout.
He has an incredible story about how he quit his job twice to build a successful blog. Whenever I am feeling anxious about the success of my blog, I go back and read his story again for motivation.
How can our readers follow you online?
Readers can follow my blog at WhatAnikaSays.com
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!