I started this website to help people find good workspaces. Now, I write about how to start an online business, how to make more money and even plan careers (so that you do not have to make the mistakes I did.)
Few things about me:
Graduated at peak of recession
Did a course which nobody found worth hiring
Started working a call center, got fired
Became a content writer
Then a marketing communications specialist
Then a digital marketing associate
Then a senior digital marketing professional
Worked in a start up accelerator for over 3 years
Handled marketing for Series C funded companies including Big Basket, FreshMenu, HouseJoy, Portea, BlueStone
Started a media company as a single person marketing team, scaled it and raised USD 2 Million in Pre-Series funding–then got kicked out from the same company.
Last full time was Head of Digital Marketing for CoWrks, a coworking space provider
Now focusing on this website. This my experinece working for myself for last 4 months.
This is my background and experience in a short summary.
I bought this domain because I thought it was a cool name for something related to coworking.
Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”Mark Twain
I’ve been looking for the perfect job for over 12 years and in my experience, it doesn’t exist.
In all my jobs, I have tried to go the extra mile and more often, I have found that no matter how hard you work at a job, there is always skepticism from managers, petty politics, annoyance and general dis-satisfaction.
Lot of career advise that you get like, “do the thing that you love” sometimes just doesn’t make any sense.
You can do the thing you love, but sometimes your love changes.
Coming from a middle-class working background, sometimes you just cannot afford to only do the thing you love. You read my thoughts about that here.
When I was working at my last job, I would dread getting out of bed in the morning because I just did not want to deal with people who were neither passionate not interested in doing something they loved.
As with 95% of all normal people employed, they showed up, and were doing something and taking home a paycheck.
I was not finding any purpose in doing the job so I quit without a backup plan.
Since then, I have been working on this site and it is growing.
So what is Easycowork.com all about now?
To be honest, even I do not know.
I just wrote on my whiteboard the things I am passionate about and I reached a conclusion that I am fit to write about starting an online business, making money online and career planning (because I’ve made some fantastic career mistakes.)
If you have some free time, I can tell you my story.
Chapter 1: Recession + Scam = Not a Good Start
In 2008, I graduated in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering.
It was peak of recession, and there were no airlines hiring anyone.
In fact, I had to pay bribe to get an internship at a company so a paying job was out of the question.
I had a girlfriend at the time and those days, mobile calls and internet was expensive.
I think this is the right time to mention that I did not have a normal upbringing and my father went out of his way to ensure that I had zero money with me.
So, I needed a job and I needed one fast.
I took little savings whatever my mom had and paid to a company to become a data entry operator.
For 3 months, day and night, I worked entering data and every time they rejected the submission based on quality. They wanted 98% accuracy and mine was 94% or something.
After three months, I quit because it was not humanly possible.
After couple of years, the director of the company got arrested because he was running a fraud business promising people jobs and taking money to join this “project”.
Long story short, “It was a scam.”
Never pay a company for the promise of a job and salary.
After this, I went to work at a call center near my home (in a run down house).
My job was to make calls to Australian citizens to convince them to have an appointment with an insurance company.
After two weeks, they called me one evening and fired me because I was not getting any appointments.
I mean, that project itself got shut because nobody was able to get any appointments.
Chapter 2: Take whatever comes your way.
Then, I went for an interview to another company (also based in a house) for the position of content writer.
They had just gotten a contract from US for writing bulk content and needed people badly.
I passed their screening test and they offered me a job.
Writing content 6 days a week with an monthly salary of INR 5500 (USD 100).
This is the bank statement of my first salary.
I’m not bragging, but I was pretty good at writing fast.
I mean I was writing 25 (500 word) articles in a day and got awarded twice as best performer.
Company was growing, my incentives were growing and I was offered a promotion as a team leader because now they had 100 writers and opened a second office.
I didn’t take the promotion because I figured I will make more money writing than managing people.
The plan was simple, save as much money as possible and take the train to Bangalore.
During this time, a lady manager joined the company and started making my life difficult.
I was known as a kind of rockstar in the company and my friendship with the bosses was something she disliked.
She hired a bunch of her friends, they became a gang and slowly work culture was becoming toxic.
Petty politics and few stinker emails later, I resigned.
After many years of leaving the company, I got to know that this lady was fired and that company shutdown. I guess karma really does exist.
Chapter 3: New City, New Experiences
I landed in Bangalore with my oldest friend and started living as a paying guest in a single room.
My third day here, I cracked an interview and landed a job with a Hollywood Studio as an English Editor.
Work Shift of 4 PM to 2 AM.
Midnight company car to drop me off. I was thrilled.
Work was hard, but I was getting paid.
After few months, I received a job offer to join a large Indian MNC.
Two reasons I considered the job:
It was full time (my current job at the time was a contract).
It was a reputed brand.
Salary on paper was the same, but I got far less because of “deductions”.
They are still one of the largest Indian MNCs and I truly hate them to this day.
I think Indian MNCs treat people like shit and people take it because they feel it is good for the “careers”.
I also made the same mistake.
I had to wear formals, an ID around my neck (like a dog-tag), and sit in front of a computer for 10 hours with no work.
I fell sick after eating at the company cafeteria and then started eating outside the campus.
Once it look me more than 30 minutes to complete my lunch and my manager asked me to bring lunch box from next day.
After few weeks, I fell sick again and called my manager to explain and he asks me to come to office.
These were his exact words, “I do not care if you are sick. We have the best doctors on campus. If you are dying, you should die in our campus.”
This was the last straw.
They had two months of notice but I absconded because I didn’t care.
The HR department called me and said I would never be able to work in any of this brand’s companies.
I said, “Oh! That’s great!”
I quit and never had been more relieved to be unemployed.
Chapter 4: Unemployed and Out of Options
The next 8 months were hard.
I was able to crack interviews but for some reason, I couldn’t join.
During this time, I got selected for Yahoo! (this was the time when Yahoo! was as big as Google).
I got the offer letter, I sent all my documents and went to my hometown to break the good news to my mother.
While there, I get a call from Yahoo! hiring team that the CEO of Yahoo! Mr. Scott Thompson was caught for CV fraud and he couldn’t approve my batch’s hiring.
They had put all hiring on hold.
My mom jokingly said, “Because of your luck, CEO of Yahoo! got caught!
Back to Bangalore to start job hunting again.
Savings running low and not many options left, I cracked an interview with a small gaming company.
The hiring manager looked at my last drawn salary and asked, “What if we offer you lesser than this?”
I said, “I will not join then!”
I do not know why I said it, but they hired me for the same salary as my previous job and I was relieved.
Chapter 4: The Grass is Always Greener (Until You Get There)
After 8 months of working at this small gaming company, my friend suggested that we try our luck in Dubai.
He had heard of many stories of people from his hometown going to Dubai and come back rich because of higher salaries, zero tax and better standard of living.
He called me one afternoon and asked me to quit the job to join him and go to Dubai.
All I asked is, “Are you sure what you are doing?”
He said, “Yes!”
After disconnecting the call and a sigh later, I sent my resignation email.
My manager was on leave and he called me immediately to tell me I shouldn’t do it and I should not be stupid.
I think when you are young, your ambition is unstoppable, you have the energy and think that you can take over the world.
May be that’s why you take more risks when you are young.
I called my father to tell him that I am going to Dubai.
He said, “No! There is no way in hell that I will let you go to Dubai.”
“Hold on a second, I am getting a call. I will call you back.” I said.
Till that point, I had not booked my tickets to Dubai and I called my friend and said, “Book the tickets.”
He did so immediately.
I called back my father and said, “You were saying something?”
“Yes, there is no chance in hell you are going.” he repeated.
I said, “I’ve already booked by tickets and there is nothing you can do to stop me.”
Looking back, now I think he said that because he thought I am asking him money to go.
Anyways, I packed my bags and landed in Dubai 2 weeks later.
In one week, me and my friend landed a job in a leading tech magazine as writer & editor.
But I didn’t like Dubai.
It was too hot and I started to feel that life was better in Bangalore.
Staying in a cramped room with 12 other people who would not even switch on the AC to save electricity bill didn’t help either.
I rejected the offer and in about 3 months I was back home.
I think my stay in Dubai opened my eyes to the suffering of immigrants ( especially from India).
There are genuine people suffering to save their families and then there are people staying for showing their neighbors that they have “made it in life”.
I met a 60 year old guy whose passport expired but he was staying illegally to make money stitching in a garment factory.
He had married off his daughter and one day on call he was telling his daughter that, “he had no more money to help her.”
This guy was sleeping on a plywood board without a bed working 7 days a week.
Then there are people staying purely for their ego.
When in reality they live the life of prisoner, they satisfy their ego that at least in front of others they were successful.
What good is a house with 4 bedrooms, a car and “social status” back in your town when you live in a room with 15 people sharing a single bathroom and your only escape is the cheap rum bottle at the end of the day?
Chapter 5: You can always restart!
Me and my friend returned from Dubai with 5 Dirhams in hand.
How did we get these 5 Dirhams?
At a vending machine in the airport, a white guy was putting in coins trying to get a soft drink.
He tried and tried and tried and finally nothing happened so he left.
Out of curiosity my friend went to the machine, punched some buttons and 5 Dirhams popped out.
Before we could find the guy and return his money, our flight was boarding.
We landed back in India and packed yet again to Bangalore.
I cleared the interview with Adobe through a consultancy and they screwed me over. (That’s a story for another time)
I joined an e-learning company as digital marketing manager. (Funny how startups will give you designation of Director of Marketing at INR 20,000 per month salary)
Started making some money and first thing I did was pay back the loans I had taken for my Dubai expedition.
Then bought a car.
After working couple of years, I got an opportunity to work for Robert Bosch.
Again, a big company, 3 times free food. Not much work.
In fact I was free for hours and my mind began to wander.
In my last company, I used to go to office by 7.30 AM ( to meet people working in US shifts) and return back by 8 PM.
It was a packed day and unknowingly, I had begun the process of being a workaholic.
Suddenly when I landed the job in Bosch, I was bored out of my mind.
To spend USD 100 on marketing, I had to get approvals from 5 people and they would take at least 30 days to do this.
In my previous job I was spending about USD 100,000 in a month, here I was waiting for approvals to spend pennies.
While joining Bosch, I also had an offer from a start-up accelerator which I had declined because my hiring manager at Bosch seemed like a sweet lady.
She was the kind of person you know would be nice to work with.
I experienced boredom like never before and even my manager’s sweetness couldn’t keep me there.
Chapter 6: Never Judge a Book By Its Cover & a Person By Their Hair
When I was looking for a job while working at the e-learning company, my Manager had joined a start-up and she had asked for my resume.
I had sent it and she called me for an interview.
I attended the interview but later got to know from the CMO that HR had rejected me because I had long hair and wore jeans and shirt for the interview.
The CMO was a cool guy based out of Silicon Valley and he apologized to me saying that even though that start-up could not see my value, he would offer me a job in its parent company.
I had rejected it to join Robert Bosch, but now I was having second thoughts.
I mailed him one night saying that I want to work for you and he replied back, “Why the sudden change of mind?”
I wrote only a single line back, “Taking the road less traveled.”
He responded, “Welcome, we’re glad to have you.”
Chapter 7: Startups, Funding & Getting Kicked Out of My Own Startup
I worked in the startup accelerator for over 3 years.
Its been an interesting journey to say the least.
I was part of the core marketing team handling marketing for several Series C funded companies including Big Basket, Portea, HouseJoy, FreshMenu.
Days and nights were hectic but I was enjoying the rush.
It was peak of “funding” season and every startup were working on was getting funded.
VCs were pumping in money and we were spending like there is no tomorrow.
Work had no timings and I can safely say that I became a certified workaholic.
My mind was jumping from one thing to the next to the next and we were starting a media company.
With one of my close friends as the founder, I was the Head of Content.
3 of my articles went viral and it was a new kind of experience I never had before.
330,000 visitors in a day!
During this time, I was also working on many other startup ideas and eventually started another regional media company.
I was single person handling website maintenance, content editing, marketing for Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada languages.
There was a ton of work and I was doing it because I felt it was my company.
The thing with Indian startups is that there is never any paperwork for early employees.
Multiple times I had asked the owners of the accelerator what was my role and he said, You are the founder, when funding comes you will be taken care of”.
I worked alone and the company started gaining traction.
This is when the management brought in 3 external co-founders to showcase to the investors.
Investors like people who can seem smart but mostly cant do any work themselves.
I didn’t mind this as long as I got my fair share.
Then there were lot of uncertainty on my future and one day I got to know that the company I had started had raised funding.
I was offered ESOPs from the Employee equity pool of 0.01 % (highest among all other employees).
During this time, the quality of content and viewership was declining at an alarming rate.
I tried my best to keep it up through marketing hacks but it was difficult.
As the same time another “Head of Video Production” joined the company and started having issues with the way I was marketing.
According to them, their content was top notch, the problem was with marketing.
I couldn’t take their bullshit anymore.
After working day and night, handling marketing alone, growing it to a stage where they could get USD 2 million in seed funding, I was squeezed out.
Chapter 8: Job is a Temporary Fix to a Permanent Problem
I joined a company as Head of Marketing.
Initially things were doing well, then I started to take my job too seriously.
I wanted to justify my high salary so was trying to do everything I possibly could to things that were roadblocks for digital marketing.
First on the list was fixing our website.
I sent a bunch of suggestions for fixing and the CTO was not very happy with it.
This idiot thought that I was trying to belittle him when what I was trying to do was do my job properly.
He started sending me stinker mails marking the founders to show that he was an all knowing genius and I was the idiot.
Months later, when a downsizing happened, this guy had to resign and leave.
Anyways, after a couple of months, I too resigned because I was not motivated to continue at my job anymore.
I think it was the right thing to do.
Then, I started this website.
If you read till here, I think we need to be friends.
You can join my mailing list where I send information about making money online, starting an online business and ideas that can make money.