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I'm a community builder. I love to write. I love to teach.
I spend my work time as a Community Consultant, Creator and Writer:
- Community Consultant - I help founders and creators turn their audience into an engaged community that can create value while they sleep. I do so by offering my services as a fractional Head of Community at My First Community Manager.
- Creator - I help professionals boost the arc of their careers by writing online. I created the Clear Writing Clear Thinking guide to teach you everything I've learnt about writing online.
- Writer - I write about the lessons I have learnt with difficulty so that you can learn it much easily. You can find all the articles I have written on this website. I also share my brain dumps more frequently on Twitter and LinkedIn.
How did I get here?
From India to the Internet:
I was born in India, outside the city of Kolkata.
But for the most part, I've been able to read the same things and learn from the same people as any 20-year old in San Francisco might:
- Twitter allowed me to tap into the thoughts of world leaders.
- Podcasts allowed me to be a "fly on the wall" and listen to experts talk amongst themselves.
- Kindle gave me access to any book on a whim.
Internet democratized access to information.
Then a few years ago, remote work democratised access to opportunities.
I connected with the founder of a fast-growing remote startup based out of US, over a cold-email to discuss the future of online education. This got me invited to a call which converted into dream job before I had even graduated - as their Community Manager.
We were working completely remotely even before the COVID-19 pandemic.
I had the flexibility to run my own schedule, from India. I had teammates who lived all over the world - in the US, Canada, Belgium, Italy and Spain. I attended important meetings wearing shorts and took a 3-hour break in the middle of my work day. I discovered remote work was happy living.
I have since quit that job but it set the tone of my future career as a community consultant helping founders turn their audiences into engaged communities.
I, now, learn, work and connect remotely via the Internet.
Writing to give back to the community without borders
I wasn't a writer. I never aspired to be one.
But the feeling of reciprocity I had towards this wonderful community of the Internet was so strong, that I became one.
I wrote my first article to give back to the generous online community of programmers that helped me learn how to code. I just wanted to contribute to that incredible trend.
This was back in my second year of college when I was pursuing a bachelor's degree in programming. If you read the article, you'll understand how disappointed I was with college. I wrote it to help other college students like me.
Even though that first article wasn't succeessful in terms of popularity, the process of writing hooked me. Everytime I did a difficult project or learned something challenging, I wrote an article to make the journey easier for the next person.
Popularity followed soon after. I wrote 13 articles during those 3 years. They have been viewed more than 500k times, in total.
But more importantly, writing these articles cultivated my passion for teaching.
I, now, write about the challenging things I learn about community building, entrepreneurship and writing itself.
Owning my "compounds" through entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship, to me, is not about being your own boss or controlling your own time (I did both to a satisfactory degree as a remote employee).
It isn't even about selling software or courses or newsletters online. Yes, "build once, sell twice" is a wonderful form of entrepreneurship but it's not the only one.
To me, entrepreneurship is about owning the compounding effects of good work.
The processes you create, articles you write, customer relationships you cultivate - if you do a good job at them as an employee, your employer gets to benefit from them long after you're gone. Which is a good thing. You trade the compounding returns of your good work for a predictable income with linear increments.
As an entrepreneur, you choose to keep the compounding returns of your good work for a less predictable income.
So, if entrepreneurship is a spectrum,
- being a full-time employee is on one end
- selling your services as a freelancer or consultant is in the middle
- selling a product is on the other end
I've been an entrepreneur forever, moving towards the product end.
If you've read this far, let me know how I can help you.
Community Consultant, Creator, Writer