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Harjeet Kaur - Food Blogger, Chef, Freelance Content Writer from Vijaywada, AP, India

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship? I was a carefree homema...


Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship?

I was a carefree homemaker, safe in my cocoon of marital security and enjoying motherhood. But after my husband’s demise, I had to step out and start my career at the age of 40. I was left with just the roof on my head and no bank balance. I was a simple, gullible fool and was taken for a ride. It was a really tough time and I had to nurture and provide for my kids. It was a struggle no doubt but I guess it was worth it. Ten years of my life went past in a haze of strife and making ends meet. 

The positive from this time was that I had to build on my strengths and overcome all the tough times alone. I didn’t know that I had it in me but then it has made me into a stronger person today. 

While I was looking for work I was offered a weekly column in The Hindu, Metro Plus. This offer came straight out of nowhere. I did have a way with words since I was a kid but never wrote anything serious. I started writing on any interesting topic under the sun. Covered the whole gamut, well almost; food and travel, fashion and trends, Bollywood and Tollywood, lifestyle, interiors, gardens, local news. Technology and finance are my Achilles heel and I steer clear of both topics.

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here.

Freelance content writing is a very tough nut to crack. First few months in a leading Newspaper was on gratis. Later, I was paid a nominal sum. That’s how my freelance content writing took off. My column was a regular feature for six years. In the meanwhile, I wrote for other national magazines, websites, even fliers, brochures, speeches, ghost-writing. The writing wasn’t going to pay my bills so I looked for jobs. First one was with a leading Newspaper in Education, I was paid 200/- for a class of 2 hours. These classes were few; no classes during exam time or vacations. Then I went on to be a Spoken English Instructor, then ran one of a leading website, next was as admin and marketing for an upcoming mall. I have donned many hats.


Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business?

The challenges were plenty. Low pay, long hours of work, harassment from bosses, to name a few. A single woman is an easy target in India, age no bar! I started a grooming school after that which didn’t work out. My last job was with a local airline which was the best. But I had spine surgery and had to give up a full-time job. I was writing regularly for a local magazine till this January; almost 15 articles a month. I always met my deadlines and submitted my articles before time but I was always paid after a few months of repeated reminders. I have not received payments for the articles from November, December and January till date. But I have learnt to keep asking for my due. If you do not ask you do not get. 

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business?

When I started my Personal Grooming School, I had to face a lot of flak. There was no support whatsoever from family or friends. Instead, potential students were shooed off citing my qualifications for the same. There is also a very heavy caste bias here. The hoardings I put up in the city all night were removed within hours the next morning by an unknown person. Then I dabbled in selling garments from home; again a non-starter. I was a mystery shopper. Now that I have a good following on my blog and social media, I endorse products for brands.

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period?

I was jobless and without an income. It was a distressing time. Then in 2014, I got this job in a new local airline. I was handling Communication and Social Media for them. But this didn’t last even a year as I developed severe sciatica and underwent spine surgery. I was asked to give up a full-time job by my doc. I went into a deep depression. I fought the depression and one fine day realised that I had rooms to spare and I started letting them out daily. They are named Elan-Homestay. That is my main source of income. But Corona has blocked out that too. I started blogging seriously. I have been consistent with my blog since then. It is a lifestyle blog but the food is the highlight. My blog is now at 15th position in the world of Lifestyle Bloggers.  



Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?

My future plans: This year, I decided that I had lived all my life for others and now that kids are Financially Independent, I will start to live for myself. My life has just started at 56 and I am raring to go. 

I want to write books. I will start one soon. It would be a guide for women like me. Even if I could help one woman to cope better than I did, I would be really happy. I would love to explore my journey as a successful blogger. I have led the life of a recluse for 15 years. Not anymore. 

Travel is a great learning experience and if I have the means I will surely travel, expand my horizons and meet people.
I suffer from chronic depression for 35 years and I am now able to cope with it. I would like to help those who suffer from mental health issues.

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs (bloggers. widows or weak women) who want to start & sustain in business?

For homemakers dependent on their husbands: keep yourself up to date about your finances. Save, save, save!
What I have learnt from my struggle is

  • This too shall pass
  • Try try till you succeed
  • Never give up
  • Be consistent
  • Hard work always pays
  • Forgive but do not forget
  • Never cry in public
  • Practice Yoga and Meditation
  • Stay Calm
  • Keep Smiling

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link


Q9. Facebook profile URL link 


Q10. Twitter profile URL link 


Q11. Instagram URL Link


Q12. Personal blog URL link


Q13. Company website & Company blog URL link

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Interviewed by: Khushboo Chotaliya - Lifestyles Influencer from Mumbai, India. 


Khushboo is a student of Digital Influencer's Academy by Yogesh MA.

Kindly follow Khushboo here instagram.com/khushboobchotaliya

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