This is an auto-transcribed version of the interview. You can watch all the protalks series here
Gaurav Tripathi 0:01
Yes, so we are live. Hello all those who are watching us already live on our pro dog, and those who are probably going to view it much later on YouTube. Welcome to protalk by superpro, another edition. Today we have got another amazing super Pro, attend Kumar, who has been an independent professional consultant and expert for almost a decade. And today we are going to talk to him about to know about his journey, his successes and failures to pause and what he has for you, and why did he choose to go this way, and what advice he has for people who want to become independent, who want to follow this path. That’s what we’ll be covering. And we will start in about two minutes. We are just waiting for more people to join. And we will be starting. And of course, this is your amazing host, Laura to party and the CEO and founder of superpro ai. So a warm welcome attend, we see already your glowing face.
Atin Kumar 1:31
Thank you duty, I’ll address you as DT and not worry. So and Hi to all of you who are watching. If you are you know if you’re here if you’re live watching, just type hi in the chat box so that we can have some interaction going.
Gaurav Tripathi 1:50
Yes, and the team has already mentioned in the chat that you can enter your questions. If you have any questions, you can keep putting in the questions in the chat. And we come to the q&a towards the end of it. And of the session, we will take all of the questions from the audience.
Atin Kumar 2:10
So I might go into webinar mode. I might go into a host mode just out of that habit.
Gaurav Tripathi 2:20
I must mention that Yeah. I’ve been has been doing webinars, like early on has been during the regular webinars. So yeah, he’s a pro at that or rather the super pro at that as well. Okay, and just take a minute more applause he was there any? Okay. Great. So let’s start. Let’s start. I think we have time. Now. What do we start with? We of course start with first, knowing why would you attend so you have to first give your hero introductions.
Atin Kumar 3:16
So yes, Hi, I’m Ivan Kumar. I’m a husband to a super professional and super passionate doctor. I’m a software engineer turned UI UX consultant, I’m a designer. I am sales funnel enthusiasts and I am an endurance cyclist and I am also the founder of impactful designers.com and burn musk collapse.com. This was my very short introduction for you guys.
Gaurav Tripathi 3:45
Okay. So I dressed the father’s attention, I guess, we have known each other for what almost 30 years now 20 years Oh, yes. And yes, we have been friends are somehow destiny got us together even in IIT Bombay, we are doing some interesting things. And even after that destiny again brought us together, I had never imagined really post it that we are taking help from or then we’ll end up working closely. I never imagined really but yes. As destiny added Yes, we have been we’ve been working quite closely and nothing has been helping us so yourself even mean my last venture. And he’s also not even a pro to Yes, we are lucky to have been associated with those that very cool. very obvious step. So attend now I think everybody and in my messages, as I mentioned here is a guy who has been independent for almost a decade. So yes, let’s start Their journey? Yeah. How did it start? Where did you start? And when did you decide to be independent? And what prompted that?
Atin Kumar 5:11
So before before I start, I’d, you know, I really like to, you know, interact with people a bit. So all of you who are here who are watching this live stream, just type in a comment box, which city are you from, so that, at least I know people are watching from which city or just say hi, if you don’t want to, you know, type in your city name, just Robin Say hi. So that we feed into the live audience going on. And for that being said, let me continue with my journey. So yes, I got good seeing God ever there. Yes. Good to have you here. Mango. Yes. Hey, tinware. Nice. So just to you know, on the recorder, this is a live session, I’m saying hi, by reading the names of people. And it’s not a recorded session. It might be later but Okay, let me start with my short intro. So I will start with my post college days. And before that it’s irrelevant for now. So I pass out in 2005, same as GT and just like typical college goers, I was quite bitten by software. And you know, I should get a job for us. And those are very good and exciting days. But sometime down the line, I came across that book called four hour workweek by Tim Ferriss. So if any, anyone of you has heard about Tim Ferriss, just it, yes, in the comment box. So yeah, so the idea is in that book, I was literally brainwashed by that book. And I started to think about how I can get more time for myself because I was working full time. And it was getting hectic, you know, day out, day in day out, I was thinking, how early Should I go back home, and this thought led to you know, things and one day, I finally took that courage and talk to my boss that yes, I will shift half time and half pay. That was a big pay cut for me. But it was the start of my unofficial freelancing career. And one day, what happened was, I went to the office, and my boss called me in the game, and he tells me in, you know, the gist of it, well, I think your services are no longer needed. And that was a terrible, that was the day that I had to actually shift into, you know, full time freelancing. And, you know, I went back, I went back home, I rang the bell, my wife opens up the door, and I tell her, I left the job. And then I’ve left the consulting. And she says, she tells me it’s okay, it’s all right. And you will you will do something else. And, you know, that was a moment, I was really, you know, right, because first I told her a lie that I had left. And I had not been asked to leave. So that was a lie. But yes, that ticked something in me and then I decided that yes, I need not I you know, I do not want to be in such a position again. And that was that taking moment where and, you know, all I’ve done is to bring me to such a level wherein now I really can say that, yes, I cannot be a liability anymore. So, of course, if I feel that things are not working out, I’ll, you know, go away proactively, but now I’m at a stage where I’m not a liability anymore. And yes, so journey. So this is the gist of my journey. But yes, there has been ups and downs. And now I’ve invested a lot in my learnings and you know, that is a continuous cycle, which has been going on for me as well. So yesterday, that was a very short journey. And then I do not want it to you know, make it our long journey. But yes, so I was able to do it. So yeah,
Gaurav Tripathi 9:01
we’ve gone through the ups and downs. Yes. Yes. So you mentioned ups and downs already. I’ll start with the downs. Yeah. It’s good that I even say that, you know, when when you thought okay, now it’s a moment and I’ll go independent, of course. You had, you might might have some ideas about Okay, this I’ll do this or that whatever, but when you started and from the that day on till date, what have been your failures or major failures or what how will you define your failures?
Atin Kumar 9:44
So, first major failure was definitely the point when I started you know, three, four months down the line, I did not iron zero. I you know, I was not able to do anything. I was still in exploring phase and we Third thing, what has to be done what has not to be done? I think that comes because of lack of my preparation and my readiness. So that was my first failure. Then down the line, when when I started getting projects, I again became comfortable. So, and while becoming comfortable, I started to dabble into many other things. You know, that happens that hasn’t with me, that happens, I have the one of the biggest failures that I felt has happened to me is I have dwelled into too many things simultaneously at the same time. And as a result, I was not again able to do justice to my work. And yeah, that that probably was my one of the biggest failures which happened. And what else? So I will say? Yes, relationship wise. Yes. So as in everyone has, you know, ups and downs. So, I had a stormy kind of relationship. I just sad because I always was focused on myself. But yes, I have matured now. So things are good. So again, yeah, so these are the three top most failures that I can think of have happened.
Gaurav Tripathi 11:16
And what did you learn?
Atin Kumar 11:20
So what did I learn? First thing is, know, when you start, you know, when I when you feel that, you know, you’re starting to get into that comfortable zone, that your things are going good, and things are running smooth. Murphy comes and you know, brings a hammer, and all the three laws come at the same time. And you know, that that is something which I think you can really never be too much prepared. But we have it good to not let yourself fall below that comfort line. And you know, that that was one learning that yes, you should at least strive for that uncomfortable factor of feeling in yourself. Second is definitely family is important. And, yes, and family support is important. And that’s one of the biggest lessons which I’ve learned, while I’ve matured into my, you know, married relationship. So the support is important. And third is YesI. Again, that this goes into being uncomfortable, but ESU you are never, you know, to learn it. And so you need to continuously invest into yourself to learn. But again, what you need to learn, so what is needed to learn is again, different. So most of the freelancers, people who are starting to, you know, look out and do freelancing, they do that, you know, misstep of learning how to become you know, how to become pro at the craft. While maybe they should learn how to maybe market better or sell better, because at the end, again, freelancing ways. Yeah. So that also, yes, that was my learning, because initially, I took up too many design courses, which I felt were redundant after a certain point of time.
Gaurav Tripathi 13:13
So yeah, I take this as a takeaway already learn how to market sell better. Investing only on the skill set? Probably what you know, already in your field, that that’s probably enough to take care of it. Good. Okay. So failures, learning.
Atin Kumar 13:35
Okay, I’ll interrupt. I just thought One more. One more very key learning, which has been consistent, across across after I pass out is, you know, having a strong network, having a strong network, definitely you can reap the benefits lifetime. And it takes effort to create a strong and genuinely so yeah, that is
Gaurav Tripathi 13:59
I can vouch for it. Attend is the networker in our circle. He’s the guy who get us together. So at least, you know, even in it circle as well is the guy who bring people from different batches. They are together for dinners, and drinks and whatnot. So yes, definitely. And we see it already. Kind of I won’t say just a business benefit direct that you look at network, but a network also helps you it becomes a sort of a, an ecosystem of support system around you. Where then you can reach out to people for mentorship or getting some help or for a thing. So definitely. Thanks for pointing that out yet. Network is really
Atin Kumar 14:49
your network is your network.
Gaurav Tripathi 14:53
Okay, I noticed that you on
Atin Kumar 14:56
your network is your network. I think I heard it from one of my friends. interesting idea.
Gaurav Tripathi 15:04
I’m just writing it. Yes, your network is your network. Okay, jumping to what you are doing and, and I know when you told me Riverside about your vision of supporting 100,000 designers and I was of course, when I taught it, what is this guy talking about? Why to support 100,000? designers? What? How does it make them very fine? Uh, you are doing good focus on what you’re doing here? What is this stuff about helping others and helping designers and 100,000 and resident number come from soccer? Yeah, I think anybody who comes across your amazing sight, impactful designers will see that vision and goals. So what was the story behind that vision? Why that division?
Atin Kumar 15:57
So, yeah, so you know, before, before that vision, I had again, so as I mentioned, I had again become a bit comfortable, because I had, I really did not have to worry about you know, how to find more work. And I was already at my comfortable stage. But what next, when, you know, there is a time when you get bored of the comfort you are into, and what next. And then again, as, as I you know, continued to invest into myself my learning. So again, one of my mentors brought up this concept of vision and everything else. And again, I went through some very interesting stuff, but, you know, cut to cut things short, this vision is something which is larger than yourselves. And it you know, if you wake up in the morning, if you, you know, think what do you want to do, and this is something that you really want to do. And this is a very, you know, generic statement, and it’s not very boiled down, and how to do and what not to do. But yes, this is something which I really want to do. Because, again, this comes come from my own personal experience, you know, while interacting with people while interacting with hundreds of companies, and, you know, people who are there who are working as maybe developers or designers, and you know, after interacting with them, this, again, I’ll get to the story behind the vision. So 2011, I was, you know, I was in a KFC Deccan. I was having my burger and never lunchtime, and I was simply biting the burger. And I was, I saw traffic, you know, rushing here and there. And I simply wanted to have a two hour lunch, I thought, what if I could simply see the traffic law and have a two hour lunch, but because I was in a dry tourist pack in 40 minutes, and I was in the same, you know, crowd of people who are rushing to office. And again, it started to hit me that, yes, this somehow starts to affect your work. And at that time, of course, before COVID people were in such a situation or actually are in such a situation, and you know, this thing actually affects their work. So, from there, that vision rose up the DSi really want to help 100,000 designers actually realise that, yes, they can design their dream life, they can, you know, do better, you know, design better, work better and, and better and create a positive impact by actually being, you know, themselves. So, yes, this is how my vision came up. I have a vision board, but I don’t know where we’re headed, but
Gaurav Tripathi 18:41
they are on the same line, I have a disclosure to make, that when we thought about superpro and we were thinking or the vision and the things I can say that, you know, I chose to be just a bit lazy and look at offensive version. And I said okay, what does this do for the liners we want to do for all independent professionals? So we just said okay, we will be setting a vision of helping a million independent professionals. So that so where are you now our vision is aligned with what others are doing? And they definitely, we believe when as proven we see their responsibility as their that we can actually change a million lives. And again, all of it, I say, Come because we had a discussion is with us in on this topic is that the standards are sent for that again.
Atin Kumar 19:46
You are unmuted duty.
Gaurav Tripathi 19:49
Okay, yes. Okay. Let’s move on to now we have this mesh. This vision now. What’s the What’s the mission mode? How you’re how you are getting closer to that vision every day? What is it that you are doing to realise this vision?
Atin Kumar 20:13
So, so my starting off. So, before I officially started on this version, and whenever when I take some time back to things that what are the things that I did, and I find it that I proactively, you know, knowingly or unknowingly, I had affected people to some extent, with whom I had worked with as a freelancer. And, you know, I have received comments from certain people, also, the DSU have started to affect us in a positive way, not in a negative, but yes. And I think that, that was very unofficial starting of my working towards the vision, it was very unfair, you know, subconscious thing that I was unknowingly doing. But consciously, I started impactful designers.com as part of working towards my vision, wherein, you know, I conduct a free webinar to people when I try to tell them that, yes, if you are trying to do something of your own, you should, you know, change your thinking from job mode to a business mode. I will say it in a very common common term that yes, you change your thinking from, from a job mode to a vision mode, and live going on the same steps. I have been, you know, putting out more content on YouTube, I’ve been doing more Facebook Lives and interacting with people, I have an active list of around 900 people who, you know, who I interact with, and send out emails to and reply to their emails, you know, people have so much doubt that, yes, and they have told me that, yes, they really resonated with what I’m trying to do, and, you know, things things start to happen. I’ll include one, you know, question here, which I think I’ve ever received, that one of the persons had asked that I just have it was clients say that, yes, you are charging too high, and why should you charge charge low? And to answer it as part of resolving people’s dilemma, it is, again, it’s part of my mission, also, it’s part of my vision, that, you know, the reason why that client told you that you are charging low is because you presented yourself as a commodity, you presented yourself as someone who’s looking for a job. And maybe you also targeted the wrong person. So, consider this if you are, you know, if you bipartite if you buy a higher version of biology, that a dark fantasy version of biology, you know, both are biscuits, but price is different. So five rupees, you know, a manufacturing cost comes less and 2025 rupees cost is more things are more. Okay. So maybe there are two, three things. So again, you should realise it from a business point of view that, yes, if you’re trying to do something for less, do do less, don’t do more. And have something for people who are asking for less, I have some things very less again. So these are the kinds of things that I do, that I have experienced, that I have gone through, and I’ve experimented upon that I keep on sharing as part of my vision. And yes, as my circle grows, definitely, it becomes a closed group. And you know, there’s other planets aligned where in you know, again, we meet up, or we have weekly calls when we discuss what’s happening, what’s not happening. So again, this all goes as a part of my vision statement.
Gaurav Tripathi 23:58
has changed the trust that you already spoke about the failure learning your vision and how you’re doing it, but again, nothing’s ever happened that you, you get any get get into any sort of fear, wherein you have a huge fear of Oh, how am I doing? Should I be growing at this pace? Or Oh, maybe I’m not growing or I should have these this point, or the I don’t know, I can’t see what’s going to happen. So uncertainty, fear, uncertainty, anxiety, and of course, given the current time corner, David doesn’t back to everybody. How? So two questions one, do you have these moments to how do you deal with it? Yes,
Atin Kumar 24:52
I have these moments where I’m a human being. I will have so One of the biggest fears which I used to have was what will people think of me and before that fear of public speaking it was literally my one of the biggest fears and I’m I’m an introvert by nature, so it really
Gaurav Tripathi 25:19
haunted by surprise
Atin Kumar 25:22
and yes, so, again So, breaking through that fear of public speaking has been my active effort to break towards it. So again you only need to pass that fear to okay so either go straight either go around either wonder either worked out, but you have to face it otherwise there is no other way to you know, break that fear and then next year what will people say? So, I’ll tell you this you know, again since I am into personal development myself so, I keep on investing into myself and I keep on listening to Les Brown and you know, other other speakers who So, you know, you can you are not what people think of you Okay, so you can really not let not not other people define what you are and you have the power to define who you are. And you really cannot let other people say what you are so this has been my fear because sometimes when I do webinars I have this kind of fear that yes, what will people think but then if you have this strong thing in your mind that yes, whatever you’re doing you’re doing it for God you are actually see if your intent is right, if your intent to do things is right, it really you know, you you’ll simply close your eyes and go through nothing nothing bad will happen. And you really cannot please everyone okay. So, you got to pick your you know, people who you resonate with you really cannot cannot please everyone each and every one and you will gain enemies and friends along this line. So, yeah, so to answer your question in a very, you know, place, I actively Firstly, I need to actively find out what my CSR and that comes from your past experiences your thinking, what has certain things stopped you What does not stop do and then if you once you know, you should take a, you know, decision to move towards it. Like, my fear of public public speaking got away when I did when I conducted a design thinking session, you know, with with gtcm, and other firms. And even when I started conducting webinars, I think I’ve improved a lot. I’m my public speaking has improved. I have my videos of you know, speaking, when they started doing webinars, and now when I see that it’s a linear graph, it’s going up up, so just need to practice it, and it will go. Yeah. So those were the two main main fears and other fears, the fears again, so everything, you you need to go through it again, any kind of fear it may be, you need to go through it. And again, at the very core, it comes down to that, you know, it’s only you who is talking yourself, no one else, no one else is responsible for that fear only you are responsible for that.
Unknown Speaker 28:39
Atin Kumar 28:43
So again, like, you know, what, I’m on this, you know, talks with you and what is going through my mind is when people you know, think of how am I sitting, you know, is there sweat coming at my face, but that’s okay. I really cannot help it. But I have a genuine intention to you know, let my heart out and see if I can resonate with the person. Yes.
Gaurav Tripathi 29:09
Jumping to jump into adventure Trump here. So yes. You mentioned about endurance cycling, and I should add here guys, by endurance, he really means so he’s talking about hundreds of kilometres of cycling, so it’s not actually 40 5060 kilometres. He talks about hundreds of 1000s of kilometres of cycling. Yeah. So that’s what I do is what happened why Why did you go in and urine cycling and how does it help you and in, in the, in the profession itself?
Atin Kumar 29:51
So, yeah, so I remember it was $15 2015 I think I got the year right 200 Dean and I went to decathlon and I simply bought, you know, I went to decathlon is one of my seniors and whom I have consulted with again. So, that shows the power of relationships and networking that yes, so and I had a certain urge to buy a bicycle, so I bought the cheapest one. And I, you know, rode back it was like seven kilometres, and I wrote back from that deck epsilon pony in karate after after karate in wagholi, to, you know, seven kilometres to remind me again, I was exhilarated you know, I felt very excited and on top of the world life and mega race. And from then, you know, from that bug that bed, I started to do morning, regular cycling’s, I joined a cycling group, and I had a chance to, you know, do around 6070 kilometres on a very that basic cycle. And I was squashed at the end of it, you know, I was like, when that ride ended, of course, there was a lot of support, and I enjoyed that group atmosphere, I enjoyed their support, cheering, and everything else, you know, people who are writing, they’re supporting each other. So when I came in, I was literally tired, dehydrated, I had to drink water at every step. And then finally, somebody reached home. And from there, I started my bout into you know, long distance cycling. And I really enjoyed that moment, you know, staying, staying on the roads, having having some tea on the side with friends who are in writing or having some snacks and just chit chatting. So, and my first very long happened when I went to go so tonight to go go out was one of the you know, first and life turning moments with it was a five day ride of course, with proper support and stay and everything else, but the bonding we had and you know, the experiences going through scores hit it all in October in October heat is killing in Maharashtra I am in fact, in Bangalore, also, if I might say so. And yeah, so, and I can really relate to my life through those experiences, because, like, you know, you know, that is you have to travel 200 kilometres ahead to actually be in that hotel. And you can decide to sit in traffic, which is fine, back up to again, simply get back. And you can also, you know, try to complete that ride just for your own sake. And, you know, these kind of thoughts happen that I was in a balanced festival, no one around, and Sun was full 90, you know, straight coming down from the top and I was dying, and I was thinking why I’m doing this. Am I mad, you know, what the hell is wrong with you? Why am writing in such a horrid environment? There is no population only only, you know, farms and dried up farms, you know, sun dried black farms. So, and what kick take me Well, yes. Okay, so let’s finish next, and kilometres, we’ll find some shops, have some drink, then let’s, let’s again, target next and next and next. And by doing that, I reached that point. And this summer, I can relate with my life’s challenges. So if some, you know, some things, some bigger challenges come up, then, you know, I only worry about what’s next, what’s the next step that you have that I have to do? And that is relatable to every well I relate this to my cycling, and this has really helped me push through situations. So, yes, and after that go, right. Yes, it literally kicked up so I started participants wading into brms and you know, tell us about it right and everything so yes, I got I got felicitated or facilitated I don’t know the term but by PRB I think they are running in Madison Ave this employee. I got illustrated with them and yeah. So yes, that’s, that’s my you know, cycling so now I have a pro pro cycle. So I upgraded my cycle to a better huge version. So
Gaurav Tripathi 34:35
not only hi I can say a yo yo you’re not just a pro in terms of Siberia to Korea. I don’t cycle anger you you’re Superman. Really. There you went to event to get you through this, your your mind accepting it that yes, you’re going to ride 700 kilometres. That itself is a big thing. Thanks.
Atin Kumar 35:01
So again, the unit again until I found that thing with you, you say you find that thing which pulls you the most and which you can relate to in life’s lifetimes. Yes.
Gaurav Tripathi 35:15
By the way that let you go on cycle has been thing on my list as well.
Atin Kumar 35:22
That’s a fun fun ride to have, because, of course, we are going to go so.
Gaurav Tripathi 35:32
Um, so now jumping back to your version. So you have this version, you said why you out that was in the story behind it and it’s worth 300,000 you want to help designers? Now, that’s where we look at the people you mentioned who are approaching you are in a dilemma, they want to know something bout. Go back to 2011 or 12, even when you started that time, what are those things that will explain about what is going on your mind as they and how you relate? That is a person who is now trying to be independent are now trying to get there? Somebody who is who is just thinking, should I quit now? Or should I not quit? Should I take the plunge? Or should I take this lunch? So these upstarts who just want to get started? What what’s your advice? Or advices on that, right. So,
Atin Kumar 36:40
I so I had to, you know, I had so when I shifted to halftime I had I did that after years of not yet after a couple of years of buildup frustration and full time switch happened by you know, happened to life that life gave me that yes, you have to know to do something. So, but I will say this for people who are still having this dilemma in mind that you need to quit the job now to start something that is not the truth. So you can dabble into freelancing. So again, there are various kinds of people, you can dabble into freelancing can get that experience while working in a job if you’re able to manage your timings better. Right? And not overload yourself. So like, I’ll give my example. Although I was not working, but I started with 99 designs.com. Okay, so again, 99 designs is a premium website. It’s a crowd crowdsourcing website for designs. People have contest there, and the payments are good, they’re right. So it’s like $1,000 for a four page design only a good good pay. And that is something which you can do side by side on a job that is strictly going into those who want to start something in, you know, who are into any kind of design field like illustration, packaging, or t shirts or UI design, mobile app design, banner design, whatever. So people can start from there. And otherwise, the other option is you do a side project for non friend for free. Okay, but again, don’t go overboard, do only smaller things for free. So that will give you an idea of what it takes. And, frankly, you know, this kind of thing happens even if people are in a job. So there there are many people who are doing freelancing on the side while working full time. Right, they are doing other projects also. But again, I you know, for those of you who are thinking about doing this, make sure you organise your time. Because what happens is, in job, let’s say people are free for two days and they’re working five days, they’re free two days, but when they do this, they are busy all the seven days and even night sometimes. So, start start with one See, get that See, see what works out and if something is working out, then you can leave then then you can leave and this is a good transitioning into freelancing. Then one other way to feel I have not tried that. This is a disclaimer that I have not tried this. But one other way to freelance is I will say it is through Fiverr. I know Fiverr is cheap It’s $5. And but the reason I am recommending Fiverr and not Upwork is because Fiverr forces you to productize your services, it forces you to think in a business mode, where you have to list something that you will do for $5. So it has to be a product. So, giving an example. Okay, so let’s say you are a graphic designer, and you do good graphic designs. So maybe you can list down ebook cover design for $5, but you will only design an E book one ebook cover for $5 data product in itself, you have a template so you have to apply yourself. So again, when you’re trying to switch into freelancing think what is the minimum product that you can offer. And again, that needs a mind shift from job to freelancing, because in job you are given responsibilities team and you have to do this you have to do this you have to do everything you know. But while freelancing, it’s you, who decides your rates and what is the amount of interdependence so yes, so can be done in in a safe mode with known people, you can do that you can explore the markets. I mentioned 99 designs, I mentioned cyber mentioned. Again, emailing out people and
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