Ankit Chhajed

Visual Design Expert. Life Coach. Digital Entrepreneur.

Quickfire Round 🔫

Where is your current homebase ?

I am currently living in Jaisinghpura, a small village near my hometown Jaipur. It is a very serene and peaceful place.

Living close to nature makes me happy. And I can also touch base with my parents and friends in the city regularly.

There are some 50 luxurious villas built over here with facilities like swimming pool and gym. And surprise surprise .. we are trying to build a community of remote & digital entrepreneurs here.

 

Tell us a little bit about your lifestyle ?

I find myself to be a digital entrepreneur, rather than a travelpreneur.

I choose work/ projects which are location independent. However, I don’t travel that much. I choose to stay at places for long duration. Kind of Digital Settler (the term is not coined by me, but probably Niklas Goke)

Quite a lot of times, I am working from my home, in the comfort of my pyjamas. And in between – Cooking. Cleaning. Playing.

Where have you travelled/lived after working remotely ?

Dharamshaala, McLeodGanj, Rakkar Village, Delhi, Chandigarh, Kasauli, Mukteshwar, Den Haag, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

I am looking to travel next to Chiang Mai, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali. My appetite for solo travel is filled up for now. Hence I am looking forward to going on a voyage with a friend ( preferably, my future girlfriend/ wife ).

Highest education qualification ?

Graduate, B.Tech, IIT Delhi

Occupation ?

Self acclaimed Brand Design Expert 😛. I love conceptualising brands. Well for some credibility, let me just say, I have worked with UBER.

I also provide personal consulting/ coaching sessions.

What is your family/friends reaction to remote working ?

My parents were not convinced when I started. They had their fears and apprehensions. Stuff like I won’t be able to make enough money, or live the lifestyle I have been used to living. Now when they see my income flows, my lifestyle, and the major thing that matters to them — my happiness, they are mostly happy with what I am doing, except for the part, ‘ladki walon ko kya bataye hum’ 😛

Most of my extended family still do not understand what I do or how I earn a living. Some of them think I just laze around all day 😅.

Whenever you do something out of the box, ridicule comes before acceptance.

Friends are mostly in awe with my journey, constantly getting inspired to choose paths like these. Yeah, that sometimes makes you feel like a celebrity! 😁

How would you define your journey till now ?

My journey is not much about travelling, or working while travelling. It is more about following my curiosities, choosing work that I am actually interested to do, and being able to make free choices (free of any form of influence or social conditioning).

Create a lifestyle that you would love to live.

That’s what I strive everyday, for myself, and for everyone I am able to help.

Years of total experience ?

6+ years

Years of freelance/remote experience ?

1 year

When I think about the ability to work freelance/remotely …

To me, freelancing is all about freedom. Not being committed to a full time job, and rather pursuing things as short term/ long term projects, makes you put a whole lot of energy on them, bringing out best results and moving on. Rather than, feeling stuck onto something.

What was your key motivation for being freelancer/remote work ?

Freedom

  • Freedom to choose the projects I like
  • Freedom to work from a location I want to. Say a lovely vibrant co-working space [I find the energy there to be supportive for productivity].
  • Freedom to dress the way I want to – [that’s pyjamas when I work from home :P]
  • Freedom to be the kind of person I want to – [loving and full of gratitude – towards everyone is the way I always aim towards]
  • Freedom in setting the routine as you want to / or never set into a routine instead [like I am writing this up at 5:30 AM in the morning]

I do my guitar sessions, running, gymming streaks, TT rounds, and bakar (read: random conversations) at times when I choose to. It’s never a 8 hours of work straight & then play. It’s always a mix. Keeps me inspired and fresh.

Fireside Chat 🔥

How did you land your first remote/freelance gig ?

I created my fiverr profile in May 2017 while I was employed in a full time job. I loved to design, and initially, it was more about doing it for the sake of my passion. I created a gig on fiverr, to help companies create a logo for $5. There was lot of competition on fiverr and I merely got 3 projects in the first month. I wasn’t worried about it as I was already getting my cashflow through the full time job.

It gradually rose from $5 a project to $50 an hour. And the monthly cashflows became stronger and stronger. I left my job, and within 2-3 months after that, I was making more money, than my salary, and it grew and grew from there.

I have had my periods of drought, where I had merely made money to sustain myself, but then that’s a part of freelancing. At least initially, till you make enough systems to make you passive incomes from a lot of sources.

Do you have any rituals or habits which help you to work remotely ?

I have a daily list of habits that I need to fulfil. I have an app which reminds me of these. Ticking them one by one gives me a feeling of progress on a daily basis. Some of them are:

  • Planks / Run / Workout [Keeping fit would help you bring great energy to your work].
  • Inspired Promotion activity [I try to do at least a post / some kind of marketing about my services daily, to keep bringing in new projects].
  • Social activity [I try to meet, socialise preferably, or at least talk to a person on a similar mindset plane on a daily basis to keep myself sane].
  • Weekly Goal Alignment session [I constantly try to keep aligning/ optimizing my goals, keeping a goal chart on paper, sticking it somewhere, to keep track]. The goal is to have laser focus. And I know my speed of moving towards my goal will move exponentially , as I am clearer and clearer about them [firm believer in the power of thoughts aka The Law of Attraction].

What advice would you give to someone who is out there looking for a remote job or freelance work ?

Network! Talk to existing remote workers. Join communities. Be in touch. You will learn the rest automatically. And be calm and patient. Things will happen gradually. Bring clarity & focus. The universe is going to help.

What is the biggest benefit of working remotely ?

Freedom. To follow your curiosity. To act on your own instincts. That leads you to places you have always dreamt of.

 

Do you see any cons of working as a remote freelancer / solopreneur and how do you try to overcome it ?

Isolation 

I realise now that work colleagues is a very important part of the corporate eco-system. Working alone brings a lot of isolation. It’s a bit harsh on you sometimes.

 

So, I constantly try to keep in touch with people who are on a similar working mindset, or at least inclined towards it, and trying to make progress. We have even started building a community of our own – Remote and Digital Entrepreneurs. We have a personalised Jaipur Chapter, where we are planning to host events locally.

Lack of Security

Initially, there are some difficult months. You have to be strong. Try to create systems to keep bringing you active projects, and passive income.

Where can people can find you on the internet (if they have more questions) ?

People can follow my journey at www.ankitchhajed.com

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