I meet many corporate workers in India and in their private conversation, I detect a sense of deep insecurity and powerlessness. They feel that even though they have many skills and competencies and proven as these are, any ‘optimization’, ‘restructuring’, ‘corporate mandate’ , ‘disruption’ will overrule these. This is fact and they know it. There is a fear because of this and this fear reflects into various kind of ‘alternatives’ people indulge in. The alternative includes ‘stock market dabbling’, ‘real estate investor play’, ‘running a business in spouse’s name’ and many more. But if their regular office-going is to be factored in, none of the alternatives give them the confidence and the fear remains but is sedated with a placebo that the alternatives are being worked upon.
Long back, somewhere in 2000, while I was working as a corporate man, I was thinking of how to establish a single hop between me and my earning. After many diversions and zig-zag (detailed in my business autobiography – Wordsmith Book of Business), I became a translator of 4 languages and eventually started an agency.
When I started as a translator, it was not an alternative play. It was the only play. Today, after eight years of running a business, I felt that I still need to establish a direct connection between me and revenue. I need to be a craftsman again, over and above a business owner.
Last year, in a cold winter evening, a very senior corporate man finding danger ahead in terms of retaining the current-salaried position and job told me, wistfully that how much he wants to have a ‘craft’ which he can ‘practice’ and earn a modest living. The example he gave was that of a doctor of old time, a small mechanic or a goldsmith. What he tried to tell me was this : I want a process and model where I can be a craftsman with a direct control of who chooses to pay me rather than being part of a ship run mostly by strangers.
I found translation, cultural consultation as the trade for me. I also found that I am part of a guild with a level of experience and I can learn more from the senior members of the guild and help the junior craftsmen of my domain. http://www.wordsmithuniversity.com was the result of that thought. We have taught worldwide : online and offline and collaborating with similar senior guild members from China to Brazil and Moscow to Sydney.
We are now trying to do this in home territory. The first attempt is below
Have a great New Year ahead !