Spurred on by her dream, she transformed herself from being one among a million to one in a million. A #PassionToPaycheck story.
A happy-go-lucky S Ramya Arun followed the usual software engineer career path after her a degree in Information Technology. Working for a global leader in the IT services, she had everything going for her but still felt a lack of fulfilment. Ramya, being a peoples’ person, hated the fact that her work was limited to coding and managing data on the computer. Right through her college days she had loved motivating her peers and family, particularly when they were down in the dumps and needed support. Training came naturally to her and even in her workplace she volunteered to train her associates. “I feel alive and happy interacting with people rather than computers.” At the back of her mind, she knew that her true calling was a career in training.
That now-or-never moment
It was when she was offered a project in Germany that she decided to quit. “I realised that it was now or never. If I ended up taking the project, I’d be stuck in a job that I didn’t love. Though the money was good I’d end up miserable.”
Sometimes the universe does conspire to lead one to what one desires the most. “I saw a newspaper advert of Indian Academy of Training and Development offering ‘Train the trainer course’ for training and coaching. I went through a few reviews and attended the introductory workshop by the Director, Dr Rajan Muthukrishnan, who has been my mentor ever since. Getting certified after the four-month course with a Master Diploma in Training and Development, I decided to put in my papers as I had now found my path to do what I truly loved and give it my best.”
That unique drop in the ocean
With an ocean of trainers in the market, finding a niche was Ramya’s biggest challenge. After a couple of quiet months and no paycheque coming into the bank, her family subtly dropped hints for her to get back to a regular job. But Ramya’s belief in herself and her positive outlook helped her remain steadfast with her decision. The other amusing challenge was that people didn’t take her seriously as she looked rather young to train the corporate management cadre.
“I didn’t want to go back to an IT career, so I gathered up my courage and offered a public workshop in Chennai on, 'Powerful presentations made easy'. To my surprise, the response was great and the visibility I received after that paved the way towards what I am now. Thanks to my presence on social media (Facebook page - /trainingsbyramya), many companies approached me for corporate projects. And now I ensure that I mention that I am a mother of a little one, so they know I am older than I look!”
Finding her niche, Ramya decided to start her own training company, Spur One Solutions in 2017, offering unique training programs to corporates and educational institutions. The workshops range from Business Communication to Executive Leadership and Design Thinking. “Apart from the corporate workshops, I conduct a public workshop pan-India on Excepionalism (Going by the theory of - Being one in a million and not one among a million), where I train individuals on being different and unique from the ordinary. Within the session I guide the participants with tools to prepare a complete plan for their lifetime to achieve their biggest dream and live their passion without fear. It gives more clarity to the lives of the participants, which is key to achieving what they want and make their life worth living.”
To expand her connections, Ramya joined Business Network International. “The network I built in BNI gave me great visibility and opportunity to get connected with many quality entrepreneurs.”
Workdays are fun
Ramya’s training days vary from eight to 20 every month. “My workday, which is actually my fun day, starts with setting up things for my family in the morning and rushing to do what I love -- training participants -- brainstorming, lecturing, playing relevant games to drive across the message to participants, and facilitating creative discussions to ensure they walk out as transformed individuals either emotionally or cognitively.” Other days she’s busy meeting clients, preparing modules, or watching videos of great trainers to update herself. “I keep aside at least seven days a month for family and make sure I give quality time to my husband and my four-year-old daughter. My family, especially my husband and mom, have been my two pillars of support.”
“I plan to take Exceptionalism around the world to help as many people to truly bring out the best in them and live their lives with a purpose and follow their passion. Thanks to all the learning and training that I’ve attended in the course of becoming an Exceptionalism Coach, I myself am a transformed person.”
“'Believe and you're already half-way there,' said Theodore Roosevelt but I say, 'Believe that you can do it, and you're 90% there; 10% is only the effort that you put in and that automatically falls into place.”