A journey of rejecting 9-5 and building courage to being an entrepreneur.Sonia Gupta
Life was so easy when I was into my 9-5 job. I was only responsible for what I was hired for. I was doing my work with dedication and whole heart. I knew that every last day of the month, I will have my paycheck hitting my bank. A paycheck that was just enough to pay my bills but not enough to save something for future.
I was just not living. I always had one thought “It’s not what I am made for.”
There was no freedom, no creativity, and no opportunity to be ME. I was working like a puppet. I was doing everything that was told to me but not what I wanted to do. My hard work was getting recognized in the form of increments or promotions as well. Still, something was missing inside. I was not feeling connected.
It is challenging to work 9-5 (which is actually 7-7) to be left with so little to pamper your child and cuddle with your partner. Over and above the increased stress level takes away the remaining juice from your relationships. In the end, it’s just the paycheck and your job. I was fed-up.
And then came a turning point in my life. I would say “Life changing time”. In 2014 my husband took an offer with a company in Pune. I had to leave my job to move with him. After I moved to Pune, I got a break and time to talk to myself. I realized that I really do not want to work like a puppet. I wanted to do something different. This was the time when I realized my interest in Baking.
I started with almost zero knowledge in baking. The journey started with learning the baking basics. I consumed information from the internet and started learning to bake from scratch. Almost every day I was experimenting with something new. Many times I was spending 8-10 hours in reading the recipes and ingredients used in those recipes. From 2014 till 2016 I had consumed myself for almost 4 years of works.
It looks fascinating to desiring of living your dreams and passion. But it comes at a price. Sleepless nights, endless failed attempts, numerous frustrated moments, zero external support, and most importantly nothing that is making money for you. You are only burning your savings to make the impossible possible.
I was certainly inclined towards baking but my conscious constantly kept asking “What difference I am going to create to this world of baking.” We already have a million bakers baking every other recipe in the world.
While doing all this another thought that hit me was “what kind of difference am I going to create by baking all such stuff when the internet is already flooded with such kind of things?” This was the second life-changing moment for me. I took a pause and discussed my doubts with my husband.
After weeks of the brainstorming sessions, Sonlicious came into existence. I took the challenge to play with the trickiest ingredient wheat. So we came up with the idea of creating a blog where we will replace the common All-Purpose flour (unhealthy) with wheat (healthy).
I wanted to encourage healthy baking. Indian market is still not there, but I wanted to spread the awareness. So I had a super niche. Baking, only a small subset of cooking, further limited to healthy baking without using eggs or any kind of chemicals/preservatives.
The initial few months were too grueling. I had to learn about baking, blogging, photography and many other things, all at once. Baking was still ok, but blogging and photography were too technical in nature and demanded a lot of learning. But I did not give up.
And slowly I realized, if I have to live my dreams, I will have to go through this rough patch and then only I will be able to make it happen. I prepared myself mentally. I learned to say NO to things which were barriers to my growth. Things like Television, meeting up people for just Gup-Shup, Facebook, WhatsApp. For the first few months, I literally took a sabbatical from the society.
Hard work pays off. The blog started seeing results, people started to appreciate the work. They started asking if they could learn the skill from me. And my desire got a mission.
I used my desire of spreading awareness towards healthy baking and gave it a shape of a healthy baking workshop. Something that started with a dream, today keeps me on toes and I travel across the country to conduct my healthy baking workshops. My workshops are unique in nature. I teach everything with Whole Wheat, without chemicals, preservatives, and Eggs.
In the last 15 months, I have trained 153 people and there are almost 67 people ready to get trained in my upcoming workshops in next 2 months as I will be on tour to Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Delhi, Chandigarh, and Mumbai.
Today when looking back, I feel blessed that I took courage to say NO to a 9-5 job and left the luxury of a paycheck at the end of every month. Today I live on my own terms and breath free. Today even if I am working for 20 hrs a day, it’s only for me on my own terms.