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  • Ankit Uttam

Breaking Free from the Corporate Trap: Aanshik's Path to Solopreneurship

Aanshik was scared of getting fired anytime, but then he found a gold mine.

This is Aanshik's story in his own words.


As I sat at my desk, anxiety gnawing at me, I couldn't help but feel like I was walking on thin ice.

Despite being one of the best content writers in my company, I couldn't shake off the constant fear of being fired.

The company, which was a unicorn, was in a financial crisis, and rumors of fraud by the leadership only added to the uncertainty.

If those reports turned out to be true, it could mean a mass layoff, and I might be among the unfortunate ones to lose my job.

I was the sole provider for my family of five – two sisters still in college, retired father, and a homemaker mom.

The weight of responsibilities crushed me, leaving me frustrated and depressed.

Finding another job in such a tough market seemed like an impossible task, especially after the downturn caused by the COVID pandemic in 2020.

One afternoon, as I was sitting alone outside the office, sipping tea at a roadside stall, my colleague Shantanu noticed my melancholy and approached me.

He genuinely cared and wanted to know why I seemed so different lately.

After some contemplation, I poured my heart out to Shantanu, revealing all my worries and fears.

He patiently listened, and then he suggested something that took me by surprise.

"Aanshik," he said, "I know you are an exceptional writer, and you have a gift for storytelling. Remember that story that you shared with me and few others."

I just nodded my head, while listening to him.

Shantanu continued. "Why not start a paid newsletter where you can share your stories? Make some of your stories as premium content and monetize your talent. There are many platforms today that can help you do that. Start your soloprenuership journey."

At first, I was skeptical.

I had heard of platforms like Substack and Patreon, but I had never considered using them for myself.

But Shantanu's encouragement and belief in me made me think that it was worth a shot.

That night, unable to sleep, I stayed up until 2 AM setting up my webpage on Substack.

I also studied how the best Substack writers were earning money from their newsletters, hoping to learn from their success.

The journey was slow initially.

Six weeks went by, and I only had a handful of readers.

On the sides, I was also looking for a new job in a tough market.

But I didn't give up on any of the goals.

I continued to write and share my stories, both short and long.

Gradually, more readers started to trickle in – one or two new ones every day.

Then something unexpected happened ...

After four months, I hit a milestone with 1000 subscribers.

And I was thrilled to see that 35 of them were paid members, contributing $9 per month for premium exclusive content.

It might not have been a massive income, but it was a start.

Over the next three months, my readership doubled to 2400, and the number of paid members increased to 153.

Now I was earning over $1300 per month from my newsletter alone.

Additionally, I launched three novels on Substack, selling eBook copies at $5.99 each, which further boosted my revenue.

After the initial launch, the 3 books continued to bring in around $500 per month with minimal marketing efforts.

As the months went by, I found myself in a peculiar position.

While my company went bankrupt, I was able to secure a new job with a modest 10% salary hike but at least this job would help me with my living expenses.

Now, I am working in my new job during the day while nurturing my passion for writing on the side.

My earnings from the newsletter and eBook sales provided me with a steady side income of around $2000 per month.

I am planning to move on to Amazon to sell my books now along with Substack. I also have plans to create audiobooks as in the US and UK, it's a big market.

This $2000/ month is more than just money; it is the realization that my words had power and value.

Looking back, I couldn't be more grateful for Shantanu's advice he gave me that day.

Starting on Substack was a turning point in my life.

It taught me that sometimes, the best opportunities come from unexpected places, and our passions can lead us to unexpected success.

Key Takeaways

  1. Embrace Your Passion: Aanshik's story highlights the importance of recognizing and embracing your true passion. Despite being in a challenging job, he found solace and fulfillment in writing and storytelling, which eventually became a significant source of income for him.

  2. Explore Alternative Avenues: When faced with a dead-end job and uncertain times, consider exploring alternative avenues to showcase your talents and skills. Aanshik's decision to start a paid newsletter and share his stories on platforms like Substack and Patreon allowed him to monetize his writing skills and reach a wider audience.

  3. Persistence Pays Off: Success doesn't happen overnight. Aanshik's journey was slow and gradual, with initial struggles in gaining readership and paid subscribers. However, he persevered and continued to write and share his stories, leading to steady growth in his audience and income.

  4. Diversify Revenue Streams: Aanshik's success was not solely dependent on his newsletter. He smartly diversified his revenue streams by launching eBooks, generating additional income and broadening his reach to different markets. Diversification can provide stability and multiple income sources.

  5. Believe in Yourself: Aanshik's story shows the power of self-belief and having a supportive friend like Shantanu. Despite initial skepticism, Aanshik took a chance on himself and his writing talent. Believing in your abilities and having someone who believes in you can lead to transformative outcomes.

  6. Adaptability is Key: Aanshik's ability to adapt to changing circumstances was crucial in his journey. When his company faced financial troubles, he didn't remain complacent but instead explored new opportunities and adapted to the online content market.

  7. Side Hustles Can Lead to Great Things: Aanshik's experience demonstrates the potential of starting a side hustle to explore your passion and eventually turning it into a successful venture. Starting small and building gradually can lead to substantial opportunities and income in the long run.

  8. Harness the Power of Digital Platforms: In the digital age, platforms like Substack and Patreon offer immense opportunities for creators to monetize their content. Aanshik utilized these platforms effectively to connect with his audience and earn income from his writing.

  9. Words Have Value: Aanshik's realization that his words held power and value was a turning point in his life. Recognizing the worth of your skills and creations can boost confidence and open doors to various possibilities.

  10. Gratitude and Support: Aanshik's gratitude towards Shantanu's support and encouragement is a reminder of the importance of surrounding ourselves with supportive friends and mentors who can inspire us to achieve our goals.

Overall, Aanshik's story serves as an inspiration for those facing career challenges or seeking to pursue their passions. It emphasizes the significance of taking calculated risks, being persistent, and exploring diverse opportunities to find success and fulfillment in life.


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My name is Ankit Uttam

I'm an Author (20+ books- A few of them have been on bestsellers charts too), and I'm a solopreneur who is trying to learn each day about how to navigate this growing space and also help a few people along the way.

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