Who Needs an Office These Days Anyways?

When I first arrived in India at the end of November, I planned to use December as a rest and recharge month. I was completely burnt out and overwhelmed from work and the reality of this journey, that I was not able to function properly. I knew it was time to stop and reset. And I tried my best to do so.

There are moments when we have partial physical and mental capacity to can keep going, especially if one has ambition, but is this healthy? At the same time, we put our own self-care on the backburner and focus on everything other than ourselves. What I’ve come to learn is that when our own physical and mental states are not healthy and at an optimum level of function, then everything suffers: our work, relationships, and happiness. We cannot pour from an empty glass.

I craved a sense of balance before I left Canada. I didn’t know it at the time but being pushed to my physical and mental limits in India has allowed me to start to have that balance. To be honest, I’m not sure how much resting and recharging actually got done in December as I still worked through the month a bit, but I did make a conscious effort to step back from my initiatives and focus on the small things related to my own care: yoga, sleep, reading, eating healthy, doing nothing once in a while, exploring the place in which I was in, and meditating.

As the new year struck, I was determined to put my head down and focus on my 2018 mantra. I understand that time is just a construct – and the hippies I continue to cross paths with here keep reminding of this. They say I shouldn’t own a watch, phone or a laptop and I should just follow the flow of life, but the reality is time is a guide which helps to keep me focused and prioritize what is important. 

I probably took a client call beside this rickshaw

I probably took a client call beside this rickshaw

Presently my priorities are my health and my career. The hierarchy of my priorities are always changing and that’s the beauty of not being stuck in your ways. The more time that passes and the more balance I instill in my own life, the realization is family and friends need to come back to being a high priority. Soon this will become a reality when I meet my mom and step dad in France for some skiing.

Perhaps if other people were in my position when they started this journey, they would have taken a break between working fulltime for someone else and starting their own business. Maybe it’s the restlessness inside of me or maybe a guardian angel, but something said to me that I needed to start the transition instantly while I had momentum.

I’d like to caveat that even though when I arrived in India I didn’t have a plan on where I would go and what I would do with the majority of my time, I did know in the back of my mind what my professional goals were in order to remain self-sufficient and independent. I had a plan, and if that Plan A didn’t work then I would have moved on to B, C, or D. 

The day after I resigned from my job, I took a phone call with a mutual contact who was interested to see what I was up to professionally. He was about to be ready to hit the ground running on brand development work for his three cannabis companies and he asked if I would be interesting in putting together a proposal. A week later I met another mutual contact for coffee and there was instant synergy and she asked me to put together a proposal for some brand work related to her Blockchain Crypto Currency Investors company. Two days before I left, two more similar situations occurred. By the time I stepped onto that plane heading to India, I had a mini roster of clients who had signed agreements with my company, Unbound Productions. Good timing or what?

I was extremely transparent with everyone that I was heading to India for an undetermined amount of time but would remain accessible and could manage all of the ongoing projects from wherever I was. I’ve remained true to my word and as more time passes, the growth of my own business continues to be healthy.

If this isn’t the universe saying it was the right time than I don’t know what is. I’m trying to figure out who to thank for all of this luck but I still don’t know who. In the meantime, in order to always remain grateful for the opportunities that have presented itself, I’m committed to providing the best service and highest caliber of work to my clients in order for everything to be driven with purpose and authenticity.

The day before I left Canada, I knew that I needed to have all of the “business stuff” taken care of like opening bank accounts, bringing my accountant up to speed, and getting the ball rolling on all of the legal documents associated. Not having any experience with this previously, I jumped into the deep end with 24 hours to figure it all out. Nothing like a good rush to kick start the world of entrepreneurship! I’ve been fortunate to have the mentorship of close confidants to help me along the path when I have questions. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs also helps. I do not know it all nor do I claim to. In order for me to grow personally and professionally it’s important that I continue to surround myself with individuals who know more than I do and those who I can learn from.

Spending some time with two street girls in Udaipur, India

Spending some time with two street girls in Udaipur, India

Even though I managed to get all the business stuff taken care of before I left Canada, I didn’t realize the working conditions due to the environment here in India that I would have to endure. Sure, I realize that it’s a third-world country, but I honestly thought the reliability of internet connection would be better than it is. It’s been my biggest obstacle while I’ve been here. There will be a full day that passes and the entire town doesn’t have internet or cellphone signal. It’s a frustrating nightmare but I’m grateful to my creative teams and clients for their patience and understanding. Fortunately, we’ve made the best of the situation and thankfully I’ll be leaving India soon to a place where internet is reliable! Woohoo!

If I imagined myself a year ago today, never did I think in my wildest dreams that I would have an earpiece in my ear, trying to stand as close to the internet router as I can, while a client is on the phone, and a cow is standing next to me, and my laptop is resting next to a stray dog, which is 10 feet from a burning dead body in the public cremation Ghat on the Ganges river in Varanasi, India. But hey! If I can work under these situations, I think there’s enough fight in me to survive the world of entrepreneurship.

A line I use commonly these days while speaking to my clients: “Oh! That noise? That’s just a cow mooing and a monkey having a tantrum. Don’t worry, everyone is OK.”

Natasha Aquin4 Comments