First Learn, Then Earn

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(Last Updated On: 30/10/2018)

Learn And Earn Money

Well on 23rd Oct at 12:05 a.m, Prabhakar Alok founded a very good post from Amrita Angappa Linkedin wall. So, He Decided to merge these answers and people can read easily.

So, Amrita Angappa has written her story that after She joined a company, She understood the commitments and demands of a business. And, only here She is learning the value of ethics and team spirit.

Have a look at what she learned from her life.

“Papa, we are going to start a business. We need to complete the formalities”, I told my father. He looked at me with wonder.

I had just then completed my third year of college and was very recently introduced into the world of content writing and graphic designing.

I had just then returned from Chennai after completing my internship at IIT-M. Since writing was my passion, from the very beginning I was applying for technical content writing internships, only to get rejected every time. So I wanted to rule my own empire.

Back at that time, I naively believed that anyone who has around 4 freelance orders can start a business and make a profit. Little did I know the hard work (and of course, smart-work) involved behind the business. Me, along with a group of buddies ventured out too young.

One of them wanted to become rich faster but in an easy manner. He had previously heard about data entry jobs (Yes, that pay Rs.5000 and earn Rs.60,000 by typing 100 pages). I argued that it would not be productive and we would learn nothing by typing. I knew that a company without a unique identity will be a flop.

Subsequently, I won the argument. We never invested in that data entry offer. You can find thousands of such offers at Naukri and Quikr. Please don’t believe it. 99% of it is a scam.

He asked me, “How are you going to start a business with content writing? Initially, you would earn just enough to buy a meal per day.” But my logic was different. “At least I will learn something, even though I will not earn at the beginning”.

I was very new to LinkedIn. Maybe a week or so. I connected with a few startup owners and asked them if I can write contents for them. Only 2 of them replied. I took up the offer happily.

Initially, it was tough. My writing style was totally different and a bit immature. I had to read around 10 blogs per day to have that grip.

I tried hard and completed the first blog and earned Rs.450. That was my first earning.

The other order was for Rs.1000. It was for 3 blogs. I completed it too and earned Rs.1000. That was my second earning.

I used those blogs as my reference and managed to get some 3 orders.

We had a team meeting with the owner. He asked some questions to me regarding Adobe Photoshop. I was clueless. One of my friends told him in broken English that we can produce better contents for them. He asked her, “Can you write what you just said on a paper without any grammatical errors?” and laughed. Anyways I was going to write the content. But I let her speak. We faced that facepalm moment as a team.

That was the day I understood the value of expertise and knowledge. And knowing the strength and weakness of our team members and pitching accordingly.

As expected, that order got canceled.

My father was a silent spectator to all this. Whenever I informed about the progress of my “venture”, he used to smile and just reply “Okay”.

When I told him that I am going to register my startup, he asked me a question, to which I don’t know the answer till date, “What do you think you know about a business?”

I spoke about the registering procedures and auditing. He smiled and asked again, “What do you think you know about a business?”

I turned silent. What my father told me changed my perspective towards life.

“I was of the same age as you are when I started out on my business. My first order was for Rs.100. I worked 20 hours per day at that time. But due to some mistakes, everything was falling apart. I faced a huge loss in business.

When you were 5 months old, I was completely broken. I never even had money to buy you a Milk bottle. I was an owner, but for you, I again turned an employee. I left the business and started going for a marketing job. I don’t want you to feel that pain yourself.

But I somehow learned from the experience and started once again. I never made those mistakes again. And the rest is history. It took 10 years for me to taste success. The journey was wonderful and it took me where I am now. See, this world is huge. It is not a one day task to start a business. You have got to learn, and then earn.”

I started exploring more on writing aspects and applied for a few jobs. I never gave up and I got my full-time job.

The first project was completely new to me. The corporate style of content marketing and content strategy were an alien to me.

But I learned. I am learning. And will learn forever.

It was difficult at first but I completed it in a month’s time. I am sure I can complete it in a week’s time now. That is what experience does to you. Still, a long way to go to complete it in a day’s time.

I was a mediocre student. I am still a fresher. I have got my job but I still have a long, long…way to go. But let me tell you something, I applied for over 100 internships on Internshala and got selected in just 2.

The lessons I learned as a college student and as a fresher were priceless.

  1. Never launch yourself into something when you just knew what it is. You can’t play the guitar by only listening to the music. You have got to get your hands dirty and learn to play the instrument.
  2. Don’t believe in easy work. Earning through skills is what will stand. It’s not easy but it is permanent. If everyone can do the data entry job and get Rs.70,000, then we would all be millionaires by now.
  3. Plan your placement preparation in advance from your third year of college itself. I would say the second year. Only then you will feel less heat and pressure of placement fever.
  4. Life is going to be initially tough. But only after a dark night do we face the brightness of sunshine. So never give up and keep trying.
  5. Respect your team members. We had a few juniors in our initial startup planning crew. I won’t be able to pay them. I will not be able to give them a certificate. But I can give them a LinkedIn recommendation and endorsement which I definitely will. I support them in the best way possible.
  6. Let it be anything. Dance, tennis, singing or whatever. Do you love it? Will it fetch you enough salary than or equal to your engineering stream? Can you work on it happily without expectations, even if they are not going to pay you? Don’t you ever want to retire? If you answer these questions positively, then you are going to rock.
  7. Make mistakesBut learn from them. Mistakes are meant to make once or twice, but not thrice.
  8. Respect your parents. You don’t know the struggles they have undergone to raise you.
  9. Never ever leave out that ‘L’ in Learn. Keep learning, keep sharing and keep inspiring. Keep applying what you learn.

Only after I joined a company I understood the commitments and demands of a business. It is only here I am learning the value of ethics and team spiritI still have a lot to learn.

So, the Questions arises from Amrita Angappa is What did you learn as a student and as a fresher?

well..!! People came up with different opinions when the question arises. Some of the opinions were as follows:-

  • Learning is a continuous process… However, sadly, the majority of the youngsters that I have come across feel that learning ends with college… Still, there are some who feel that learning stops once they start earning… Even for an entrepreneur, there is no end to learning… You need not know all aspects of the business… As a freelancer, you need not worry about the overheads of the business… However, as the owner of a company, u need to be aware of if not know it… In your entrepreneurship journey, ignorance and arrogance are your worst enemies… Humility, self-respect, self-responsibility, self-accountability are your greatest friends… – Ayaz Zanzeria who is V-Logger | 7-time winner of 60-day Equity Trading Challenge | Artismatic Magnifico.
  • Yes, it’s absolutely right because what we think once we got the job everything will gonna be the best but really we needed to continue learning, however, we are on the Leadership position because we might know all the ways on how to get access generally. – Marilyn Asistido who is Souq, Capital Governorate, Bahrain.
  • One more important lesson to learn – Respect the struggles parents have made in nurturing you. You never know the amount of pain they had to suffer. Other than that, you have aptly penned down all the learnings. I am still searching the answer to the question your father raised – “What does business mean?” For sure, it isn’t only about earning profits. It’s much more than that. One who has identified the real essence of business will excel. It is not an overnight success but a blend of hard work, strategy, and efforts. – Hardik Lashkari who is Tax & Finance Content Writer | Tax Consultant
  • You make some wise statements here Hardik Lashkari. The most wise, in my opinion, is that you are open to admitting you do not fully understand something (the meaning of business) and that you acknowledge the difficulty in doing so. I agree those who have the best understanding of business will be the most successful. I personally believe that those who acknowledge and nurture the human elements of the business are the ones who seem to be the most successful. I personally define success as an overall feeling of accomplishment and enjoyment. Thank you. – Chris Kuehn
  • Business is surely not about huge profits at the beginning. Be ready to get failed too. Struggles and stumbling blocks are your learnings. I am still learning. Every penny that I earned is through rigorous work. Nothing has come to me easily. I am a warrior in my personal as well as professional life. ???? – Geethapriya who is  Corporate Trainer at Horizont India- Management Training & Consultancy.
  • Very well written Amrita Angappa, thank you for the mention! You have some great points there. For me the one thing I noted was that college life & work life as freshers are absolutely different! Once you enter the big bad world & get into employment, reality hits you in several ways:

– Your boss is no longer like your professor in college. Performance is the key to your success.

– Worrying about completing projects during college & taking ownership of projects as an employee are two very different things.

– Time is money, literally. – Your attitude & behavior with clients can make or break the business.

– You become a brand ambassador for the Company so it is not just yourself who you are representing.

– A mistake made during employment can cost you & the business a heavy price. Be careful as it is different when in college. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but these are some real truths I wanted to share especially for those entering into the big bad world. Thank you again ???????? – Sannah Ali who is Kolkata Trainer & Leadership Coach with international experience.

  • Amazing struggle story that’s gonna help many out there to avoid the mistakes that you did you. The lesson I learned in my college days, and even before that, is that if you want to be recognized in a crowd of thousands or millions, you gotta walk on a path that the crowd doesn’t like to walk on. And the best thing I did in my college days that I still am proud of is “doing everything that my subconscious was stopping me to do because of the changes of failures”. If you don’t conquer the “what if” question that your mind comes with, you can’t make it big. You simply can’t. “Shut up. Doesn’t matter if I fail in it; I’ll get better eventually” you gotta tell your mind. One who is afraid of making mistakes will never learn it. Congratulations on the new job! Many good things to welcome you in the way! – Ashish Sharma is Life and skills trainer at The/Nudge Foundation. An uncertified writer. Love? Teaching and motivating! ❤
  • I think your Father guided and suggested you well with all his experienced and practically faced words if you really wanna go just safe and only and only getting profit than loss even profit is less than expectations then it is better to late and wait for business to grow high and it is all up to your timely hard work and continuous learning updated knowledge as honest devotion remember you are not only player in the Business battlefield if having done this compared as Sport field you need Speed and Power simultaneously coordinated to win that sport same is there in Business where power means your Mindful learned knowledge and Speed means working hard day night even to get early success in Business and to beat rivals so much to say ahead but in short it is all Thanks you are a good thinker and writer as well Amrita keep going. – TARUN
  • Hello Amrita, I went through your article and would like to congratulate you for reaching where you are. I would also like to wish you good luck in your future. I feel there is still a long way to go. You need to work on the flow of your writing so as to make your readers feel connected with you. You need to figure out the difference between an Article, blog, press release, newsletter and other kinds of contents if you wish to excel in the field of web content writing. Hope you reach the heights you are aiming for. – Shweta Gaur
  • I believe learning happens in stages, your initial learning helps you build a foundation and gradually you keep on building on the foundation through different forms of active and passive learnings. – Mustafa Husain
  • A very nice and fresh perspective. Doing business requires knowledge. Technical and operational. That learning us a continuous one whether one is 6 months into a career or 30 years. In between other variables come into play especially on the “earn” quadrant that impacts on the decision of learning as well as on the decision to do business. – Joy Abdullah
  • Beautiful article and heart felt post…of one want to earn knowledge then always think like a student and execute accordingly at every phase of life, be humble and respectful to people who help you boost your current existence. is the key message here… – Saurabh M.
  • Beautiful Article! 🙂 But, I don’t believe on the college campus! As many talented and creative students do not get the chance to showcase their knowledge, talent and creativity! here, only recommendation and special requests are the matter. I faced it recently. Anyway, that is the biggest story, which I don’t want to share now! But, your article is really beautiful! Thanks for the article! 🙂 – Pallabi Sen 
  • I am a learner, life-long learner. This is the first mantra of my life and even my LI profile first line & something I always say to my students and youth. Knowledge is universe & exploration is a voyage to know unknown. One who keeps the door open to learning meets the magical pursuit of self & its ongoing. Your business is only as strong as the people behind it. So learn from people, context and from your failures. The pursuit of knowledge is easier than it has ever been before, as technological advances can relay information instantaneously to our fingertips. One must be willing to expand your mind. Rid yourself of assumptions & convictions so that you can be open & receptive to new information. This at times may even contradict what you have always believed to be true. You will eventually come across information that challenges your worldview. Rather than remaining static in your comfort zone, use this time to stop, reflect & shed light on these ideas in a way that can develop & expand your vision. No matter how big or small, always come away with a lesson. – Rajni Julka
  • As a student… I learned about perseverance and still being a student with no experience in the outer world.. I have no idea about freshers experience…but I could easily feel your content because the same independent views hold their roots in my brains… As an aspiring independent entrepreneur; we should expect tough times ahead but eventually, it pays off in the form of the fruitful results of our efforts towards our passion… It’s all about growing without groaning! – Anugya Shaw
  • Since the age of 12, I had wanted to earn while I was learning and now, I am earning as well as learning how to run a business simply, ethically, and profitably. Our whole education system must be revamped so that students must earn while they learn. Groom our children in such a way as to prepare them to face life when they graduate out of school/college/university. Simply having certificates won’t do any good if you don’t have the life skills to overcome the difficult situations in life. Employability is the one word to watch out for. There are a few big companies like Google and Apple who recruits people who don’t have university degrees, that is, they recruit people who have the right mix of talent, passion, and aptitude for the job. I am here for you all as your bosom friend, philosopher, and guide. God bless you all with infinite abundance and prosperity. Always follow your heart while taking important decisions in life. Stay in touch. – Muralikrishna Pattathil 
  • Amrita Angappa, Firstly, thanks for the mention. Yes, life is a learning curve from the day we are born till the day we depart. As we move on at every stage, we got to adapt to different challenges & different changing scenarios. Unless & until you don’t try & learn, you are not creating chances. Unless you don’t create a chance, you can’t look for those opportunities. Irrespective of whether you are a student or you are a fresher in any company, you should have the commitment, urge to learn & the courage to get convicted. Your ability to be tenacious acts as a testing skill trying you in different circumstances. You will have to prepare for everything to rule the roost. Mistakes are an experience & lessons which may taste a bitter pill but will push you towards making you a better person. Life is learning & our learning process should be perennial. Your passion, your courage, your attitude, your commitment, your experiences your belief acts as a catalyst for your individual growth & overall development. We learn & we learn from people smarter than us. There is abundance & we just have to flow with the infinity. Let’s learn & earn the wisdom of knowledge. – Ramasarma Adivarahasarma
  • First I have learned how to dream.  So I know what I would like to do with my life…  What possibilities I have in my life. Second I learned to plan the steps ahead so I could live the life I was dreaming about. I learned to persevere even when I was the only one believing in my dream.  I learned to avoid negative people who only wanted to bring me down instead of supporting me. Now I have learned that sharing my experience helps younger people with their dream.  Because paving the way towards your goal doesn’t mean you have to do all the work yourself…- Ruben Vandenheede
  • This post of yours is really valuable.  As a student in B.E (Mech), I had decided to join the Indian Army due to reasons beyond salary/position etc. Though with an FC+ Distinction in BE, I got a job in L&T by campus selection, I went to the IMA, Dehradun.  Your type of situation came to me 20 years later when I took voluntary retirement from the Army for personal reasons.  I had a lot of options, few talents, not much money saved in hand, unsure of own passions.  In two fields, I was confident of striking out- Aviation Engg where I had 9 years of practical experience, sound knowledge, and PG teaching, for which I developed a love in my last stint of 4 years as a senior instructor for a prestigious officers’ course in the Army.  I chose the second because of the relative stability of the field.  Yes, writing for me is a passion, sometimes, will take it up seriously. – Lt Col Prasad S N
  • Great..!!! If you are not learning something every day you are stagnant, which really means moving backward. I think our educational system is flawed for starters, which is why so many people struggle in their careers and personal finance. We do not teach youth to be independent, and therefore leave them pushed into a 9–6 prison..!!! – Yash Soni
  • There is a lot in that fine article of yours.There are three types of people.

The first are the ones that make things happen – the movers and shakers that create opportunities and align these to their mission.

The second are the ones that watch things happen – these are the also-rans.

The third is people that wonder what the hell happened – the lot that missed the bus and lives with no sense of purpose.

It’s a lot if they get by on a day to day basis. As I matured with experiences, I learned that it is one’s attitude that will see people through in a moment of self-doubt or crisis. I had to dig deep to find the eye amidst the storm. But once there, I held onto that core. There is a calling in each of us and if we pursue that with passion, it becomes an expression of who we are. The purpose is paramount and learning is indispensable in the journey to fulfill one’s destiny. Observe the landscape as it unravels each day. If there are fruits ripe for the picking, go after them. If not, plant a few seeds and tend to the growing plants. If you live each day grounded in that process, you will have an orchard that feeds not only yourself but your future generations. – Ashok Kumar

  • I was a lousy student but even then we unconsciously imbibe things which we understand later. The most important lessons I learned was to read….everything. Textbooks, novel, magazines, all. Next was to Question….not to accept things meekly. Analyze, debate…& gracefully agree if proven wrong. Thirdly, whatever it is that you want to do/become….first Understand. Without understanding, it will all come to Zilch. – kasturi chakrabarty
  • Nice life story Amritha, but we need a new ecosystem like in Canada or other countries where students could earn by doing some jobs along with their studies. So these experience will be with them when they complete their academic course. Also, everyone will have some humbleness to work cooperatively and friendly. I think our education system should be hourly based combining both learning and earning curriculum. Success is not a predefined set of achievements like house, cars, luxury life. It’s when you created a path where your footprints light the way for at least one person to do something good to this society. – lino john 
  • Great article Amrita Angappa!! My father also owned his own business while working for a company. He would work 7 days a week to get his company going. He has owned 3-4 Software and consulting businesses and wanted my brother and me to take over the family business as we got older. We were on the board of executives since about 15 and there was one thing I learned. I did not want to sacrifice family time for all of the money in the world!!! I chose to go the safe route and work in a field that I was good at. Was it my dream job? No!! Did I have a better quality of life? Absolutely!! It takes a special person to own their own business and be successful. The question isn’t What Did You Learn but what your willing to sacrifice!! – Craig
  • Hi Amrita, Elegantly written. while reading it, not for a moment did I think it’s from a fresher (as you call yourself) or an amateur. I read it twice in fact, the second one for making this comment:)) Appreciations part – it takes some courage to talk about failures, family history etc in a public blog, and appreciate you for that. Also for sharing the revenue numbers from writing blogs.

“What do you think you know about a business?” This is a phrase you wrote twice in your post. And not without reason, I guess and you might be already learning. And the elaboration on just your phrase “What do you think you know about a business?”, I have converted to a short article and should be posting it. You wrote: “That was the day I understood the value of expertise and knowledge. And knowing the strength and weakness of our team members and pitching accordingly.”.. My comment: Well nailed, we know about the proverb. “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 of those hours sharpening my axe.” You wrote: “I was a mediocre student. I am still a fresher.

I have got my job but I still have a long, long…way to go. But let me tell you something, I applied for over 100 internships on Internshala and got selected in just 2.”… My Comment: interesting, again appreciate you for publishing your numbers. You wrote: “Mistakes are meant to make once or twice, but not thrice.” My comment: History repeats when we do not learn from mistakes. You wrote: “What did you learn as a student and as a fresher?”… Wish I could elaborate some day at length. It could be a long long story:))) Believe its packed with insights. – K Satya

  • What did I learn? I learned “how to” learn. This allowed me to begin a never-ending journey of learning; instead of a life of just accepting things and not learning. And the wonderful thing about that journey is that the more that I am able to learn, the more I realize how much I really do not know. – William Harrison.

That’s it. some of the comments we haven’t covered. Thanks for your Patience for a great long read.

Go On, Disclose to Us What You Think!

Did we miss something? Go ahead! Reveal to us what you think about this article on “What did you learn as a student and as a fresher?” in the Comment box.


Prabhakar Alok


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