This post is submitted by Aditya Shrivastava from iPleaders.
Landing a job at iPleaders was like getting a dream job!
I had always known that I don’t want to be just another conventional lawyer. Law firms for me are a scary place. I believe that lawyers working at firms do not have a life outside of work. After having worked in an MNC, I realised that’s not a very workable place for me either. I was working with the compliance team and, personally, the work was non-challenging and boring.
It was at this point, I decided to get back to my first love and passion – writing. Fortunately, Ramanuj, the CEO of iPleaders, was looking for a content writer at the same time. I contacted him, and he asked me to write an article on a course that iPleaders provides.
I managed to submit a 3000 word article, which generally takes an average of 4-5 hours, in less than 2 hours. This was probably because it had technical content, personal experiences and passion for a subject I knew sufficiently about. As a result, the content was relatable and high on information. Ramanuj liked it instantly and offered me the job, the very same day. I knew, my calibre has met its match.
However, I had a new lesson waiting for me in Goa, my current job location.
I realized, quite soon, that I am only good at writing on topics I am aware of or feel strongly about. I felt uncomfortable writing about topics I had to research extensively on. I was either too reluctant to pick them up or could not deliver strong articulate material on them.
Soon, this was turning into my biggest limitation. I was facing issues adapting to this new world of channelized and strong content writing. It was frustrating. It was affecting my target achievement.
I wanted to get rid of the block in my head and produce effective results. Everyday I was on a quest to figure out where my potential lies. What are my talents? What skills do I have and how can I optimise on it? A person who could write an article in 2 hours, was now struggling through 8 hours in a day to achieve an article that didn’t meet the quality standards. It was an extremely tough phase. I wanted to get out of it.
In my quest to sort this problem, I spoke to Abhyuday Agarwal, our co-founder, whose revelations were very surprising. He told me that he initially developed courses based on what he learnt from Trilegal (one of India’s top most law firms), and the startups he had worked with while he was in law school.
Although the courses on which he had personally worked were very good, he avoided creating courses on areas of law he did not know about. Soon, he realized his personal limitations were limiting the company too.
Can you avoid limiting yourself?
Just how Abhyuday felt that the experience of building courses can be extremely onerous and tremendously pressurising, I was going through something similar. However, was this it? Were my boundaries so small that I could not excel at something I didn’t know about? Or could I extend my boundaries and achieve what I feel so strongly for? I couldn’t let my passion die a slow death due to ignorance.
Michael Phelps had once said, “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” My dream was achieved, but was I doing enough to keep it alive? Or was it turning it into an absolute nightmare? It took me a month to understand that I probably don’t have enough technical and practical knowledge that one might require to write thoroughly researched articles on current legal issues.
However, I realized that I am learning something new each day. I slowly and steadily started sharpening my biggest tool – writing by learning the craft of doing it.
Limitations are difficult to avoid. We all have a certain tolerance level. However, I’ve understood that pushing out of your limitations is not difficult. When you start working out at a gym for the first time, you start out slow. You are first made to do a light cardio. Eventually, you are pushed into light weight training.
It is only after this phase, that you are made to pick up heavy weights. No one expects you to do 100 push ups on Day 1. Once you are able to do 3 sets of 10 pushups, you can move to 15 and then 25. When your body can push through the limits, imagine what could your brain do!
When I was a debater and I was given a certain motion that I didn’t know about, I used to twist and turn the debate in a way that it could favor my arguments. However, I could not do that anymore. My words had to be precise and factually correct. My statements are in black and white, now.
Explore, learn and identify
I may not be very good with writing conventional research articles. However, articles which involved a slight touch of my experience were garnering good views. I wanted to explore, what all I could do with it. I started with making a plan to adhere to in order to push my limits. I began writing more articles which involve my very own experiences, and gave them time to develop. At the same time, I did not let go of articles which involved thorough research. I started figuring out tools to do my research like customized google research and optimized my articles accordingly.
I started learning things I never knew of before. If you are a law student, you probably know that we are taught nothing about startups. We might have read up on laws on sexual harassment at workplace, due to the very famous judgment of the Supreme Court in Vishakha. It was immensely stressful for me during my initial days at iPleaders to write about these topics.
However, right after my first month at work, I realized I know a lot more about startups and laws regarding sexual harassment at workplace than I did when I had joined. It has become my USP and websites like YourStory, PeopleMatters etc., have started publishing my articles because of the content I provide.
While I was discussing this with Abhyuday, he told me the very same thing. In his words, “A couple of years down the business, he realized he was gaining experience and expertise on identifying what made a course successful by working on the pain areas of his focus group.”
It is extremely important to identify what are you learning in the process and how you can develop it further. We all have tremendous potential. To learn, to be able to grow and to be successful but identifying it is a challenge that we need to overcome. Instead of getting frustrated over it, why can’t we figure out what are we learning in the process? What if, we are in the process of becoming something better? Something that we didn’t we could become?
Don’t be scared of failure
I won’t say that the road to finding your true potential will be easy. In fact, it may be very long and full of problems. It took me over a month to understand how to write relevant content. Abhyuday took fairly long to start developing courses he did not know much about. However, that did not stop either of us.
During my initial days at work, I decided to do a very well researched article on “How to help your start-up friend with legal issues”. This article was meant for law students on how they can know about various compliances of incorporation of a startup.
This article required a lot of research and hard work. When I sent it to the editor, he started reading it and found major flaws within the first few paragraphs. He gave me a good blast for my juvenile writing. However, after the first few edits, he realized that the article has shaped up well.
When you set a limit for yourself, it becomes extremely difficult to break the barriers. My first few weeks at iPleaders were just that. I had perceived that I won’t be able to write the kind of articles that are required because it does not match my writing or thinking style. However, I later thought, can I be diverse and still write well? Would Shakespeare be successful if he only stuck to romance? Possible.
There are a lot of famous writers that have done well sticking to one genre, to name a few contemporaries, Jeffery Archer writes mysteries, but, who doesn’t know him? However, if Romeo and Juliet is famous, so is Othello. Midsummer Night’s Dream is as famous as The Merchant of Venice. The point is that a writer can be diverse with respect to his novels and still be a bestseller!
The past couple of weeks have been tremendously valuable for my writing. I have slowly and gradually become better at research, maintaining the right temperament and grammar – three components which are required for effective writing.
The transition from being a fictional writer to a content marketing associate has been rewarding. I would not have realised that I could write this five page article on ‘potential’ had I not jumped at the opportunity to shift to Goa for this very job!
When Abhyuday was telling me how he started developing better courses, he told me how he was having informed conversations with experts so that he could extract relevant information for his audience. He forwarded the same learnings to everyone at iPleaders and today the collaboration with experts has become deeper and more varied.
Unleash your true potential and be unapologetic about it
Once you have identified where lies your true potential, you need to start developing it. If you have read Hindu mythology, you must know about Lord Hanuman. When he was a little kid, his magical powers were locked and hidden from him, because he didn’t know how to channelize them. However, once he learnt how to use them effectively, he used them as one of the greatest warriors in the epic battle of Ramayana.
Limit is often an issue when you don’t know how to push them. When you don’t know where your new potential lies. However, once you identify it, it becomes extremely important to take it to the next level by developing it.
Potential is raw. It’s like a diamond. It is beautiful, but it needs to be cut at the right angles in order to make it shine. It all depends on how you train your potential. On my journey, I started training myself by taking up this course which gave me insane insights on startups and business management.
Once the potential is realized and developed, the excitement to work, the quality of work and the zeal to make it work reaches new apogee.
Most of us go through an unpleasant experience, of frustration, of burden, and of pressure. However, once these dark clouds begin to disappear, you will realize how you have developed yourself in many new and different ways.
So, identify your true potential, develop it by taking up courses like these and attain the results you want.
Till then, happy exploring!