Today, we are meeting a fine, young gentleman whom I’ve met just recently but had the pleasure of conversing with him quite often ever since. His name is Sudarshan Kar and he hails from India. Sudarshan’s adoration for flirting with words and arranging them in a compelling sequence will make you stare at the screen, mouth agape. Let’s begin!
- Welcome to the young entrepreneurial seat, Sudarshan! Please get yourself comfortable, tell us why you quit the 9-5 lifestyle, and share how you earn your share of Tandoori Chicken.
Thank you so much, Svet! It’s an honor to be featured on your blog. Even though I have far to go before I can call myself an entrepreneur, it feels fantastic when someone calls you that anyway (laughs).
Well, to be honest, I didn’t exactly “quit” the 9-to-5 lifestyle; I found working from home much more liberating and decided to stick with it. I quit my first and only 9-5 job, I believe in July of 2015 to prepare for competitive exams while freelancing on the side.
The exams didn’t go very well, and I decided to pursue writing full-time, from home, of course. Back then, work was few and far between, and I was barely making enough money to sustain myself.
But I decided to put in the hustle, double down on the time I spent working, and managed to land a few good gigs. My first big break came at the beginning of 2016 when I found a couple of freelancing sites where the kind of work I do was in demand.
Two years and a dozen good decisions later, I can finally say that I earn enough to make a modest living.
The best part is that I’m not forced to work for ‘anyone’ anymore. I have my own content marketing agency now, Writer Shark, and things are looking bright.
So, yeah, that’s how I earn my Tandoori Chicken, Chicken Butter Masala, and Butter Naan (laughs).
- Do you believe competition still exists in the ever-growing digital world?
Oh, absolutely! And it wouldn’t be wrong to anticipate the competition increasing exponentially in the coming years. Freelancing is taking off big time, which I’m sure you already know, and only those who can adapt, innovate, and improvise… will survive.
Thankfully, for me, it’s been smooth sailing so far, and I’m yet to run into serious competition. I don’t believe in slacking off or being content, so I’m always learning new skills, prospecting for clients, and playing around in areas that go beyond copywriting and marketing.
I’m happy being where I am now, but you might see Sudarshan doing something entirely different in the next few years.
- How do you secure new clients – do they seek you out or do you search for them?
A combination of both, actually. Facebook has proved to be an incredible platform so far, as far as seeking out clients is concerned. My partner and I are also preparing to launch Facebook ads for our agency in the coming months. Excited to see how everything turns out!
By far, my favorite clients have come from referrals, and we’ve managed to forge a relationship that goes beyond the exchange of money for a service.
Some clients have become friends, and I’m even in talks with a friend/client of mine to start an affiliate marketing joint venture.
I want to focus full-time on marketing now, but somehow, I can’t help but go back to writing. The day really feels incomplete that way.
- Do you happen to have a role model, Sudarshan, and why would you make a great team?
Oh, yes, I do have role models. I am an ardent admirer of Patrick Bet-David (CEO of PHP Agency and Valuetainment) and try my best to incorporate his advice in life and business. Honestly speaking, I’ve learned more from watching Valuetainment than I did in three years of college.
My next favorite role model has to be my friend, Arka, who is also the co-founder of Writer Shark. My dream of becoming a business owner wouldn’t probably have become a reality if he didn’t step up to support and motivate me.
I’d also like to thank Deepanshu for babysitting and spoon-feeding me into the world of online marketing. I would have been many steps behind my goals today if not for his selfless mentoring.
I don’t know about Mr. Bet-David, but Arka and I certainly make a great team due to our hustle mentality and enthusiasm for getting sh*t done!
- You hail from India. Could you share some peculiar facts about your fascinating country?
Oh, wow! This is a tough one because there are so many. Here are a few right off the top of my head:
- India has close to 26 recognized languages, and it’s normal for every Indian to speak at least three or four. This comes off as shocking to many Westerners.
- People of India have a peculiar obsession with engineering. We joke that if you throw a stone at a dog, you’ll probably miss and hit an engineer instead (no offense, ha-ha).
- Did you know Freddie Mercury was born in India? His real name is Farokh Bulsara.
- India is a vegetarian’s paradise. Approximately 40% of the total population lives on a vegetarian diet.
- People here are crazy religious, and not always for good either. We also have the largest religious gathering in the world – Kumbh Mela.
- India is a ridiculously beautiful country! Pristine beaches, humbling mountains, and lush green forests – you’ll find wonders of nature here in plenty.
- Indian cuisine is probably the best in the world.
- Some people genuinely believe that cows have a higher value than women.
Wait… you asked me to write facts, didn’t you? Sorry, got a little carried away there. 😛
- Besides English, what other languages do you speak? Do you also write in them?
Besides English, I speak Bengali and Hindi. I write English and Bengali but only speak Hindi as a third language.
My mother tongue is Bengali, and I’m proud of it.
- Do you have a pungent, Indian formula for success?
No, I’ll be sure to let you know when I succeed. I dream of becoming a full-time traveler someday, and until that dream is realized, it wouldn’t be right to call myself successful.
- Relaxation is of vital importance for our health. Where do you find your solace?
That’s a great question! It’s been only a few years that I realized I’m a workaholic.
It’s ironical how I quit 9-to-5 to work for myself, but now, I work at least 12-14 hours every day, seven days a week.
But I won’t complain; I’m enjoying it!
I find my solace in between the work hours, which often starts as early as 6 AM in the morning. I play on my PS4 and PC, watch TV shows, or find time for a quick nap after lunch.
The only holidays I get are the ones I take to go and explore the Indian side of the Himalayas. I’ve been to almost all the popular places in the last two and a half years and will continue exploring even more. The mountains are the love of my life.
- As of now, have you had any regrets in life?
No, I have not, for the most part. As clichéd as this may sound, whatever I have achieved so far has been because of the lessons I learned from failures. Academics, career, relationships – you name it. I’m a more mature and humble individual because of them.
I, however, slightly regret not following my heart sooner. I always knew I could do well for myself if I just worked at the things I’m good at. But you know how parental expectations are.
Now that I’m in my mid-20s, it feels good to have finally found a niche that offers immense potential for growth.
- What would be your advice to aspiring content writers and copywriters? Many people think they can write, but is that really the case?
They can’t. I have to hire writers from time-to-time for my agency, and we get lots of applications mentioning job experience of 3 years or 4 years, but their samples downright suck! I’d say 90% people who think they can write for businesses have no idea what they’re doing.
They don’t even have the slightest clue where to use ‘which,’ and where to use ‘that.’ Then, there are others who struggle to transition from creative writing to business writing. Their work is almost always less about facts and more about showing off their vocabulary and imagination.
But, I understand where they’re coming from. My advice for them would be to invest time learning how to research and understanding human psychology. Understanding how people from all sections of our society communicate and respond to messages will help in nailing down their copy.
This is, of course, some advice off the top of my head. There are books and online courses on ‘How to Improve Writing.’ Utilizing those would be a good starting point.
Didn’t you wow, woohoo, and OMG while reading this brilliant interview, especially the invaluable tips at the end?
Sudarshan Kar, it’s obvious that you know your craft well, and with your writing agency in place now, I can only picture new jaw-dropping horizons and even steeper copywriting heights conquered. Thank you very much for the immense pleasure of speaking with you.
Dear readers, if you aspire to upgrade your copy and content game, following this young, bright entrepreneur is more than a wonderful idea.
If this interview sparked your curious head, you’ll delight in the previous ones here.
Are you also a bright entrepreneurial mind who’s battling the wretched status-quo society has built in our heads? We should have a chat!