In this story, we talk to Anmol and learn about his experiences as a Freelance Professional who is also the host of “News you can Misuse”, a news comedy show on Hotstar, and it wouldn’t be too far fetched to say that he works with Disney.
Anmol is a master of multiple crafts who’s transitioned from being a Software Developer to a Sales trainer, to an Emcee, and a Stand-up comedian in the past few years as a professional, and in this interview he shares some tips, and advices that other aspiring Freelancers, and Professionals can follow to become a better version of themselves.
- Tell us the story of how you improved your communication skills?
I am what I am because of Toastmasters, and whatever I do in life will be because of Toastmasters. This organization has helped me, and many people like me to find the confidence to speak, be a leader, and be a much better version of themselves.
Back in my college, I was supposed to present on stage, and I spent a lot of time practicing, and remembering the lines I was supposed to present, and as luck would have it – “I forgot my lines”, and I was left red-faced, and I remember crying myself to sleep.
The next morning, I was resolved that I would do anything to bring about the much needed change in me, and here I am.
2. You juggle between multiple professions, How to balance different interests?
This is a tough one.
I have pretty much explored a lot of different avenues that have been full of uncertainty – Sales, Marketing, Comedy, Emceeing, training, etc, and I think what I am doing today is an amalgamation of all my experiences with different fields, and all those experiences have shaped me to become what I am.
I have done a lot of things in life, and I have loved the entire process, today whatever I do is the product of everything I’ve done in the past. Look at my comedy, it’s inspired by a lot of experiences that I had with engineering, sales, emceeing, freelancing etc.
All your interests are shaping you to become what you want to, you only need to be patient, and enjoy the process.
3. How did you manage to convince your family to let you do the craziness that you do?
Short answer – “I asked them to give up on me, and told that money would follow”. I knew I was going into unchartered territories, and I told them that I need the freedom, and space to do what I want. It took some time to train them, but it’s turned out just fine.
4. How to handle stress and fatigue in times of uncertainty?
From confusion emerges clarity. The dark times help us arrive at what we really want. I would suggest – Stick around, play with it, and the answers will eventually play out. If you are really desperate to get out of the situation, you may end up taking steps in desperation that are bad for you in the longer run.
It’s only human to feel sorry for yourself once a while, but one has to arrest the – ‘Har roz ka rona dhona’. Stop your emotions from coming into play, and learn to take more action. If one is focused, they should be able to manage stress better.
Also exercising, and any form of intense physical activity helps. Endorphins, and a lot of other feel-good hormones are released, and it always helps.
5. How do you go about tackling late payments?
Getting late payments from an Indian client is like going on a Goa trip. In most-cases clients think that if you can wait for 90 days, you can wait for another 900.
Set the precedent before you start the deal, and spend time discussing the commercials. Although a lot of people do not like having such conversations, it’s important that they do, because this is what has helped me dodge late payments multiple times.
Attached is a video where Anmol shares his trick to tackle the problem of late payments –
6. Let’s say you messed up. How do you win back a lost client?
Go out, and tell them that you messed up, own up to it, and do something that can make up for the mess you created in the first place.
Even if this means that your contract is terminated, one should focus on doing the right thing, because if you choose to ignore it, you will live with remorse, and that can continue to linger in your mind making you feel dull, and bad.
The core idea is to focus on building a relationship, and value instead of fussing around with intricacies of the deal.
7. How can one deal with rejections, criticism, insults?
First is to master The Art of Selective Listening – Listen to what people have to say, and incorporate changes if some of those insults make sense. In your professional life, you will meet many many people who will have a lot of things to say, and if you start paying attention to what everyone else has to say, then you are soon gonna find yourself in trouble.
Second is Mastering The Art of Ignoring – When you’re chasing something that you deeply desire, there will be friction between you, and your friends, and family. If you’re really passionate about what you are doing, you gotta learn to ignore a lot of what people say.
These 2 things have helped me sail through the multiple rejections, and given me the confidence to go on the stage, and do what I do.
8. Let’s say you messed up amidst a project, how can you go about fixing it?
If you have missed the timeline of a project, or the quality of the project has been compromised, or you haven’t been able to live upto the expectations, in all these cases it’s advisable to first accept your mistake, and then think of ways to fix it.
If it takes, hire freelancers or additional resources, let go of your profit margins, and in extreme cases if the need be – “Put money from your pocket”, but get the job done as per the best of your capabilities.
You may feel that there are a lot of clients, and you may want to ignore it, but sooner or later, it will come to bite you. The world is a very small place, and one should always focus on doing the right thing, no matter how hard it gets.
9. If one’s starting out as a Freelancer How can one get their first 10 clients?
See, the first 10 customers will come from “Word of Mouth”, and I wouldn’t look at 10 customers, instead focus all my efforts on getting the first 3 clients, and ensuring that I give my best shot at it. If you do it right, and serve your first 3 clients well, they will get you your next clients.
At later stages, Freelancers and businesses should focus on creating scalable, and repeatable sales processes,
10. What is one advice you’d give every Freelancer out there?
Improve the way you communicate. As a freelancer only 20% of the core-skill you have in terms of Design, Art, writing, will help you excel at the project, but 80% of what you do is about –
- How do you communicate? What questions do you ask?
- How do you present yourself?
- How do you show social proof?
- How do you handle objections, and close the deal?
You might be extremely talented at what you do, but the lack of communication, and presentation skills might take that opportunity away.
For me joining the ToastMaster’s club was the best decision ever, and I would strongly recommend anyone who’s looking to improve their communication skills to join ToastMasters. They have 15000+ clubs across the world, and it’s absolutely free.
Call up some of your friends, you can try to practice pitching, role-play to emulate the real-time scenarios of client negotiations, take feedback from your peers, and repeat this process until you’ve become confident.
To improve at communicating, discipline is needed, and if one is relentless in their efforts, the changes will be monumental.~Anmol
Editors Note –
Talking with Anmol was very refreshing, and the interview showed me what it takes to be a multipotentialite where he balances his work from a sales trainer, to a showman to a stand-up comic.
One thing I’d be taking away from this chat would be to embrace multiple interests instead of feeling anxious about losing direction, and seeing it as an opportunity where multiple interests blend, and propel us to be the better version of ourselves.