Here at Women With Ambition, we love to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives. In women’s networking groups there is always a fear that we will be a small fish swimming in a ginormous pond with no genuine connections. We want to break this stereotype and show that groups of women genuinely supporting one another in business and life can become a reality!
Our members are women that are close-knit and wonderful support systems. We hold them dear to our hearts because of their hard work and ability to support one another. Therefore, we believe it is important to put them on display so the whole world can see truly how great they are! Today, we are doing a member spotlight on Protima Tiwary whose journey shows how you can turn a hobby into a profession without breaking a sweat!
Protima Tiwary, a freelance content writer by day and a fitness blogger of Dumbbells and Drama by night. She describes herself as an Army kid who wishes to travel the world one wellness vacation at a time. High on love and life she finds herself mildly obsessed with traveling and to-do lists. Not to mention that her love for long sessions can be equated to the way a fat kid loves cake!
A published writer with top publications in the country, Protima started her fitness journey in 2013 small by sharing her progress on Instagram. What started off as a hobby soon turned into a profession as she continued to study the field of fitness. Today, as an Adidas athlete and content creator with #teampixel, Protima balances a life as a freelance writer and fitness and travel blogger at Dumbbells and Drama.
So how did she stumble upon her AWESOME path?
Protima started freelancing in early 2013 when she had just quit her full time job at an agency sharing that she genuinely just wanted a break. That is when she discovered her passion for writing and started a blog which within a few weeks that would land her the first freelancing assignment of her career! She decided to follow her heart, and gave herself 2 years to see if freelancing really was the right fit for her. She is glad she was patient enough to see her success play out.
After a couple of solid gigs in hand she decided to pursue freelancing further. She had quit her agency job only because she could not see herself working within a closed environment.
“I wanted to work with a lot of brands, I wanted to try new things! I wanted to write, travel, enjoy flexibility of work and work life balance. I found all of this in freelancing, plus it gave me the time to travel and workout while doing my job from anywhere in the world! There is nothing more that I could have asked for.”
Who inspired her into taking this path?
Protima gives credit to her hardworking family for the inspiration that led her to the success she has now. Coming from a family of doctors and engineers she knew that the journey to happiness and success would take more than passion. Her mother always pushed her to excel in her studies and her father made sure his children stayed active and involved themselves in some form of physical fitness. Protima gives praise to her little sister who she describes as being not only hardworking but patient when going after her dream. Altogether they inspired and supported Protima while she explored the world of freelancing and blogging.
“I didn’t have the confidence to do this myself, so I never thought about taking them seriously.”
For so many of us female entrepreneurs, in the journey to our success we often remember those who first believed in us. The first person who said that we could accomplish our dream and to go after it with our whole hearts. For Protima, she gave some serious thought to this question and came up with an answer that surprises!
Though her family were her inspiration and her close friends supported her, the first to believe in her were the people in the industry. She struggled to provide one name because of the extensive amount of people who thought she could do anything if she put her mind to it. She stated, “Maybe it’s such a blur because I didn’t have the confidence to do this myself, so I never thought about taking them seriously.”
Protima gives credit to all of her clients whether they were good, bad or ugly because they taught her so much! The struggles of her journey through learning from clients was cushioned by those who were in the industry long enough to trust her with their brands or the few special individuals who sent her encouraging emails from anonymous accounts.
Along with the support of many in the industry, she realized slowly over the years she would be successful when people began coming up to her instead of her having to reach out to them. Even with blogging she started getting responses from people about what she was saying. She knew then that she was on to something great.
But how did she know she could make a living from it?
As she started getting more clients, Protima got the confidence in herself and started asking for more (in terms of work and money). She was not used to this, in fact shared that she even felt bad asking for all that money! But then she realized the difference her work was making to the brands and knew she could do this for the rest of her life. This was especially because suddenly she was planning these trips, buying all those clothes, eating all that food and drinking all those cocktails without having to worry about her bank balance. She also started investing. That’s when she realized, in her words, “Hey okay, this is my money, my hard earned money, and it’s making me lead a comfortable life!”
“Success means happiness“
Although she knows this sounds clichéd, to her success means happiness. You might have all the money, all the brands and visa stamps and what not, but if you’re not happy all that success means nothing. Success isn’t materialistic. “To me success is the feeling of being loved and to be able to positively inspire lives and make a change to the world even if it is in a small capacity.”
Today, even though she wants to earn a truckload of money, if it comes at the cost of her happiness she is saying no to it! She shared that it has happened a few times but she has no regrets about putting her happiness in life first.
Protima thinks she will be successful when she will be able to inspire and influence everyone. Whether that be to get in a good physical workout, take care of their mental and emotional health, demand the money they deserve or enjoy work life balance. She is driven to help women break free of stereotypes that were decided for us centuries ago.
A Typical Day in The Life of Protima Tiwary
She wakes up at 7:00am, enjoys the first 30 minutes with a cup of hot tea and the newspaper.
Then and only then does she get to her phone after this. She shares that she is all for digital well-being, which is something she has started talking about recently on her social media.
She usually prepares her to do list the night before so it is easier for her to start her work day.
She starts working by 8:00am, and completes most of her tasks by 11:00am.
Then she takes a 20 minute break where she either reads or sits back and talks to her family.
If she doesn’t have to meet anyone, she heads to the gym and then it’s back to work by 2:00pm and wrap up by 6:00pm.
If there are meetings, she heads out at 11:30am and usually schedules back to back meetings till around 4:30pm.
After this she gets back to her writing, which she wraps up by 6:30pm. After a day of meetings she then heads to the gym and forgets all about her work and her phone for the rest of the night. Her nights are usually spent with friends at a neighbourhood pub.
When asked what is the most important skill she has learned on her path Protima said,
“The art of saying no, and for standing for what I believe in.”
These are two incredibly powerful skills that are great takeaways from Protima and her journey to success. Often as women entrepreneurs, we are asked to mold ourselves to the comforts of others and to do things we do not believe in. As a successful female entrepreneur, Protima’s belief in standing firm in who she is and saying no to things she does not want to do gives us the proof that we can too. Powerful women such as herself are built on individualism and the ability to trust in themselves in adversity.
What has been the greatest challenge on her path?
Protima is a successful female entrepreneur. However, she did not go without struggle in gaining clientele who would provide the sufficient compensation she deserved from her hard work. In our conversation with her, she shared that monthly goals can be obtained by a variation of clients. Sometimes you need 6-7 clients a month to receive sufficient income while another month you would only need 3. This is based on how much a client is willing to pay and therefore shows there is a major lack of security in her job.
She believes that businesses need to take freelancers seriously. Time should be valued and the amount of money being charged should be respected. Although she expresses her frustrations with the industry she thinks personal work is priceless.
“I used to think that being replaceable was the scariest thing about this, but I realized personalized work, and networking can never be replaced.”
Protima’s greatest reward in the choices she has made has been watching brands grow!
“It is so amazing to watch a community being formed around a brand, and then to watch it grow, to positively influence lives.”
She sees it as magic to be able to give life to a brand and absolutely loves watching it happen with her influence.
Our last interview question to Protima is one that is dear to our hearts. We asked, “What do you want to learn from a community of your peers on Women With Ambition? Why did you join?”
Her answer was even more special to us because it epitomizes what our mission as a company is. Protima powerful conclusion was,
“Empowered Women empower women, and that’s a fact I have learned in the last couple of years. There is so much to learn, so much to connect over. I’m all for sisterhood!”
Protima is an outstanding example of a women entrepreneur that crushes stereotypes without breaking a sweat! From her story we can learn that it is okay to stand up for what you believe in, say no, be patient in our journeys to success and that we should ALWAYS put our happiness before obligation or materialism.
Thank you so much to Protima Tiwary for being a fantastic member of Women With Ambition and the spotlight feature of this month!
Follow her journey on Instagram – @dumbbellsndrama