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Moving On, not Moving Out…

Circa Dec 2011.

An awesome post. A few typos. But for some strange reason when this post was shared over social, all people did was pointed out the typos :(. I felt bad. The ex-copywriter inside me quickly cleaned the errors and emailed it to the author (a close friend) so he could correct them and people would read the article without getting distracted. After all that happened, he wrote back to me saying,

“Dude, cant u be my editor on TRH?”

Me: “okay, okay :(((((((((((((((((((( but be warned I AM NOT ONLINE ALL THE TIME. AND AM NOT GONNA MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH TO DO IT. if i’m at home at that point of time i shall be happy to help, theek hai YAAR…… ??????”

[if you’ve read the article, you’ll understand the YAAR reference :)]

That’s how TheRodinhoods happened to me. Over a few typos. And one deep friendship. Ironically, for the last 5 years I have been living online ALL THE TIME. TRH has been my only gig since then because that’s what I really love doing – Rodinhooding :).

So why this post?

Well none of us ever imagined TRH would explode the way it has over the last 5 years! We are 12,500+ members with 6500+ amazing articles. Five years ago I didn’t even know that community management was a recognised industry!  And today, we are known to be one of India’s most vibrant online communities. All credit to each one of you!

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What started as helping out a friend became my full time occupation. Each one of you has become an extended part of my family :). But since TRH is a pro-bono community, I want to be a part of it, pro-bono. Which is why, I am stepping down as editor/community manager. I’m still co-founder and I’m still very much around. I shall stay involved with the community. Just not all the time :).

We are looking for a Content Manager to manage TRH. So please be rest assured – nothing changes – everything is humming along just like before. In fact, as you would’ve noticed, with our new WordPress site, things have become super seamless and much more efficient now!

Alok and I want TRH to grow as TEDx where founder, co-founder don’t run the show and don’t really matter. A community thrives on its members…where members and volunteers take the lead. We would love for Rodinhooders to volunteer as moderators on the site. Pls write to us if you’re interested!

 

Learnings & Mistakes

I have learnt a lot. I have shared some of my hits & misses while building TRH. But personally, I made many mistakes along the journey… So I guess I will just bare my soul and share some with you…

i) Don’t try to do everything yourself.

I read so many articles on TRH saying these very words and yet, I fell into the same trap. I thought I could manage everything by myself. What I should’ve done is found student interns who could’ve assisted in many ways. It would’ve helped them learn something new. It would’ve helped me be more productive. But somehow when you work remotely from home, you just think remote internships won’t work favourably. I was wrong.

ii) If you work from home, discipline yourself to follow “working hours”.

I failed miserably here. I switch on my laptop at 8:30am and switch it off only after 10pm. And though I take small breaks in between – I spend a lot of time at my desk (dining table :))

iii) Emails can wait.

I have a chronic problem – I reply my emails almost instantly. ‘Coz if I don’t, I am paranoid I will forget or lose track of replying! Or that something will get missed should I let emails pile up in my inbox!

iv) Weekends are meant for family time and me time.

They say mothers who work part-time, are better mothers. I think it applies to founders as well. You need to give your startup a break. At least for a bit. To me, TRH has always been my startup – something I’m addicted to! If your venture needs attention over weekends, find someone to help you. It allows you to read, write, watch movies, spend quality time with your family & friends! It ensures you re-fuel over the weekends. Otherwise you will end up burning out.

v) Don’t ever give up your daily exercise routine.

Oh boy. I have screwed up on this account numerous times. I won’t elaborate – all I will say is no matter what’s going on in your life, no matter how many balls you have up in the air – be sure you don’t skip your exercise! It’s the only thing that will keep you sane!!

vi) Get offline. Be unwired.

At TRH, we try to make an entrepreneur’s life a little less lonely. Ironically, since I work remotely from home, in a very quiet corner of Goa, over the years my journey started getting lonely. So while I would interact with all my awesome Rodinhooders online, I started becoming a recluse. I stopped socialising with people offline. The more lonely I got, the more I worked. And stayed online. Even if I hung out with my friends sometimes, I would end up replying my emails/messages it would just ruin everything.

vii) Workations are a bad idea.

I take leave. I go off on vacations with my family. But I also work alongside. That’s not a good idea. It’s not healthy! It’s an indication that you are a workaholic which can never be a good thing!! So once in while you must switch off from work. It gives you time to think, ideate and grow.

viii) Ask for help!

So while I have always reached out to my rodinhooder pillars, I’m not sure whether I asked for help when I was drowning. Everyone is busy running their own startup, that it never felt right to burden people with some more work. Be resourceful – I repeat, look for student interns to pitch in!

Gratitude!

I am eternally grateful to you, my rodinhooders, for trusting me and making me your confidant! You’ve shared your professional and personal ups & downs with me and I am honoured to be a part of your journey & life! Writing to you every single Friday is something I have always looked forward to!!

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I can’t thank you enough for putting TRH and me amongst the communities & community managers of the world! TRH has been the only community from India to be a part of CMAD awards nominees & finalists both in 2015 & 2016. And I owe it all to you.

What next?

On TRH, we encourage rodinhooders to create value out of nothing. To solve problems. To be enterprising. And to prosper! I think it’s time I encouraged myself to do the same :).

My child was heart-broken when I told her I won’t be editor on TRH anymore. “Will you still be co-founder then?” (she knows a lot of startup jargon!). When I said yes, she smiled. And asked what I want to “be” now. I explained to her that perhaps another community needs to be built. And perhaps another community will happen to me soon :). Either way, I’m ready to take that leap of faith once again…

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I’m still an email away (asha@rodinhood.com)

You can also stay in touch on linkedin & twitter (@ashaonthebeach)

think.do.be.rodinhood.always.

‘coz you can never take the rodinhood out of a rodinhooder.

 

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5 Comments

  1. All the very best Asha!

  2. Asha, your post reminded me of the opening lines of the movie `The Descendants’ where the protagonist lives in Hawaii: “My friends on the mainland USA think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We’re all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane?”
    You reminded us that there are workaholics in Goa ??!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 But we did’nt need reminding. Your fantastic work here speaks for itself. Goodbye & Good luck. Thanks.

    • hahaha prashant! thanks a bunch for always being so so kind!
      actually most people think i’m plugged into the sand sipping mojitos all day long 🙂
      that’s what “working remotely from goa and doing something online” usually means!!!
      stay in touch. i’m not saying goodbye to any of my rodinhooders 🙂

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