How She Quit Her Job and Built a 1 Crore Business | Saloni Srivastava Inspiring Journey
Hey Everyone! I am Ishan Sharma and in this video. I got the chance to talk to Saloni Srivastava about her own journey of how she went from a marketing job to pursuing YouTube and then quitting her job to focus on her YouTube and then how she built her own businesses that is Hustle post Academy as well as a upfluen and I had a lot of fun talking with her we talked about the creator economy we talked about starting your own business and we also talked about what were the hardships she faced the time Stamps are in the description you can move around if you want to, make sure that you hit the like button and here is the video. Hey Saloni, Thank you so much for joining me for this video and how are you doing there? Hi Ishan! Thank you so much for having me I am so excited to be on your channel I've seen all the kind of interviews you've done here just really happy to be in the league of people who give interview.
Thank you so much. I just got to know about you from helly. She was talking about how your courses has helped her so I was Like let me see, what kind of content she makes how I got to to learn about you and what you are doing with HPA , so tell me about your content creation journey. How did it get started? When did you decide to start with your YouTube channel? You were already working in a marketing job in Bangalore so how did that start? So I was always a creative person like ever since I was in school. I was always like involved in school annual function, coming up with skits and all of that, dancing all that everything creative thing were my thing, but then I was also good at mathematics and Science, my parents were like you know that obviously the obvious choice is you go for the mathematics option, so I took that I studied economics and maths And then while I was enjoying it.
I liked it and it was a fun sort of a journey a couple of yours into my career by the time I had graduated from Young India Fellowship and all that and then you know, I was working at a marketing job and marketing job was when I realise that this is amazing. The marketing is such a cool field because you are you get to apply all of your data and mathematical all the skills, but also at the same time, it's really creative. You still get to use your right brain alot that's when I realised that this is going to be like the right thing for me while I was in my marketing job.
I also had an opportunity to reach out to a few influencer and discuss campaigns with them and then that's when I got introduced to the world of influencer marketing and I used to anyway watch a lot of YouTube videos I was always on YouTube all the time. so it looked like a big space influencer marketing and back then I am talking about 2016, people were not doing it there were few mainstream YouTubers as such, so I thought it's good time to get started so I just randomly as a side Hustle, outside of my full time job I started a YouTube channel, I had a phone and told my husband can you shoot this for me. Please can you just like make one quick video. so I will like I was cooking the whole day It was a weekend so I was like lets just make a food video I didn't had idea of what my channel was gonna be or whatever I was like I like food so let's make a food video, made it and uploaded it within 2 weeks it got 1000 views, which was crazy, 1k views is alot so thats when I was like this is exciting, and I'm gonna do it so consistently every week I used to upload the videos The quality was absolutely bad. But whatever like I was enjoying the process I was having fun with it 8 months into the journey, I was still doing my YouTube channel alongside my full-time job, which is very very hectic because like my job was also kinda like 9 to 9 and then Bangalore traffic on top of that everything.
So it started like that within eight months into it. I realised that this is going somewhere because I started getting brand deals community had built up i had 10000 followers. Like this makes sense should just quit my job now and see if this goes anywhere. I gave myself a six-month deadline. If in 6 months I am able to replace my corporate salary I'm gonna continue so I gave myself that challenge and then I just started and thats how the journey began I'm so happy I quit my job. It's been the best decision of my life Is that the freedom that you get that made you to quit the job or you were not exactly happy where you were working at what exactly was that Trigger that lead you to quit the job Yeah actually, most people love my job, it was alot of fun, it was marketing so I got to apply my data and mathematics skils and a lot of my creative ability so bring everything together and my job give me a lot.
It was in the EdTech space which I am really passionate about I'm still in the EdTech space so everything was right with the job. My boss was great. The company was great. Their mission was great the work hours weren't crazy. Everything was great.
So I really did not have like a reason to start a YouTube channel The trigger was, when I did when I did the whole influencer marketing outreach and had spoken to all the OG YouTubers back then like of mostly Sane and all of them so I've spoken to them. I was introduced to that world and I was just fascinated I was like this is crazy like they are just getting to come on camera talk about things that they care about even if this isn't a career it can be a hobby for me so it started off as a hobby Trigger for me. But then from there, you know the fact that I started seeing a lot of like revenue streams and community and money and all that coming is that when I realise that it's time for me to convert that so freedom is great to have, lifestyle that it brings the ability to do whatever and just the idea of being your own boss for a very long time people used to tell me your not entrepreneurial material you are a very like employee material. Very good very diligent finish things on time but you're not entrepreneur material so it was an opportunity for me to also show that you know, I can run my own thing as well. And what do you think is the difference between both of them like the employ material and entrepreneurial one of you know, I had no idea why people had this opinion of me but I came across to most people as a non risk Taker, people would see me as a very conventional, traditional paths. I studied economics mathematics and YTF and then went into marketing and while I always was a good employee.
I always was good emolyee. I was appreciated I was promoted as given all of that and I used to do my work very well, but I think it was just that people did not see a lot of risk taking ability in me But then today. I feel like this is a wrong thing to say the idea that you are not entrepreneur material because you don't need some fancy risk-taking abilities or some crazy capital investment anymore, anyone can be a entrepreneur Start a YouTube channel with zero investment. get 2 client start freelancing, you're an entrepreneur So I think its traditional mindset that entrepreneur are specific kind of people but today anyone can be I think Initiative part is important to people who are entrepreneurial in nature they take initiative what else Did you learn in your content creation journey, people who are creators are generalists type people, they know a lot of different tasks like video editing and all so what was that like for you my biggest learning from this journey has been that give me a challenge and i'll figure out a solution to it, you know, because a content creator I do not know how to shoot a video. I did not know how to edit I did not know about thumbnails I had no idea about YouTube seo I didn't knew anything right but it was just one step after the other one problem was put in front of me that you have to shoot a video.
I have a phone and start with that from there I realise ok, have to edit that's the first time I opened an editor even after the video was shot when I have the final file i was like I have to edit this also that was an afterthought and then I Googled I found Windows Movie Maker with a basic laptop Windows Movie Maker edited using that and then I realise its not rocket science its like you can get started with it and with each video. I kept getting better. I learnt how to make thumbnails. I looked at other terminals which really my biggest learning from the journey has been that you know if you are motivated today, you can actually learn whatever problem comes in front of you is very easy to go out and learn, that is one and also just the fact that you know, there's this specialist generalist debate, people always push you to be specialist so you should be like this person specialising in a smaller niche and Then also a small niche that everyone really pushing you to go in that direction, but I think the world needs more Generalists, video creators massively generalists people. Will you give me like a problem i'll solve it like that. I won't do it as amazingly as a bollywood DOP but I can make a video I'll figure it out mentality and just everything's figureoutable I was reading what Tanmay Bhat wrote on LinkedIn, now billionaire investor are also coming onto YouTube as content creators.
We have Garry Tan and other people they are coming in not because of the money but they are more into the satisfaction that they get by helping other people out what you think about this like the way YouTube has graduated from a place at which it was a place of prank videos in back in 2010 to now place where people coming to learn something new I think this evolution has been so fascinating and exciting, what a great time to live in This idea that all of these billionaire entrepreneur, even in India we are seeing that for example, Ankur warikoo deciding to have a YouTube channel. its massive that somebody who is like a traditional ceo was running a big company decided to come in and kill it at that as well, I think that makes me really happy. So I think YouTube is no longer a place for just you know fun videos or anything and I think what a lot of people are not not realising that community is going to be USP in the future, you know, like you can always have a killer product.
You will always have prices and compete on all these factors. But anybody who has a community I think they will command a level of USP that nobody else can so I think YouTube is really an opportunity for you to build that community from scratch and that is why most people are also finding YouTube is a fascinating place to come in and start building the communities. I was watching this video in which the ceo of duolingo was talking about how they grew their use of these 170 million users.
Just based on the fact that they had a strong community of people wanting to learn something. So that is definitely huge, how was that change from content creation to starting your own business the typical business not the YouTube business It is already there. But how was that generally like how did you decide that this is what I want to do this is what the product that I want to create for the audience that I have I think for me it started like first year of YouTubing itself the year I quit my job was eight months into it and that year itself I realise that I think there are so many problems that my users are coming to make like my audience because you know when you are a youtuber, you essentially become like a didi or bhaiya for them they'll come with that I"m not able to figure this out. Can you give me tip, specially if you run a edutainment heavy channel alot of people come to you with the problems and issues and they Used to come to me with challenges and one of the most common issues that most people came to me with back in the day was ye saloni you have a job and you have this YouTube channel, how are you managing your time? How are you planning your life? How are you doing? at least hundred people came. So that was the pattern and the statistician in me was like recognizing patterns and I need to do something, I was like what can I create to solve this problem I made a quick planner It was like a journal diary which had like a lot of planning resources for people if you're looking to like plan your to-do list.
You looking to plan and track your habit track water intake or anything that you will have an app for, I realised many were like with pen and paper people. I was like Can we have a pen and paper products for people who are more excited about using a pen and paper apparently journaling their thoughts planning their day I decided to create the product and if they were'nt many in the market so I was excited About launching it got 4000 copies printed and thought would last 3 months. Maybe you know that long and i'll see how it goes, had no Expectations whatsoever, launched it, made a video. I made live, in 2 hrs it was sold out, that was my big realisation of the idea that community is massive.
If you build a community that trust you that believes in you and you create a product that solves the community's problem massive. That was my big realisation. Of course, I grew my business.
I have a couple of physical products, journals as well over time but I realised that you know that physical product while they were very exciting for me. I was very excited about a lot of people around the pandemic came asking i've lost my job I have a paycut you know, you've been able to navigate this online world. Can you give us some tips? Whatever you've learnt in the last couple of years. Can you teach us that I decided to package everything.
I know, into an academy build a course around it, cohort based then launched it, and its it's been massive since then like it seems it's been growing like at an crazy rate month on month now I'm like really excited about where this journey is gonna take so it was more about pattern recognition identifying problems that the community was facing and staying true to them and giving them something that solves their issues, content creators have this benefit of having shorter and smaller feedback loops, try something and see how it works What are the challenges that you faced when you first started with upfluen and HPA the biggest challenge was again background how to do things it was mostly, you know Im not sure if your background is computer science, but I don't have a computer science so for me Lot of issues was around you know, I don't know how to code i've ideas, i dont know how to build platforms thats when i was introduced to the world of no code,like everythig's thats available on no code format today that you would want to to implement, when i wanted to build upfluent to help other influencers launch their products, physical products and I would take care, so reason why upfluen was launched was because I had setup my ecomm value chain I had launched my product so I had courier partner packaging partner, delivery I had setup the whole value chain and I realise it creators are creative people they would not want to sit and pack orders and put address label on it, And then courier it out so I was like can I take it away from them because I already had a team that was doing for me, then I launched upfluen I think the big issue that I had was ok. I want to have an eCommerce platform how to execute this thats whe shopify came into to the picture and I was able to do it and then while launching hustle post Academy the big problem. How can I build a course then I found teachable,thinkific the big challenge for me was the experience and the biggest not being able to first, you know, not having a lot of domain expertise, but I think about the benefit was I'll figure it out attitude and because I was able to figure it out there were solutions like in the market you can go and find a solution by anything I was able to do that.
And then since then it's been about about improving like everyday, trying to see what is lacking now. What can I do? What can I improve What can I do for my community? The second challenge was investments, when you're starting out any any kind of especially when I was in a physical product business massive investment that I had to put into have the inventory ready and the physical product ready and while I had money as I was working for 5 years before that, so I had some savings lined up. It was really like putting all of my savings in to a planner which I had no idea if anybody would going to buy so that understanding of that risk taking ability is like where it played out and I realise that I think I do have risk taking ability but people thought i didn't its really just about like a couple of platforms and you're able to build a pretty decent business out of it so I realised going to be like digital products are the future for me to go at a very low capital very high operating profit margin. So that's what I'm enjoying. Now. What would be your advice to people just starting with alternate career / side hustle sometimes people get overly excited about YouTube, quit everything, focus on this was sometimes just like views nhi aa rahe what will I do now, need to get back.
What would be your advice, have to be a couple of different pieces of advice for different types of people the first type of people I've seen are people who really want everything to be perfect before they even begin, they have to have the right. Camera before I begin, have to have the right Mic before. I begin, to I would say just start no matter even if you have perfect camera and mic, you're not going to like your first video, usually what i recommend is find favourite youtuber, scroll down watch their 1st video you'll get a sense from where they began so its about starting advice for the first of peoples 2nd type of people who are really excited about, you know who are excited for starting a YouTube channel and you know quit my job to them by Big advise is hold onto it is great that you picked a side hustlebut I think content creation as a journey is very slow. And while there is no barrier to entry barrier to entry here, it is the level of patience you can have not so many people have a YouTube channel today because not everyone has the patience to make hundred videos without seeing a single rupee coming in without seeing anything any kind returns of returns like very significant returns coming, dont quit don't go out and quit immediately. This is going to be a slow process is going to require patience have at least basic emergency fund in place something that can fund you because if you're creating videos from a place of scarcity from a place of worry that I don't know how I am going to make my rent next month then that's not going to bring out the best work from you focus on having your basic sorted have your rent have your basic food all that taken care of and then you will you bring your Creative best to the platform. So keep that in mind and I think to the third type of people I do see a lot is there are people who are we just very good thinking too much to start.
Is it too late for me to start is Lo Kya Kahenge already so much competition. There are thousands of youtubers today. My question is just because competition you're not going to do it, do people not appear for UPSC exam. level of Competition you have there the level of competition you having content creation is tiny and you know, it's really about you the way you say something is going to always be different from I say it or how Ishan says it so bring your own authentic self to the platform its never too late ofcourse the best time to start a YouTube channel was yesterday the next best time is today just take action, when you were saying about don't think too much about quality the first 40 videos on my channel and made by a webcam of 2 megapixel, same I had a basic phone and videos had no light. it was tubelight which shadows everywhere and thats how the video was shot.
You always figured it out on your journey. Thank you so much for joining here for the session. I hope the audience was able to learn and pick up something from this.
To talk to you again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for doing everything that you doing you're spreading so much awareness student audience and to them you're introducing them to new ideas. You giving them an opportunity to explore. I think you're doing a great job.
Thank you so much for having me. I hope you got to learn something from this video. I hope this was insightful If you're still watching just comment by saying I watch till the very end and you can follow her on her Instagram can follow me on Instagram and that's it. Hit the like button share this video with your friends.
I see you again.