For this week’s Humans of TapChief, we sat down with Maulik Lakhani. He is a 23-year-old brand executive, who is also a part-time security analyst, web developer, and content writer. And he already has three years of freelance experience.
Here is an excerpt from our interview with Maulik, he takes us through his journey, what motivated him to achieve so much so young, and what his plans for the future are.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a 23-year-old M.Sc. IT graduate from G. L. S. Institute of Computer Applications. I’m a native of Ahmedabad. I’m currently working as a Brand Executive at a startup. I’m also a professional content writer who focuses on technical writing. Apart from this, I take-up security analysis and web development gigs on the side.
How did you start your journey?
The journey started during my third semester of B.Sc IT. My college was quite far from where I lived, so I had to spend a minimum of 5 hours commuting every day. I wanted to make my commutes more productive, so I started reading as much as I can. The more I read, the more it inspired me to write.
How did I get started? Well, I’m a gizmo freak and love reading about gadgets. So, I created a personal blog on WordPress, where I published gadget news and reviews.
After having done this for a few months, I pitched my services to the founder of Gadget Ninja; it was one of my favourite gadget review sites. I sent an email telling him that I’d love to write for them, and also attached my portfolio along with it. He said, yes! I went on to write for them for almost a year or so.
After GadgetNinja, I worked for a couple of other publications that were into academic writing and political news reporting. During this period, I was able to publish two research papers, one of which was presented in an IEEE International Conference on Automatic Control and Dynamic Optimization Techniques.
What motivated you to seek out freelance opportunities?
I started seeking out part-time jobs in content writing because I didn’t have any formal experience or the necessary skills or knowledge.
However, by the time I quit my second part-time job, I had learned plenty and had a more than decent portfolio for someone of my age. So, I wanted to see if I could find work by myself. That’s how I started looking for freelance gigs.
What were the challenges you faced initially?
The biggest challenge that I faced was convincing potential clients that I was capable enough to take up the project. As I’m quite young, people were apprehensive about working with me. The only way I could get past this was by building a good portfolio, and that took me almost one and a half years.
Another challenge that I’d like to highlight is getting payments cleared on time. When I was working by myself, often there would delay from the client’s side, and I’d end up wasting plenty of time following up with them.
How did you discover TapChief?
I had gotten connected with somebody from TapChief on LinkedIn and I was immediately interested. So, I visited the website. I loved the idea of a freelancing platform built on top of a social network.
How has your life changed after TapChief?
All the projects that I’ve completed via TapChief were inbound, as in I was intimated about them by the TapChief team. That’s something I really like because it assures that the client is relevant, trustworthy, and safe to work with. More importantly, TapChief ensures payments are made on time.
TapChief has helped me connect and work with clients from all over India from the comfort of my home. Before this, I had never worked with a client outside of my home state, Gujarat.