You are likely to find Chartered Accountants who can write exhaustively about personal finance, economics, public policy or tax laws. But I happen to know a rare Chartered Accountant who can not only write on these topics but also lifestyle, technology, food, automobile and a variety of other topics. It is none other than Mr Sanjay Thampy who owns http://yesteethatsme.com/
I met Mr Sanjay Thampy for the first time at a bloggers’ meet which was organized by a leading Asset Management Company (AMC). His popularity was evident from the fact that most bloggers were keen on seeking his audience. Sanjay’s friendly demeanour and innate curiosity also endeared him to the officials of the AMC.
I noticed that this trend kept repeating at the different bloggers’ meet that I would attend. By then Sanjay and I had developed a cordial rapport with each other. I was intrigued to know that he had a full-time successful Chartered Accountancy practice but was also investing substantial time and effort in cultivating his image as an influencer across several areas. Over a period of time, I understood that this was possible because of Sanjay’s inquisitive nature which would get him to ask several questions about a particular topic and slowly become an expert at it.
Sanjay had also turned into a mentor by then and would gladly offer his guidance to anyone seeking it. This led me to interview Sanjay for Gulakh as his journey could offer inspiration to many who are keen on creating visibility for their personal brands.
Hello Sanjay, please tell us about yourself
“AN ACCOUNTANT BY PROFESSION, A BLOGGER BY PASSION”; that’s how you can sum me up in one sentence.
Since my childhood, I had always been intrigued by just two things, figures and words. But I couldn’t figure out at that time of my life, how they would co-exist. Except, perhaps on bills and cheques, where every figure had to be written in words too. (Laughing)
Left with an option to choose between the two, honestly, I opted for the one which was financially more secure at that time. So, I went on to study accounting and finance, did my CA, CWA, CS and MBA and after working in the Industry for a few years, decided to settle down with my own practice as a CA.
However, the wordsmith in me could never die even though I was engrossed in figures all these years. I used to write whatever came to my mind, initially as a Facebook status and then for lesser-known publications as articles; but without any financial benefits. It was a time when blogging as a career option had just beginning to bloom in our country.
Fortunately for me, my eldest daughter too had a deep penchant for writing and it was she who took the lead in convincing me to start a blog. Rather, I would say, she started the blog for me along with one for herself and thus started my journey as a blogger.
Tell us more about how you became an influencer?
My blog, how it started, as I answered in your previous question, naturally started off as a personal blog, an extension of my thoughts that I used to pen down since years, and then as time went by, brands noticed it, approached me and thus began the process of getting monetized for my efforts.
My style of writing possibly started getting appreciated by readers across the globe and when it got noticed by brands and PR agencies, it was just natural progression that one should venture into sponsored writing too, and my drift happened that way.
My journey as an Influencer was just like anyone else. Retaining my style of writing, I realized that I could write for brands across genres subtly promoting their products and services and for the brands, they realized that my dedicated readership would be a good avenue for them to promote what they intended to convey.
How has it been helpful?
This is a very tricky question to answer. It has surely been helpful, for both. It has to be a win-win situation for both to be a success. If I keep writing and it does not reach the targeted audience for the brands, it does not make sense. Similarly, if it does convey the message to the audience for the brand, but I do not feel satisfied with what I am doing, then it would eventually reach a stage where I would not be encouraged to write anymore.
Financial and mental satisfaction was very important for me because as I mentioned in the beginning, I became a blogger by passion and not by compulsion.
For me, this journey has been really helpful, allowing me to open up, being able to express my thoughts and my ideas without fear, without being questioned, and being able to reach people across the globe. It also gave me an opportunity to meet people from different sections of life and to travel all around and know places.
When one is involved in a profession or business, his surroundings get limited to his colleagues, his peers, his customers, his suppliers, and people from his own field. That’s what was with me too, till I became an Influencer, where my globe of acquaintances widened up to encompass every facet of life that I had not envisaged before.
What are the challenges?
When you do something with passion, you do not have challenges before you. Rather you perceive them as opportunities.
It was only natural that when I started blogging, I did not close down my existing profession which was and still is earning me the bread and butter (smiling). So it was surely required of me to learn time management. For me, I would say, I was lucky to be able to manage it well.
Two things which helped me in grabbing these opportunities (or in overcoming the challenges, to use your words), I would like to specifically mention. Number one is that I chose to venture into this field as a passion and when you have a passion for something, you would be able to take out time for the same. Number two is that having a daughter with me who started her blogging career at the same time, helped me in managing my blog, getting help in posting and publishing my blogs, coordinating with the brands etc. leaving me during those initial stages, in doing what I loved and knew best, just writing.
What are your views on personal finance?
Every person on this earth lives to earn and save. In that context, personal finance is an important aspect of everyone’s life. Hence, it is imperative that we all take personal finance seriously.
Whatever may be the field of profession or vocation, one may be, but everyone should have some basic knowledge and understanding of personal finance. Unfortunately in our education system, except for those who chose commerce and finance as their field of career, the basic teaching of personal finance is not included in the curriculum for others.
I am really glad that through my blogs on personal finance, I am able to make my non-finance readers understand the little nuances of personal finance and help them inculcate the habit of savings and investment. This for me, I consider, a big achievement because if through my writings people who haven’t been aware of this subject can develop these good habits, I am doing good to them and to the community at large.
What is your most important advice to millennials when it comes to personal finance?
The early bird catches the worm. This adage cannot be better apt than for adopting the habit for personal finance. No age is too early for developing the habit of savings and investment.
In my honest opinion, even during one’s childhood, if this habit is inculcated by the parents, it would be a stepping stone and a foundation for understanding when they reach adulthood.
For millennial, and to use this term, I would understand those kids who are reaching young adulthood in the early 21st Century that we are in now, there is no better time to adopt and embrace this culture and habit of personal finance than it is now.
With technology so fast-paced, life is racing at a pace much faster than it was during the times we were growing up into adulthood and hence it is absolutely necessary for them to plan and secure their lives themselves than be dependent on parents and peers.
My advice to these young adults would be to start saving and start investing prudently and efficiently from the first penny that you earn because money saved is money earned.
Another important advice that I would give them is to be open-minded to multiple sources of earning revenue than being stuck to your core expertise. Open up your wings and try to fly high, explore new areas, whether in a business or in a profession, follow your passion while at the same time keep a backup of your core expertise for regular income.
At the young age that you have just started your career, this is the time when you would have the maximum time for yourself and to experiment. So make use of that time and tryout. You never know, what you had envisaged in your childhood may not be what would eventually bring you success, both emotionally and financially.
What are you planning to do next as an influencer?
An influencer has to keep evolving, or else he would die a natural death soon. For me, I have always treated this field as a learning pad. I learn from every new assignment or campaign that I get involved with, and I learn from every single person that I meet in my life as an Influencer.
I survive as an influencer because there are people out there who can get influenced by what I say. And honestly, I cannot keep influencing people if I dole out the same crap every single day. So, I need to be innovative to keep my readers engaged and engrossed with what I want to convey.
A blogger can be compared to a novel. If the novel does not keep you engrossed with you wanting to know what happens in the next page, you would never want to read till the end. Exactly similar is the case of a blogger, and unless I keep writing something unique that they haven’t read before, they would not like to follow and read my blogs anymore.
For me, it is just a journey that I have embarked upon and the destination is very far ahead. Rather, I would say, there is no destination for me in this journey. I would keep travelling as long as my passion drives me to do so.
I would sum up my future plans as an Influencer in one sentence, just the way I started off this interview in one sentence. “MY PASSION WILL KEEP INFLUENCING ME TO BLOG, AND MY BLOG WILL KEEP INFLUENCING”
Do you have any questions to ask Sanjay, you can tweet to him over here: https://twitter.com/yesteethatsme
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