"I come from a travel enthusiastic family so travelling wasn’t new to me. I was six months old when my parents boarded a plane with me to go on their first trip after my birth. The travel bug bit me at a very early age and refused to let me go! Before I decided to take the plunge into this travel space full-time, I was fortunate enough to work in one of the top law firms of India for about 10 years. "
We interviewed the founder of A Lawyer's Voyage, Ms Khyati Thaker. She is a lawyer, a simple Mumbai girl whose love for new places, cultures, cuisine and people always encouraged her to travel around the world. And before she knew, she was addicted to travelling.
Every entrepreneur has a different story about why he or she decided to start a business. Some have known from day one that they wanted to work for themselves and others come up with ideas while working for someone else and decide to take the entrepreneurial leap. For Khyati, it was not planned, but eventually, she knew that she was naturally drawn to travelling. She says,
Initially, after my every trip, I started sharing my travel stories with my close friends, started posting pictures on my social networks. Soon thereafter, my friends and relatives started approaching me for their itineraries and travel tips. While I enjoyed every minute of being a lawyer, I gradually started realising that my passion for travelling and penning down my travel experiences is what gives me immense satisfaction. I decided to create a plan and work towards shifting my career path. I eventually gave up my full-time corporate job to set up my dream project “A Lawyer’s Voyage” in early 2019.
Through her website and social media handles, she shares her travel stories, experiences and itineraries and her mission is to encourage people to travel more. Here is an excerpt of her interview with us.
Tell us about your business
To start about myself first - I am born and brought up in Mumbai, India. I am a lawyer-turned-a full-time travel blogger. "A Lawyer's Voyage" is the domain that has been set up by me in early 2019. I craved to create my own space wherein I can share my travel experiences, itineraries, tips, photo stories and just everything that one would want to know about travelling the world! My posts revolve specifically around travel stories and sample itineraries all around the world.
How many years are you in this business?
I will be honest. I am a newbie with respect to my venture. It has now, been over a year though.
How did you get started?
Before I decided to take the plunge into this travel space full-time, I was fortunate enough to work in one of the top law firms in India for about a decade. While I enjoyed every minute of being a lawyer, I started realizing that my passion for travelling and penning down my travel experiences is what gives me immense satisfaction. I decided to create a plan and work towards shifting my career path. While I was working, the first thing that I wanted to do is to make funds available for my venture and my travels. I researched a lot before quitting my job concerning full-time blogging and the idea of having my own domain/website. In the end, I had a rough idea of the amount that I would need for my venture. Eventually, when I made a plan, I quit my job. To start with, I wanted to establish myself as an avid traveller and hence, I started posting on social media (Instagram) consistently. I love talking about travel & food and give my audience travel tips and sample itineraries. I started building my network, attended travel blogging sessions, workshops and likewise.
How long were you running the business before you started paying yourself? How did you live through those first few months/years?
To be honest, I am absolutely new in this industry and I have a long way to go. For me, I got lucky to have brands approaching me within 6 months of launching "A Lawyer's Voyage". However, I would suggest everyone to be prepared to invest funds from their pocket into their venture before they actually start earning from their business!
How supportive is your family?
My family is very supportive and my husband has been my strongest support! He understands my passion for my work. He has not only supported me but has inspired me from the very start. To be honest, there have been times when I run out of content ideas and feel frustrated. He would happily step-in and we both do a brainstorming session!
Do you think, women are having more business opportunities because of changing social environment or not?
Yes. Today, women are diving into the world of entrepreneurship than ever before. With the arrival of media and diverse prospects coupled with continuous evolving of Indian ecosystem, the opportunities have gotten better. I wouldn't disagree that we have a long way to go as there are many challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. However, the share of women entrepreneur in India is steadily increasing.
What are the social environmental factors that have increased the prospects of women entrepreneurship?
Today, we can proclaim that women entrepreneurs are not an obscure phenomenon. Women like Indra Nooyi, Kiran Shaw have paved the way for women to come forward. Changing trends in the education sector and corporate sector are enabling women to take a leap. Due to higher education, financial independence, social dynamics with a supportive family, networking platforms and likewise have increased the prospects of women entrepreneurship.
What problems do you face as an entrepreneur?
I am new to this industry and a newbie entrepreneur. I may not have faced too many problems as yet. However, if I have to express myself, the first thing that crosses my mind is that it takes time for the society to accept a new age "start-up". Generally, a fix job with a fixed salary is what is termed as "security" and people do not tend to take entrepreneurship (unless you are successful) seriously. I quit my full-time career as a lawyer and dipped my toes into blogging. I am struggling to be taken seriously. It's high time people realize blogging is becoming a new profession. The trust is, you end up working harder than before! Last but not the least, access to funds will be limited for most of the start-ups. I have accepted the fact that if we are getting into the game of entrepreneurship, let us be prepared for some significant hurdles.
How much initial investment was required when you started the business?
Investments vary from industry to industry. Being a blogger, I started my own domain and invested 20,000+ for setting up the domain, hiring a web developer, designer etc.
How would you like to educate other women to take up entrepreneurship roles?
First things first- Do not be afraid to fail. You have to move outside your comfort zone. Your confidence is your best asset. Take a step by step approach towards your venture. Patience and time are important. Be a consistent learner. Have an explicit knowledge of your industry. Keep the end goal in mind. If you know your worth, trust me, you have already won half the battle!
What are your future plans in terms of your business?
My future plans are to sell travel packages on my website on a larger scale, work on different sectors of travel blogging simultaneously (i.e. travel videos, travel tips, adventure, luxury, food, health wellness, lifestyle and likewise) and make it as a substantial informational desk for people.
If a young girl walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Before you get started, actually, write a business plan. Without those clear goals and plan of action, you may end up working aimlessly.
We believe each woman has a story and we need to hear these stories to inspire, encourage and empower each other. What is your story?
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