We caught up with Masoom amid her travels to interview her for The Post. If you don’t already know her; she is a super successful blogger and entrepreneur. She was one of the early entrants into the world of blogging. Here’s what we asked her:
1. What inspired you to start your blog?
I was doing an internship at the brand house of French Connection and Calvin Klein, and as a part of my internship, they asked me to make a report on Bloggers. That was the first time I googled the word ‘blogger’ because I had never heard of such a concept before. As soon as I read about it, I was super inspired. I thought it was so interesting and I couldn’t believe it was a platform where people could put out their opinions and thoughts. On whichever topic you want, and everyone in the world could read it and see it as well as share their comments. It was very fascinating.
2. Did you go to University or did you go straight into blogging?
During my undergrad, I really started it as a hobby. It wasn’t a profession at the time; it had no link to my education. I studied Business Management, I started blogging and did a couple more internships. Then, in fact, I went on to London to study, I did six short courses (diplomas).
3. What personal quality/attributes served you well as a blogger?
I think its the passion towards the business. It is literally the passion for creating content. That’s the one constant, consistent factor. A lot of people misunderstand what you need to be successful, that you need to be stylish or fashionable. It really is the art of creating content.
4. What’s your advice for those starting their journey as a blogger?
I think now the industry is very different. I started at a good time; I was one of the first few ones. That really worked to my advantage. But today, if you are entering the market, you must have some sort of differentiating factor than other blogs. It’s a pretty saturated market. You have to ensure there is something that sets you apart
4. How do you make sure your endorsements are ethical?
I always test and review the products before I work with them. It’s super simple. It’s not as complicated as it seems. It’s worked really well. If I like it, I continue to work for them. If not, I don’t work with them.
5. What entrepreneurs and bloggers inspire you?
- Payal Shah from GlassPass
- Chriselle Lim
They are who I turn to when I am running low on the determination.
6. What are your tips for leading a happy life?
My mantra is to ask one question repeatedly, is this going to matter five years from now which helps me deal with any situation a lot better. It allows me to take perspective rather than focusing on the nitty-gritty. It really works for me. It is essential as today there are little things that keep upsetting you and your vibrations.
7. What do you say to haters? Do you call them out?
They also have a job to do. Our job is to not feed into it or respond. Much like the cold calls you get, if you are not interested don’t respond. You can’t help but answer your phone. You don’t know it’s coming your way. Much the same for haters, you don’t respond.
Whats really also worked for me is pleasantly replying to them. Their comment has completely changed. They then got back to me and said about how they didn’t mean any offence. But I only do that with moderate haters. The real haters I never respond to it.
9. What’s your favourite budget brand?
Berskha & Boohoo
10. What’s been a big challenge for you?
There have been different challenges. With the business, it started as an e-commerce business, it was too nascent an industry. There were barely any e-commerce websites when I started, it was before Amazon came to India. It was definitely a battle.
With blogging, it was always facing a lot of criticism as you are putting your life out there. It is not a conventional job. People just respond to what they are used.
I always received unnecessary feedback like why do you want to put your life out there. It was definitely a bit discouraging
When I first started talking to into the camera. When Snapchat and Instagram Stories had begun. I received a lot of criticism that I have an accent. I was like its called a camera voice, and I stopped doing it. I am a sensitive person and stopped doing it. It really affected me. But then, I started my vlogs and got more comfortable with it a couple of months back.
11. What’s the best business advice you have received?
My dad told me you might be at the top of your industry but if you do not stay updated and stay on top of everything it will take someone 5 mins to takeover. This industry is dominated by trends you have to stay updated with everything. You have to be continuously involved.
12. How do you manage work-life balance?
I am huge on work-life balance. I have been pushing my husband to spend lesser time on his phone. The reason I am so strong in my opinion about this is because I have seen how it has taken over people’s life. I want to be completely in touch with real life and real people. I go out of my way to make that effort.
So we have this no phones policy post 8 pm on weekdays. The only things we can use our phones for is to play a game. It’s so refreshing!
When we are travelling, once a year, we do have a complete no phone policy. We don’t buy any data. I know there is wifi, but we don’t give ourselves access to it. I really enjoy human interaction, so I focus on those experiences a lot more.
If you want to spend all your family time on your phone, that’s a decision you are making.
13. What do you do when you don’t fancy working?
I literally do it once a week, I just take the day off. Even before travelling, I take the day off the day before. While I am travelling, I am making calls, taking photos and work. So it’s like a double workday. On the day’s I am not feeling it I take the day off. Its the beauty of being my own boss and flexible.
14. What do you say to women who don’t support women?
I am happy to share this personal story with you, even though I am the person who is guilty. One time, It was a very harmless comment about another girl’s outfit. She immediately called me out and said it says a lot about women supporting women. It really hit home.
I am big on women supporting women. I don’t know if you have seen my women in business series. I share tips, and I am completely open about how I run my business. I am open about my business. Sometimes, you think its the big things supporting someone set up their business. Its also supporting one another in the small things. Its the mindset.
15. Is it important for you to be loved or to be respected
To be loved. I think respect is overrated. It also comes out of not being comfortable with being who you are that you need other people to acknowledge it. I don’t play too strongly on to that word.
16. Plans for the Future
I’m taking each day as it comes. Be super successful, make a lot of money and have a really really good life while I do this. Also to strike a stronger balance and succeed both at work and life.
Don’t forget to visit Masoom’s Online Jewellery Store.
The Post features are purely editorial and chosen autonomously. We only feature people we truly love.
Images Courtesy of Masoom Minawala