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EPISODE 3 of the Managing Happiness Show!
An intimate conversation on work-life balance with Harsh Agrawal, one of India’s top tech influencers and a happily married man.
The third guest of the Managing Happiness Show is my friend Harsh Agrawal – a professional blogger and one of the top tech influencers in India. His blog ShoutMeLoud has become wildly successful and empowers more than 900,000+ readers globally to make a living through blogging. Harsh is a famous person in the WordPress community. In addition to ShoutMeLoud, he is managing a few more blogs on tech innovation, cryptocurrencies, and WordPress management. Harsh is a happily married man working side by side to his spouse, who is also a full-time blogger.
In this conversation, he shares how he achieved work-life balance through spiritual growth and life philosophy.
The boss-free life
Professional bloggers have a completely different lifestyle than most people. Harsh calls it “the boss-free life”. This is the kind of life where you don’t wait for the end of the month to get your salary and do the things you want to; you don’t get stuck in traffic on your way to the office; you can travel the world with your significant other and explore your passions. Bloggers have a level of work freedom and flexibility that most people can’t even imagine.
Harsh realized that this could transform his life completely. As no one taught him to blog, he learned everything by himself and started ShoutMeLoud – a blog about blogging. His mission was to pass his knowledge to more people and empower them to search for a bigger meaning in life than working just for the money.
“Life has a much bigger meaning and we help them find it. And on top, we help them make money from it.”
Harsh believes that if you find what you are passionate about, you can always make a living out of it.
“Our motto is simple – anybody from anywhere can start their online business, they can start a blog, and become their own boss. The most important thing is that they find their own passion.”
The real-life example of that is Harsh’s wife, who was working in a company when they met. At some point, she started managing a blog in her free time. A year later, she quit her day job to become a professional full-time blogger.
Managing a team
Same as most entrepreneurs, Harsh had a hard time delegating his tasks. Soon enough, he realized that this was becoming a bottleneck for the growth of the company. He arrived at the conclusion that to delegate properly he had to teach his employees to be as good as he was.
“The logic is that I have to create a replica of me. My team has to grow the way I grow and somebody has to take my place.”
Over time, this has become a part of the philosophy of his company and everyone who works for him follows the same principle.
“Anybody who joins our team has to grow. Then he/she has to create somebody else to take their place so that they can grow. That has been working very well.”
Harsh believes that the best way to motivate people to work for you is by giving them opportunities for financial and personal growth.
“If you offer them something more than money, like an opportunity to create a dent in the community and an opportunity to build their own name, they will be with you.”
Being a leader vs. being a boss
I asked Harsh what he thinks about the opposition boss vs. leader. For him, leadership is what really matters. He believes that everyone can be a leader, but there are 2 kinds of people – the natural born leaders and those who need more time to develop their leadership potential. Good leaders don’t tell people what to do. They show them the direction and leave them to figure out their own ways.
“The way you can contribute to people’s lives is by showing them the direction. And then people find their own way. If you are helping them in everything 100%, you are not helping them to grow. You are showing them your way of living and that’s not right.”
Work-life balance through spiritual growth
Harsh shared that two years ago he went through a hard time in his life. Everything seemed to be going great in his business and at home, but he didn’t have a vision and felt confused. In order to discover himself, he started going out of his comfort zone and doing things he was afraid of. He managed to overcome his fear of public speaking by changing his attitude towards failure and criticism. Also, he went on a 10-day spiritual retreat where he took a vow of silence. This helped him eliminate anxiety and fear of missing out and make peace with himself.
“I found peace in my life. Even if I have everything or I don’t have
anything, I have me. I am not going to change and I am happy.”
Mediation and yoga – the tools for a better life
All successful people Harsh knows practice meditation. He believes that meditation and yoga calm you down and help you connect to your inner self which is fundamental to work-life balance. However, these practices are not a one-time effort and need to become a part of your life to give results.