I hope that you all are enjoying the “Women Who Inspire me” series so far. Today I am going to introduce you to an entrepreneur, who is also a food and travel blogger. It’s been 5 years that she started blogging. She is extremely creative and so humble as a person.
As my grandfather stays in Goa I visit Goa often. Yes yes, you can call me “The Lucky One”. This year when I took a trip to Goa one of my close friend mentioned it to me that Jade who we know as ThatGoangirl is his neighbour. They have been neighbours all their life. I got so excited as I started following her from way before and had known her as ThatGoangirl. It’s been more than a year now that I am following Jade. I make sure that I see all her Instagram stories and read all her posts as she is such an incredible writer. So efficient and true to her followers. I was fortunate enough that while I was in Kolkata she took a trip to Kolkata. I immediately sent her a message on Instagram that I would love to meet her in person. Well, the response was “yes” ..
The rain could not stop us from meeting each other over a cup of coffee and breakup brownie at 8th day Cafe. We chatted for at least 2 hours. It did not feel like I was meeting her for the first time. She was extremely warm and friendly that I immediately clicked with her. Ever since then, of course, I am not just a fan but also have the privilege to be friends with her. Initially, when I thought of “Women Who Inspire me” series I was very specific about a few things in my mind. I truly believe that each one of us is inspiring in our own ways and we can all help each other to grow. Somehow Jade made me realise that every day you have to keep working hard not for anybody else but yourself for your own satisfaction and she inspired me for all that she does in her life. Here is her story for all of us to find a little more about yours only “ThatGoangirl”.
1. Tells me something about you. Your life, career, family etc before you became Thatgoangirl?
I’m Jade, a food and travel blogger and digital marketing consultant from Goa. Before becoming ThatGoanGirl, I had a pretty average life with pretty extraordinary ambitions 😀
I’ve always been a closed book, an introvert. I shared very little about my life or my thoughts. Had a few friends and kept to myself for the most part. I was a nerdy child – who enjoyed studying and got the biggest thrill by being first in class. But no matter whether I was in school, college or whatever, I could never do just one thing. I needed to fill my days with lots of activities, be a part of many activities and I always used to have big plans and goals… bigger than everyone else I knew in my small village of Saligao, Goa! Luckily, I was also blessed with the ability to make the things I dreamed of, manifest.
2. How did you start blogging? Any story you want to mention regarding the same.
After I finished my school and college in Goa, I moved to Mumbai to pursue an MBA and began my first job at a small marketing agency. Since I wasn’t good at Hindi, had very few friends and no family in Mumbai, I needed something to do to occupy myself with when I came home from work every day. I couldn’t cook, because at home in Goa, I never needed to, so I began eating out a lot. This (the fact the I couldn’t cook) coupled with the fact that I needed a creative outlet was the start of my food blog ‘That Goan Girl.’ I began documenting about the food I ate, clicked food photographs, watched cooking shows, read cookbooks… and when I travelled, I wrote about those experiences too. At that time, I knew nothing about blogging and didn’t even read other blogs. I learnt everything by watching YouTube videos and Google. I slowly moved to a much bigger ad agency where I worked for 2 years before starting my own digital marketing agency. Now, I manage the online presence for a bunch of brands my blog has grown to be one of the most popular ones in the country. So its a nice mix of work and play 🙂
3. What are your plans?
I have very uncertain plans, not a fixed one that I stick to at all costs. Most of the time, I’m not sure where I’m headed or what my plans are, but when I look back, I realize that it all adds up and there as a plan I wasn’t aware of. My plan, if I have to state one, would be to run a successful digital marketing agency (with all my clients’ businesses doing exceptionally well). I’ve sort of mastered the art of working while I travel – so that’s what I plan to do – work seamlessly while exploring a different part of India/the world ever so often.
4. What lead you into this?
I guess it was just the love of food and exploration – the thirst for adventure and urge to do something other than what’s necessary. I detest routine and living a mundane life, going to work, coming back home and repeating the same thing for 50 years. I want every day to be different. And lastly, it was the desire to document the little things I did on a regular basis. Today, when I re-read the blog posts I’ve written 4 years ago, it feels like I just visited those places yesterday and it brings all the memories and emotions back. I don’t care if no one reads my writing, I’m just happy to be documenting my adventures for myself.
5. What is your take on what you do currently?
I do two things – so I’ll break it up.
Blogging has become a competition… another rat race to get invited to events, get free meals, get free stays etc. I try to stay away from it all. I started blogging just for the joy of it – and if I get into this rat race and turn a passion into ‘work,’ the purpose of it is lost. There’s so much scope for bloggers today and it’s easy to turn anything you love into a blog about it – be it gardening, fitness, photography, cooking – you can blog about it all. Consistency, patience and authenticity are the hallmarks of a good blog and blogger – and that’s what I strive to do be at the end of the day.
In terms of Digital Marketing, its become a trend… just like how being a DSLR photographer was in fashion a few years ago. And just like photography isn’t a walk in the part, digital marketing isn’t either. It requires education, technical expertise, creativity and most of all, experience. Just like the DSLR trend faded away and the real photographers remained, I am sure it will be the case with digital marketing too.
6. Mention some interesting facts that drove you into this?
- I’ve always liked writing – even had a few poems and articles published in newspapers when I was in school.
- I’m an Economics and Psychology graduate – and have a career in none of those fields today. But I’m pretty sure my knowledge of these fields helps me somewhere, sometime.
- While I was growing up, I rarely ever travelled. I was born in Kuwait and travelled to and from Kuwait and Goa during my school years. After that, I was lucky if I had even 1 vacation every 2-3 years
- I love reading travel magazines! Be it Travel and Leisure or even browsing through endless travel blogs online. Most of the times, I’ve finished reading the in-flight magazines in planes before it has even taken off.
7. Future plans?
My goal is to slowly and steadily grow my digital marketing agency, while having more fabulous trips in India and abroad, living the life of a digital nomad.
8. How do you balance your travel life, work-life (the company you have) and family life in general?
When I wake up, I browse through social media for a good 1 hour over breakfast – I go through my social media account, Digitally Scrambled’s account and all my clients’ accounts – replying to DMs, comments, engaging, etc. During the day I juggle between going for meetings, working for hours on my laptop, strategising, implementing, accounting, client communication and a hundred other little things. I try and go for a food review or two during the week. I dedicate the nights to thinking of new campaigns for clients and blogging. During the weekends, I blog, eat, sleep, read. There are no off days.
9. Any general advice to women about life?
Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and are goal-oriented, driven people. Build your career on what you want, not what others want for you. This means acknowledging that while you may not be the best at something, you can still reach your goals if you possess the passion and drive. Also please give me Your Website and other social media links for my readers. www.thatgoangirl.com, facebook.com/thatgoangirl, instagram.com/thatgoangirl, twitter.com/imgoancrazy
Partner: Digitally Scrambled
Blog: That Goan Girl