Working For Free Before Getting Paid Doing What I Love

Working For Free Before Getting Paid Doing What I Love

Written on 04/20/2018
Athirah Syamimi

Since young, writing is something I’ve been passionate about and did it for fun. And as I learn more about myself, I realise it isn’t writing that I love; it’s creating content in any form.  Anchor allowed me to explore audio content and podcasting. Being in Bountie, I was exposed to basic video editing. 

Here's a little video I first did for Bountie.

Although there’s still a lot for me to pick up and learn, I absolutely love content creation. You know what’s even more amazing? It makes my role as a content producer so much worthwhile! I’ve always dreamt of being a writer but to be honest, I did not think I’d be part of a content team.

Since the start of my own publication, EntrepWorld, I thought the only way I could be a writer was to do it as a side hustle and on my own.

Being Rejected As A Writer

Before Bountie and EntrepWorld, I tried really hard to be a freelance writer in Singapore. If you’re a freelance writer, you’d understand how difficult it is to find clients willing to pay you when your portfolio is dry.

There are a couple of media companies in Singapore that I tried to apply to but my lack of necessary diploma and poor GCSE ‘O’ Level English grade was not acceptable. I faced rejection after rejection when it came to writing. So, I started EntrepWorld.

Working For Free

To date, you’d consider EntrepWorld as a blog to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs. I have not gotten to the point of monetizing EntrepWorld but we’ll see how this year goes.

Through interviewing entrepreneurs and featuring their stories on EntrepWorld, I met a guy called Jose He.

He founded a pet technology startup (Cuzzey) and invited me to write for his magazine. He did warn me that it is an unpaid gig. Thankfully, I was working full-time in another company as a business development executive. So, I joined Cuzzey as part of their content and marketing staff for free. It lasted for about 3 months before Jose found another venture — Bountie.

Getting Paid

I was paid to do everything in a startup but I wasn’t complaining. I knew how a startup life can be. You’d been wearing multiple hats, the pressure is high and work hours are crazy. It’d be a lucky day for you if you could leave on time.

As more people are recruited into Bountie, I could focus on creating content. After close to a year of writing for free, I was finally being paid to write. Even better, I could create content. There’s even a podcast (Bountie Talk) that I spearhead for Bountie.

Here’s My Advice To Everyone

Live your dreams

If you have something in mind that you want, just go for it. In life, things will fall into place, one way or another. You have to be brave to take the first few steps. Life is a whole lot more than working for money. You have to live your dreams.

If your passion is in engineering and your work is in that line, that’s the best. If you’re like me and your passion was not your job, find a way to work towards your dream. It might require money, time, or effort but it will be worth it.

No matter what, find a way to feed your passion

Work hard

I had to work a separate job to support my love for EntrepWorld and (previously) Cuzzey. Writing is something I wanted to do but I was not being paid to write. So I had to sacrifice time and put in the effort to have both a paid job and a writing gig.

Athirah Syamimi is a personal development enthusiast and entrepreneur. Having trouble finding her niche, Athirah reverts to her purpose - to help people turn their dreams into a reality. Hence, creating EntrepWorld. Recently started getting involved in cryptocurrency and blockchain. 

To follow Athirah, you can visit her InstagramTwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.