Growing up, I always knew that my father wanted me to be a doctor. That was my dream too (or at least I believed it to be). In 9th Grade, when everyone around me was busy cramming Sciences and Mathematics, I was writing essays.
Yes, essays, letters, stories.
In English and Urdu.
Trust me I was never good at remembering things. I didn’t do that for the score. My goal was to compile something unique. I was my teacher’s favorite for that.
But I was no longer the star student.
I did well in Pre-Med, but then I failed MCAT.
I tried again. Failed again.
I still remember the day when my father (Baba) was sitting there with a pile of prospectuses. He was ready to invest in my future. And, that’s when I talked to him.
I made a big career transition when instead of going to a private medical college, I chose to study English Literature in a government college.
I was all set to make a new history. I knew, I would do a Ph.D. to get Doctor with my name. I will take the CSS exam and become someone my Baba will be proud of.
I got married before I completed my bachelor’s.
I completed my bachelor’s degree after that. I then got admission to the University of Punjab, Lahore, and did my Master’s as a regular student.
This is when the real fun began.
For the first time, I got introduced to the semester system. For me, it was a challenge. I tried to understand what my teachers wanted and then I answered my papers keeping that in mind.
It was not about scores. It was like solving a puzzle. I would spend hours choosing my topics, researching, and then compiling. I loved the chase, and I wanted to stand out.
After that, I started preparing for CSS.
During this time, my mother (Ama), Baba, mother in law, husband, siblings, siblings-in-law, and friends were there to support me at every step.
In 2014, I became a mother. I took a break as I wanted to live in those moments, celebrate my child, and be with her without worrying about studies.
That’s when my life took another turn. When my baby wasn’t even 3 months old, my husband accepted a job offer in UAE.
After moving to Dubai, I lost the family support I had. Before I could find a solution or work it out, we found we were having another baby. Since that day, I never got the chance to figure out what I wanted to do.
I had everything, but I felt so depressed. I felt like I was wasting my time, my life.
The more I stayed home, the more I lost the courage of going out and doing something. And, among all that chaos, my husband moved to the USA.
I was scared. I was nervous. Everything here seemed so different.
After coming to the USA, my husband encouraged me to study or work as our kids were getting big enough to start school. But I didn’t want that anymore.
Living in a different culture…
In a different world…
I knew one thing…
I couldn’t trust a babysitter or daycare with my kids. I applaud the parents who can. But for me, that seemed impossible.
I am a crazy kind of mom. I have to be lurking around my kids all the time. They will hate me of course, but I want them to know no matter what happens Mama will be there. That, no matter when they need me, I will never be too busy to not be with them.
This gave me peace.
And silenced my frustration for wasting my life.
But deep down… I always felt I could never live up to Baba’s dreams.
Fast Forward: September 2019, when we had just brought our third one home. I was still learning a lot of things that I never had to do in Pakistan (thanks to my Ama and Ayas).
My husband got me enrolled in training by Sir Fahad Khokar from the Ashraf Chaudhary Group. I was sure it was just going to be a waste of time, but I started anyway. I didn’t really trust the whole freelancing thing.
My previous experience included making profiles on some platforms using my phone, mobile wallpapers (as profile pictures), and some old assignment (as a sample).
But this time, I was determined to give it a shot. A serious one…
And that’s how my freelance journey started.
Alhamdulillah, I am blessed. Things went a lot smoother for me than they do for most people. I got my first order one day after I made my first gig.
By the time, the training ended, I had earned back my fee.
Someone was actually paying me for writing? It seemed unreal.
But it was not an easy ride. From a wife who spent all day binge-watching tv and doing window online shopping (if that’s a thing), I became a freelancer.
Every morning, I made breakfast and lunches, dropped my kid at the bus stop.
Grabbed a cookie and a cup of tea… and sat down… writing. In the afternoon, I would pick up a bowl of yogurt and keep working. When everyone was back, I would do chores, cook, and sleep.
During this time, my husband was my only and biggest support.
But all of this seemed like labor- low-paid labor. I kept thinking it was useless. I was just tiring myself for nothing. I wished that I could at least make $1000. But that didn’t happen.
My husband pushed me to increase my prices, learn more and scale my business. I tried and things started getting better. I was getting closer to my goal of earning $1000 per month.
Still, it was a lot of work.
But that work, those hours of low-paid labor taught me a lot.
I became a Level 2 Seller in 60 days (My earnings confirmation is also submitted with this post so FHP team can verify my story).
My baby started moving, then crawling, then walking. I could no longer work- or even open my laptop- all day. It’s been over a year now that I work at nap times and then I work after kids’ bedtime.
I am sure I haven’t slept for one full night ever since.
I spend my day in daily chores and with my kids.
There are days when I want to take a break.
But I keep trying.
As I kept scaling, I reached my goal and then started earning even more.
During this time, I kept learning and trying new things. That helped me enhance my skills, gain more confidence, and demand better rates.
In March 2021- after 18 months of starting my freelancing career, I became a Top-Rated Seller. This was an even bigger surprise for me. I completed my goals in March, and I got selected that same month.
I now work for 4 to 6 hours in a day (night, actually).
I love the feeling of productivity, struggle, and fulfillment.
I haven’t stopped setting learning or setting new goals. And, I think that’s all we need to succeed.
Again, my story is not that inspiring. But I am happy.
Today, my Ama, Baba is proud of me. My husband is proud of me. My journey has inspired many girls (especially moms) to work from home and be financially independent.
I am the same woman- a wife, a mom of three. But, now I spend my day binge listening to coaches and trainers. Instead of shopping for stuff, I shop for books and courses.
Now, my work is my business, and I am the boss.
We make a lot of excuses in life…
But if I tell you…
You can earn working from your couch, for a few hours every day or night…
What’s your excuse now?