Accidental Entrepreneur: How PWN Norway Carved My Journey As a New Entrepreneur.
By Sonal Mishra
It’s the last day of 2020 and I’m definitely not where I thought I’d be.
I moved to Norway in March 2018 as a trailing spouse from India. I was both excited and eager. Excited to explore a new country and eager to create new experiences.
Culture shock is slow but real.
Though I was a tourist in Oslo, I knew I had to quickly get familiar with my new environment. Within 3 months of my move, I started to look for work opportunities. Equipped with full-time experience from the corporate world and as a freelancer, I felt confident this would be easy as pie.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I realised that not knowing the Norwegian language and not having a professional network or community to lean on, became the biggest disadvantage to my job hunt.
But, I didn’t lose hope.
A few freelance opportunities did come my way and I did have the possibility to prove myself as these efforts led me to work with a few startups as a Content Marketing Consultant and as a Journalist.
But, this was as fun as it was uncertain. Who knows where my next pay-check would come from?
I clearly had no plan except that I needed a full-time job in Oslo. So, I kept looking.
But as John Lennon has said:
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
Alicia Partee (ex-President of PWN Norway, 2019), told me about the organisation looking out for a volunteer to join their marketing team.
After the interview, I joined the team in January 2020 (ah, January of 2020 … when taking the public transport wasn’t so dreadful!).
Finding a community gave me newfound hope. I was interacting with professionals, just like me. Some who were new to Norway and still learning, while others were ahead in the game.
This sense of belonging at PWN Norway was a pivotal moment in my life which helped me overcome intense moments of self-doubt.
Well, since then 2020 has been a crazy ride.
I have a decade’s worth of experience in the Finance and Communications industries. But, it was only in the last 6 months, I managed to outdo my own expectations.
All this while dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns (like everyone) and a tragic personal loss.
This is what I was able to achieve in the second half of 2020 –
- Established my own company in Norway and started my own Marketing Consultancy (sonalmishra.co), where I help startup and small business owners scale their business by creating their brand voice and leveraging content marketing.
- Built my brand and network in Oslo with professionals from a mix of industries.
- Generated a steady revenue stream within a month of starting my business. (I’m ending December 2020 on the highest note!)
- Worked with 10+ solopreneurs and first-time business owners.
- Signed 2 corporate clients to collaborate with them for their social media and content strategies.
- Built my business website from scratch and grew an online community of either first-time entrepreneurs or considering their first-move.
- Launched a passion project where I interviewed 7 global business leaders (till Dec 2020) for my upcoming "Entrepreneur Mindset Series". This series is aimed to inspire first-time entrepreneurs and help them understand how entrepreneurs face similar challenges.
These real-life conversations often get ignored as they are not as glamorous as revenue and sales. If you have an inspiring story, I would love to hear from you!
- Launched a LinkedIn webinar series with Copywriter and Content Marketing Consultant Devina Agarwal in collaboration with PWN Norway.
- Sealed the deal with my first teammate, Devina Agarwal. Devina is a Copywriter at TIDAL Music in Oslo, Norway, she also volunteers for PWN Norway in the marketing team, coaches budding marketing professionals, and volunteers for a Norwegian recruitment company called Skillhus.
I met Devina through PWN Norway and since Devina and I work together in the marketing team, our work and life conversations gave me immense value and giggles. Brainstorming with each other got us brimming with ideas. One of which was the LinkedIn webinar series aimed to equip entrepreneurs with a successful lead generating solution.
Why am I making this list?
This list represents the “accidental” part in the article’s title. I’m a proud first-time entrepreneur but my journey started by chance –– a push that I needed to trust my husband’s vision for me and see things from a different perspective –– from a business owner’s perspective!
This would not have been possible... without the support of my family and friends when I needed it the most. This list is an example of what we could achieve with a little guidance and support from the right people.
We can never know when our kind words and positive actions can encourage someone who desperately needs it.
Working as a volunteer is my way of paying it forward.
I’m proud to say that I’ve discovered my own community with people who are equally motivated as I am, to build connections with like-minded professionals, to develop their skills or competencies, and to share experiences and knowledge.
Connect with me on LinkedIn for more interesting conversations about entrepreneurship, content marketing, personal branding, and copywriting.