She’s a talented YouTuber and content creator who has been on TedTalks. She’s helped 2,000 people start their businesses. During the lockdown, she even launched her own training programme, HustlePost Academy, which helps people convert their ideas into a profitable side business. Meet Saloni Srivastava, the business coach telling people how to make money smartly.
Hailing from the town of Ankleshwar in Gujarat, Srivastava’s is known for her videos that tell people how to build businesses and make money, lessons that help you make the most of tough situations, and how to live life holistically. Find recommendations for apps, budgeting tricks, and several tools that Srivastava first tries and tests herself on her YouTube channel and Instagram.
Srivastava started around 2017 with simple videos on cooking and lifestyle, but also those about saving money, budgeting, etc. — once she started her YouTube channel, the marketing manager was also keen to share her own experiences of starting a new business and the lessons she had learned along the way. Today, the 27-year-old is driven by her personal mission to help women in India get better with managing their money. She often creates content that helps women identify possible areas of investment, and creates guided videos with the aim to simplify the seemingly complex process of getting started with money management.
We caught up with Srivastava to learn on how she managed her budgets, created content, and now an online course to establish an empire for herself and do self-branding at such a young age. Here’s her story.
You built an empire and a brand for yourself at an early age — how did you finance your ideas?
All of my ideas so far have been financed by me alone. When I started out on YouTube, I had a full-time job that paid me a good salary. This salary allowed me the flexibility to invest in tools, equipment, softwares, and people that I needed for my business’s growth. I continued my job till the time my business started making a fair amount of revenue every month.
And then, once I quit my job, I made it a point to reinvest a lot of my earnings and profits back into the business. It was always a little difficult to never really have much left for me after having reinvested everything, but looking back, in the long run, this has been one of the best business strategies I’ve used. Because of this approach, my company has been 100% debt-free and has no outside investment of any kind. I own 100% of it, and I intend to keep it this way.
View this post on Instagram
How has pandemic impacted your different businesses?
The pandemic has turned out to be a boon and a bane. In the early days of the pandemic, my business took a major hit because my primary focus at the moment was YouTube content creation. However, due to COVID-19, most of my brand partnerships were called off, and I had to relook at my entire business model from scratch.
On the bright side, my schedule became more open than ever. I found time to relook at all the business ideas I always had, and from there, I started working on building my online course. I always wanted to help people start their businesses, but I never found the time to work on it. With the pandemic, I found a lot of time to start implementing this idea. Thus, HustlePost Academy was born. I worked two-three weeks without any break to launch HustlePost Academy, and as soon as it was launched, my business took off like wildfire. Due to this shift in focus, 2020 has become the best year for us in terms of revenue and growth.
View this post on Instagram
What are your tips on homegrown business?
Large startups driven by VC funds have the benefit of scaling fast by attracting high-growth strategies and hiring the best talent. However, for homegrown businesses, the biggest focus needs to be on organic brand development and operational profitability. From Day 1 of my business, I had two main principles I followed. One, I always ensured that my business was making more money than it was spending. And two, I reinvested a lot of my revenue and profits back into the business for growth. Of course, these two principles have to be coupled with the right growth strategies and a good product for long-lasting results.
What is your advice to millennials on saving, budgeting, and investments?
Contrary to popular belief, I see that millennials are very cautious about their income, saving, investing, and budgeting decisions. But, if I have to give a piece of advice, I’d say ‘never put all your eggs in one basket’. This holds true not just for savings and investments, but also for income. Just like we diversify our savings into different investment options, it’s important to not rely on one source of income. Having a side-hustle is always a good strategy because we never know which one of our ideas may take off and give us the life of our dreams.
All images: Courtesy Saloni Srivastava