Bhawana Singh a Food Blogger and a homemaker. She has 2 lovely kids and a beloved husband. She has worked as a senior software engineer for 6 years with IBM and Oracle. She is now residing in Phoenix, Arizona. She is continuing to expand her collection of vegan and vegetarian recipes.
Code2Cook is a vegetarian & vegan food blog of recipes that can be enjoyed with family and friends on festive occasions. Food styling, food photography and content writing is part of blogging any of the recipes. Code2Cook is also her humble attempt to make traditional food of different places and cultures popular. Such recipes are healthy and loaded with nutrients.
Where did the idea for Code2Cook come from?
I started blogging to keep a journal of different recipes which I tried & made changes as per the lifestyle to include healthy ingredients. After I quit my job for my kids, I kept blogging. It transformed like my professional life from coding as a software engineer to now a full-time food blogger.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day starts from morning 6am by thanking GOD for everything I have. I make a rough plan what are the things I am going to finish by end of the day. It takes 20-30 mins normally. With a cup of warm water I start off my day by preparing breakfast n lunch. It takes couple of hours to finish breakfast, pack lunches for my son and hubby, finish other chores.
Starting one hour simply goes in checking emails and replying to PR’s query. I get around 4 hours of time before kids are back home from school. My day normally depends on the week’s agenda what I am going to achieve in a week. For example cooking a new recipe for the blog, photography, writing a blog post, working on updating content, managing social media and future content planning. This is a recurring pattern. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, I do watch movies with ginger tea.
After kids and husband are back home, I do evening tea, gym and then dinner. Before going to bed, last one hour I do see how much I finished my blog work for the day. I have some To-do points as below to make my time more productive the next day,
1. Spend 30 min to make a list of meals you plan for the next day. If you need to do any prep do that and keep in the fridge. For example, chopping veggies, cutting fruits, soaking lentil or beans or pancake batter.
2. Make a list of what all tasks you need to do the next day and stick on the fridge door. So you won’t forget anything.
3. Get up early just an hour before everybody else. Do meditation for 10 min and start your day. You will feel so light and fresh throughout the day.
4. While doing official work put your phone away from your workplace. Believe me, if you want to be productive than surely this is a number one point you want to make sure.
5. For the to-do list and status, you can use a free tool like Trello. This will allow you to create a list of tasks, completion status, and much more. For weekly goals, I prefer to use Trello for tracking.
6. Meal planning is a must if you want to save your time. This is another go-to point which I make sure.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It feels great when I get amazing comments from my readers. This not only motivates me to try something new but also boost my confidence in trying a different version of recipes. Cooking is like decoding a recipe to make in the easiest way and with easily available ingredients. Now for one recipe, there are multiple ways to cook. Many ingredients are available to replace old-style cooking ingredients which makes a new dish altogether. Which I always try to add in my blog and loved by my readers.
I learned cooking by my father, husband, mom, mother-in-law and my maternal aunt. So I experiment with those ideas and code to cook them.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Nowadays with such a busy lifestyle, meal planning and freezing food has become a trend. This is the trend that excites me a lot. Frankly speaking, it needs a lot of planning before you put ideas in front of readers. People have budget constraints, finding ingredients is a concern, getting time to cook is a challenge and so much more to speak about. Isn’t it exciting and challenging? I am working on it and surely something exciting coming soon.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
After making my weekly plan it is a must-have activity to achieve part of it every day. To do so every morning setting a thought process is a must. This helps me immensely to achieve my weekly target.
But if due to some unexpected things I unable to reach my target, I prefer to add them next week. Work hard and enjoy your achievements that’s what my husband says.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I am into food blogging and going back in time, first I would like to hug my younger self. I would say, you have done a great job but try to overcome disappointments quickly rather than keep thinking over them. Don’t hesitate to take experts’ help, don’t presume that you know everything about what you have been doing. You don’t know what you don’t know. In order to learn n grow you need expertise which you will get from area experts. So go and find a mentor.
In order to earn money first, you need to invest money. This is a golden rule for sure. Enroll in courses, hire developers to work on the technical side and make yourself free to do things that you can only do. Today I do invest and working towards my goal. Also would like to add, don’t get overwhelmed with everything going on, sort out your goals, categorize them as a short term & long term, focus and work towards it consistently. Don’t lose your focus, concentrate on what you are doing and update yourself with all info in your field. It may take time but it will surely be rewarding.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Being honest is something I believe but haven’t found many people following it. Most people always have some ulterior motive behind whatever they say or do.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Writing down your goals and make a plan to achieve it. This is something I stick to every day. It is very easy to divert from the plan but if you already jotted down your goal, then coming back to the road is quite easy.
Also, keep learning something new every day, listen to podcasts, watch videos, read other sites to increase your knowledge. Don’t think you know enough, we always have something to learn.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Keep learning in the process. Be ready for investing in new technologies, new courses or whatever it takes you to reach your goal. If you need to outsource some work, do so. Make yourself free for those things which only you can do. Never underestimate the thought of investing money.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Due to my earlier experience with paper crafting where I didn’t make much profit, I wasn’t keen on investing a lot of money in food blogging. It started as a hobby and continued the same way for a while. I got some success by becoming a Food Buzz published blogger. Then I stopped blogging after my kids. Now when I picked it up again after a gap of around 8 years, I noticed a big difference in competitiveness, potential and blogger community. It’s more professional now and that made me change my approach towards food blogging. I have invested in buying domain, good theme, plug-ins and training courses. Also I want to continue the momentum this time.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Virtual Assistant, if you really know social media, can write good content, and a good organizer then becoming a VA is definitely a great business idea in coming days.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought my paid theme which had been my best investment in $100. This was long overdue. Today, we need a light weight, SEO & schema friendly theme to support. And buying a proper theme in blogging niche works wonders.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
For the to-do list and status, you can use a free tool like Trello. This will allow you to create a list of tasks, completion status, and much more. For weekly goals, I prefer to use Trello for tracking.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The power is within you by Louise Hay
I recommend this book to read once. very powerful and though provoking.
What is your favorite quote?
Aim high enough, you many not reach to sky but can touch stars. by my father. I grew up hearing this always. I don’t know who said is actually my father encouraged us saying this again n again.
- Make a plan and divide them in short goal with deadline. Focus and start working.
- Don’t forget the importance of to do list. Always be ready with everyday to do list and keep working on it.
- Invest on new leanings, be it a course, finding mentors or outsourcing work.
- Spend 30 min everyday just for yourself. do meditation, and enjoy doing something which you enjoy most. This will always keep you focused and happy from inside.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.