This happens to be my 50th post. A mini-achievement for me :). 3 months ago, I made a big change in my life. I left a safe, well paying job in New York and moved back to India, to do things I find more purposeful, meaningful and fun. In the last 3 months, I have had some eye opening and rich personal experiences.
Leaving my job
I have written about this in a previous post – Why am I leaving my current job .
I have faced a lot of questions since, both from others and from my self. There were some answers I was very sure about, but there were some uncomfortable questions, that I wasn’t sure how to answer. The last few months have answered a lot of them, in a way that they don’t make me uncomfortable anymore. Here, I discuss some of those questions.
Isn’t this an unnecessary risk? Why couldn’t I just continue with my regular job? Risk is doing something you don’t love and expecting that you will start feeling happier some day. This just doesn’t work. My job wasn’t satisfying for a lot of reasons. I could have looked for something in the same field, that I liked better, but it would have given temporary relief. That would have been like treating symptoms, instead of the real disease. A lot of people do exactly this, bacause they can’t summon the courage to make a big change. That’s the thing with easy fixes, they look good and easy in the beginning but with time, loose their value. When you decide to remove the root cause of a problem, it may seem like a lot in the beginning but, with time, it just keeps getting better and easier.
What will I do once my savings dry up? This is a probable scenario. What will I do if this work doesn’t become financially profitable before I eat up all that I saved. I don’t know exactly what I will do. All I know is that I will find a way, I have done it before.
After I had finished college, I went home, packed my things and left for Bangalore. My score wasn’t very good and I had no idea how I would find a job. But I did.
Just 3 months after arriving in the US on an H1 visa, I was asked by my firm to return to India. I left that firm. Staying in the US without a visa sponsor would have been illegal and I needed to find a sponsor quickly. I had little money. I found an H1 sponsor in 3 days and stayed on for about 3 more years in the US, before I started this site.
There is always a way for those who dare to follow their heart. I have my moments of doubt, but overall, I have faith that things will turn out just fine.
Can this make me money? While my work here is not earning me any thing right now, I am seeing progress every day and can see this thing becoming profitable(money-wise) in time. In terms of growth and learning, which I value higher than money, I am already earning a lot. It’s my experience so far that money starts coming as learning starts slowing down. It is yet to be seen whether this holds for this current venture too. I am waiting with excitement!
There are so many others who are doing quite well with this kind of work, Steve Pavlina, Leo Babauta and Henrik Edberg are some names from among various other personal development bloggers who are earning primarily through their blog and related activities. And they seem to be earning well.
Right now I am getting around 400 visits a month, I need to have over 5000 visits a month to put up ads on this site. There are other methods too that I will experiment with, but first, I want to develop some decent traffic.
Is it easy money? I don’t believe that this is easy money, I have no notions of that sort. I know it requires a lot of hard work, but it’s not the conventional, depressing hard work that you have to do against your will.
I love what I am doing and the hard work here is the same as the hard work I did when I played football(not American football :)) as a kid. It was tiring, we would sweat, but we were dying everyday to finish with our homeworks and get at it! Now that’s the hard work I like and that’s what I am getting these days. I don’t feel like keeping fun for weekends or festivals. I just don’t understand that attitude. I am having fun every moment and can’t understand why should I wait for certain days to have fun.
Also, I don’t like achieving anything that comes too easy :).
If my experiments with my life, and my ideas can help a few people see how to make their lives better, if I can motivate them, through my writing, to dare follow their dreams, I would have succeeded in this venture. Money will come , it is usually unable to resist my charm :).
Is there growth, security and future in this field? Their definitely is growth and the possibility of being financially very successful in this field. Some people have earned big amounts through blogging in various niches. If you are looking for security, go get a job with a big organization and do what your boss asks you to do.
Can I write? How long can this continue? When I started, I had no idea I can write so much. Earlier, I had had a feeling that I can write in a way that some might like. But I had never really tried it. I have done so now, and I know that some people actually do like what I write.
When I started, I made myself a promise that I will follow my heart, make a professon and profit out of what I feel passionate about. I had read somewhere that when you drive long distances in the night, your headlights don’t light up the whole way. But you still travel, with the faith that as you move, more would enter your vision and you will be able to navigate further with that new knowledge. This is how long journeys are made, this is how distant goals are realized. This is how I lead my life. I don’t know what I will be doing in 10 years from now, but it will definitely be something I will be passionate about.
Is my work good enough to pull readers on it’s own? Once some people said they like my blog, I thought that I just have to write well and people will come in large droves to read it. This did not happen, atleast not in the last 3 months. While I have a steadily increasing reader base, the speed of growth is very slow. Time to learn from the experience, re-assess and modify my strategy.
How do I keep myself disciplined? I usually don’t have to. I enjoy my work so much that I am looking forward to get at it most of the time. Apart from that, I have always have made a habit of descipline. I think if you are doing something by your own choice, you will naturally look for ways to do it well on a regular basis. You will automatically seek out and inculcate discipline. If you need the fear of reprimand to make you disciplined, how different are you from domestic animals?
Isn’t it boring working alone? Not when I am focused on my work and don’t like any distractions. When I need to talk to friends, I call them up or visit them. But that is strictly separate from my work time.
What about making friends? As you rise in consciousness, you start having less of a choice in friends. But that does not mean you have to work hard to get them. When you embrace what you are and what you want, when you align yourself with becoming better, others like you are automaically attracted to you.
I already have a few acquaintances that are well aligned with my current state. Some came on their own, some responded when I contacted them. It is all flowing naturally.
How did family and friends take it? Not without a pinch of salt. Some have been quite accepting. Others, not so. I am just focusing on my journey. It is my experience that, as I start doing better, they will understand better, without me having to explain myself.
Don’t I miss my old lifestyle in New York? In some ways, I do. But overall, I am happier now than I was in New York. I am enjoying my life more and I just love this adventure and uncertainty.
Can work be fun? I had always believed that work is supposed to be fun, it is not to be a burden that you have to carry, to earn your living. It’s not good if it is mildly fun, where you get to do a little of what you like. It has to be totally fun. Every bit of what you do should be meaningful.
I do not like to believe that work has to be done against your will, that you have to curb your true love for something, so that you can work in a safe profession that everybody advices, even though you don’t like it one bit. I never liked to wake up on Monday mornings with a sinking feeling and waiting, thoughout the week, for Friday. I just did not believe that I have to spend most of my waking hours in a place, doing something that I did not find meaning, purpose and fun in. Now I know work can be fun. It is possible to look forward to Monday mornings with excitement. It is possible, on a regular basis, to loose yourself in what you are doing.
How does it feel to be my own boss? I love being my own boss! I had always imagined what it would be like. Now I know, and I am loving it! I don’t have to do something because it’s important to someone else. I do what I feel passionate about, I write everyday, on whatever appeals to me. This adds both, more fun and more responsibility. But I would not leave it for fear of taking more responsibility. I have to manage my own cash flow, I have to attract readers, I have to write the content. I have to do it all on my own. And I am enjoying thr freedom and purposefulness that this has added to my life!
I am getting a fast growth experience, in things I never had faced before. This new chapter has just started, and growth is fastest in the beginning. You never learn so much as when you don’t know anything at all.
Its’s humbling and it’s magnificient. I have always believed that growth doesn’t come until you step out into the unknown, where you have no idea what to do, where you are out of your comfort zone. I humbly accept this experience and learning, this opportunity to grow as a human being. I never liked the idea of money and security. I am in a negative cash flow right now, but I am sure, more than ever before, that I will always find a way, I will always have all that I need.
When I find some new truth, I prefer testing it out for myself. I believe this is how you learn and this is how personal development and growth progress, by experimenting, making mistakes, failing, learning from failures, trying again, making some more mistakes, learning some more, getting some success, trying for still more…. and so on. I am the guniea pig I test my ideas on. My life is my laboratory and I am my most reliable sample to experiment upon.