End of full time Blogging for me

Some of you would probably know that I left a regular, well paying corporate job towards the end of 2010, to start blogging full time. This move has been in alignment with what I consider my ultimate purpose, to lead a conscious and aware life, do things that I connect with, and to help others become more conscious and aware.

Why I did it?

I wanted to bring together my purpose, my interest in writing, my urge to express myself, create something of my own, and make all of these into something that can be a sustainable source of livelihood. I had little idea of how this would work out but wanted to do it never the less.

From my job, I had sufficient savings, that can last me and my wife a few years, if we are thrifty. So we decided to take on the adventure.

What about the money?

A lot of people who have come in contact with me since then, have labeled this move differently as courageous, inspiring, foolish or crazy. A lot of them wonder how can I so utterly disregard money, how could I give up a job that was earning me so much?

Personally, I don’t find earning hoards of money a very attractive goal. I see it as essential, no doubt, but don’t find it the ultimate to aspire for, far from it. I like to have enough for sustenance and a few comforts but beyond that, I loose interest in it.

With blogging too, a lot of people find my choices unconventional. Among bloggers, there are 2 schools of thought about earning money,

One school(a small minority I think) says that good content is king, it is all that is needed, no marketing. The other school, the majority of bloggers, say marketing is essential. I have stayed mostly with the ‘content is king’ idea. I have done some limited marketing, trying occasional guest posts and putting my articles on blog carnivals. But mostly, I just focus on trying to be better with my writing.

Focus on providing good value

I believe that if my writing is good, if I focus on just making it better, people will be attracted to it and I will start getting offers for money(like requests to put up ads on my website, willingness of newspapers and magazines to publish my articles). I have always felt that a good product will do most of it’s own marketing, it will pull the right customers to it. Maybe not as fast as those that are heavily marketed, but it will.

I had also planned that once I got more than a 1000 subscribers, and more than 5000 visits a month, I will write a book and see how publishers respond to it. I also have in mind starting some sort of workshop/seminar on personal development and some form of guidance/counselling, post the above landmark.

I  can’t say I am fully confident that my ideas are right, I have my moments of doubt, sometimes intense doubt. I don’t consider myself the best financial planner either. But I have tended to stay with the idea of focusing on writing well. Mostly, when my intellect and heart point in different directions, I have a tendency to hold my heart’s finger and be lead by it. Call it my personal disposition, my comfort zone, or my stubbornness, but this is how I am.

The realization

Earlier this year, I realized that the popularity of my blog is not growing as fast as I had expected. Although readers were getting attracted to the blog, and they still are, they are coming in slowly. Today, I have around 130 email subscribers, some 230 fans on Facebook and some 20 followers on Twitter. Monthly visits hover between 2000 and 2400. The good thing is that the pace seems to be picking up.

Setting a deadline

Around the middle of this year, I felt the need to set a time limit for this effort to go on in it’s current form. This was for 2 purposes,

One, the idea of a negative cash flow was bothering me. I don’t want to earn a lot of money, nor do I do a lot of financial planning, but I like to spend less than I earn. I want to earn enough money. When I left my job, I believed that the negative cash flow won’t bother me as much, but I was wrong. I feel the need for a sustainable salary.

Second, I saw that I was growing complacent with my writing. I feel I sometimes drag with my work unnecessarily, just because I had lots of time at home to fill. I don’t need the whole day to write and have ample time to do something else. In fact, the core of my writing gets done in about 2 hours daily. I think I can do more than just write.

So I had promised myself and my wife, that I will continue to disregard income until Dec 2011. If I started making a sustainable income through my writing and related work by this time, I will continue without change. But, if I did not, which is my current state, I will find some other way to earn that income.

The hunt for employment

So, with the start of this year, I am on the look out for something to earn me money. Being my adventurous self, instead of directly looking for a job in my previous expertise of software development, I am first trying to get into other things that align better with my current work and that I find more interesting. For this again, I have set a time limit till the end of this month. If I see a strong lead in this time, I will follow it on, otherwise I will move on to look for a  software development job.

I am also keeping my eyes and ears open for anything else that might look interesting. So if you have any wild jobs in mind, let me know. You might just find me courageous(or foolish) enough! :)

Any regrets?

Although my current endeavor has not turned out as yet to be the big thing I have wanted it to, I wouldn’t want to change any of it. It’s been a great learning experience, an eye opener in a deep, real sense. It has brought me closer to my heart, it has made me respect myself more, it has brought me many new and meaningful connections with people, and has added more meaning to some existing ones. I have faced a lot of my fears and they don’t scare me as much now. I have grown in a year as much as I would otherwise have grown perhaps in many years.

I feel more grounded, connected, free and alive. Even as I am looking for some employment again, I feel I am a changed person than the one who held employment a year ago. The learning has added to me and I am more strongly committed to follow my heart than ever. While, a year ago, there was a passionate, intense resolve, today there is a calm, grounded and still resolve.

Some apprehensions

As I look out for a job, I sometimes feel apprehensive. To a lot of extent, I think this is because of some fears and ghosts of my own. Until now, I have been more comfortable being and working on my own, even when I previously had a job. Connecting with other people and working with them has not been my greatest strengths.

But over the last few years, I have come to believe that, as social animals, we need to be an integral part of society to feel fulfilled. I believe in the importance of connection with others and in the oneness of all existence.

I have started working towards deeper, more meaningful connections and, in that, I see my current search for employment as a challenge and a fear to face. I have an opportunity here to overcome a discomfort, to become better, to shine brighter, to make a quantum shift towards realizing my self.

What will happen to the blog?

My focus still remains the same, and I am committed to writing, personal development and helping others live more fulfilled lives. I am trying to find something that will leave enough time for me to write, that is exciting and that brings me in contact with passionate and lively people.

I don’t expect much to change with my blogging. I will keep writing. Probably the only noticeable change would be the new perspectives that I gain with this move.

That’s the intention I have given out to the Universe. Lets see what happens. :)

My wife’s support

A big source of help and encouragement has been Jyoti, my wife. Just last week, as we were discussing my journey in the last year, she said what she has said many times in this last year, that she feels excited and priviledged to be a part of this transformation in me and that she, like me, would not want to change any of it even if she could.

I have always maintained that growth happens only in the zone if discomfort. I feel both of us have found a lot of growth, individually, and as companions, in the last year. Our relationship is developing in a unique, interesting way. I am glad for it.

*****

Where will this path lead? I don’t know. Is this prudent? Can’t say. Foolish or prudent, scared or fearless, flowing along or stumbling along, full of ego or humbled,… I intend to follow the path my heart leads me on,  I intend to use my full potential, I intend to experience life fully and I intend to set an exciting and unique example to inspire and derive lessons from.

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived. -Henry David Thoreau

Image credit: Idea go

19 thoughts on “End of full time Blogging for me

  1. Rahul, I know you are not quitting. But I also know it’s sad to see things not working the way we want. Even when I left my start up, I was sad. But you know what, this feeling fo working on your own wont let you work for someone else for long. I have already started planning for another venture and am sure you will do a job just to make sure you can continue on your journey.

    By the way, there is a website called Pluggd.in. It covers articles on start ups and by now this sote is huge hit. They have a requirement for Content Writer. Have a look. For tech related jobs, send me your resume ASAP. just to remind, I am in deloitte consulting now in bangalore.

    Lets meet someday. :)

    1. I appreciate your concern Debi. Thank you so much for it and for taking the time to write this. I know you yourself are a brave, adventurous soul and I respect that in you.
      My adventure has not worked out exactly as I planned, but then I never expected it to. I am not at all sad. I did not discuss this move with others but I had it in mind for the last 6 months. I probably used too strong a title for the post :), it is just a temporary shift till the blog and related activities start picking up.
      To me, this is not a failure of my blogging efforts. I see here some obvious changes that I need to make to myself to take this further. One of the things I expected with all this was to grow as a person, and, with all these hurdles, it is providing me a lot of scope for that.
      This is just a stop on the way, a modification in plans. When I started on this, I never cherished the idea that I will be successful in the first go or with the first plan. I see such situations and such changes in plan as inevitable. It is a temporary modification to the plan and I am as enthusiastic about things as ever. The primary focus is still on helping others improve their attitudes, become more conscious, through my writings and other activities.This change is, in fact, a step to help me along on that way.
      I will look at the content writer thing. Thank you for the heads up. :)
      For the technical jobs, I will still hold off for a few weeks. And yes, lets meet up. I’ll mail you my number.
      Best,
      Rahul

  2. Rahul,

    I am feeling little disheartened that you are going to quit full time blogging because somewhere I felt courageous reading your posts and visualizing your life as a daring one.Nevertheless you have already realized the true way of living the human life i,e “with a conscious mind and awareness of your feelings and actions” and shared your feeling to lot many,that indeed is respectable and I appreciate all your efforts.My urge is to keep going with 100% of your mind with whatever feels you good.and also keep blogging.

    Regards,
    Kiran

    1. Kiran,
      I hope my reply will help you feel better about this. I will be blogging as I had been doing. It is just that I intend to be more efficient with it and use the spare time to do something to sustain me until blogging(and other related activities) starts to do that.
      This is my first time trying to build up a business. And when you start on something new, you have to be ready to learn and keep modifying your plans. One fall on the way does not mean defeat. We can learn from it, improve our strategy and move on. That is what I am trying to do.
      It helps little to judge a journey by the end result. The whole fun of taking a journey is enjoying what it gives us along the way, what it makes of us as we move towards the ultimate goal.
      I am still following my heart, stay tuned for more interesting changes. :)
      Best,
      Rahul

  3. Dear Rahul and Jyoti,
    I have been following your blog and appreciated most of the things you have written. I see your point of the practicalities involved. It is a matter of moving from one place to other and still maintaining the rapport with the older places and people, and if you can manage to do that even with a corporate job, you will be a successful human being..And definitely, you have found person like Jyoti to be a part of your life- who can stand still whenever you need her, even if you are not that conscious about it. She has been an amazing friend for last 3-4 years.

    Just wanted to say that keep writing as and when you can..and if needed my little exposure to journalism can be used to make this journey of yours a pleasant one!
    Amen!
    Ashish

    1. Ashish,
      Glad you have liked the blog so far. I definitely will continue writing. As far as I can see, the frequency of posts will remain the same. So, for readers, there should be no difference. Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. I appreciate your taking time to write this.
      The journalism thing seems interesting. I might contact you on that one. :)
      Best,
      Rahul.

  4. Rahul, I wish you the very best with whatever step you are taking. The good thing is you’ll continue blogging, I hope this turn you are taking will bring you more experiences that you’ll be able to share with us from a personal development point of view. You have a genuine passion for personal development, so blogging or not, I’m sure you’ll get back to this full time one way or another at some point of time 😉

    Let’s see what happens….
    Srini recently posted..Meditation…

    1. Thanks Srini for your wishes and encouragement. I also thought that the new experiences will be good to share and I might get more food for thought. That sure looks like a positive side effect.
      In a way, I felt I was getting lazy and was not doing as much as I could and should. So I am sort of pushing myself into a corner, to force myself to act. It might sound weird but I have done this to myself before, and have got good results with it.
      So yes, let’s see what happens. The adventure continues… :)

  5. Hi rahul, even though ur not quitting from blogging it somewhere created a discomfort in my heart,because of the association i had with ur writings. Anyways all the best for ur future. We obviously will miss ur writings a lot.

    1. Don’t worry about the writing Sree, it will continue as before.
      I am also feeling a little discomfort with this new move. I hope it will help me grow, and improve my overall offerings to you all.

  6. Rahul,

    I am sure you plan to continue writing from what I read above here. It is absolutely practical to manage time and tweak daily activities and passion to earn a daily living and accomodate writing time or vice versa. You seem to be one with passion and your writings illustrate that there is a potential author in you. I do hope to see a book from you in time.
    If you find yourself starting an endeavor for writing business, books, journalism, motivational speaking, don’t hesitate to give a call through your blog to your fellow readers to assist you with your venture. I am sure several will join you and several dreams can come true. As overwhelming as it may sound to start it alone, initial assistance from a few can sooth the nervousness a bit, I think. Just stick by your dreams, in time, they will become real. Hats off to your supportive wife, Jyoti – do keep up the great job!

    Take care Rahul and good luck…we will continue following you:-)

    ~ Amu

    1. Thanks a lot Amu for your encouraging words. After this post, a lot of people have shown their concern, appreciation and encouragement for my work. I feel humbled and also see it as an indication that I must be doing somethings right. :)
      This post has already broken my previous record for a single day traffic following a post. To me, this is another sign to continue writing.
      I have a strong inkling that my work here will grow and that I will start/add-on some interesting new things in future. With enthusiastic fellow adventurers such as yourself, I am sure it will be a fun ride. :)
      Thanks again,
      Rahul

  7. Debi, Kiran, Ashish, Srini, Sree & Amu……thanks a lot for the lovely comments. The journey has been a beautiful one so far….and hope it continues to be like this. It feels really great to see all the love and appreciation that Rahul has got. It has been a wonderful feeling to see him grow like this….hope he realizes his true potential. And Rahul…..thank you so much….I hope we remain a constant source of encouragement for each other….and others. :)

    1. And haven’t we enjoyed it!
      You are welcome. And thanks a lot to you, for your continued support and encouragement. I have seen new dimensions in you with this journey, I have seen you take on challenges, overcome them and come out the better. I have seen love, courage, faith and hope in you.
      This probably wouldn’t have come out without you :)
      So, thank you.

    1. Hi Justin,
      First of all, congratulations for winning the Best Newcomer Blog over at Steven Aitchison’s. I am pleasantly surprised to see you here on my blog!
      You are right, I am pushing myself towards change to keep myself from getting complacent. Let’s see what comes out of this move.
      Glad you like the post and thanks for dropping by. :)

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