One year since I had a salary

It has been exactly one year since I quit my last job.

The good

Things that I thought was important but didn’t turn out to be:

It has been one year since:

  • I had to do something because I had no choice.
  • I had a boss.
  • I had to attend meetings.
  • Since I have been answerable to someone.

Things that turned out to be important:

Discovering things about myself that had been previously masked. For example, discipline is about doing things even when there is no one watching you. I realized how bad I was at this, and a year later, I’ve significantly improved.

Equally important, I’ve discovered many of my strengths. And learning how to build on those.

For example, I ended up jumping in full-time into our own startup – we have three guys in our little company, and I’m learning how to leverage each of our strengths as a team. Why is this different from previous experiences? Because I was told to do things. Here, we are the ones deciding what to do and the guys actually doing it. In all this decision making, I realized what areas I have a good nose for, and which ones I don’t.

The bad

One year flew by and I don’t even know how. Definitely not a good thing.

I’m simply not satisfied with the results.

Back to the drawing board…

The ugly

It has been one year without a salary.


Like a wise man once said “Only when you’re truly lost do you begin to find yourself.”

This is exactly what happened to me. When I quit, I had all sorts of visions that my freedom would be exciting and I can do anything I want. In fact, the first month was exactly that and I had lot of fun. The second month was disastrous, it is amazing how depressing one can get if there is nothing to do. An idle man is a DevD’s workshop.

I started thinking about what it is that I want out of life and what it is that I can do. Even though I still don’t have an answer, I have a far better understanding of what the answer would be like, than I previously did.

I have many things to look forward to, especially some exciting things coming up with our company. Lots of things to learn. And most importantly, focusing on lots of things to do.

Still a long way to go.

12 thoughts on “One year since I had a salary

  1. Hi Swaroop,
    I understand what you mean. I’m almost in the same situation. Freedom is exciting because I’ve got time to learn many things (like Python thanks to your book), open my mind to things I didn’t think of when I was too focus on work I had to do and reports I had to finish. But as time goes by and my projects don’t progress, this same freedom is sometimes painful.
    I was admirative and impressed by your choice and I really hope your project will succeed. I think work and tenacity are rewarded. As you said, there are still lots of things to learn and it’s a positive point for the future.

  2. All the best man.
    Startups are a lot of work, but a lot more fun if you enjoy the pressure.

    Hope it works out well for you in aspects other than fun as well :)

  3. You know what’s the best part of not having a salary? You learn to live with almost no money. You make informed decisions before you buy anything.
    This is a great thing for the company you are trying to build. You think of effective and optimal ways of doing anything, purchase, marketing which no VC funded company would do.

  4. Why do you think that
    “I had to do something because I had no choice.”
    is not important? Because that’s what most of the freshers are apprehensive about before joining any company.

  5. @Damien I agree. The problem is that it’s a quick-fix instant-noodles world, but reality is otherwise.

    @Mekin Thanks sir! And you hit the nail on the head – “A lot more fun if you enjoy the pressure” :)

    @Anil True. But then again, it is a balance, a balance between being underfunded and just-right.

    @Sandeep Because irrespective of whether it is your own company or somebody else’s, you will have to do such kind of work. It is part of the job.

  6. One year flew by and I don’t even know how. Definitely not a good thing. I’m simply not satisfied with the results.

    Can you elaborate on this (If you are inclined)? What exactly is the dissatisfaction despite 1) having the freedom to not have a job 2) not being a lazy rut?

  7. Swaroop,

    Much respect for having the guts to quit your day job and work on your business, especially in India where family/relatives/friends pressure about having a regular job is so much higher.

    I am sure that this ability to take risks is what separates winner from a loser and I can see that few years down the line, you will be joining the winners group!

    Good luck,

  8. Nice summary, Swaroop !

    I was without a job for four months and that reduced my bank balance quickly enough that I joined my current job :-) So, good luck for the second year and hope you get compensated (and not just monetarily) for all the hard work !

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