In 2010, after a cup of coffee in Koshy’s I decided to start a company on my own. I had worked a few jobs in the past and after a period of time I was usually disappointed. I wanted more. I had been thinking about what to do next, what did i enjoy doing etc. It was a light bulb moment to just drop everything and startup. It sounds all awesome now, since the startup culture is cool etc but at that time very few people did that. I dint know enough people who were running their own companies or even planning to start one. I was naive, i thought if i started something on my own i could work at my own time, do what i wanted and decide my own working hours. That was stupid. I was working at 1 am at night, trying to finish some designs and back on my feet at 8 am in the morning. After a little thought which involved a small ride back home from Koshy’s, I decided to start. Started to scout of a little business and an old friend referred me to the company she was working with. I had no money to execute the work they gave me so went home to meet the loan shark in the family. My mum for a long time has been the Banker in the house. Every time i need money i would go to her for it. This time was no different except that her only caveat was that i pay her intrest for any loan that she would give me. Didn’t have a choice and I agreed. That helped. I had an almost endless supply of capital when i wanted it and i could go ahead and do work. Those were brilliant days. Nothing else mattered except work.
Opened up an office space in my garage at home, bought a table after i finished my first project. The garage was a perfect place to setup. I could walk into the house for lunch, dint have to spend additional time traveling to work and had a free internet connection. I started to work, i would cold call everyone that ran a business. A frined helped identify business that would need what i did. I got a bunch of references and started to execute work. The eye on the prize at the end of a hard day at work was being able to travel with the money i save. My mum really helped there. She ensured i saved enough money, gave enough financial advise and dint push me to do something else. Her only request was that i write one of those stupid B-school exams. I did that and found out that i got into an MBA college. I remember during the interview telling the panelist that if they wanted anything printed or events organized they should chat with me.
I got into college and still kept the business running. As a result of school i wasn’t able to spend time on the business but i kept it running and would do work as and when it came up. Each year i would help organizing a sports event and that was a big revenue source. I helped as much as i could and did more work as the years went by. Finished school and after one more event i decided i had enough. I knew that the business was not able to sustain my travels and help pay rent if i moved out of home. I finished my last show, made enough money to last the next 6 months and decided to travel.
I remember as i was riding my cycle somewhere in Andhra Pradesh, i started thinking about what to do about the business. I decided that was it. It was 45 degrees in the middle of the summer and i took a decision that changed everything i did. I decided that it was time to shut down the business and find work when i came back home. Mum by that time wanted me to put my MBA to use and find work. After about 6 months when i came back to Bangalore i started looking for work. Its hard for someone to find work these days after taking 4 years off to run your own company. Organisations think that you will not stay with them for long and you are saving up to start up again. I shut the website down, threw the visiting cards that i had in the trash and called it quits.
I think from the time i came back home, that was the most painful thing i ever did. The day i threw the cards in the trash i spent by myself. Stayed away from talking to everyone except family ( because i live with them ) for about a week. Looking back at that today, i think i made the right choice. All my life i have heard ” Choices we make, define us”. It worked out for the best. Not that i have managed to change the world or find a job that helps me stay on the road but found something that is truly better. The organization i worked in after the business closed had a girl working in content.
We dated for a while and decided to get married. Today we have 2 dogs who we love unconditionally. It all worked out. I am grateful that it worked out.