Quitting a Job I Wasn't Ready to Quit
Most entrepreneurs describe the story of starting a business as something that they always thought of.
But for me, that was never the case
In fact, though I admired entrepreneurs, I was afraid of starting a business myself. I was under the assumption that businesses needed upfront capital to start
Honestly, I didn't even want to quit my job
But the irony is that 5 years later, I've quit my job and I'm making a living from the revenue generated by my product Famewall
A bit of a backstory
I graduated from college in 2020 with a degree in computer science.
I was eager to land my first job as a software developer at one of the FAANG companies since that was all the rage back then
So I worked all year preparing for interviews. I was able to get to the interviews with most of the companies I desired, only to be rejected in the final round
This kept happening consecutively one after the other. My confidence took a hit and I felt like something was wrong with me.
It came to an end when I got hired at a startup that offered generous compensation though it was not at the levels offered by FAANG companies.
Regardless, I was waiting for them to send me the offer letter
But I could sense a change in my heart after the repeated rejections. For the first time, I began questioning what I was after in life.
The Internal Struggle
At the time when I was waiting for my offer letter, I came to realize that I was running a race.
My peers got into high-paying jobs & that was primarily the reason I kept running behind a high-paying job.
This became evident once I joined the company. Within the first few weeks, I started it became boring.
Day after day, I was given the same old task of dealing with improving the primitive source code and fixing minor bugs as it was an enterprise product.
I used to ask fellow employees if they liked what they did. They answered that they did it only for the money (Some had been working there for 10+ years)
I couldn't even imagine myself working at my current job for more than 5 years as it wasn't really challenging
So now I had questions running through my head
I had an existential crisis after that. I concluded that money was absolutely essential even to just eat & survive. So there's no way around it even if you're planning to live like a sage.
But I was well aware that there were different ways to make money. I stayed up all night after my day job, & tried to learn everything about how money worked
As cheesy as it sounds, 'Rich Dad Poor Dad' was the first book I stumbled upon in the realm of finances. In fact, it was the only book I read to completion at the time as I couldn't focus on reading books to completion
But it happened to change my perspective.
I was so used to getting a paycheck at the end of the month that I was lazy and didn't really bother to figure out how businesses worked. So learning about all this suddenly got me curious
With further research, I learned that a lot of entrepreneurs were quite active on Twitter so I created an account on Twitter myself and started following prominent entrepreneurs like Naval, Paul Graham, etc which totally exposed me to a different school of thought
To see if entrepreneurship would suit me, I started experimenting with a few side projects (but those didn't make any significant revenue).
Some of the projects I started
- Course Platform - $0 revenue
- Startup Recruitment - $300 commission
- Engineering grads Community - $0 revenue
I also had a friend from school with whom I was working on these projects but we didn't focus on revenue as we thought we needed to build distribution first and then raise funding later
And also our explanation for not focusing on revenue was that we were learning the basics of building a business and doing this for 'fun'
Due to a government mandate, we were allowed to work from home. My employer scheduled a meeting with me and the manager informed me that I had to be fired to combat the uncertainty & manage cash reserves due to COVID
Another 3 employees were laid off
This came in as a rude awakening for me.
I was in shock since I thought I could work for 3 years in this company. As the work wasn't very demanding, I thought I could also save up money for future businesses.
It felt good to have a safety net and not take any risks.
Now most of my friends & family suggested that I find another job. But I didn't even feel like applying to another job as I knew that I'd quit a job eventually.
So found it better to explore a few businesses and try my best to get them to profitability before getting back to a job.
I started working on the course platform and tried to find ways to monetize it by selling it as a product to host course videos & manage students. This didn't get much traction
So we pivoted to helping startups hire engineering talent for their companies from college graduates. I managed to successfully help a startup hire its first engineer & was paid a commission of $300 for it.
This was my first internet money and it felt really good!
Along the way, a fallout happened between me and my cofounder since he lost motivation while also wanting to take a break from building businesses by continuing with his job while I was focused on getting the business to profitability
So now I was all alone in my startup adventures.
Still, I wanted to build something for myself. So I kept searching for problems.
When working on my previous projects, I faced the problem of collecting testimonials from my customers & displaying them. The existing solutions weren't flexible and were limited in the customization options.
So this hit me and then Famewall was born
4 months had passed since I was laid off from work and then suddenly one fine day, my employer called me back to the job. For the time being, I thought it was a good idea as I could also save up runway
So now I had a day job as a software engineer and used to tinker with Famewall at night
Making the Leap of Faith
This was my first venture as a solopreneur. Previously I used to split up coding tasks with my cofounder while I took care of marketing entirely.
But now I had to do both & it seemed stressful on top of having a full-time job
I was slowly starting to dislike my full-time job while on the other hand, I enjoyed working on my business.
Then came the final nail in the coffin, I decided to quit when employees were called back to the office as they didn't want us to work remotely anymore
At the time Famewall was making only $63 MRR with just 4 paying customers
But I wanted to finally make a leap of faith. So this time I took the step. I resigned from my job
I even posted it in public on Twitter in 2022
Embracing Uncertainty & Growth
In retrospect it seems that I've come a long way from there as just 2 months back I crossed $1000 MRR and yesterday I made more salary than I ever made at my day job
Since it's almost 1.5 years since I've become a solopreneur, I've started liking this lifestyle. I chose when I'd like to work and when I'd like to break
There's much more freedom as I no longer have to attend status meetings or work with deadlines
But it's not all rosy being a solopreneur either. It does have its fair share of struggles like dealing with being lonely, staying motivated when things seem hard etc.
But those seem manageable compared to the dissatisfaction I had with my day job
5 years ago, I never thought I'd make a living from the revenue paid by strangers on the internet for a product I built.
But life does have its own surprises!
Try Famewall for FREE to collect testimonials from customers & share them on your website in multiple ways to increase sales