I finally did it: I quit my well-paying full-time job a few days ago to become an indie maker!
I thought this would be a good time to log how I feel and where my sights are at the moment. If for nothing else, it would at-least be good to look back at this and see how far I’ve come — or how spectacularly I have failed.
For context, I am a 28-year old Indian male. I am single, and don’t have any financial dependents. I live in Chennai, India.
Why did I do it?
I’ve always wanted to build things with software. I’ve always wanted to travel, see places, understand different cultures, meet interesting people, and gain perspectives… and I wanted to do all this while working on things that I loved. I was fascinated to learn many years ago that there was a term for this: digital nomad. And another word for someone building something on their own: indie maker. I am not one for labels, but I did identify a lot with these.
It took me a few years, but I’ve finally taken the leap of faith. My dream is to build a bootstrapped company as a solo maker.
What am I going to do?
As I mentioned earlier, this was a leap of faith. I have no nest egg or runway at the moment. I don’t have an established part-time business that I can just scale up now. I do not at all recommend that anybody do it this way. Building something slowly on the side, and then transitioning to doing it full-time is a much saner way of getting there — it just didn’t work for me, believe me, I tried. I also don’t have anyone depending on me financially. So as far as leaps of faith go, I think mine couldn’t have been objectively the hardest. Think about these if you’re planning to do what I did.
My first goal is to build a runway of about three to four months for myself. I am doing this by freelancing, both online and offline. Other priorities for the first year include traveling, learning as much as I can, and building out some products that I have always wanted to. I also think building these in public would be cool: remains to be seen, though.
I don’t think any of my ideas right now are million-dollar ideas, nor would I know a million-dollar idea if you hit me in the face with it. All I know is that there are certain aspects of running a business that I know I am not very good at — like sales, marketing or talking to people. I want to learn by doing, and building out these small ideas and trying to create a business out of them seemed like a good way to learn and improve my weaknesses. Would I have a higher chance of success if I assembled a team and went after it? Most definitely. But atleast for now, I want this to be a one-man operation and see how I do.
How do I feel?
Excited. Nervous. Pensive. Somewhere between “on top of the world” and “shitting my pants”.
What will I do if I fail?
Dust myself off, and try again.
Was my full-time job any good?
Oh, it was the best! I was very very lucky. It was my first — and probably last — full-time job, and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.
The company had a start-up-like culture. The people were super-smart, helpful, inspiring and humble. I worked with some borderline geniuses who pushed me, challenged me, and mentored me. I learnt a ton, and also learnt what I had yet to learn. I made some life-long friends. Most importantly, I learnt how much is possible if I just put in the work — how much more I could have done. Powerful stuff.