This is in continuation of my previous post and second part of my decision-making series. I highly recommend you read that before continue reading this.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
I believe most of the things I have experienced and think, resonates with others. Let me share an experience of my life which will convey the message behind this post.
I belong to a typical middle class Indian family. And like in most of them, my parents took major decisions of my life until I was 15. There were times when I thought, why can’t I decide what I want to do. Why can’t I decide if I want to be present in the get together? Or if I want to sleep at 10pm or not. Why can’t I watch the television whenever I feel like? It was frustrating until I turned 15 and joined college.
My parents never stopped me from pursuing things when it comes to learning. They supported me when I choose to become an engineer. Were sad to see me go but allowed me to relocate and work for a multinational company. They were there with me when I choose to leave my job and start my own startup. But things started to change thereafter.
Just after 30 days since I left my job and started my business, my dad asked me how is it going and how much did you make? And the answer was, “I made nothing since my business has no existence so I am working on my website and marketing”. After another 30 days, he asked me the same question and I answered, “I made nothing, since I had no portfolio to show so I am working on building one by making demos”. He asked me the same question after another 30 days and I mentioned to him that I got two clients but they aren’t paying anything. I am doing it for free, because it will help me develop my portfolio.
It was the first time my parents started doubting my decision. The only people whom I have always looked for were not sure if I must pursue doing what I want to do. It just took 100 days of no income. I started thinking why they gave up so early on my idea. Looking at the information or data I have, I started analyzing what’s happening, which I always do in situations like this.
Realization struck me, I am proven engineer who took care of his education expenses. No smoking and drinking habits. My parents never had any trouble because I have lived my life cautiously. I never did anything which makes typical Indian parents upset. But now that I had chosen an unconventional path which they didn’t expected would result into no income in initial 100 days with me sitting at home in front of a computer for 18 hours. Money was not an issue for them but they started worrying about me and with societal pressure involved, they suggested me to start looking for a stable job.
People should pursue what they’re passionate about. That will make them happier than pretty much anything else. – Elon Musk
I had two options to choose from, either relieve my parents and stand on society’s expectation from me by getting a new job or continue working hard on what I want to do, upset my parents and the society until I make it big. But the reason I started my business is to experience things which I was unable to as a software engineer of a MNC. I didn’t want to make a choice based on others opinion on me but I wanted to take the risk of continue pursuing my objective. Even if things wouldn’t work as I have planned it still would be a lesson to learn from.
I chose to continue with my startup and keep looking for clients. Within few days, I got my first client who paid me for my work. Then I got my second client and third and fourth and things started working out. I started getting clients from outside India, I started getting exposure from international clients. It influenced me to pursue masters in United Stated and learn from reputed professors. And eventually learn more about the things I love the most and pursue my passion.
Nothing of this would have happened if I had decided to cave in and stopped walking on the difficult path. There might come the time when you will think something holds better purpose in your life than other. Pursue it and just keep working hard on it until you make it. If you believe in it then nothing can stop you.
You might fail like I did. You might achieve something and fail again, like I did. But this is life and you must always choose to rise again and again and again and keep doing what you expect from yourself.