I woke up with a start and the first thought that hit me was that I was late for work. Panicking, I looked at my clock and realized it was 4:00am, I still had 6 hours to go before work began. Reassured by this sight and not sure what else to do, I kept lying in my bed thinking about the present state of my life. It had been six months since I had left my job to try and create the life of my dreams. Six months, during which I worked on my startup idea and tried to create the next big thing.
The first few weeks had been amazing. I felt that I was finally controlling my own fate and could easily create the life of my dreams. People seemed to respect me for my guts and many of my close friends wished me luck. We launched our first web product within the first month and its reception was good. Blogs wrote about us and newspapers featured us. Everyone called us the ‘next big thing’ and it seemed as if we were set to make millions. Slowly however, the tide turned. We had been able to sell our product to a small bunch of people, but contrary to our expectations, new customers didn’t just keep flowing in. We had a great product but somehow people just didn’t seemed to need it. They preferred to stick to their time tested ways and not venture into unknown territory.
I knew something like this was about to happen and had been mentally prepared for it. But I don’t think I had estimated just how hard it would be to sit there and wait. Each day was spent waiting for good news, trying to improve a product that was already way ahead of its times and much much better.
The thing about idle time is that it lets doubts creep into your head. It makes you question your past decisions and doubt your dreams. That’s what started happening to us. People in my team started leaving their jobs to join somewhere else. They choose to go for well-established firms and ignored my warnings and requests. Each employee which left us, reduced our morale even further and made us doubt ourselves even more.
This state continued for over two years, by the end of which me and only a handful of others were left. We were drained emotionally, mentally and physically and the chances of succeeding against the odds seemed slim indeed. Getting up from bed was a chore in itself. I would lie there for hours, talking to myself, motivating myself and questioning myself. It seemed easier to sleep and forget rather than wake up and fight.
My friend circle reduced drastically in those two years, few people bothered to talk to me, most were just too busy in their lives. Each social media post about a house, a car and the newest vacation, reminded me of all that I was missing out on. I knew I was better at programming that many of my friends, knew that these MNC’s would fall head over heals to recruit a person of my calibre if I agreed to give up on my dreams. But that was something which I wasn’t ready to do.
So I made myself a promise.If this idea still didn’t kick off after six months, I would dump it and move forward. It was a scary prospect I admit, ditching everything I had done for the past two years in one go, but I promised myself I would do it if I had to.
Setting this six month deadline was maybe the best thing I have ever done. It changed my life in many ways and I will tell you about them, the next time I sit down to write.