Pardeep Goyal (Failure to Survival Journey)
Phase 1 – Employment
I started my career as a software engineer in 2006 and then I got transferred to the USA for client site work – a dream of a software engineer came true.
I started earning in US Dollars rather than Indian Rupees – my US salary became approximately 5 times of my Indian salary.
But I was not happy. I was earning well but the work was juiceless. Boring to death.
I was not doing anything meaningful to the world. I was spending most of my time in the excel sheets and status reports rather than actually making softwares.
I wanted to start a business but I had no courage to leave the job.
I wanted to work on my own terms but I was addicted to my monthly salary.
It’s hard to leave the job once you are addicted to waiting for the SMS “Your salary is credited in your bank account” every month.
I knew that I would never become rich from my salary. My job was paying me well but not enough to make me rich.
See.. I am from a Baniya family and business is in our culture. I was waiting for the right time to quit and start my own business.
Phase 2 – Quitting Job
I lived a frugal life and saved dollars from every possible expense in the USA. I figured out ways to save money using credit cards.
I came back to India with a decent saving of around Rs. 18,00,000.
All my friends advised me to buy an apartment in Gurgaon because real estate was at it’s peak. Even my manager was making more money from his real estate investments than from his salary.
I was very clear what to do with my hard earned money.
I divided my saving into 3 parts
- Emergency Fund (Equivalent to 10 months of expenses)
- Financial Runway ( = 24 months of expenses)
- Business Investment (Rest of the money)
I paid off all my debts – invested my money into a business (Cloud based ERP for schools) and eventually left my job.
And you should not be surprised to know.. Running a business is not easy.
I worked hard to sell the product that I built in 8 months. I realised the truth that building software is easy but selling is hard. We sold our cloud-based solution to a few clients but barely earned enough to pay the salaries of the team (forget about the profits).
There was a limit how much money I could pump into my business. I was disciplined not to touch our emergency fund for business investment.
We ran out of business funds and had to took the hard decision of shutting down the company before even first anniversary. I shared the detailed story on YourStory.
I was in dilemma, confused, clueless, jobless, moneyless.
One thing was clear that I did not want to go back to the same job.
And I did not left with my money to start my second business.
I was not worried about the monthly expenses for next couple of months (because of my Financial Runway, check #2 if you forgot how I divided my money).
so I had some time to think..
to learn and try out things.
Yes, I failed at my startup attempt but that was not the end of the story
Phase 3 – Birth of CashOverflow
I received this advice from my mentor
- Spend 30% time to earn money using your present skills
- Invest 70% time to learn new skills that would re-define your future
I prepared a list of my skills and what I wanted to learn in the future.
- Content Writing
- Software Programming
- Project Management
- Software Testing & Optimisation
- HTML & Basic Web Design
- Blogging & Marketing
- Storytelling & Presentation
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Management
You will get more clarity in the thoughts easy when you write on a paper. Do the practice of writing a journal.
I started my personal finance blog when I wanted to learn digital marketing skills. Making money from this blog was never a goal, all I wanted to learn new skills.
I was earning little money from my freelance writing work but that reduced the stress on my remaining financial runway (saved money).
I woke up at 4:00 AM every single morning to write content till 8:00 AM. Spending 2-3 hours daily was sufficient to earn Rs. 20,000 from content writing work.
Rest of the time I spent on reading books and blogs to learn marketing and personal finance.
Honestly, I never thought that my blog would become so popular that in 2017 CashOverflow won the Best Blogging Award from Indiblogger in the personal finance category.
My blog enabled me to live my dream life without worrying about money or getting fired from the job. I enjoy month-long vacations twice a year and take mini-retirements.
- Staying in Goa for a month in the budget of 4 days vacation
- Enjoying 50 days in Thailand with Family even when I was earning just 80,000 per month
- A month long road trip from Chandigarh to Karnataka (without burning our pockets)
4 million people have visited my blog from 2016 to 2019 and read 6,800,000 pages to increase their financial knowledge.
Despite the traffic fluctuations, I was able to earn my living from my blog.