I started writing my personal finance blog to share the financial hacks that saved me thousands (in fact lakhs) of rupees over the years.
Now, I am earning more than 200,000 rupees from my online work. Of course, that cannot be achieved overnight, but imagine if that can happen in the next 2-3 years. Yes, this is absolutely possible in less than three years.
Our goal is to become financially free but how many of us able to do achieve that freedom. Saving into a retirement account will never make you financially free but a passive source of income can.
Think where were you before five years? How much you have achieved and now how much more work you have to do to become financially free. And, if you continue doing what you are doing, where will you reach?
Not far, I am sure you will not become financially free till you reach 60 years of age. Then what is the point of having a lot of money when you cannot enjoy with it now?
I don’t believe in retiring at the age of 60. I want to live a life of retirement every moment. I want to spend month long vacations every year with my family.
I used to think in the similar way like all people do when I was doing my job in a software company few years back. I was working as the technical lead in a major IT company, enjoying my onsite assignment in US. The next promotion was due in a year, I was about to become a manager. A much higher salary would have come.
Don’t you think that everything was perfect? But, I was not happy. I was not happy at all with my lifestyle. I was doing work without any enjoyment. I was earning a decent amount but, I was sacrificing my life. I sacrificed many family functions, parties with friends and also a tension free travel.
I just saw my future. It stuck strongly to my head. I need to change something in my life so that I won’t land into the similar lifestyle that my seniors were dealing with in my company.
What was the first thing that needs to be changed? My job! My well paying job, for which, I studied for 18 years.
The whole system of education was looking like a deception and cheat. I sacrificed all my childhood and adolescent for studies so that I can become an engineer.
Once, I became an engineer, it all seemed like a waste.
What would I do after leaving the job? Join another job? No way! Nothing gonna change in life by shuffling the jobs. The only option was to remove the job from my life.
Okay, if not job then what I was supposed to do? A business?
I decided to start a business without having any business knowledge (apart from selling groceries at my father’s shop in my hometown).
It was a tough decision. But, I did it. I left my job in 2013.
The business life was not easy. My first startup failed in the first year itself, and we lost Rs.15,00,000 in less than one year.
My heart was broken my life was shaken.
My logical mind was begging me to get back to the comfort of job. But, there was a hope somewhere in my heart. I still wanted to play with fire. I wanted to stay in the startup world.
I joined another startup as a marketing co-founder with only few months experience in online marketing.
We built a mobile app for students where they can learn science by playing word games. The students loved the concept.
We did a lot of experiments with content marketing in my second startup.
I learnt a lot of things about entrepreneurship, conscious way of building businesses and content marketing. I fell in love with content writing and growth hacks.
We decided to stop working on our second startup, you call it the second failure, but it was a conscious decision to utilize our time in a better work rather than playing with the future of our children.
There was no regret of failure. I discovered a storyteller, writer and a content marketer within me. Now, I knew what I have to do in my future.
A Startup Job
I worked on some freelance content writing projects and consulted some startups for few months before joining a startup job as the head of content marketing.
A startup job is totally different from the job in a big company.
It was like running my own content marketing startup within the startup. I had full freedom of doing experiments with marketing to achieve the business goals defined by the CEO of the company.
It was a great fun to work with an amazing team. You can do craziest things in startup that your boss will never allow you in a traditional job. You must experience a startup job once in a life (even as an intern or part time).
I did a lot of work and learned a lot of new things. I did video marketing for the first time and that hit 1,000,000 views on the video in just 3 days.
I established the foundation of blog to attract visitors from Google search.
I truly enjoyed the work. I left the startup job in September 2016 and started focusing on my own startups.
I earned more than 1,00,000 of revenue in the initial two months of our business. And, it could not have been possible if I had not started my personal finance blog last year.
It took me more than three years, loss of 15 Lakh rupees and an opportunity cost of three years of job to reach at the present position.
Yeah, it was costly and a risky approach. I think you can learn from my failures and success to make a better side business in less time.
I am willing to help you at every stage of your business.
You don’t have to leave your job like me to get started with your side business.
Start a small project, software, a blog, an ecommerce store or anything you have always wished for. You will learn a lot, whether you fail or succeed.
I can teach you a little bit of content marketing to get initial customers to your business.
Trust me, content marketing is the most powerful tool for the online businesses, especially if you are on a tight budget and need to get more with less money.
Fund your Life
The most important milestone should be funding your life from your passive income and online businesses.
Let’s keep the target of generating your first 10,000 rupees from your online business in 6-8 months.
Would you be able to work dedicatedly on building your online business for the next couple of months?
Depending upon your skillset and zeal to perform, you can achieve your 10,000 rupees target in 4 months or 1 year.
And, when it will happen, I’m sure that you will never look back.
The online business is not like your job. When you start earning money from online business, you will earn that amount every month, while enjoying the long vacations.
A small success is mandatory so that you can get more serious about your online business. Small money like Rs.10,000 would be sufficient to boost your morale and confidence. You will be able to fund your life from Rs.10,000 plus your savings/investments while building a full-time passive source of income.
Fund your Business
I will not stop here.
I will tell you how you can conceptualize your self-funded startup. You might not have to raise money from VCs.
Why should you raise external money if your own business can generate sufficient cash flow?
I know, it may take some time, but you will be able to run your businesses without the headache of raising money.
Disclaimer: There are few businesses where raising VC money is the only way of getting success. Raise money if you are building next Flipkart, Zomato or Ola (Negative cash flow companies for several years)
99% companies fail to raise VC money and that does not mean those startup ideas are worthless.
There are so many issues to be fixed in the world and investors cannot fund every business.
I believe in bootstrapped businesses; this gives you more time to experiment and to take a risky approach. Also, you get more innovative when you have fewer resources.
There are thousands of successful non-funded businesses and tons of failed funded businesses. You are the best judge for your startup.
My Approach to Running Business
The first step is just to start up. Make the first attempt without worrying about success or failure. Launch your website in less than $100 budget and publish your first blog.
Learn a little bit of content marketing. Don’t worry, If I can learn content marketing in less than 3 years then anyone can learn. In that short span of time I was able to make income from blogging, content marketing consulting and also got a job as the head of content marketing at a funded startup.
Content marketing will be helpful for you whether you start a product or service company.
Get ideas from your audience. When you have visitors at your blog, you can ask feedback on your product without writing a single line of code.
Your blog will be your minimum viable product.
If you want to make the blog as your primary source of income then you can start monetizing when you have at least 10,000 of monthly traffic.
I can share with you many ways to monetize your blog traffic. For the time being, just focus on getting people on your website.
Leave your job once you start earning some money from your blog. Invest the money back to your business. Launch your product and make more money.
What are you waiting for?
Take the first step. Start something even if that becomes a failed project. I learned a lot from failures so can you.