Why I left my job to pursue full time on my side businesses?

“Growth is uncomfortable and I want to be in an uncomfortable position”. This is what I told my Manager the day I resigned from the position of SEO Growth Lead.

23rd Dec 2021 was my last day in the corporate world. I have written an entire Twitter thread here that blew up. Reached to more than 94k+ people.

My job was very fine. I was handling the entire SEO Growth process for my fintech company. Just to put in perspective, the company I am talking about is Donorbox. It was growing at a rapid pace and we already were one of the top fundraising software for Nonprofits in the world.

SEO for Donorbox was challenging given the competition in our industry. I worked here for 1.5 years fully remotely. Life was good and comfortable. There was no work pressure. We had async communication and my colleagues were quite supportive.

I grew on a personal and professional level. With the money I got, I multiplied my investing portfolio. Heck, I even bought a house worth $88k in Oct 2021 at the age of 25. Even though I was not ready for this big asset (or liability one could call it), it happened nevertheless.

So all in all, with this remote job, I was quite comfortable, earning well (not at par with the SEO industry though).

Building the Empire after the Job

As someone said, bills are paid from 9-5 but empires are built from 5-9. Rightly so, I worked after the job on my side projects to continually build multiple streams of income. My mindset was never to do a job, it was to buy time so that I could work on my own eventually.

Many people advise that you should earn more than you could in a job and once it surpasses that threshold, you should look for quitting the job.

I don’t agree. Because it really depends on person to person and the opportunity in front of you. So let’s dive right into what I was doing from 5-9 so that I could have a good cushion while leaving.


The Concept of Portfolio of Small Bets

This thought process was developed by Daniel Vassallo. I used to follow him since 2020 March when covid hit the world.

What it means is that, in order to minimize risks, you should develop a portfolio of bets (side projects and businesses) to get the maximum effect.

Meaning even if you fail 1-2 projects, the other things that you are doing can be substantially more impactful than anything.

Here are some resources you can go through to understand better:

This is what inspired me.

I have already built digital assets around the concept & I still get income from those. There are currently 3 digital assets that I own which to date get me some income on a daily basis.

  1. Quora Marketing Guide (Published in May 2019)
  2. SaaS SEO Guide (Published in Sept 2021)
  3. Swipe Directory (Launched in Oct 2020)

Now all 3 of these digital assets are highly scalable and I get good income from all of these.

But what really helped me make this decision of leaving my job?

It was CampusTrail.


From $0 to $15k/month in Revenue

The month was October 2020. We along with my 4 childhood friends started a new venture called CampusTrail. This is a study abroad consulting firm that helps students and professionals get admissions to their dream universities.

To give you the perspective, we grew from $0 to $15k revenue per month in just 1 year. Our employee count grew from 0 to 31+ & we also have an office in heart of Mumbai (India’s financial district).

CampusTrail’s major chunk of revenue is from productized service. You can figure that out from the website, I can’t share much in this post, I am planning to write a separate blog post on how we scaled this business so rapidly. Btw, I am the CMO & I was responsible for all the marketing and growth-related activities here at CampusTrail.

I know how crucial the role was and I was doing it alongside the job.

To be able to really scale up, we need to use technology. Currently, there is no tech. Only marketing and operations. We want to convert it into an Ed-Tech Startup. This is one part where I really want to invest my time in.

CampusTrail was the major turning point. I was already drawing profit equivalent to my full-time job.

If there was no CampusTrail, it would have been very difficult for me to leave my job.


Freedom and Opportunities

It was freedom. Freedom to do what I want, where I want & how I want is the ultimate goal. With a job, you can’t achieve that. With control of time, you can set your own time and invest your time in high-output activities.

I always wanted to have control over my own life. The goal was to minimize the parameters that control me. The job was one parameter that controlled me. It controlled my time and money.

The money that I could earn was fixed. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s how it works. But on the other hand, if I had a greater upside in terms of generating revenue, I can do that with a business that churns out value.

Moreover, the opportunities that I can see in front of my eyes were something that I couldn’t ignore.

Open AI released GPT-3 API (A natural language model) in June 2020. It was seriously incredible. I could see that people were building such awesome projects with GPT-3 that I got excited.

The creator economy is booming. I wanted to be a part of this economy full time so that I can leverage the opportunities internet brings.


I wanted a change

Change is important. Think about this. If you are in a comfortable position for a long time, then there’s something wrong with it. You have to introspect your life. There’s nothing wrong with having low ambitions or not growing and staying comfortable.

But by nature, that’s not who I am. I need change. I want to grow & growth is always uncomfortable. Without taking a drastic decision, your life won’t change course. It will be the same.

So whenever you want to change your life, think about what type of decisions you should make. The bigger the decision, the bigger the change.

To be honest, I love multi-disciplinary skills. I love to do multiple things. Be it Marketing, Tech, Websites, Automation, Product.

That’s what it takes to build a product. A plethora of skillsets rolled into one. That provides an edge if you are trying to work on your own and build some products.


What’s Next?

I am going to apply the same approach of the portfolio of small bets, but this time it would be big bets & not small ones.

Here’s how my portfolio looks like:

Info Products & Side Project

  1. Quora Marketing Guide
  2. SaaS SEO Guide
  3. Swipe Directory

Productized Service Agency (Co-founder & CMO)

  1. CampusTrail

Consulting

  1. SEO Consulting

SaaS Products

  1. Work in Progress (Follow on Twitter)

Affiliate Site

  1. Stealth mode (Unfortunately, I can’t share much information. But I am growing this w/t SEO. A bet that I am doing this year. Updates on Twitter)

For SaaS Products, my strategy is to build 2-3 products out of which 1 would be a long-term project which will be there for me for years.

Another one would be a short-term project which I could potentially sell on MicroAcquire, Appsumo, and get the cash flow running.

This way I am maximizing all the opportunities I can with SaaS-based products.

My Travel Bucketlist For 2022

With freedom, I can now travel and explore cities and countries. As of writing this post on 17th Jan 2022, I have never been to an International country before.

I want to explore more of India. I have already traveled to 8 States in India, but this year I would want to travel to 2 more states. That could either be Kashmir & Rajasthan (Already been to Kashmir, but will be traveling again to this beautiful place)

Traveling makes us grow personally because of the experience we get in different cultures. Whatever wealth I would create from my indie hacking journey, I would want to spend on traveling and roaming around the globe.


Final Thoughts

The time to take the leap of faith would never be right. You have to make it right. Nothing can beat the taste of freedom. As Naval said,

“A taste of freedom can make you unemployable.”

Sometimes, you just have to take the leap of faith, find self-confidence in your abilities and skills, be excited about the future and go all in.

That’s what it takes to be in the Growth Zone.

Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with. You can follow my Twitter where I often tweet about my experiences, insights, and knowledge that I have gained over the years. So see you soon.

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Tejas Rane

Tejas is an Engineer Turned Marketer & Author of Quorific & SaaS SEO Guide. A T-Shaped Marketer with specialization in SEO. He is currently helping affiliates with Affiliate Corner. Follow him on Twitter as he shares his journey.

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