Why I left my comfy Developer job? What's Next for me?

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I quit my job yesterday. I have tried my best to write what led to that as short and interesting as possible in this blog post. The story starts from my college days. Like every other college student, I wanted to make some money while studying.

I didn’t exactly know how until I stumbled upon the blog labnol.org. For those who don’t know about labnol, it’s a tech blog run by the renowned tech enthusiast Amit Agarwal. Google’s AdSense is the main source of income for his blog. He left his job to become a full time blogger and attained huge success.

Soon I was heavily inspired by him and I started my own blog on the free blogging platform, Blogger. I shared a lot of not so good tech tips & tricks 😅. Along the way, I learned basic HTML, CSS and JS. I also started running ads after several months. In the month of September 2014, I received my first payment from PayPal. I felt like the happiest man on earth. My blog earnings covered my internet bills and expenses.

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Fast forward to the campus placement days at college, I got an offer for the position of Software Development Intern at company X. I joined company X in the month of February 2016. I worked my ass off and became a full-timer. Days were going well and I learned a hell lot of stuff about web development.

I was doing well and the UI, that I built for the admin-panel out of my own interest, was appreciated by the CTO. P.S: The UI I built was actually shitty but it did its job well. Hey, it was not bad for a beginner.

One fine day, I was moved to a team where the manager wanted me to come early everyday. As I was a night owl and was used to flexible working hours, things didn’t go well and it reflected in my appraisal.

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Though it didn’t affect me much, that was one of the lowest points in my life. That day I wanted to live life on my own terms and didn’t want a manager to look over my shoulder and tell me what to do. I wanted to do something about it and decided to start blogging again. But, I couldn’t just quit my job as I didn’t have enough savings given that my parents and sister depend on me.

I was quick to switch jobs and joined company Y in October 2017. As it was an early stage startup, I was the first and only full-stack guy. Things started too well at company Y and I got to work on full JS stack (React, Node.js). Soon I fell in love with JS and kicked ass at work.

Becoming independent was still at the back of my mind. I started blogging again starting January 2018. I developed my own template and published a new blog on Ghost. I wrote after work at nights and on weekends. After ~12 posts, my blog got approved by AdSense and started earning some $50/month.

Meanwhile at work, I continued to perform well, my compensation was revised twice within the span of one and half years and my salary from company Y grew by 125%. Life was comfortable.

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My side hustle became boring, as it was not making a lot of money and I found it difficult to come up with new ideas for blog posts. I was sure that I wouldn’t be able to blog for a living.

My desire to become independent was still there. I wanted to try a different thing for passive income. I had built two Google Sheet add-ons for my blog posts and it had some active users. I tried my luck and made one of it freemium on February 13th 2019. I was wondering if people will pay for it.

In case if you're interested, addon #1 - Drive Explorer, addon #2 - YT Tracker

To my surprise, I got lucky and people paid for it from the first day itself. By the end of February, I had 14 paying customers. I was on cloud nine. I released the premium version for my other add-on as well. I decided to continue to go to work till I save enough money for my sister’s wedding (It’s complicated; I’m from India 😅).

I stumbled upon a blog post about an indie maker Andrey in the end of 2019. He left his job and was on a quest to make $1000 recurring income per month within a year by building independent projects. The thing is he had no passive income when he started. He just had some savings to cover his expenses for the next 6 months. He instantly became an inspiration to me.

If he can do it, then I’ll also be able to do it. My only resolution for 2020 was to quit the job before the end of the year. Only thing that was stopping me was the much lesser income I would make from my add-ons, when compared to my day job. Also, as I said before, I have some family commitments.

Why did I quit soon

I got bored and the job stopped being challenging. I have always seen myself as a guy who learns new stuff and pushes himself to the limit. The job was not cutting it. I could have worked for more days comfortably without any issues. But my mind was not at the right place when I was at work. Also, I had a fear that I may never come out of my comfort zone to do what I always wanted.

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One good thing about quitting my job is that I can spend my time on something else that will increase my net income and one day I’ll earn more than what I used to from my day job.

What's next

I’ve shared my January 2020 earnings from my add-ons below. It can put food on my plate and roof over my head every month. To lead a comfortable and content life, I either have to find a way to increase the sales of my add-ons or build a new product(s).

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I got almost all of my add-on’s paying users organically. I’ve no idea how to reach my target audience. That being said, I chose to build a new product to increase my income. I’ve already started working on it. It’s a product that can help users who sell stuff online. That’s it for now 😜.

What if I fail to make my product work

I will keep on trying till something works out.

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I know you guys are wondering why I share all this stuff (I can hear you). If I make my intentions public, I feel that I’ll be motivated and pushed to achieve it for real, because people out there will be watching me. Wish me luck 😅!

If you have come this far, I hope that you’ll want to see my progress and where I go in this adventure. Starting today, I commit to share about my monthly income reports and journey regularly on Twitter. You can follow me to know more.

Special thanks to Akil for proof-reading this article.