A year back, I was Frustrated, Scared, Unsure, Anxious, Trapped &Unfulfilled. Stuck in a dead-end job. Smothered by society’s expectations. Didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do with my life or how to proceed further. May be it was a case of Mid-Career blues.
My time at Schneider Electric (10 years) and my work/life balance was for most parts great except for the last year or so. The environment was getting political, decisions were being rung in from the Top, without logic or reason, and at the whims & fancies of the Top Leadership, who were far flung from the realities on the ground. Merit was no more the criteria for growth and subservience, political affiliation to a leader & gender was the recipe for growth. I chose not to be subservient. I was no more enjoying the job, the environment or the Leadership. I needed a trigger to chase my dream and this was it. I needed to be pushed outside of my comfort zone.
After my review meeting with my Boss and a conversation with the Global CHRO, I realised that I was going no-where and the last straw of juice in me was being squeezed, tighter and tighter. I was getting dehydrated mentally & physically.
Every once in a while, when you start realising that you have had enough of the world caving on you, enough of others pointing out your mistakes, enough of responsibilities that almost drown you and enough of living for others.
You hope to break free from this cruel world and live life as it occurs to you in a world, where you gaze at the open skies and enjoy the refreshing breeze, witness the sun shining on your face and soak yourself in the pouring rain. You feel like putting your foot down, shutting yourself from the concrete jungle, and escaping into the unknown, where every turn brings on an adventure and every mile leaves behind an unforgettable memory.
I threw away a prestigious Top Leadership Job with one of the Fortune 500 & Linked In TOP 40 companies to work for, with a top draw salary, leading a large team (100 members), cris-crossing the country & the world, partying in cosy 5 star hotels, driving luxurious cars, a comfortable living situation & a great life style, stability (financially & career wise), and a comfortable life to chase a dream.
On paper, the decision might look a crazy one-
I cared for myself enough to change my life, but I didn’t have the slightest clue where to start. I spent my days wishing that things would change—that I could escape a life that my soul could no longer bear.
The worst part of all, I was living the life that society had always told me to live. “Work in a Corporate Job” and your Social Status would depend on where you work and how high you are in the organisation and the life style you lead.
I don’t know about others, but it turns out that for me, the “right thing to do” sucked the joy out of life.
I had seen it all, been there all and done it all. Off course there is no end and there is always scope for more, but I had reached a point of no return.
Imagine feeling trapped in an unsatisfying existence. Wasting your precious time doing things that you really don’t want to be doing. Being afraid to express yourself, with fear of trodding on the superiors. Having fun on the weekends then dreading the upcoming week, few moments of satisfaction drowned out by a constant grind of work that doesn’t fulfil you. Oh GOD it’s a Monday!
Then something hit me. It was a proverbial hammer to my head. I’d heard it before, but it had never sunk in. Then, as if out of nowhere, a voice in my head spoke loudly and clearly. “What am I doing, where am I going”. I was only adding more zeroes to my bank balance but cutting out precious moments of LIFE.
“ when you have the time, you don’t have the money
When you have the money, you don’t have the time
When you have time & money, you don’t have the health”
History warned that 95% of StartUps fail and I still chose to take the risk and be in the 5% that succeeds.
There are plenty of talented people who never make a choice to do something different, to reinvent themselves, and to pursue their dreams. It’s hard to work up the guts to try something new. Nobody wants to feel stupid and start from the beginning all over again.
But talent isn’t worth a thing without the willingness to take action. It’s great to have a dream, but it’s better to pursue it. Reinventing yourself and developing a new skill is hard work. Transitioning from corporate to proud entrepreneur is hard work.
I’m not an entrepreneur because it is the hep thing to do now, or because I want to make a lot of money. I can’t just be another cog in the wheel, amongst number of thousands of other employees. I couldn’t concentrate any more working in an Organisation. I wasn’t feel normal.
I know that I gave up a great opportunity at Schneider Electric, but it is something I chose to do. The urge to chase my dream and start something on my own got bigger each day.
www.humanengineers.com became my obsession, humanengineers is my life, and is something I was ready to throw away a great Career.
Entrepreneurship is cool now, and everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. Every newspapers, websites, magazines, TV shows & college campuses, everyone has an idea and a dream.
I don’t want to be just dreaming to be an entrepreneur, I have to be one
The reason I chose www.humanengineers.com full time is passion and dream that I wanted to chase. I care about humanengineers more than I could ever imagine I would care about anything. It’s all I can think about all day. It’s mentioned within a few minutes of every conversation I’ve had in the past year. It’s becoming less of a company, and more a part of me. I don’t know if I will ever be this passionate about another company in my life, and I have to pursue it now.
A year later, when I look back I am happy to have chosen to chase my dream. Happy to have believed in my dream and pursued it relentlessly despite hiccups & challenges.
I feel that everyone can look back and see one format of moment one time where they made a choice, they had to close their eyes and jump. And that choice made all the difference. And that choice for me was to become an Entrepreneur chasing my Dream. I had the opportunity to show the world my unique perspective through my actions. I have the freedom to express, to experiment and at my own pace. The fact is there have never been more choices and opinions than there are today. Its easy to forget that you are in fact riding your own story. This is no easy task and although I know where I am heading, I never really know where I am going to end up. Which way would you choose
My venture www.humanengineers.com is very well received.
As per the global,
HYPESTAT website analysis, https://www.hypestat.com/info/humanengineers.com & Alexa Traffic Rank (of Amazon) – http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/humanengineers.com
www.humanengineers.com receives on an average 540 unique visitors per day 5292 page views per day ie 9.8 page views per visitor. Its Newsletter reaches out to around 18,000 HR Leaders /readers every week. Its extremely gratifying to see the kind of growth & patronage and growing day by day in such a short span. It spurs me & my team to grow to greater heights fulfil our dream of becoming the GOTO HR Portal.
We have some very exciting unique offers for release in the future and are really excited for the day of the launch.
I am happy to have chosen my own path, because it gives me freedom, flexibility and agility. I can return home for lunch, have a nap, work untill midnight or simply dont work (as I have no one to answer but myself). In this journey I also found time to pursue my long lost passion for adventure, travelling, motorcycle adventure tours, photography and most importantly recuperate on my health & fitness. I could spend quality time with my children and family. Work in corporate life was no more fun, it became a source of STRESS. I was able to bring back some fun into my life & reduce STRESS to a great extent.
Its not that I have arrived and fulfilled my dreams. I have only made a beginning with a slow & steady start and have miles to go before I can sleep.
I will continue to chase my dream, I am going to follow my heart, and the day I stop following it, is the day I want it to stop beating
The path to doing work you love might not look the way you expected, but it can still get you to where you want to go — if you make the choice to try something new.
It’s never too late to reinvent yourself.