It was my birthday, and I chose to be rebornVartika Manasvi
Kochi, Kerala: At the inauguration of startup warehouse with the NASSCOM team
When I quit my job in December 2015 on my birthday with NASSCOM 10,000 Startups, I fooled my parents, the world around me and, more importantly, myself, into believing that I had a plan.
In actual fact, all I had was a freelance assignment with an Asian blog and a detailed execution plan of my business idea seeded in my head and on Ever note for the past three years,while in search of a tech co-founder. I always knew that I cannot code (it’s even more difficult than algebra!), so I didn’t want to spoil something that I’m not an expert at. Hence, I identified a geeky nerd who believed in my vision and would support me in building it out as a side project,with no money involved–just passion and vision and the right people working on it. And with that, I was all set to “do cool shit” that made me believe that my destiny did not lie on a chair revolving in the hallways of some corporate building.
Today, I’m a self-appointed director of happiness.
Don’t judge me reading that. I did not quit my corporate life. In fact, I can never quit: I am a tough piece of metal and need to be put into positions of discomfort, challenged, and be held accountable. If I’m not getting that, then I will quit.
I’ve embarked on my journey to make it in a world that doesn’t often listen, waiting for the right moment. I’ve always been in love with the brands that I worked for, burning the midnight oil, though this love kept rising and falling with my temper on days like today. Being in a conventional job for the past eight years made me realise that unless I found the challenges I wanted, nobody was ever going to take me seriously.
Ya, I’m worried that I may not match up to the ideals and heroes that I relate to, but hey, I don’t intend to be Musk or Zuck because I’m in love with life no matter how hard it gets. I’m in love with helping people and earning credibility and respect for my work, which is something money can’t buy. I’m a self-appointed director of happiness.
My struggle continues everyday.
The last six months have been incredibly challenging. I had several plans and more let downs than I’d like to admit. I’m genuine. Who doesn’t want to hire me for their digital content work, right? I fought with my family for not settling down in life and ignored my friends. I have questioned my decision every day since I left my job. Sometimes, I would rather just not answer the question of how I am, because I felt I might collapse on the person asking.
My struggle continues every day. I fight for more hours. I worry I haven’t been a good daughter or sister and expect my friends to dump me for the time that I spend behind a laptop or on the phone when I’m out with them. Also, sometimes it’s all too clear that to be an entrepreneur means that you really shouldn’t have a social life what so ever because, after all, who needs support when you break down and can’t say the words anyway, right?
Today, however, was a great day. I’ve signed two international business deals and managed to write this piece out (I can only write when I feel it). I still have a very rough plan for what I’m doing, but today I know that whatever I’ve done is sending me in the right direction. I have so much to be grateful for today. And yes, sometimes I do wakeup late or take afternoon naps, and then feel terribly guilty afterwards.
Cairo, Egypt: With a bunch of super cool Egyptian folks making a mark in the startup world.
I would like to salute all of the powerful women that I’ve encountered on my journey. There have been very few inspiring men for me, but there have been countless women. This post is dedicated to them –all the women pushing for their own version of success that I’ve had the chance to befriend and work with, in the last few years. I have learnt a great deal from you all. It was really you who kept me going as a woman!
If you would like to just get a better idea of what is it that I do, then just drop me a note on firstname.lastname@example.org
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)