It started with a growing feeling of uncertainty about what I was doing. I was working at a startup as the head of content marketing, but my heart was no longer in the job.
I had joined the company in January, and we'd got some exciting results in a short time from our efforts in content marketing (starting from May). There was plenty more to be accomplished, but there was a solid digital marketing team in place now. Honestly, I was losing interest in the work so I decided to pull the trigger and resigned. I felt that work done without passion or forcefully yields no output.
I got positive results from listening to my heart, even if pushed me in directions that seemed illogical. I believed in myself and I did it.
I did not have a lot of money in my bank account, because whatever I earned was spent on my household expenses.
As for savings, all mine had been invested into the stock market. I thought I'd sell a portion of my stocks to get the sufficient amount of money required to run my house till December.
I also prepared a rough financial plan, to keep things going on till the year end, while I planned to put some efforts working on Cash Overflow (which I started as a hobby last year).
Note: Fields in yellow indicated future expected income
I never tried to monetize Cash Overflow traffic so I was not sure how much income could be possible from a mere 30,000 visitors per month. I was trying to be logical about the whole exercise, but my wife was even more logical and I did not have a good reply to her concerns. She said, "No one is asking you to leave the work. Your efforts are yielding good results and everyone is happy with your performance. You will get a salary raise with the next round of funding...and looking at the performance of the startup, they have a bright chance of raising their next round in a couple of months."
Something magical happened and two of my stocks skyrocketed almost 2.5X.
She advised me to keep working for the startup, but also to start spinning out something of my own to make a regular income. It could have indeed been a logical move if worked on correctly. I could start making money online from side projects and then leave the job. It sounded good and I could have listened to her, but I listened to my heart instead. I took an intuitive decision and, as always, my wife supported my decision.
Yes, I was afraid that my risk could backfire and lead to a major loss for me, but I also had enough confidence in myself to believe that I'd figure out some source of income in the interim and that selling off my stocks would give me enough money to live on until the end of the year.
I sent in my resignation in August.
Then, guess what, something magical happened and two of my stocks skyrocketed almost 2.5X.
Interestingly, I had invested most of my money into only these two stocks.
I made a profit of about ₹4,50,000 from my stocks. I transferred the required funds into my savings account and re-invested the rest of the money in the stock market again.
On Aptech, I made a long-term capital gain, which means that I don't have to pay any taxes on my income of ₹279,454 (one strong reason to invest in equities). On Indian Bank, I made a short-term capital gain, so I have to pay income tax @15% of ₹1,90,356.
Am I a smart investor?
No, it was just my luck. It was just by coincidence that my stocks gave me spectacular results just after my resignation and when I was ready to sell them.
I started investing in stock markets in 2010, and this is the first time that any of my stocks gave me double returns. On my journey of learning value investing, I have booked major losses in 2010 and 2013 in the stock markets.
I won't advise you to blindly invest in shares because that gave me good returns in bad times. It could have gone the opposite way as well.
Do I think that everyone should make decisions like this?
Absolutely not. Even I was afraid to make this decision.
What do I want to tell you through this article?
I just wanted to share my experience of how I took a tough decision and that unexpectedly good things happened with me. I was just lucky at that point of time, or actually, Hard Work + Intuition + Persistence = My Luck.
I was just lucky at that point of time, or actually, Hard Work + Intuition + Persistence = My Luck.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I play the role of a logical man. I make excel sheets and count the pennies as everyone does. And, 1% of the time, I look within, listen to my inner voice, and I consult with myself.
Since I was not enjoying my work, it was very clear to me that I had to leave the job sooner or later. I waited for an entire month to see if it was just a temporary phase, but it was not.
I had some money for the next few months, and from here I got the confidence to take the tough decision now rather than lingering on for another two-three months.
If I had taken the decision of continuing my job, my work would have suffered. I might not have been able to continue my run of producing viral content because my heart was not in my work. I would be at loss and even the startup that was paying me a regular income would suffer a loss, which I could never accept.
I am inspired by this beautiful story told by Vineet Nayar in an Economics Times article.
"It was 3:00 am when the train stopped. A boy, just 8 years old, stepped out of the train, attracted by the fascinating scene outside.
The train starts moving. Someone shouts. The boy is jolted out of his dreams and runs to catch the train. He catches the side bars but fails to pull himself up. He keeps running and tries again and again but fails each time.
Fear and doubt creep into his mind. The train gathers speed.
A critical choice faces him — give up or take a chance and keep running. He runs again, faster, taking one more chance to get on the train; feeling hopeless but not giving up, yet.
Seeing the boy losing the battle, a vegetable vendor runs towards him and throws him into the last compartment of the train, to be reunited later with his family, sleeping unaware.
I have always wondered why did I keep running? Why did I take that chance despite fear and doubt overpowering my mind? Did my taking the unlikely chance of running create the magic of someone helping me to get on the train?
...Someone out there is waiting to throw you on a train you believe to have missed, if only you decide to take that chance."
Critical decision-making moments come many times in our life and many of us choose an easy path. I'm not saying that choosing the easiest path is bad. Just that there are other choices too. The choices that we make today shape our tomorrow. That's what some people refer as Karma. I chose the path that my heart wanted to, no matter if was easy or full of obstacles.
99% of the time, I play the role of a logical man. I make excel sheets and count the pennies. And, 1% of the time, I listen to my inner voice...
I am not sure how many times I will take intuitive decisions like this in the future, but yes, I got positive results this time from listening to my heart, even if pushed me in directions that seemed illogical. I believed in myself and I did it.
You just have to trust yourself once you have made a decision. Making a decision means choosing one option from the available set of many options. When you choose one option, you decide not to choose the rest of the options.
Don't be doubtful about the options that you left on the table. Don't be in a state of confusion after making your final decision. You have to be persistent with your efforts to make your dreams a reality.
A longer version of this article was originally published on CashOverflow.