I graduated in 2010 with Chemical Engineering as my major from a college in India. I built two companies from my high school to day of college graduation, both were profitable and helped me pay my college fees, enjoy my college life to the fullest (whatever free time I got from attending compulsory lectures and running a company).
Many folks of my age, some seniors and all the juniors were impressed by my (whatever small big monetary) success and all the recognition I was getting in the media those days. I loved all the attention but one single fact used to disturb me alot and that was - why don’t these smart peeps convert their ideas into reality. Some of the smartest brains in India attend the college from which I graduated, so everyone around me was x times smarter to me where x ranges from 1 to some finite positive number.All these smart folks used to discuss their dreams and ideas with me during late night tea sessions outside college cafeteria or terrace or hostel room but fear of failing to succeed never allowed them to even plan the path to making their dreams & ideas see the light of day. Reason is simple, they never acted on what they were thinking. Working on an idea is not difficult, but only if you stop thinking.
I believe whenever you are starting up for the first time or not even starting a company but planning to pursue your passion by giving up a well mapped out conventional career route (college->job->post graduation->job with bigger post), your thinking brain induces fear in your heart. So, you must stop thinking and just, act. If you can manage to teach your mind that success is only your secondary goal, the primary goal is not giving yourself a chance to regret 20 years down the line for not doing what you were passionate about, that will help you in a big way to pursue your idea or passion without any fear. No one is expecting you to build a Google or Facebook or Boeing or Walmart today, so take your time and start small. Start something along with your on-going education or job - just on the side, on weekends or by taking an off here and there.
Starting small will help you understand the requirements of the business, systems required to be put in place, some sense of validation and a new lesson to learn everyday.
After graduating, I joined an investment bank as a Financial Analyst just because of the pressure from family, peers etc. But, from the very first day at this investment bank, I knew that I dont like what I am doing right now. So, from whatever free hours I used to get after my 16-18 hours job, I started working on an idea to build a keyword targeted ad network for twitter. It took me around 30 hours or around 10 days in total to get ready with prototype. I launched the ad network on 1st June, 2010. With in 3 days, an advertiser from Australia created the first campaign and deposited $500 in my Paypal account. I can’t explain the feeling I was going through that morning. Even after having run two companies previously, this present feeling was super intense, unique in its own way and simply, beyond any definition.
So, from June 4th, 2010 to August 15th, 2010, I carried on with my job and kept on improving my ad network. On 16th August, 2010, I resigned from my well-paying first and the last job to work on my new passion - social media advertising. In these 70 odd days, I learnt alot, made some extra money, gained about 5,000 publishers and 60 advertisers(65% repeat advertisers), replied to over 400 mails, wrote 16 blog posts, made 5 power point presentations, 2 youtube videos. Yes, I was able to do all this because I didn’t think much about how I will do it, I just decided and jumped into the game. And also, when you are working on your own thing, its not called hard work, its called living. Infact, this part of your life deserves to be called as Living Life.
Believe me, it was not easy at all but the very feeling of satisfaction and joy that comes from doing what you love, is strong enough to bear any pain and tough situations. Don’t think, go ahead and give it a shot. Good luck!