How social pressures slowed us down before starting Osmnez ?

In my short 10-year career span, I have come across several talented people with excellent leadership qualities and entrepreneurial ambitions. But most of them hesitated to follow their dreams because they are stuck in a rat race. Rat race is not a new concept. But I really want to talk a little about it.

All of us blindly follow a norm; a norm that involves extensive training to exceed academically right from school, qualify exceptionally with a degree, and find a job that suits all our expectations. In the next cycle, we buy houses, cars, pay mortgages, rents, and bills. As we pay our bills, additional liabilities pop up depending on our dependents. We continue to run this vicious cycle and slowly the financial liabilities take control over our lives. We get stuck in a rut that we can’t get out of. This is rat race.

My big dreams of starting my own business and becoming an entrepreneur fell short of the mark because I was stuck in the very same rat race. I couldn’t make anything happen by staying there. It took me two years to come out of the rat race. Finally, I quit my job at Zoho, where I was heading the marketing division for ITSM products. It was probably the hardest decision I took in my life. I left behind a great job with a great team, awesome work culture, amazing travel opportunities and of course, a comfortable salary. I have put together some tips from my very own experience on how I managed to get out of this rat race.

Find your personal reason:

First of all, you need a strong reason to quit your job. For some it could be following their passion, for others it could be making big bucks, or being their own boss, creating job opportunities for others, job security or financial independence.

My own dream of becoming an entrepreneur started with my dad. He was a farmer’s son with limited resources and exposure. All my life I saw my dad try hard to become a successful entrepreneur. He couldn’t. He has been my real-life case study (call it ‘motivation’) on why to embark on the entrepreneurial journey.

This deep personal reason will help you stay motivated and fight tough times even in a way money can’t.

Don’t succumb to social obligations:

In the Indian scenario, society demands that a guy should own a house, drive his own car, and be well settled in every manner. Very often this is the criteria for him to settle in terms of matrimony. It was no different for me. I too was succumbed to this social pressure and bought a big house. Big house means huge mortgage. If not for the mortgage, I would have gotten out of the rat race sooner.

Also, once you decide to quit your job, you will be pounded with uninvited advices from family, relatives, friends, colleagues and strangers. You will hear everything right from ‘Don’t quit!’ to ‘You are making a wrong decision’. Learn to turn a deaf ear. And most importantly don’t get emotionally attached to your assets.

Make prudent financial planning:

Don’t accumulate debt that you cannot handle. Save up from an early stage. Find an alternate source of income because savings cannot cover you well enough for a long time. If you are willing, make some high-risk investments to see immediate and bigger returns. Remember to include emergency funds like medical expenses, repairs and other things while estimating how much you need to live on till you see profits from your business.

Set a benchmark before you quit:

  • Capital to cover you and your family till your business kicks off.
  • Capital to run your business with a buffer, if things go downhill.
  • And a little more!

To summarize: Take that plunge!

Starting a business is only the second step. Getting out of the rat race is the first. Begin your journey with this small step. The hardest thing to do is to come out of the comfort zone and you will know to do it when the time is right. And don’t think that life is going to get easier as soon as you are out of the rat race. It will be a different kind of a hurdle. It will be unpredictable, riskier and harder. But one thing is for sure: you will not be working anymore to make someone else’s dream come true. Stop working to pay your bills; break the race and you can make money work for you.

I am Arvind Parthiban, Co-Founder & CEO of Osmnez (currently in stealth mode). Keep tabs on us for more updates from my team and me:

  • Twitter:@arvindparthiban
  • Linkedin:@arvindparthiban
  • Image Source:Ian-Summers

Originally published at on February 23, 2015.

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