You complete the best education, you work in the best company, but somehow you feel not so interested and satisfied with your job. You have been pursuing your favourite hobby and realize that it is making you some money. You work on it harder and see that it is proving to be more profitable and interesting if analysed and compared with your job. You quit the job and pursue your hobby as your career. You feel the freedom, you are your own boss. You come back to your home, or work with friends or go to a solitude place with internet. You work on your own given time and rest on the time decided by you. You realize now you make more savings, and more time for your friends, family and personal things.
When you take your hobby as your primary business you may not be much organized. It may also be possible you have no knowledge of management and business administration initially. You move ahead with your own knowledge. You are enthusiastic and energetic. You find that you are investing more time for this work than what you had ever invested in your job, just because this is your hobby and more interesting. Your friends start telling you that you are living dreams of many people. You build the confidence and sense of independence. Everything is going right, but what if you suddenly meet with an unfortunate emotional disaster? Break up with your loved one or loss of a partner or any problem that strikes you in the initial days of building your startup?
When I started working here, I had left my job at IBM and came home from Bangalore to Delhi. My only problem was the pathetic internet service at home. Most of the time I never got the ADSL signal. I call my ISP, they send a technician, he does something and it works for another 2-3 hours and then again returns to its non-operational state. This cycle I might have repeated over 50 times and now everyone in the department knows my name. My teammate in UK got a much better connection, and obviously they do not have MTNL there. However, from what I have observed, internet in India, if comes regularly, appears to be much cheaper, just appears! My teammate in UK owns talktalk fibre optic broadband
. She pays £10 a month +Line Rental £9.50 a month for an unlimited internet at massive 38Mbps speed. In India I pay ₹1000 (£11) for an unlimited internet at 1 Mbps speed. It looks comparable, but if you compare the internet speed and average monthly income in UK and in India then you will realize how much the global IT power is lagging behind.
While the internet light on my modem was never a regular sight, another problem that struck me was loss of love. Without going much out of context here, I was thinking the way it gave me an emotional shock, could it have been avoided? I stopped working for almost 3 weeks. My traffic went down, Alexa ranking went down, number of people talking on Facebook page went down, twitter interactions went down and income from advertisements went down. The only thing I was thinking was how I could have tackled this situation. One possible solution was that I should have never been with this girl, but this is not a business solution, and once things have already gone wrong this solution is not a solution at all.
I was not even willing to see the stats of the website, because I knew it would be disappointing. All the hard work that I did in the past 6 years was going into vain in such condition. Since we are student journalists most of our teammates were also busy with their exams. And when you have a new team in a startup, everyone’s role is equal. And in that case if you are lost for some personal reasons, others will get demotivated too or will face a big burden. I did not want all this to happen.
In the meanwhile I was comparing the situation with that of my previous job. I mean how it would have been different if I had got same emotional shock when I was in my previous job. When you work in a company, other than your own desire to work, there is an external force of your manager also that makes you deliver on time. A lot happens on a working day if you are in the office. A call or a ping from manager, an appreciation or escalation mail/call, a new task and a new near deadline, making status report and attending status calls. Talking to other colleagues and going for a coffee. All these things and external pressure makes you put the reasons behind your sadness in the background temporarily so that you can work and think more about your deadline, which if you did not meet could create problems even worse than the present. When you put it in the background you think about it, but comparatively less. It eventually helps you to forget and move on. But when you are working on your own business, there is only one thing that keeps you going on, your ambitions and dreams which are also emotions. And when you are emotionally shattered and destroyed, you lose that zeal of work. You look for a break or something that can cheer you up. Since you are free and independent you tend to delay your work.
I tried to implement the scenario at work here. Enforced some deadlines on myself and motivated myself to write this first article after the nervous breakdown. It took me three days to write this article compared to four to five hours which I usually take, but things seems to be working. After all writing is my hobby, something which gives me happiness. I realized I was unnecessarily going away from something which gave me the most happiness or may be the second most happiness after her. Being involved and dissolved in the flow of my ambition was the solution and I was moving away from it. After all this is the reason I left everything and my previous job. And now it deserves my full attention. Because when I write I forget everything, I even forget my headache if I am suffering from one.
Therefore, I think the solution to such emotional disasters at work is to involve even more in the work or something that gives you happiness. Do not run away from your friends, family. That is not the solution. Happiness and sadness is within you. Do not let someone else control it. You are the reason of your happiness and you are the reason of your sadness. We all keep the capabilities to forget things with the time. But the quick solution is in your hands.
P.S: My internet works now. I called MTNL 3 times to fix it and it worked.
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