It has been exactly one year since I quit my 9 to 5 job and started being on my own. In this one year, I have travelled a lot both personally and professionally with almost no agenda. While I covered length and breath of the country for various assignments, I also travelled to Africa and South East during this period. In this period, I have met so many people including professionals, artists, sportsmen, event managers, corporate heads, business people etc.. I consider the interaction with such diversified personalities is one of the best things I earned by being on my own. During the interaction there will be at-least one question relevant to the subject of ‘quitting job and perusing passion’ and that’s when the discussion gets interesting !

As most of you may have same or similar questions in your mind, I would like to share with you the TOP FIVE questions I have been asked in the past one year. While there are no correct answers, I just answered straight from mind with absolutely no filters… here are those interesting questions :

1. When did you decide on this move, any planning involved?
It’s not a over-night decision, a target fixed when I started my career couple of decades ago. It was my wish to get retired before turning 40. To answer precisely, I started executing my plans one year before quitting my job, followed the same process as I would follow in work related projects with milestone tracker, risk analysis and contingency plan.
Pre-Preparation and syncing our internal mind set is the key for a smooth switch over. I made a project plan for quitting my job, created a page long action items, completed one after the other till the last line item and quit my job three months a head of schedule.
As a part of this project, I have invested on a franchise business with my savings. Have chosen the kind of business where I get the freedom of time. Whenever I am not on photography trip / assignment I spend time on the business and add some value. While on travel for photography works, I remotely monitor and control the same. This gives a greater flexibility for the kind of work i am engaged with. Thats how I have planned and executed my dream plan.

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2. Was your job Bad / weren’t you happy on your job ?
To answer in short, its a big ‘NO’ 
I loved my job right from day one till the day I left the office. My engagement with my career took me to various levels of management with three big corporates Ashok Leyland, Caterpillar and John Deere. These experiences not only moulded me on engineering but also on the business part. I consider myself lucky to have worked under some great bosses, even now I am personally in touch with them. Like any other professionals, I also had difficult times during my tenure but, that didn’t had any influence on my decision. As I always say people who ask for guidance, if you want to start your business because you weren’t happy on your current job… nothing much is going to change in future except getting worser than what you are today.

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3. How did you convince your family and how they support your decision ?
I have started making them aware of my plan a year before I quit. Slowly in between discussions I would mix my wishes and dreams. That’s half done… when I was at the cliff before the jump, I made some clear commitments to them on my work process and financial points.
Convincing spouse is one part, it depends on various factors. The most important among that is your spouse’s knowledge on the business you are going to pursue. If not, making them understand should be a part of your project. thats exactly what I did. It was quite easy for me as my wife was very well aware of my wish and she was confident that I will handle this.
But convincing parents is a mammoth task. Being earlier generation with parental nature, they always care for you a little too much and always want you to be comfortable. In my case, I still couldn’t believe that I convinced my dad who was an employee of a single organisation all through his carrier for 40 yrs.
End of the day all the commitments you gave become a part of your business targets, I am personally feeling lucky that my spouse and parents supports my decision all through…

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4. How is your financial status now, are you earning the same which you were while on 9-5 job ?
I have two answers for this question. YES and NO
YES, I am earning more than I earn as an employee of an organisation.
NO, I am not earning the same money with the passion I am working on.
You will understand my answer if you read it again. Balancing the income opportunity and contingency planning is very important to keep the financial status in comfortable zone. I did some considerable investments for a sustainable income before taking up my passion on track, this gave me comfort zone to keep my passion alive without any need to deviate.

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Right from day-one, I kept my expectations high on my business where i have invested and kept very low expectations from my passion turned profession. Hence, I need not bend much to make money through my passion, I am very happy with whatever earned through it. So to tell the answer again, YES I am earning good enough then what I would have.

5. I also want to do so, whats your say on this ?
Turning out passion as profession is great, the problem starts when you expect the passion to earn as much money as you were earning earlier. If you are looking forward to get rid of all the issues you have in your existing job, there is a very big disappointment awaits you. If running own business is going to be a cakewalk with all good times, everyone around us would have done it by now…
On a 9 to 5 job, if you engage yourself for 60% of your time, you will be the best performer of the organisation. Where in this world, you need to carry the work inside head all through the day (and night). Still you will fall short…. and you will come across so many characters you don’t like..
Having said that, this world gives a real feel of independence. Our time, our priorities our own rules determines the way forward and growth. If you are ready to carry your business in heart and mind all through the day, week and year… Go-ahead and start writing your own story !

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Others than these most popular questions, a casual one by end of the discussion would be “How is life now?” , My usual one word answer for this would be “AMAZING”. Turning around the next page in book of life is an unexplainable feel of excitement…and I am loving it !

PS: Feel free to give your comments below. I am currently writing a photo-bolg shooting motorsports at the worlds highest motorsport event held at the Himalayas,