It looks like yesterday when I was woken up in the middle of the night by a nightmare!
Jobless, directionless and confused. Having given up a good job and nothing working out in life, I cursed myself left, right and center.
I quickly realized that it was just a nightmare. I still had my job. I still had a salary coming in every month. And the appraisals and a possible good hike just around the corner.
I sat at my desk at 2.30am in the night and really wondered if I should resign from my job without any idea about what next to do in life. Should I hang on for a while? Should I take it easy? Should I wait until I figure things out?
I couldn’t come to a conclusion. I slept.
Come morning, come light.. I thought, “heck, let me just do it”. Also, my wife was very supportive about it. That really helped!
I resigned from my job. The day was January 4th.
And then, began the story!
- resigned from job
- more confusion
- sleepless nights, nightmares
- www.etltraining.com – backup option if all else fails
- Tappers – short for travellers and photographers. Name comes to mind while driving. Note it down in diary.
- Blog about renting out equipment
- Mar 11 – last day at work. Scared, emotional and nostalgic
- First rental execution
- Confusions continue
- Shit Scared of having nothing to do in life. Decide to setup a separate rental site and call it Tappers.
- Tappers.com site is taken by someone else. Tappers.in becomes unavailable too, someone has registered it just a few days ago.
- I decide to go with Tapprs.com :). A separate rental site is rolled out using WordPress.
- Then, I travel for 10 days to in-laws place.
- Rental requests slowly increase. Nothing great, however.
- A trip to Sikkim, Sundarbans & Neora valley. Good trip, but spend most of the time thinking about what next to do in life.
- etltraining.com has reasonable response and I get quite a few training requests. However, I seem to lazy to even reply to the emails.
- Drifting and floating aimlessly in life
- Wife encourages me often and urges me not to give up yet
- Fear of life catches up and I try to improve Tapprs.com as a final bid to at least do something in life
- Requests for rental slowly increases
- I start buying items for renting, a far cry from renting owned items only
- A good opportunity with an analytics startup. However, they want me as a full time employee. I am interested only in freelancing. Give it up.
- Revenue has improved over last month for Tapprs
- Confusions continue
- Sister questions me if I was fired from my job
- Someone makes fun of Tapprs.com ridiculing that I rent out equipment sitting at home. Deeply hurt.
- Salary days are the most painful. No job, no inflow. Rental income is far too low. Infact, wasn’t even as much as the amount spent on the budget lens last month.
- Another tech opportunity given up. Would have gobbled it up under usual circumstances. I don’t quite understand how I was able to say no to those, but I did.
- I tell wifey that am planning to close Tapprs.com. She says she will run it if I do. Ashamed, I continue running it.
- Really wondering if I should close it.
- But then, have nothing else to do in life. Keep it going, I tell myself.
- Things change a bit. Revenues have increased. Many people now know that I run Tapprs.com. And that I have nothing else to do in life.
- A few more items added.
- Still, I think Tapprs is not my main idea. I need to figure out something. Soon!
- Start looking at the US lens rental market
- Notice Lensrentals.com grew from a 50k USD company into a 6million $ venture in 5 years flat
- Wait, there are more. There’s borrowlenses.com, lensprotogo.com, rentglass.com, etc
- Maybe this can be figured out
- Inspired by Lensrentals.com and borrowlenses.com that grew phenomenally in 4-5 years flat.
- Decide to make Tapprs.com a purely photography equipment rental venture. Remove travel items.
- Start pestering the CEO of a large US rental company. No response.
- Tried again. No response.
- Again. Wohoo… he is kind enough to share with me a few lessons and data.
- Confident. I mean, fearful, yet confident.
- Tapprs goes through many changes.
- Friends are very supportive in helping with stuff.
- Heck, this is my life. I want to push things faster. What am I waiting for?
- First lens damage. A Rs 63,000 Nikon 300 f/4 is broken into 2 pieces. Customer very honest. A blessing in disguise that helps identify a lot of loopholes.
- Decide to make Tapprs a Private Ltd company.
- Tapprs Ventures India Pvt Ltd
- Add inventory like a madman
- Revenue has improved… quite a bit!
- Tapprs goes to Chennai via courier delivery! Yuppie!!!
- Then… this, I have to keep under wraps for a few months now.
Ideas without execution are worthless. Pickup something today. Dabble. And maybe it will turn into a full fledged venture.
That is the Tapprs story! (Well, the best is yet to start!)
It was not easy. Infact, at times, it was painful. However, things seem to have corrected themselves. One at a time, things seem to have fallen into place. The reason, I guess, is that I did something.
Something! As stupid as renting items from my blog.
Have a dream? My suggestion (not advice) to you is to start today! Pick something. Do something. Then iterate. Correct one thing at a time. Change one small thing at a time. Who knows, it could snowball into something interesting.
My 2011 was like a bollywood rollercoaster. Confusion, pain, joy, doubts, what not! However, it ended on a high note. All’s well that ends well. Dear 2011, I will remember you for the rest of my life!
Wish you all a fantastic 2012!