2018 has been a long year by all standards. In fact, many people I know are saying the same, I don't know why. It's so long I feel my whole life has been 2018. It all started with getting selected in Toptal. I remember Toptal was the dream company that I wanted to work for after graduation. That's because I really fancied Nomad culture (not that much anymore) and I absolutely hate having a fixed routine of going to an office, leaving home at 8 and coming back at 7.
Once you work remote/online and see for yourself, it's very hard to go back to a 9-5 regular job.— Avi Aryan (@aviaryan123) August 20, 2018
The daily commute is often the deal breaker.
Only teleportation can change that. 😂 https://t.co/VPAU50spcb
So, getting a full-time job was the least favorable option for me. But Toptal wasn't easy, I knew that and I wasn't sure what to do in case Toptal doesn't work out. But fortunately, I was selected and started getting some gigs as a Toptal freelancer. I also managed to keep a decent hourly rate so I am happy.
Excited to join @toptal as a software engineer. 🎉— Avi Aryan (@aviaryan123) March 28, 2018
Looking forward to excellent work, quality conversations and lots of growth and learning along the way. 💪🏻
Next major thing that happened was the family trip to South East Asia. When I was 17 (2013), I had planned that I would take my family to a world tour around age 21 i.e. after graduating from college. No one in my family had traveled outside India at that time, including me so this was a big thing. Gradually, I forgot about that goal but only remembered it many days after coming back from the trip. That SEA trip wasn't exactly a world tour but it was something and I guess it counts.
After coming back from SEA, I was hit with a major problem. My teeth were hurting. I had had teeth cavities since age 11 but I hadn't visited a dentist primarily because of a childhood memory where my dental procedures hurt. For 10 years, I was living with defective teeth. When I visited the dentist, I learned that I will have to undergo 4 surgeries (4 extractions), an RCT and maybe some implants to reverse the cumulative damage done. The pain was unbearable so I agreed to undergo the procedure. I am cured now but looking back I think it would have been better if I would have got this dental treatment 10 years ago. But alas!!
Another big decision this year was not working a job after college graduation and starting a startup with friends instead. I have already mentioned some reasons why I didn't take a full-time job but another factor in that decision was that I wanted to explore career possibilities rather than being a software engineer living paycheck-to-paycheck. I was thinking about making stuff and charging people for them as what indie developers do. So I tried half-assedly to do that many times and failed. I am still trying but this time, going all in.
Being a recent college graduate, I have seen the issues that students face in placements and industries.— Avi Aryan (@aviaryan123) July 17, 2018
Lack of good job opportunities, low or unpaid internships, long work hours and whatnot.
I lost a lot of money in crypto this year as well. Actually, I invested $4000 last year in some coins when the market was ripe (ATH!!!) and this year, when it all went down, I noticed that I only had 10% of the principal left. The loss amounts to around 250k INR using which I can comfortably live in India for 1 year.
But this wasn't the biggest blow this year. I also left the startup that I was working on. I had been a part of it for around 2-2.5 years, mostly while I was in college but recently I realized that this was not for me. So I quit, early December.
After that, I worked on a project that I had in mind for a long time. I shipped it live on Twitter and launched it on PH. It is doing well as I know people who regularly use it so I will focus on adding more features now.
This is pretty much the year for me. It was full of major ups and downs so I can't really say if it was positive or negative but it was interesting for sure. And I guess that's what matters.
Before closing, I would also like to thank my 3 major inspirations this year. These are -
Andrey Azimov, who took the 1 year to profitability earlier this year and has been doing quite good. He has been a major inspiration for anyone doubting their skills in entrepreneurship, more specifically indie-hacking world.
Cam Adair, founder of Gamequitters.com. He grew to success slowly and steadily, and his story is really inspiring.
Pat Walls, from Starter Story. Pat showed how to consistently work in the right direction, use opportunities when possible and grow fast.