In June this year I’ve finally made it - my first item has arrived on the Envato Marketplace available to you all. Seems like nothing special, but I’ve just wanted to share the journey behind it and to prove life has a path already laid out for you. So let’s not jump ahead of ourselves and start from the beginning.
I’ve always hated 9-5 job. Paying an employer 5 days of my time in exchange for 2 days of so-called freedom per week isn’t a good deal and I’ve never wanted to take part in it. I’ve always dreamt of a remote job especially while being a passionate web developer since about age of 13, I knew it’s possible. I’ve never had my hopes high, though, but I didn’t give up the idea of trying at least.
When I was 18 years old and just finished high school I moved away from my country to study in United Kingdom (you will soon find out it was the best decision I’ve made in my life so far). It was a big step for a little sissy boy. Trust me. My family behaved like I was leaving for war. Anyway, at the beginning I was trying to make a living as a waiter or as a pawn in a paper factory through a recruitment agency. You know, trying to make ends meet on a tight schedule along with school assignments. Eventually I got permanently hired by a hotel where I worked for an half year…
Until one day I approached a manager on duty and said I’m quitting. A week later I was done with my last shift and became jobless. At this point I had no further plans. Everyone was trying to drill me down by saying how stupid it was of me to quit without having a backup job or trying to convince me I won’t have enough money to survive until my course has finished (in fact I had an empty bank account and rent wouldn’t pay itself). I even started to believe it myself.
"If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - A. Einstein
So I wanted to prove everyone (including myself) wrong. I quickly made up a CV and started to send it out to every possible digital marketing agency looking for a junior developer to come aboard (ps. after 3 years I am still getting responses asking if I am available for the role). I had tried this before and had no luck, so I was prepared mentally to apply for another dead-end job and accept my faith very soon. When shortly, all of the sudden, a local agency invited me for an interview.
FYI, I nailed it.
Fast forward to the end of my course when I not only graduated, but also quit the junior web developer job. Remember when I said I hated 9-5 job? Yup. Again, my decision didn’t face the applause from others, but I felt it was a good call. This time though I had a backup plan - to open my own 1-person company. Some might say it’s no different to not having a backup job, but I say it’s taking a chance and trying to win the odds.
I’ve joined the hunger games and attempted to find my first client. I faced a lot of obstacles, due rent notices and life has began to fall apart. It wasn’t easy, but perseverance paid back. My clients database started to steadily grow and my company started to make a profit. There were worse and better months, but time was passing by and I was doing just OK. If you knew me for all those years, you would know “just OK” was never enough for me. Life taught me to try, take a risk and sometimes make unreasonable decision hoping they lead to something good.
I always wanted to have some sort of creation of my own; a piece of something that I truly cared for, something that would help people in the tiniest possible way. That’s when I decided to give Envato a go. I created a PSD website template as soon as I could, which then got rejected. It undercut my wings, but I kept trying. I came up with another one to no avail. The fearless-red-stamp-belonging-to-Envato-team-labeled-rejected marked its presence on that one, too.
I was tired at that point. Someone who has ever run their own company knows it requires from you a tiresome effort to keep up with the workload, not mentioning running an aside project in the same time. I felt like I was on the verge of breakdown - sleepless nights and constant hard work for my clients was grounding.
That’s when my lovely and understanding girlfriend stepped in and told me: “Darling, you’ve always dreamt about being independant. You’ve worked so hard for it. Don’t give up just yet. You are so close.”. Believe me, these were the most motivating words I’ve ever heard in my life. It was like an injection of the infinite willingness to achieve the goal.
So I started all over again and decided to quit pretending I was a web designer that could compete with the finest themes out there and focused on what developers do best - the code. Hence, I came up with my plugin’s idea. I was breaking a sweat at every possible opportunity to keep it going juggling between my business and the plugin. After two months I had version 1.0 ready to be submitted to CodeCanyon. So I did it and made it. I felt like I made another small step forward in my life.
Now it’s been up there for 4 months, have gone through tons of improvements thanks to incredible feedback from you guys and the new 2.0 version is scheduled later this year.
To your disappointment, I can’t tell the entire journey as it hasn’t finished yet. I just wanted to draw a bigger picture and make people realise there is always more to the story than it seems at the first sight.
The moral to the story is to keep chasing your dream, because one day it really will come true. Think about it: had I not enrolled in a university in the UK, had I not quit that waiter job, had I not quit the web developer job and opened my own company against all odds I would never arrived at the point I am now.
Thanks to all my efforts and encouragement from people I surrounded myself with, I am now planning a 3 months trip to Japan early next year and the income from the plugin has paid my flight ticket. I consider it my very first step into financial freedom and independence that I am fighting for every day hoping one day it will fully arrive in my arms.
Putting a dot over the i - it is so important to never let anyone tell you something is impossible and never let them undermine your ambitions for they are all it takes to get to the finish line.
Thank you Envato and the community for giving me a chance.
Until the next time.