Building in Public January 3, 2021

Quit my 200k+ job

passivepanel

I finally did it. After about 6 years in the software industry, I decided to quit my job at a top tech company to pursue my passion as an entrepreneur.

As the title states, I was getting paid over 200k right before I decided to jump ship.

I couldn't find the time/motivation to moonlight, so instead I'm going at this in lieu of my full-time job. I have over a year's worth of savings, but also have passive income through real estate which covers my expenses, and I invested heavily into my 401k during my time there.

Consider this the first step in my journey. The first line of code gets written tomorrow. Looking forward to sharing with you folks in the future :)

Also, any general advice is greatly appreciated (ways to stay healthy, focused, etc.). Thanks!

  1. 8

    Best of luck!

    The jump to not having a boss can sometimes be both great and terrible. Find a mastermind group to keep you accountable, create healthy habits, and remember to have fun!

    Also, not a lot of people talk about this, but the change from watching your bank account or 401K balance keep going up, up, up to staying stagnant or slowly and steadily dwindling sucks. It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on that though, so keep it up :-)

    One year will go way faster than you thought possible! Enjoy the journey!

    1. 1

      How do you find mastermind groups?

      1. 2

        There are a few matchmaking services you can pay for. https://mastermindjam.com/ and https://microconf.com/masterminds spring to mind.

        Another option is to just make a post that you're looking for folks to join one on IH 🙂

        1. 1

          Hey there, thanks for the shout out!

          Hey, just an FYI: the MastermindJam enrollment is open (even though the home page says it's not). I'm in the process of updating the homepage this week. But in the mean time, if you sign up, you'll get the details in email.

        2. 1

          thank you!! this looks great

    2. 1

      Thanks for the tips. I've setup an email list of "stakeholders" (friends/family) where I will email what I did last week, what I'm doing this week, etc.

      Regarding the bank account, I definitely feel that. My hope is to get profitable in a few months, where staring at a stagnant bank account won't feel as painful. Even seeing a couple hundred/month would be enough to keep me going.

      1. 1

        Have you considered making those updates a public newsletter?

        I’ve done that with The MVP Sprint and it’s been fun, motivating, and great way to build up a waitlist.

        1. 1

          Hmm, I haven't but I'll certainly look into it. Good idea, thanks.

  2. 7

    Amazing! Join to the club :)
    12 years ago I left my 200k office to build amazing things

    1. 5

      Can you show me some of the things that you build, I would love to see that .

      1. 1

        This deserves a separate blog post, therefore I will briefly outline.
        I am an old school technologist and I was looking for technology first of all, and first I improved myself. When I was the head of small remote office for a successful London-based cybersecurity startup, I started to lose my programming skills (and probably myself) in 2007. We were preparing for a $ 200 million IPO and the team has 2%, so the parties are everywhere and I plan to quit. These were new times for Ukraine, and people like me worked like black and gray hackers, but I was never a pirate. I dropped out of college in my 3rd year and created a phone system. I wanted to create sports car accessories (I am an embedded developer and I have access to three $ 300k cars in an office garage) like this https://www.winnerelect.com/product/LED-Car-Wheel-Light.html, but that was not possible with the main project in which we were building a security scanner to protect financial traders like Bloomberg Investors from over 10,000 software vulnerabilities every day in the early days of the Internet.
        But that all changed after the 2008 crisis, when everything was broken.
        I leave the office and go back to development. The third time I tried to rebuild the team during the crisis, change of direction, mobile, enterprise, outsourcing, flash, web, desktop, win, mac, linux, admin, etc. I tried to create 100% remote teams and did not see the opportunity for offices when we got the iPhone 2G in 2008.
        In first, I saw big potential of iPhone 10k apps and single $1k Diamond app at 2008, and mobile was selected as first priority for now. We have 10M+ mobile apps and users grow faster, and I made 10M users iOS/Android app already.
        Next, social and social gaming network, games and virtual reality. My friend (and second CTO after UK CTO Chris) Vitaly worked in Playfish UK 2010 (aquired by Electronic Arts), and we discussed Java, social networks and Raytracing technologies for peoples. So, I build 2.5D Flash game engine for third-party game studio social network engine. Those were the early days, of course, I was working on Bitcoin 2010 and Ethereum 2014.
        2012 Animation CPU, to be continued...
        PS: Join to TestFlight, and you can see NeXT++ amazing things :) https://www.indiehackers.com/post/launch-of-animation-cpu-creative-development-c36cfc93e7

  3. 4

    Congrats! I also left my well paying job last March! It's been so liberating for my soul!

    Can't wait to see the amazing things you'll be building 🎉

  4. 4

    Congrats @passivepanel! I literally resigned this morning, same situation as you. Exciting and terrifying all at once :)

    1. 1

      Indeed. Good luck to you as well!

      1. 1

        I jumped ship a bit over a year ago :). Never a minute of regret!

  5. 3

    Hey, going trough the same thing here. I decided to leave the company where I was at running a product.

    My plan is to travel with my bicycle in a tent trough Spain.

    In my experience, I've found that disconnecting for a while and do other non-tech related activities are a good way to help you think your next steps.

    Good luck 💪🏻

    1. 1

      Sounds sweet. Hope to hear about the next moves soon after the trip though 😜

  6. 3

    Wishing you all the best on your new journey! Stick to a reasonable schedule so you don't get burned out. Try to eat and sleep on time, and take days off. Also, remember that perseverance's key!

    1. 1

      Thanks for the tips. Hoping I can setup a system to stick with routines for working out, sleep, eating right, etc.

  7. 2

    Congrats! I quit a 6 figure job in 2019 to go back to my MSc and build things, and this year I'm taking a part time job that pays about 1/3 of what I made before. I wouldnt change a thing.

  8. 2

    Congratulations @passivepanel and all the best!

    One thing you need is a daily routine to keep you focused on work. It's easy to get distracted when you don't have a deadline to meet or a boss breathing down your neck. I see many people struggle to stay focused on work.

    A few things you should do:

    1. Create a fixed place to work so when you sit there, you get into the work zone
    2. Create a fixed working schedule, at least till you settle into the new life
    3. Some people find it helpful to dress up for work as it puts them mentally in the zone
    4. Use a task/time tracker to track how you are spending your time
    5. very important - don't compare what you're earning to what you were making in the job. It's easy to slip into that comparison, especially after a few months. It can be very discouraging and demotivating. Instead focus on the progress you are making or adjustments you need to make to do better.
    1. 2

      So true. I've literally not earned an income in a little over 2 years. It was fine for most of that time but now it's kind of depressing. The good news is that I am making good progress and we should start generating some revenue on a consistent basis this week. Maybe I'll be able to start paying myself soon (crosses fingers).

  9. 2

    What are your thoughts on hedging your bets by starting a business while maintaining your 200k+ job? Not suggesting or judging here... just curious on if you considering building your business while keeping your day job. For me, I invest a lot of my salary into my side business, even using that money to hire Upwork contractors to do the heavy lifting. @passivepanel

    1. 1

      Depending on the job, it may not be possible to "switch off" enough from the job even on weekends to work effectively on a side project.

      1. 1

        Interesting, thanks for sharing that.

    2. 1

      Sorry, looks like you addressed this when you talked about "moonlight" in your post. I wasn't familiar with that term.

  10. 1

    Congrats! Very excited to hear more about your journey! It is kinda opposite for me. I recently joined a startup Tappy👈 I am dedicating all my time and energy to that. The funny thing is, I am pretty much enjoying it! I guess we all love our fresh start!

  11. 1

    That's great. Takes some courage to walk away from that high of a salary.

  12. 1

    Awesome to hear!

    I'm doing the same as you, starting Monday. Also found that moonlighting doesn't really work well for me, neither scheduling-wise, nor pesonality-wise (always been an all-or-nothing kind of guy).

    Would love to have a chat if you're up for it!

  13. 1

    I left Amazon a couple of years ago, at 220K. I have since replaced my income and my wife's income.

    1. 1

      That's very reassuring, thank you. What are you working on currently?

      1. 1

        Well, I am CEO/CTO of a cloud accounting firm (see https://www.indiehackers.com/post/app-sec-scrutiny-is-a-fact-of-life-deal-with-it-d5292cb695?commentId=-MQIwvzGFSBfNec_sSy8&utm_campaign=forum-notification&utm_medium=email&utm_source=indie-hackers-emails).

        That business is starting to mature, so I am building my information product business, mostly focusing on technical coaching for the cloud. I am trying to build an audience at the moment.

  14. 1

    Good luck - I've also just quit my job of a similar magnitude, still feels a little surreal, now just need to pick and idea and go for building it.

  15. 1

    Tell us more. Who's our customer? What problem are you solving?

    (follow my adventure at twitter.com/Mqsley)

  16. 1

    Wow congrats! This is giving me anxiety just thinking about it 😂

  17. 1

    Congrats on pulling the trigger! :)

  18. 1

    Saw my friend doing the same and I had a talk with him some time ago and these are the points he mentioned:

    1. He missed working with a team, so be prepared for that.
    2. He spent money as he had lots of saving but as some others said looking at your money going low and be demotivating. Don't go into ultra saving mode but try to be conscious in your spending(I always say be conscious of everything :D)
    3. Try to launch asap with mvp as you will lose the passion of the idea as the time goes by if you don't launch!

    Good luck with your new journey!

  19. 1

    I started it before joining the job Lol! Welcome to the club

  20. 1

    these days are super distracting because stock market outperform most small startups. managing assets are far more important as semi-retired

  21. 1

    Consider doing something like Y-Combinator's Startup School. I like it because besides learning how they see successful startups "do things" you are constantly pitching and explaining your idea to new founders every week. I think it's good because these are not people that have a vested interest in you like family and friends and will be brutally honest. At least, that was my experience. They also make you track your progress towards launch which helps keep you accountable.

    Anyways, good luck! I saw in the comments that you have an idea you were working on previously. It'll be interesting to follow you and learn more about it.

  22. 1

    Congrats! That's a really gutsy and brave move. The fact that you have reserves makes it a little easier, but still takes a lot of bravery to jump ship.

    What are you working on, if I may ask?

    I would love to hear about it!

  23. 1

    I’m happy I stumbled upon this. This is super inspirational. I’m planning to do the same thing soon. Are you planning to pursue a single idea or experimenting with a few?

  24. 1

    good luck! make sure to start marketing before coding.

  25. 1

    Congrats and good luck! Be prepared for a mental roller coaster. There will be lots of high and lows. Try and keep your mental state centered as much as possible!

  26. 1

    Awesome! Congrats and best of luck. Would love to chat about your story! hello@victortang.ca

  27. 1

    Exciting! I quit tech every few years to be a dirtbag and it's a fun transition. Find some accountabilibuddies to chat with regularly! Audit your expenses, you may be able to live comfortably with a lot less! And don't forget to travel and explore and maintain/get hobbies and get you outside, sunlight is good ☀️

  28. 1

    Congrats. What do you plan to build?

  29. 1

    Congrats! That's an impressive leap... would you be willing to talk about your real estate investments a little bit?

    1. 1

      Sure, I have 8 units (2 fourplexes) currently with me living in one of the units. The others gross about 10k in monthly income. Thankfully the net income is enough for me to cover my basic needs (other than living). The fact that they're also forced "bank accounts" (i.e. putting money towards equity every month) is also nice considering I won't be saving much else for a little while.

      1. 1

        Thats great. What are the monthly expenses on the 8 units?

      2. 1

        Awesome! I am at 5 right now and trying to do the same. I think this is a super underappreciated area that could help out a lot of IH'ers.

        Side note, would love to follow your progress if you don't mind sharing your Twitter etc.

  30. 1

    Congrats! Looking forward to watching your journey 🙂

  31. 1

    Awesome, good luck!

    The first line of code gets written tomorrow.

    I don’t know your background or what you’re building, but sometimes diving right into code isn’t the best first step. I’ve fallen into traps before where I build and build and build and then nobody wants my MVP.

    1. 1

      Good point on that, and I definitely left out some context in my post. I actually POC'd this idea as a side hustle about 9 months back. I had to table it because it just took up too much time (from customers).

      Still, I think there are some things that I should hash out before I start jumping in the deep end.

  32. 1

    Best of luck, be sure to add your twitter and the product you are building on your IH profile. I'd like to follow your journey.

    1. 1

      I'm not a big twitter person, although that might have to change. Feel free to follow me here though, I'll try and update often.

  33. 1

    This comment was deleted 22 days ago.

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