6 Youngsters Who Quit Their Conventional Careers To Chase Their Dreams!

Swagata Dam , 03 Mar 2016

original“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

Not many have the fortitude to give up on the comfort of a conventional career and take the risk to chase their unconventional dreams. But there are some of us who live to translate their dreams into reality. A bit of planning, a pocketful of positivity and the zest to do things that make your heart happy – these are the basic essentials of making a career out of your dreams. We caught up with 6 youngsters who’ve managed to do that and got them to share their story.

Neeraj Narayanan – Adventurer, Trip Leader, Story teller

Neeraj Narayanan
Neeraj Narayanan

Like many other kids, I studied engineering and then worked for a couple of years in the IT giant firm – Cognizant. Post that, I opted for MBA at MICA. Then in 2011, I joined a travel start-up. On my first day in office, we were only four people – three founders and me, the first employee. I loved the world of travel and wanted to promote experiential travel. So after working for two years there, I quit my job and traveled the world. It was an overwhelming experience. But after travelling for a couple of months, I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to return to the corporate world or not. I wished to travel more, meet new people and experience new things. An office job would restrict me. Therefore, I freelanced for a while and used the money to travel. Gradually, people started reading my stories online and recognized me as an ardent traveler. That’s when I decided to take people on fun trips independently, in a non-conventional way. Soon my venture, This Guy’s On His Own Trip was born. We should all aspire to do the things we love and are passionate about; get up from our comfortable seats and bloody do something about it. I guess that’s who I would want to be remembered as – a cheeky, outrageous guy who was prone to following his heart and inspire people.

Upasna Makati – Founder, White Print Magazine (She’s even made it to Forbes 30 under 30!)

Upasna Makati
Upasna Makati
White Print began with just a thought that worried me one night. Prior to that day I had no connection with the visually impaired community. I wondered about what the community started their day with since for me it begins with sitting with a newspaper while I sip on my cup of tea. I immediately took on the web to get an answer to my curiosity and when I found nothing I decided to conduct my research and give a concrete structure to my thought.  
Within three months of speaking to various people from the community thanks to NAB , I quit my job and took on the challenge. In terms of investment it came from the savings that I had from the one year of working in a PR agency. Also, in the inaugural issue of White Print we managed to get an ad from Raymond after writing about 200 emails to various corporates. 

Divyanshu Asopa – CEO, Co-Founder, 21Fools

Divyanshu Asopa
Divyanshu Asopa

After graduating from Delhi college of Engineering, I got placed at the prestigious Deloitte group. But something didn’t feel right. So I chose not to go ahead with it. Then I started an online magazine and the only thing I had in mind was that I wanted to create only positive content. It was initially only a magazine and then gradually it turned into a greeting card company and now, we make paper and paper products which grow into a plant. I am working on my vision to make this world a happier place to live. So we create content, craft products and offer services in synergy with that vision.  

Hana Meshram, Zumba Dance Instructor

Hana Meshram
Hana Meshram

I studied BMM Advertising and then I starteed working for a PR firm. At that point in time, I was also a probationary dancer with popular choreographer Ashley Lobo as he had just started out in Mumbai. Call it luck or curse, then I had a slipped disc and developed a vaginal cyst. It so happened that the doctors screwed up and the one-time cyst turned to a recurring one. I had to be on bed rest for 6 months. The day I was operated for the cyst, I decided that no matter what, I’m going to dance. If tomorrow I die, at least I’d be happy that I danced. Meanwhile, I also thought of studying further. And then even despite all the pain, I sat for some entrance exams and then studied in a college nearby. But with my health issues, I didn’t feel like taking up a corporate job. I wanted to do something that made me happy. So I turned down some really good offers. Then one fine day, I was just having a conversation with my boyfriend Royston about how I wanted to dance and that there is something called Zumba and how I didn’t even have a penny on me for training. And then two months later, my boyfriend called me and told me that my name had been registered. I was quite apprehensive as I didn’t have the money to pay him back. He said, “If you like it and start something on your own, I’ll be your silent partner in the business. If you don’t, you can pay me back whenever you can.” So I trained. But even after finishing my training, I didn’t have any students for 6 months. I’d still go to the studio and sit there everyday, tending to to queries about what is Zumba etc. Finally, one day, a girl joined and there has been no looking back. Now, I have so many students coming in and I feel ecstatic when I dance with them during each class. Becoming a dance instructor has been the best decision of my life.  

Abhinav Chandel – Writer, Poet, Photographer

Abhinav Chandel
Abhinav Chandel

I was doing engineering but left it. I started working as a content editor and then I quit that too. I joined a travel firm and started handling their social media and travel content writing. Then left it all and shifted to McLeodganj to pursue writing and photography. Now, I earn through freelance writing and I also conduct exhibitions of the photographs that I click, where I sell them. Photography started as more of a supplement to my writing and my poetry, and then it became my way of documenting my travels as I’ve been a solo traveler for more than 40 months now. Gradually, it became much more than just a hobby and then I got my first DSLR camera. I knew if I had an equipment in my hand to help me capture the lesser known stories, click lesser known places and put them in front of rest of the world, I’d love it. As I could write and click, I decided to combine both these passions of mine and do something I’ve always found lacking elsewhere. I started using my words to convey a little more than the pictures could and eventually my writing became a way to add something more to those photographs, just like those photographs became a way to add something more to my stories and poems. Now, I’m planning to come out with an ebook, featuring my poems inspired from those travel photographs I’ve clicked. 

Dhananjay Talgeri – Director & Co-Founder, Koldplay Creamery

Dhananjay Talgeri
Dhananjay Talgeri

I was previously working with an esteemed PR agency and I used to handle the Larsen & Toubro group’s PR. But I wanted to start a venture of my own. And I somehow always knew that my stomach would lead me in the direction of food. Then I thought why not ice creams? After all, it has a universal appeal! No matter who you ask, no one says no to an ice cream. But getting out of something so familiar and getting into a completely uncharted territory wasn’t a cakewalk. It took me a few months to understand how things worked in the hospitality industry. We didn’t really have any staff initially so even I’ve had to work at the story. I felt iffy about it back then. But now in hindsight, it was a great learning experience. Now, we, at Koldplay have a vivid range of ice creams, beverages and desserts to offer and we even customize desserts for various five-star hotels in the city. I feel immensely satisfied when I look back at my journey.  

Jesse Owens once said, “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” Want to motivate yourself to make your dreams into plans, and achieve what your heart desires? Inspiration lies just a click away!

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This post is in partnership with IDFC Mutual Fund.

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