Bootstrapped At 13, Here's How I Built A $100,000 A Year
Digital Publishing Company By The Time I Turned 17

The Full Scoop…

I started trying my luck at this whole internet thing when I was 13.

I started with sites like Points2Shop and Free Surveys 4 Money because like any other teen, I just wanted that brand new Playstation or graphics card.

But things changed when I stumbled upon this whole concept of online marketing and running a digital company.

Now if you are a 13 / 14 year old from a normal middle class family , do yourself a favour and do not let your relatives know you want to start a business. 

You are going to hear the old cliche “Money Can’t Buy Happiness” dialogue or your parents are going to hear stuff like “he probably felt some inadequacy “.

For me, it wasn’t just about the money

It was more about freedom, you see.

I grew up watching my mom trying to make ends meet by the end of the month like any other middle class family. 

I just didn’t want that for myself. I wanted to be able to physically mentally and financially stand up for myself under any circumstances. 

So when I saw people create, design, and launch products, I found it extremely fascinating. Researching, analyzing the market, figuring out what works, understanding human emotions and neuro-linguistic programming…

It was all too fascinating for a then 14 year old.

But, I had ZERO captial.

No debit cards. No credit cards. Heck, my parents ATM cards didn’t even work for international transactions back then.

I was stuck, I was desperate. I ended u working for a guy for over 3 months so that he’d register me a Rs. 500 domain name. 

Then a year later I sold the website for about Rs. 30,000 and decided to focus on designing and building products and services.

The book that changed my life.

I remember reading an illegally downloaded copy of the The Butterfly Marketing Manifesto when I was in 8th standard. 

A 700 page eBook that I read in one go but I didn’t understand shit. It took me another 3 years to grasp the concept of the butterfly effect.

The tiny amount of wind from the butterfly flapping its wings produces enough changes in the atmosphere, which, several years from now what would have been a tsunami that wiped out a coastal city, ends up being a sunny day.

That’s just a metaphor – but it’s powerful.

It had such a lasting impact on me once I understood it. It motivated me to create design and launch marketing campaigns, some that went over to do almost 15 lakhs in barely 7 days.

By the time i turned 17 i had hit my first 100,000 dollar year. I had so much passion and confidence and momentum and energy it was insane.

Until one day, things started getting overwhelming.

found it extra hard to network with people, even just text them on Facebook. I was having anxiety and panic attacks. I was a mess yet i couldn’t see it.

This was me when i was 17 and working over 12 hours a day after school.

I was fighting anorexia, had ocd and bipolar depression which was left untreated for almost 5 years.

When i tried to get back in the game I found that my partner had killed himself and that he was bipolar too

That was the last straw for me, I couldn’t handle it anymore and decided to see a psychiatrist. It took another few years but I was lucky to find a proper combo that works well for me.

I don’t get anxiety or panic attacks when things fail anymore, I’m way more calm, collected and eager to give it another shot. I started messaging and engaging with my partners more often without a fear of rejection.

All my teenage years I heard things like “don’t think you are better than a doctor or engineer ” from my relatives. 

It took me years to tell myself that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. As long as you put in a conscious effort to be bloody good at it people will have respect for you. A chef that is bloody good at his job will always have more respect than a neurosurgeon whos bad at his.

I used to be worried about not getting it right at one go but then I slowly realized that someone who went through a shit ton of shit can be a much better mentor or a coach than someone who got it right right off the bat 🙂

Ever since I got involved in the Kerala Flood Rescue project and built KeralaFloodRescue.com…

I slowly started transitioning from B2B products to more B2C ones.

Trying to build simple little apps that creates lasting impact on people’s lives.

Because at the end of the day, there is nothing more my introverted ass loves doing than sitting in my room designing, building, testing, tracking, tweaking and debuging anything i can get my hands on 🙂

Everything im not is my why for everything I’m going to be one day.

What’s yours?