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My Story So Far: A Shy Kid From a Small Village In India To An Influencer on Twitter

Sunil Kumar
💪🏼 Hustler, 🚀 Indie Developer, 💻 Freelancer, 🛠️ Products: tinyurl.com/y7lvlmyp, Mainly JavaScript, Python dev. Working on https://landr.page ⚡️
・6 min read

In this article, I want to tell my story of being a shy little kid from a small village in India to an influencer on Twitter with more than 29k followers.

I want to share my journey so far, my struggles, the things I have achieved, and where I want to see myself in the next 5–10 years.

The story is not intended to brag about myself or implies that I’m a success already. I just want to inspire others to work hard and achieve their goals in life through this article.

Let’s start.

My Journey So Far

Age 1–17:

I’m basically from Soraba which is a small village in south India. I’m an introvert and I don’t like to talk much. It takes time for me to get comfortable with anyone before I talk more with them.

Life can be hard for introverts sometimes and people generally don’t care much about the quiet ones. Mainly because you’re not fun to be around.

I have always been an outlier since my childhood. I was always the last one to be picked at anything. This started a fire very early in me and I wanted to do something great to show everyone what I was worth. I had this thought when I was maybe 8–9 years old. Now that I think about it it’s surprising I had this desire and thoughts really early in life.
Whenever I was sad, I used to look at the sky in the night and be inspired by the moon and the stars. I used to think I will be an astronaut one day.

I worked hard (and still do) from the beginning and used to be at the top of my class throughout my academic journey. Eventually, I realized I wasn’t very passionate about science and math and didn’t think being an astronaut was what I really wanted to do in life. And to be honest I wasn’t that serious about it either.

Throughout my academic journey, I never thought deeply about what I was going to do for work. I never had any long-term plan. Getting good marks and getting the first rank in class were the only goals I had at the moment.

Age 17–21:

After my 12th grade, I joined engineering as most kids do in India. I chose Computer Science for my bachelor’s since that was the in-demand stream at the time. Fortunately, I fell in love with computers and programming. The possibilities of changing the world just by sitting in the corner of a room looked fascinating to me. I spent most of my time in front of computers during those 4 years.

I loved building new products to solve the problems I faced myself in my day-to-day activities. I used to have at least one side project at any point in time (and I still do!).

Sometime during these 4 years, I watched The Social Network movie, which inspired me to keep working on my side projects. After I saw the movie I thought I will build the new Facebook one day. I know! I was that stupid.

Age 21–25:

Eventually, I graduated and started working. I didn’t like the idea of working for someone else and having to work on things that I didn’t like. So I started looking for ways to monetize and get paid for my side projects. The idea was to make a lot of money and quit my 9–5.

It was hard initially. I didn’t have any business or marketing skills. Hell, I didn’t have any other skill apart from coding to make money on the internet.

I started doing too many things hoping to find ways to make money. At one point I was trying to build SaaS products, do freelancing, write articles, build chrome extensions, build mobile apps, etc all at once. Of course, I didn’t succeed. I didn’t make even a single dollar on the internet even after trying for many years. I was restless and didn’t like the way I felt every day.

I realized how difficult it was to make money if you weren’t doing the right things.
Even though I loved building products I knew I was never going to build a startup. I wasn’t good with people and didn’t have an ounce of leadership abilities in me.

Age 25–present:

Sometime around 2018, I saw this video How to Build a Startup Without Funding by Pieter Levels. This video was an eye-opener for me. I learned about the concept of micro SaaS startups where companies stay really small (1–5 people) and make tens of thousands of dollars. The main idea here is to have the freedom of working on what you want instead of working for someone else and still make good money.

This gave me the hope of making money through small products without building an actual startup.

I dropped everything else and started focusing only on building SaaS products and freelancing after this.

I tried to get into freelancing through platforms like Freelancer.com, Upwork, etc. But never got any conversion. I gave up on freelancing.

In 2019 September one of my friends introduced me to Codementor and explained to me the strategies he followed to make money on the platform. These tips really helped me to get started with freelancing and I made around 1000$ in my first month and around 1500$ for the next 3–4 months consistently before I burned out. I do make decent money on Codementor, but I don’t spend a lot of time freelancing these days.
I built many small products which got featured on Product Hunt. But none of them were solving an actual problem. So I couldn’t really monetize these products.

Finally, I built a product that I thought was solving a good problem. I built and released Landr in early 2020. Of course, It failed. I didn’t do any market research or idea validation before building the product. I built a product for which there was no demand in the market. It didn’t solve any real problem. It failed. But I learned a lot about building SaaS products. So it was not a complete failure.

One of the most important realizations I had in 2020 was the importance of having an online presence. I came across Daniel Vassallo’s profile on Twitter and was shocked to see the kind of money he was making by selling two small info products, all on Twitter. I wanted to make that kind of money myself and started building my online presence. I bought Daniel’s Twitter course right away and started applying the strategies explained in the course.

Having an online presence will help you in many ways. You can get freelancing jobs, sell info products, get traffic to your blog, sell SaaS products, etc. You can literally change your life by having a good online presence.
At the time of writing this article (July 2021) I have around 29K followers on Twitter and have received a lot of opportunities, I had never imagined. You can read more about it in this article of mine.

I make an average of 250$ on Twitter just through affiliate marketing. I have got promotional offers where I’ve been paid 150$ per tweet by startups.

I have built an email list of 2.5K subscribers by offering a free ebook at the beginning of 2021. I’ve even written and released a book on building SaaS businesses recently. More importantly, I have made many great friends in the last 1 year on Twitter.

Overall I see a lot of benefits of having an online presence in the long term.
I have been focusing on building multiple streams of income by leveraging my audience on Twitter. But the income that I’m generating through Twitter is not big enough to replace my salary yet. I want to reach a point where my passive income replaces my salary so I don’t have to work for anyone anymore.

These are the goals I’ve set for myself to achieve in the next 10 years. Travel more often without having to worry about work every single day. Also, work on the things that I like instead of working for someone else.

I’m nowhere close to where I want to be in the next 10 years. I’m sure I will get there on the day. The road is not easy. But I’m sure I’m on the right path.

I hope my story will inspire someone to work hard and keep exploring until they find what they’re passionate about.


The article was originally published on my blog. You can find it here.

You can connect with me on twitter where I usually share my knowledge more frequently on topics like Software Development, freelancing, creating multiple passive income streams etc.

Discussion (1)

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rohovdmytro profile image
Rohov Dmytro

Hey. I had a similar idea and also I have a bit of experience with getting sales.

I see a problem or two why you might did not get sales. If you're feeling like chatting - let's connect, man.

Anyway, doing the right conclusions after a failure is a win.