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Childhood Dream comes true [personal story]



I am free...Some of you know that I have a full time job as a business analyst with one of the largest IT companies in the world. I help insurance companies do their IT better in that job. Almost a week ago, I have resigned from my day time job.

Back story:

As far back as I can remember, I have always wanted to run my own company. It is one of the reasons why I pursued MBA. But over the course of years, the part in me that is curious, risk taking and stubborn has vanished and was replaced by cautious, calculated and flexible self. May be it is all the education and social set up, or may be it is just me. The change has been subtle but very powerful. So much that when I finished MBA in 2006, I did not consider setting up my own company, even for a second. I was bending backwards to impress the recruiters and get a steady 9 to 5 job.

Year 2007 – the year of change:

The transformation from cautious to curious has been gradual and began in 2007. I went to USA for the first time in my life and met several interesting and enterprising people. I also realized the potential of web based startups. They are low cost, easy to setup and run and can be managed on part-time basis. Around the same time , my crush with Excel happened. So I started writing about it on my personal blog (yes, PHD used to be a personal blog before 2007. Dig deep in to archives and you will find a lot stories, experiences and trivia). But I also started a small website in the movie domain. The movie site didnt go that well, but PHD kept on rocking.

In the meanwhile, my day job kept me busy and gave me lots of challenging assignments. So I pushed PHD to the side track and worked on it in the nights and weekends. But somewhere in my heart I knew that I would have to quit my job and pursue PHD as a full time venture. But the cautious side of me never let it happen.

Years 2008 and 2009 – Foundation years:

Along the years (in 2008 and 2009) I cleared my student loans and most of the mortgage (house loan). I also made some buffer money by working in foreign locations and monetizing PHD’s traffic thru ads. All this was poured in to our bank accounts to create little cushion for us. Even then I wasnt thinking about quitting my job and starting a company.

Then I became dad in late 2009. Simultaneously I launched excel project management templates for sale. As my kids grew, the sales of PM Templates also went up. This was encouraging.

Year 2010 – Finally,

So in year 2010 I took some of the money made from PM Templates and invested in the Excel School program. Again many of you have welcomed the program with both hands and I saw a generous boost in part time business. But even then I wasn’t quite sure if working on PHD alone is a good idea.

Then something strange happened. Between day job, work on PHD I was spending very little time my family. My work demanded that I be in Denmark for extended time and I could hardly find any time to be with Jo and the kids. I was being a bad dad and husband. And that feeling was killing me inside.

So in March 2010 I came back to India on vacation. My initial plan was to take a 6 month sabbatical from day job and spend that time with my wife and kids. But after spending a month with them I couldn’t imagine going back to work. So I sent in my resignation last week.

What next?

And then it dawned 2

I jokingly tell my wife that instead of working for one boss, I have now 9500 bosses. Each with different and very high expectations. 🙂

  • Well, I will devote more time to PHD and update it regularly. I will strive to maintain the quality of posts and interaction here.
  • I will also launch few new products (may be one product every 2 months) to keep the income stream trickling.
  • I will be running Excel School on regular basis (or make it as an on-demand product).
  • I will be doing more Excel Consulting work (Do you need a dashboard or report to be done? Drop me an email to get a quote).
  • I will be able to conduct on-site training sessions any where in India.
  • But most importantly I will be there to smile when Jo, Nishanth and Nakshatra wake up from sleep, and when they go to bed. every day. And that makes me happy 🙂

PS: I am planning to chronicle my journey as an entrepreneur at startup desi. Follow me there if you like to know how to run a one man shop online.


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107 Responses to “Childhood Dream comes true [personal story]”

  1. meher says:

    Great news ra. All the best with this new venture and I am sure the best is in store for you!


  2. Way to go Chandoo! That's how you become great...put your balls out there.

    Don't know why you would want to spend time with children, but if that's your thing...

    My best wishes in your new life. Let me know if I can help with anything from Texas!

  3. Jorge Camoes says:

    Congrats Chandoo. There is something about being a father of twins that makes us more adventurous... It's great news for the Excel users community, so keep those new projects coming!

  4. Vishal Haria says:

    All the best, and thanks for inspiration!

  5. Gopal says:

    Congrats ra! I know you will achieve many more ahead...

  6. Glen Feechan says:

    Congratulations on following your heart.
    You've built a great blog in you spare time, imagine what you can do when you dedicate all of your time to it. Mind you, the idea of spare time when kids come along is non-existent.
    Good luck with all you do. Please let me know if I can help.

  7. govi says:


  8. Paresh says:


    A courageous decision indeed.

    Wow, I am sure the already incredible site will get better. Look forward to some great products too.

  9. Sebastian says:

    Congratulations Chandoo!
    Your story is very inspiring and makes me feel like I have to reconsider my future plans and be more courageous.
    Good luck!

  10. Zak says:

    Good luck Chandoo. Your efforts deserve every success.

  11. Athif says:

    Hey Chandoo,
    I follow your blog silently and I would like to commend you on this brave decision.

    Inshallah, it will be a WIN-WIN for you, your family in particular and excel community in general.



  12. Pedro says:

    Your move is risky but you has demostrated here a great potential to overcome the challenge.

    Enjoy while children are young, they grow up very fast (the words of a father with three children), and you should separate the time spent working at home to be successful.

    I'm impatient following your Chronicles of an Indian Start-up Owner!

  13. Brook says:

    Best of Luck Chandoo!
    You've been a great teacher for so many and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for PhD, yourself and your family. You're an inspiration.
    Thank you so much for taking us on your journey.

  14. Hui... says:

    Well Done

    Every step in life is like stepping into a new world, enjoy the view and experience and look forward, enjoy it while it lasts, as we don't know when the next door will open.

    We will all be following and supportive along the way.

    Good Luck.

  15. Catherine says:

    Hi Chandoo
    I'm sure you will prosper in your life... making time for your family is good.... and more time for us... yay. I think there is a market for good excel products and helpers as well as the abundance of free stuff... and I look forward to finding out more about this..
    Best wishes

  16. Bhagat says:

    Hey Chandoo,

    I know the feeling. And guess what, this makes two of us 🙂 I moved out of Kaaaagnizant about 3 months ago and went freelance. So far not so bad 🙂 It was not just the travel but the hypocrisy of Business consuling in an IT company that put me off. There wasn't much value except the bit of money that was coming in and I knew, as you know, that it is not worth it in the long run. Godspeed pal! Wish you all the best.



  17. Cyril says:

    Good luck Chandoo!

  18. Vipul says:

    All the very best Chandoo.

  19. Jon Peltier says:

    Way to go, C-man.

  20. Subrahmanyam says:

    Hey Chandoo ! Congratulations and good luck mate ! Looking forward to hearing a strong success story 🙂

  21. Clarity says:


    Undoubtedly the best decision you have ever made. I did the same thing a few years ago and have never looked back. Lots more time with my children and the opportunity to really feeling like you are adding value in everything that you do.

    Can't wait to see what you pull together on a full time basis.

  22. Tom says:

    Congratulations! I'm sure you're feeling a little bit anxious, but you can make it happen. I have so much respect for entrepreneurs - it takes a lot of guts. Also, I totally appreciate your decision to spend more time with your family. Family should always be your top priority, even if it means being taking a low-paying, unrewarding job (easier said than done). Anyways, you'll do great. I love your blog and check it every day. Your daily updates keep it fresh and worth checking.

    Cartersville, GA (USA)

  23. James says:

    Good luck - I wish you all the best.

  24. chrisham says:

    Wise decision Chandoo! At the end of the day, its your immediate family that needs you most! And then us guys your "Excel family"!

  25. Victor says:

    I'm a Excel School member and I'm happy for you Chandoo!
    Best of luck and sucess!!!

  26. lavkesh bhatia says:

    Way2Go !

  27. Tricia F says:

    Congratulations! Everyone should quit their job in pursuit of something adventurous once in their life.
    Looking forward to Excel school.

  28. Amit Arora says:

    Dear Chandoo,
    Leaving your comfort zone is never easy and there may be times that you might regret taking this decision. Stick to it and you will be happy in the long-term. I am not an enterprenuer like you, but when I left my job to join the education sector in India, I knew I was doing the right thing. It has been an year since and I feel good about it.
    Wishing you the best!!

  29. Campingshadow says:

    Wonderful news, Chandoo. I am sure you will be much happier as will your wife and kids. I am sure you will Excel in all your endeavors. I will look forward to following your progress and reading your blogs. You are a natural and gifted teacher and we will all be benefiting from this move you have made. Good luck and best wishes.

  30. Sumit says:


    Very inspirational and motivating. Congratulations on this momentous occasion and all the best for the future.


  31. ardith says:

    congrats & bring on the new stuff!
    how wonderful for your family that they will see you more regularly during their formative years - your wife must be a trusting soul! 🙂
    i stumbled on your site less than a year ago, and i am very impressed - particularly with your wide-ranging following!
    with such a group of loyal readers & doers, you should NEVER run out of excel ideas to wow us with! best of luck to you & your family --- you deserve it!!

  32. Anthony says:

    Haha! Very nice! One quickly finds out that leaving a "day job" with one or maybe two bosses to start our venture actually means gaining a new boss with ever customer/client! 🙂 But, its the ONLY way to go! Best of luck!

  33. Bob says:

    All the best on your career change.
    Loving what you do often takes the labour out of the work.



  34. Jim says:

    Way to go on realizing what is truly of value. The people you love! Keep it up, always.

  35. What's next to be said ? You've coined down priorities in the right order! The 21st century ways of doing business on a worldwide level through the internet certainly gives those few who dares the opportunity to balance work and family time.
    All the best

  36. Pratik Kulkarni says:

    You are my man mate!! Way to go.. You got the guts (I could have used better words if this was not a public forum:).. Forget what happens from here, more importantly you will not live to regret "Wish if this when I was young..!" My gut feeling says you will be alright.. You have just transformed yourself into much more from being a Excel superhero! Cheers and all the best!

  37. kJo says:

    congrats .. may the Almighty be blessed on you..
    keep on inspiring others..

  38. Italo says:

    Eu sou do Brasil e admiro muito as suas atitudes!

  39. Nimesh says:

    Congratulations Chandoo

    Family comes first, and this is the time where you can enjoy your life with the family, work will always remain but not family's precious moments

  40. Kanti Chiba says:

    Dear Chandoo,


    All the best for the future, and may you succeed in all that you strive for

  41. David says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Have been reading your blog for a while and never left a comment, but this time I will to wish you all the best ! You are truly inspiring and I cannot wait to read your posts on your startup !

    Hi to your family !

    Take care

  42. Danièle says:

    Enjoy it all!

  43. Chandoo,

    My very best wishes to you. Enjoy the family and enjoy the new work.

  44. Patricia says:

    Wonderful. Enjoy it. Time goes by so quickly. You don't want to miss this time with your kids. I did something similar a number of years ago and have never regretted it. The key thing I have learned is that if you are doing something you enjoy, it always seems to work out. Good luck.

  45. sb says:

    All the very best Chandoo!

  46. Frank says:

    All the best!!

  47. Frank says:

    All the best family man! Family comes first

  48. Frank says:

    All the best family man! Family comes first.

  49. Kapil Kithani says:

    Hey Chandoo... thats a really big decision for you my mentor ! Late though I am in putting my thoughts, but I MUST admit, that I have really learnt a lot from you and your excel tricks for my Job..... My Best Wishes for you and Your Family.. Jo, Nishanth and Nakshatra... 🙂 Give our love to them... We would love to see some more pics of them.. All the very best in your life... today tomorrow and everyday of your life... this is truly a moment of pride for you.... for you have come out of the rut of working for someone and now would be on your own.. I truly respect your decision and would surely like to see more positive changes in your life. Do let us all know.. We all are sure that Chandoo.org would be much more fascinating now and forever!!! Way to go.... YOU ROCK ! 🙂 Enjoy...

  50. Abdul Kader says:

    Achieving the goals is superior, hence you are superior
    the best of good luck
    Never forget family
    LAMARTEEN SAID "Building up a dream in the air better than digging in ground"
    I wish you the very best in your life and dreams that came true

  51. Vijay Sharma says:

    48 minus 9500 already expressed their support and feelings...way to go...Chandoo.

  52. Mara says:

    This is wonderful news! Not everyone can do what you just did. I'm a big fan and am so excited. Thank you so much for everything that you do!

  53. saurabh says:

    Wow!!!!!!!!! Congratulations............
    I have no intention to make a farewell speech, but I just can't stop myself from thanking you for being a wonderful and inspirational boss. You are a great story teller and impeccable analyst. One great quality for which I envy both of you (Axxn) is your patience.
    All the very best.

  54. Fakhar says:

    Wish you best of luck and my prayers are always with you that whatever you do in life you realise your dreams and reach the top.

  55. Prashant says:

    PHD is an iconic site for excel users looking to be creative .. Thanks and Good luck Chandoo ..

  56. Mack Moss says:

    Congrats, you will not regret taking the road less travelled.

  57. Michael S says:

    Great decision. Life isn't just about the 9-5.

    I've being coming here for my Excel for a while - your site is a must for anyone interested in Excel, quite simply. So, in return for your help I promise that if I need to buy anything that is Excel related (training, templates, etc) then I'll come here first. It's nice to know that anything I buy will benefit you and your family (and not the shareholders, etc, etc).

  58. Sachin says:

    Congratulations, May God give you success in whatever you do and you achieve great heights..

  59. SANTOSH says:

    Envy you man for having ba..s of steel, for this crossover from being Dynamic to Static,
    Surely Jo, Nishanth and Nakshatra must be over the CHAND.. now.
    This one helluva of news for your fans out there. Now since you are at peace with your inner self , may you have the prosperity too.

  60. Vinu says:

    Congrats!! Chandoo.. Best of luck.
    Very few IIM's comeback from corporate and started like you.. Very big inspiration.!!

  61. Mehdi Raza says:

    Congratulations chandoo and best of Luck. May God give you success in whatever you do and you achieve great heights..

  62. Raja Srinivas says:

    All the very best, Puchu 🙂

  63. Sankalp says:

    Hi Chandoo I have been noticing u since ur first post of ALL I wanted to say abt CAT on PG. I used to always dream about going to IIM and all the stuff. I culdnt make in there now i will be going to IRMA( i hope u have heard abt it) I see now its not about the college but its about the person. I truly believe that u can do it. Wish you all the best. May the Force be with you.

  64. Gerald Higgins says:

    Yes, to add to all the others, good luck Chandoo !

  65. Francis Hayes says:

    I read a great quote by Mark Twain this week that really resonated with me, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

    Congratulations on 'throwing off the bowlines'. I wish you and your family great success.

  66. Jiri Cihar says:

    Congratulations, Chandoo

    Life isn’t just about the 9-5. Keep your Excel's site rocking! Your decision has been the right one. If you left the time your child is growing, you never replace thouse days.

  67. Simran says:

    I think this is awesome!

  68. HD says:

    As a fan of the blog, I have to take the time to congratulate you on your brave decision. It's the only way to go and I hope to follow in your footsteps.

  69. Lubo says:

    This site is great and your recent decision is going to make it even greater. Way to go, Chandoo.

  70. Gert-Jan says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Great move. Best of luck with it, but from what I've seen from PHD, it gonna be great.


  71. Tweet says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    I am so excited for you and your family! Any choice that allows family first is the right choice. Congratulations on making the big leap. I look forward to joining the Excel school - maybe you would be willing to have an intermediate/advanced class?! 🙂 Congrats, again.

  72. there are already dozens of comments so I'll keep mine short
    congratulations and best of luck!!!!!!

  73. chaitu says:

    Congrats Chandoo ! Happy for you 🙂

    and btw ..saw "Vizag" on your twitter...you in Vizag or what??! Am gonna come for tution 😉 take care bud 🙂

  74. Hubert Lee says:

    Chandoo - congrats! It's a big step, but one that you will never regret.

    I will support you in every way I can.


    Hubert Lee
    The Dashboard Spy

  75. Ziggy says:

    60 years old and using spreadsheets for 20 years
    Thought I was top of our businesses Ex03 heap
    Four weeks of dipping into your site and all has changed
    It is like using a different prog
    Just stick with it
    Good Luck
    You are amazing

  76. Santino says:

    Congrats Chandoo!

  77. teylyn says:

    Only saw this today after a few days off-line.

    Live the dream, Chandoo! If anyone can do it, you're the one who can. All the best!


  78. Nishant says:

    wish you all the best....!!!

  79. darh78 says:

    Congratulations, I think all of your followers (including me) will be hungry of more good and fun Excel's post.

    I can tell you, that after discovering your blog, I've started to build some dashboards for the projects I'm involved and the results are very satisfactories. Besides that, the very good news, is that my boss likes all those "objectives informations in only one sheet", and the has gave me a lot of "points" on my annual evaluation.

    Thanks for your tips and good luck on your new phase.

    Best Regards.

  80. Justin says:

    Congratulations PHD! I stumbled across your site in June of 2009 and have been a daily reader since! I am thrilled that you will be able to devote more time to this intelligent and well written blog full of great Excel tips, tricks and geniune PHD wit!


    Tulsa, Oklahoma

  81. Alex says:

    Best of luck and I hope it works out for you. Your site has been so helpful and is really appreciated


  82. Prakash says:

    Fantastic news!

    I have been a follower of your blog for long time, really like your passion to learn new things (may it be excel or other stuff), Wish I could take a leaf from ur book of experience.
    Wish you good luck!

  83. Andrés says:

    Great choice Chandoo. You will not regret.
    Best regards from Argentina!

  84. Sandeep says:

    Great !!! No problem with name !! coz your r doing greattttttttttttt job.
    You will be never forgotten !!!
    Keep it up always...............
    Best regards...

  85. Govar says:

    Go for it dude. You have my wishes as always. Hope to catch up sometime soon.

  86. chris says:

    RE: Childhood Dream comes true [personal story]
    You have rediscovered yourself and the "America Dream.” You only had to move to India and resign from your "I want to provide for my family" excuse to being with your family.
    Make your family the reason and not an excuse to move forward. If that is not good karma, then I don't know what is.

  87. [...] Childhood dream comes true – story of Chandoo.org – 86 comments [...]

  88. SONYA says:

    You are a Rock Star Sweetheart...Keep Rocking...Best of luck Sweets.

  89. Kiran Roy says:

    Hi chandoo,

    Kiran form Kolkata,read your success story on MSN yesteday before starting my day at office,Was immensely imressed and wondering the way you got in to it.Actually it was your pasion and interest.

    I just want to congratulate you ...and i may contact in case my co needs somthng really better at excel...well i know they need it so i may contcat you soon.God Bless

  90. Nil says:


    you've followed your heart and that's what matters at the end.

    Keep up the good work!

  91. [...] is a continuation of the Chandoo.org Start-up Story posted around the same time last year. Grab a cup of coffee and read it in leisure. Do not expect [...]

  92. Arjun says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    U R MY HERO!!!!
    you surely have taken a very brave step, keep up the good work!

  93. charles jackson says:

    cool stuff. You are a courageous person. most people will not go that way.

  94. VITUS says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    All the best in all your ventures.

    Any programme of coming to Auckland from Australia?

  95. Rakesh says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Thankyou for sharing your story .. it does inspires me, I like your confidence... good going.. keep it up 🙂

  96. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  97. [...] I quit my well paying corporate job in April, 2010 to embark on this exciting journey of making you awesome in Excel, I never thought I [...]

  98. kwasi Jackson says:

    very inspiring story. I like your confidence. we all have dreams but afraid to step out. you challenged yourself and it has paid off big time.

  99. amar says:

    Inspiring story ..........................

  100. […] Read how Chandoo started Chandoo.org that offers Excel training and how he makes thousands of $$ fro… […]

  101. iskandar says:

    Greetings chandoo, amazingly this website I learned a lot of what you write. and you really really inspired me thanks

  102. Wajahat Bashir says:

    Very inspiring, thanks for knowledge sharing!

  103. Quang says:

    "I was being a bad dad and husband. And that feeling was killing me inside."
    I am heading into the same situation, finished my master degree 5 months ago, working at global IT company now in Singapore while my family and a 22mons daughter living in Vietnam. Yet to launch my start-up but we probably try to keep separating for awhile before reuniting for the sake of goodness.

    Good thing is it only takes 2-hrs-flight to be back with family, but I can only meet them fortnightly.

  104. Irina says:

    It's an inspirational story. I'm so happy you followed your heart with such a strong motivation to be able to spend time with who matters the most!
    Way to go, Chandoo!

  105. Shahadat Raj says:

    It's very inspirational & heart touching story.I'm pursuing my BBA & planning to go for CA next year.But my cautious mind don't get such encourage.Now I'm starting to think about CA from different angle.....
    Way to go, Chandoooooo!

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