30 Months of Being Entrepreneurial
30 long months.
I don’t want to romanticize the whole idea of entrepreneurship, most of you anyway know I don’t hold ‘startin up‘ in high esteem. I think this lack of any particular entrepreneurial passion itself is making me write this post in the first place.?
So yes, it has been 30 months, mar a couple in between where I was working in a company, that I have sort of been on my own with regards to work. It was a fine though cloudy evening back in July07 that I told my boss that boss I’m out. I didn’t know at that time that 30 odd months down the line I’d be giving one young fella his first performance appraisal. That I won’t have a boss to say I’m out to. That I would be writing this blog post.
What I saw instead, right after I walked away from Shridhar, were a few adsense dollars, an MBA degree and a whole lot of bank loans to repay by this time (for a house, a car, etc. not quite the mba), a busy life but a well paid one. Over the past 30 months it has been anything but that. What started as a personal blog soon became my full time job without pay for 9 months. At the end of which I had just enough money to recharge my mobile prepaid (Rs. 450 Vodafone ). I had two options then either ask dad for money or go find a job, I chose the latter because I’ve never done the former.?
Those 9 months however helped lend credo to my name as a social media guy enough to get me a job as a consultant. Importantly I also had my first brush with entrepreneurship with it. Not because I ran a blog like an entrepreneur (far from it) but because I wrote about Entrepreneurship and web business. The end of that period coincided with my own first steps as an entrepreneur.
I can chronicle the entire story of Smursh and how it came about, but I want to reserve it for another day. Let’s just say its seeds were sown around the same time as I took my second job and it began growing a couple of days after I stopped working at WAT.
Smursh has now been running since close to 2 years now and around 14 months since we set our office up. And by many means it has been a successful endeavor for Harsh, Sahil and I.
My entrepreneurial timeline has crossed into around 34 months as I write this section of the post. It coincides with a timeline where all three of us have to choose from a cross section to go ahead which are ironically self made. On a personal level, to be honest, I haven’t seen myself filled with ideas of business scale ever more in my life, the zest does remain. I can’t call it being entrepreneurial though, not quite. At most I consider myself enterprising ..but not entrepreneurial still. I am still learning the latter and figuring out if it is worth all the harp bestowed upon it.
However, harp or not, the whole process of running a company has been worth trying out. And even though I had a more silver spoon-ish run with the whole affair, the travails often numbed me, with self realization being the final result of all. And that’s been the best part. You realize who you are while doing this stuff, especially if you do it with your heart more than your mind. And by that I mean starting a company you want to start ‘that’ company and not because you want to start ‘a’ company. With Smursh our aim once we figured this industry out was to be the best digital media firm. Now whether we build it or not, everyday we learn something that helps us know what it will take from us to get to that goal. That’s a great return to get at this age.
And while that part of the show runs, I am learning to delegate. I am learning to spend money on business. I am learning about how important speed is in business. I am learning to respect work and ideas, whosoever it is. I am learning to be polished. I am learning to let go and come together. I am learning to teach. I am learning to fight back. I am learning the importance of concentration and focus. And while I might be far away from perfection in these matters, I am glad I learnt to learn these.
Realization is a nasty bitch, it makes you cry, but makes you stronger still.
Back in the days of JC when my pop put in some hard earned money to make an engineer out of me, it didn’t quite work to his plan. And the debt of that wasted cheque and those 2 years even more is a heavy burden. However, I did take out something from it, for one I realized I didn’t want to be an engineer for sure. Secondly but more importantly, I learned a small set of words strung together that has stayed on with me since – Don’t just accept responsibility, grab them. I have been trying to since then, and it has worked out to my satisfaction. Expensive words though these were.
I think the stones to the path to these thirty odd months were laid back then. And so while I often fail by this greedy grab of chores, it is now a part of me. And I hope just like how this fraction of learning remains with me, a fraction from these 30 months stays on as well. It’d do me good.
There are dates being picked. There are thoughts echoed and substantiated and debated. These are times we all will remember even if we forget every other day. The story won’t end here though, and we all know it somewhere within that it won’t?
While the story unfolds, whether long or short, we look at the other side of things. That whether we remain in this story or not, we do take the part we played home.
There isn’t much to conclude otherwise, this is anyway not a conclusion. One thing you do begin to appreciate though are cliches and that cliches are cliche because they’re true.