Let us put some light on the days of 1960s-70s life. What did people in India have then? A cycle? Some 10 paisa coins to their names? Did that matter?
Hell No. There was freedom in their heart, Songs on their lips, Taps of the feet, pollution-free environment, and a happy family. Why was that possible? Because, they believed. They believed in something that is called self-preservation. They believed that in order to develop, one must upgrade himself first. Then think about the system provided. Nowadays, the scenario is completely different. Today’s kids have been provided with virtually everything possible for parents. A laptop, cell phone, separate room, AC, heavy pocket-money, Best possible education, vehicles, yet they fail. Reason no one knows. Or it’s rather, no questions asked. There is no good reason to why it changed. Maybe we adopted the western culture in a negative sense. We started looking like them, behaving like them, talking like them, eating like them but what we miss is thinking like them. They think to constantly upgrade themselves. Same thing our parents and grandparents did. Maybe they didn’t get to see cinemas every week, but when they did, it was the true sense of entertainment. You pick up any song of that era, You won’t find a single line in the lyrics which doesn’t make sense. Today, the whole track has maximum 50 words. Senseless it is.
You think this doesn’t justify anything? Check out the education level of the people of that era. Barely able to read and write. But yes, they are still more capable to work in place of dual-degree-nuts. Their brains work faster. They are so aware of everything around them. They have such a nice schedule today. They are so regular and particular about thousands of small and big things daily like diet, reading habits, hobbies, entertainment, romance, work. All we care about is booze and party. Maybe there is something more to that than life. Life is an epitome of free space. The more you explore, the more marvels you see. We have restricted our life in the bounds of our planet. Let us expand. Expand more to our solar system, our galaxy, and constellations across the universe. And see how marvelous this life is. What a gift! It is truly unimaginable, incomparable, priceless and something which cannot be contained within a 4-letter word. We have only one shot at this. Who has seen the future? Who has seen tomorrow? Who has seen the hour that will be ticking about 60 minutes from now? Maybe we no more exist. But yes, if you do what you truly want to do, if you know How to live life. There you won’t have any regrets on the day you die. That day will be truly yours. Everything around you will be at your honors. And that day, when you have your last breath, you can happily sing one of Kishore Kumar’s track. And Express to your near and dear ones,
“Waaah! Kya life thi. Mazaa aa gaya.”
Being an Entrepreneur is more of an ascetic intervention and not a materialistic one. It has more to do with the way of life and not with the quantity of life.
Let me explain.
Being an entrepreneur, doesn’t mean you would someday have a luxurious palace or a 300-foot yacht. It means people will remember your work even after you are gone. That is the only achievement of an entrepreneur.
Now that we have established the output of an entrepreneurial life, let us look into what would help in achieving the final ‘nirvana’.
Simple Rules of Engagement:
- Always keep your glass empty – Be ready to learn irrespective of who or what the teacher is. No knowledge gained is ever wasted.
- Be vigilant – Always stay alert on what is happening in your world. Be ready to capitalize on opportunities. And most importantly, be ready to retrospect after every episode. If you can trace why it happened, you would always be able to make sure you do not repeat the same mistakes again.
- Know the value of your possessions – You will not always have the same things. You should cherish what you have and make sure you capitalize on them always.
- Always keep others above yourself – Always sense what people working with you need. What they like. What they aspire and help them achieve. A happy team is a productive team. Its them who will carry the torch forward.
- Always respect what others have to offer – The only thing that is never useless in the world is ‘a contribution’. May that be resources, ideas, thoughts or anything else. The perspective of every contributor may be different, and may not match what you think, but the motive behind it is important. These contributions will later convert into vested equities of a larger legacy.
- All-in! – “How do I know what my passion is?”. “Think about the thing that you can do 24 x 7 x 365, without stopping, without complaining, without any expectations and still be happy and satisfied. That is your passion.”. Once you decide what you want to do, it’s simply a matter of All-in! Never look back and keep moving forward
- Give Back – Whatever you have earned or achieved is rightly deserved by you and you should try to express your gratitude by giving it back to the world. Be philanthropic by nature. Have the tendency to share what you have.
There are many instances I recall when I had to take calls where either decisions lead with my back against the wall. May it be the decision of restructuring happening in Energy Labs or investing in new ventures where I had no operational experience whatsoever. The thing that sets in motion to such decisions is never under control of the decision maker. And those decisions are often termed as better judgment. When the rewards are green, people tend to bring in all shades of flowery praises but in case of bad calls, they are not even present to criticize you.
Having realized this the hard way, when Swaraksha was on the launch pads and just a push of button away, not a single member of my board was approving except me. In fact they were so paranoid that it lead to their continuing distance from Energy Labs. Even after all commitments were made to all the right and powerful people, they were sitting back and trying to spin all the negative wheels. Still somehow I managed and with few supporters who had no choice but to go forward with it got to enjoy my undisputed support all along the way ahead since we got a rock star success on our first market product.
That blind support eventually lead to the destruction of the next product though. And this time no one is being spotted to take the blame for it. May that be wasting of time, resources or sheer stupidity to feel that they had extra veto powers they took the coward’s way to push themselves out of the door. And this applied to mostly the people who had been there since day one. Because they felt I owed them something which was not the case, things didn’t work out. And for the first time, when we could have earned actual monopoly over something, foolishness and taking things for granted screwed everything up.
When doing business, you ought to keep emotions at home. In order to excel, there is no other way than being ruthless. A person’s ruthlessness can only be seen or judged by another who possess it. It’s not a call for kids to judge a person and his actions when actually they are just sitting in the background doing nothing. Its like watching news channel debates on whether we should go to war with our neighboring countries when they have no idea what actually is the situation there.
My advice to my fellow business owners is to not waver from their officially yes and personally no decisions since personal feelings have no place on a boardroom table. Do what you have to do and don’t hesitate to kick anyone out just because you feel you owe them. Maintaining relations is important but not at the cost of work where you could have actually made a difference. What would be my next officially yes step, I would share in the next post.
This might feel like a fictional film but yes that’s pretty romantic for me. This is a pretty interesting story.
I was 9 years old. One of most mischievous boys in school and almost a pain in the ass of authorities. While a crime was in progress in school, which involved me taking a loo break from the ongoing lecture, I walked past another class. There I saw a cute girl sipping water from her bottle. When she looked at me, she just gave me an innocent look and turned away. It was like,” OK someone is walking past while m drinking water and I should go inside” Look. I liked her. But I had a crush on other girl so I couldn’t cheat on her. (At least people take such things seriously when they are kids.) So I just simply liked her. Didn’t know her name. Later found out she was new in town. After almost two years I could finally catch her name.
Minding it, we were not the very best of buddies. Honestly we fought a lot. I mean it. A lot. And then when one day we fell for each other, neither of us had a strong memory of that sipping incident. She still doesn’t recall it ever happening. But that image is now imprinted in my memories for long.
I had been on a visit to my old school recently and I had a chance to walk past the same corridor again. N I was trying to recall that incident more deeply. I walked past that window still hoping I would get to see her still sipping on that straw. And yes, there she was. Different face but same cute eyes, hidden somewhere behind the mysterious looks and pompy cheeks, waiting to be noticed.
And what I have learned from this is, no matter whenever and how many times I walk past that window, I am always going to find her. Giving me an innocent look and still sipping on her bottle. I m going to find her always. I am going to find the sweet girl always there with whom I fell in an ever lasting, unconditional, un breaking, innocent, cute and the most passionate form of love. It doesn’t matter if we are together or not, the mutual feeling we have for each other isn’t going anywhere. It can just be buried like a skeleton, but not destroyed. It can only be dim in our memories but a single spark will put life back in our love. It doesn’t matter if anyone believes it or not. I know it. I can only pray and hope but anytime I feel like reaching out to her, all I have to do is walk past that window.
I don’t know from where but today I would like to talk about what life means to me. Life is all about keep walking. It is an unexpected gift with mysterious loops everywhere. Why I come to this conclusion is because what I am doing today is a combination of my dream and un-expectations. Very few people know about I was passionately trying to be an Air Force pilot some day but what gave me up is my eye-sight problem. Otherwise, I did work a lot towards that and came quite close. Many people know I played Nationals in rifle shooting. That at a point of time, I seriously considered as a profession and I could have done it. Business was in the gene pool and I wanted to be a businessman since start. At an age of 10, I had decided I want to own an IT company and today if I see behind, just like I said before, it is my dream coming true but the way it turned out, was full of un-expectations.
The one thing I am definitely sure about today is, life is never going to stop. It is not running, neither it is dead-stop. You just have to keep living it everyday. Keep breathing. Keep pushing your limits. Keep going ahead. Keep dreaming. Keep living. Keep laughing. Keep working and Keep celebrating. What makes my ideology is life has always been fair to me. Not rewarding and not risking. But fair enough. So I got nothing to turn back to in case of screw ups. And that is what I most appreciate. My family has been supportive of my decisions. They actually let me make my own decisions right from start is one of the biggest boosters. And I have always faced things like playing a game. And one thing that gamer knows is, there is never a game-over.
It is really important that you take responsibility for your own actions because unless you do that, you will never know what kind of person you are yourself. It is actually equally important that you give credit to others for their actions. It can be positive as well as negative for that will define the way you think and analyse things. It doesn’t mean you have to be a moral judge of character and entitled to label people, it means you learn from that. If there is something good, you should definitely try to adopt it. If you see someone screwing up, make a mental note whether you want that or not.
And such compilations make what life actually is. What it means and what it helps you achieve. You were born with absolutely nothing in hands and you will turn to dust someday. What most can you do is leave a footprint behind. And it is damn important you leave some good ones.
Leap of faith is actually that momentary transition between logic and belief. The point where you want something so badly and your logic ceases to help you out in that situation or particular that moment and you leave everything to fate based on the beliefs you hold. And such leaps are definitely risky. But then again, what’s the fun in a safe and tidy life. I too was standing at a junction where a lot of pieces needed to fall in place only then it could work out. With zero experience and practically in a group of strangers I had to overcome my own demons and start believing others. Something which I was definitely not good at. Why? Don’t know. Maybe I was too cautious to take risks. Maybe I was too cautious to fail. Maybe I was too obsessive about getting it right the first time. There is nothing wrong in that but sometimes the worst cases fill your mind with so many demons that delegating important stuff becomes very difficult to assimilate.
But with nothing to lose and everything to gain, I took that risk. It took some time but I started blindly trusting my team. Many times I got disappointed, many times got overjoyed. And this hasn’t stopped yet. But what encouraged me to take that leap was the belief I was still holding to. The belief that didn’t allow me to lead a cautious and normal life. The belief that I could do something better than everyone. The belief that I could make a huge difference somewhere. And frankly my leap has been quite exciting. The magical transition where work turned into friendship. I gained a lot, lost too. But my team always sticks around. We are one crazy pack of people who just refuse to give up. And it wasn’t just a leap for myself. It was a leap to everyone around me. A leap to trust some lone wolf from out of the pack to lead it.
Leap of Faith is important since it gives you an opportunity to experiment with yourself. The most basic birth right of man. To experiment. And why is it important to experiment? Because it makes sure that you don’t die. The day we stop experimenting with our lives, we silently creep into nothingness. Our lives start becoming miserable. Who said there is anything wrong with it. But what’s the point of it?
But when do you decide that you have to take that leap of faith? You do it when you see nothing new happening in your life. That your life is becoming like a pool of stagnant water. When you see mosquitoes biting around it. When you see there is nothing to worry about while that transition happens. When you desperately want all the pieces to fall in place. But that doesn’t mean it guarantees anything. It means life just gave you a shot. You just need to land safely. Deploy your parachutes at the right time. And there you are, sitting comfortably on a heap of hay.
And what did we gain out of our leap? One hell of a journey yet. Money, Fame, Respect, Importance, Friends, Rivals, Failures, Success, some hell of achievements, celebrity status in some cases.
And equally important question. What did we lose? We lost a lot. We lost our laziness. We lost our irresponsible behavior. We lost our procrastination. We lost some relationships too. But what the hell. When we look back at these last 11 months. Was it all worth it? HELL YEAH!
Sometimes fate plays a very strange prank on you. Sometimes you have people in your life you are ready to go to any heights for them. Sometimes some people exist in corners of your subconscious life whom you never know will rise to being one of your closest confidante’ in just a matter of 15 minutes. The world that opens up after that is just beyond belief. The world which unfolds before you is something you wanted to create for yourself in just about that exact time. And some people who once meant the world to us diminish in the black hole made of nothing. This transition is something which happens when you take your Leap of Faith. The leap of faith maybe that one small thing called a phone call that can change your life forever. The person on the other end of the call is that who might be the last on your list. Maybe not even on your list.
There was this one particular phone call I received on August 14, 2013. That one small thing changed the entire way of my life. That one phone call gave me the boost I wanted. That was a kind of miracle I was awaiting to happen. And the person on the other side of the line was not even on my list. That person, is one of my dearest and closest friends today, equal partner in good and bad, among the very few I can trust blindly. That guy who started everything with an idea. Who found everyone and who nurtured them. Helped and Supported and Stuck around always. That person on the other line was someone I never spoke over phone, never knew anything about him apart from his name. Didn’t even have his number. So yeah, my first words were, “Who’s this?” when he called. That person was Ahaan Pandit. This person made me understand what exactly “Faith” and “Trust” means.
What happened after that phone call was my Leap of Faith.