2015 — Not just a year gone by
Facebook tells me that my last post in 2014 was hoping that this year was as amazing as it promised to be. I was excited. 2015 was the year when I had decided to take on the challenge of heading BitGiving.
I think the first time someone called me an entrepreneur was in 2012 — when I was working on my first start up. The first time I understood what it actually meant was in 2015.
I grew up this year. From a starry eyed entrepreneur with a larger than life vision and bucket full of optimism, I ended up becoming much more.
2015 was the year when I learnt what it meant to have and lead a team.
For all those who thought I was “bossy” — no, it did not come naturally. Being accountable and responsible for a bunch of people who are in it because they believe in you and your vision was overwhelming.
I learnt that wasn’t supposed to manage, I was supposed to lead them. I learnt to let go and let the team do their thing and it was probably one of the biggest learning curves I had to go through.
2015 was the year when I learnt to ask for help when I needed it…
…and that, Google does not have all the answers.
It was a year when I found myself staring at impossible and uncomfortable situations that were completely out of my comfort zone. I had no experience of being a CEO and I was too used to having the answers.
I found my special people — mentors who believed in me and were ready to coach me through it. I realised that the easiest thing to do was to pick up the phone and call, and keep calling shamelessly till I could figure out what I wanted to do.
2015 was the year when I learnt that in the end, the decision is mine and so are the consequences.
Heading a company was not just about the glamour that it brought with it. While I got the open ground and autonomy to make the decisions, I was accountable for it all — the successes as well as the failures.
I was on my own. It was lonely but I learnt to believe in my vision, take decisions, take ownership of the misses and learnt to take every hit as a stepping stone.
2015 was the year when I saw BitGiving come to life.
When Fahad and I first conceptualised BitGiving, we envisioned it as a platform where amazing stories and impossible dreams came true.
2015 was the year when we saw that happen.
Every campaign, every story on BitGiving this year was special and I was fortunate enough to see the impact we made up close.
When the Ice Hockey team ended up raising the funds it needed to represent our country in Kuwait, I remember sitting alone, reading the comments on the campaign page and smiling to myself. We had made more than 400 people relate to a story and take action and each one of them had shared a small story of their own. It was the first time I realised the power what we had put together.
After that, every win we had from raising money for transition shelters in Nepal and Chennai, saving Friendicoes from shutting down to phenomenal stories of Kuntal who wanted to summit the everest, Inderjeet Singh with his dream to win a medal at the Rio Olympics, Shabia making sure that Saba from Karachi got funds for her treatment, the community of BITS Pilani coming together for Chimpooji of Blue Moon — Every story made us what we are.
Every partner who came on board gave us the confidence to make these campaigns bigger than what we had ever imagined — from RED FM to CNN IBN and the Quint — they all came forward with faith that never shook and gave us the open ground to make these stories come to life.
I start this year proud of everyone who helped us achieve this small milestone, thankful to all those who stood by me while I took difficult decisions, optimistic of the amazing plan we have for the next year and above all, humbled with the support and recognition we got.
2016 is our year and I can feel it.
Here’s to it being the year when more stories come alive on BitGiving.
A very Happy New Year to you all.