How to Deal with your Family being an Asian Entrepreneur ?
_ Ashrujit Basu
Editorial : Poulami Chakraborty
Other contributors: Vinny William & Moupia Roychowdhury
Asian countries are emerging in most of the buzzing fields be it Technology or Education. China is leading a way forward, producing next set of global products and India has ranked 3rd in world start-up scenario. But you are still clueless. Ideas are popping up in your mind, but your family is holding you back, be it your family or the society around.
“My family still consider me as an unemployed person rather than a successful entrepreneur” says Vinny William (Founder of India Outtabox Pvt. Ltd.).
You are clueless, because you are feeling the pain of being pressurized – pressure of the ‘Godot’.
In most of the Asian countries, the family expects a simple yet secured lifestyle with financial stability. Being born in patriarchal society gives you a jerk of family responsibilities and starting up a Silicon Valley inspired garage start-up was the ultimate call.
At this juncture, it had been hard to do something passionate, creative and innovative being born in India or other Asian countries. I, myself being an Asian and Indian can completely relate with the dilemma. A family in India at par has a simple approach to life, where entrepreneurship is a wholesome crazy affair. We entrepreneurs no matter what, just love to create problems, getting into problems, whereas a middle class family meant to be more resilient, calm, steady and calculative.
When family pressure creeps into your mind:
It does, surely does, they don’t think that you are special, but you think you are; and expect your parents, peers, love interest, spouse to know that, understand it and give you support, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way because you are not special at least not in front of your family or others; they don’t believe in you or would love to invest in you until you prove yourself through your action.
You didn’t start coding when you were 6 years old, you didn’t sell your software when you were 12 so how you expect that one fine morning you declare yourself and self proclaim that you are going to be next Bill Gates and your parents will acknowledge it? Laugh Out Loud! They would rather laugh at you, make funnier jokes, setting an example of neighbors financially successful son or daughter leaving you cold in anger.
Is expecting support from family, peers and spouse a crime in Asian countries?
Surely not! But the mistake I made by not understanding the family culture or values or tradition can be a lesson for everyone to avoid by all means.
Does getting into a fight with your family for surviving your entrepreneurial agenda help? It may have worked for someone else but not for me, things only became worst, family won’t understand the entrepreneurial language through which you are communicating to them. So I had to learn to speak their language (not that difficult you see); when my Baba (father) demanded a secure Government job for me I had to give them enough data to prove that why demand for Government Job will be ceased to exists in next few years and why I am confident about my own venture and what makes it future ready. If you fail to do so then probably, you should opt for that Government job, Entrepreneurship is not your cup of tea.
Being an Indian middle class aspiring entrepreneur I had to deal with my patents, that too for a longer period of time where choosing entrepreneurship was projecting me as an insane personality before my family, they simply assumed that I, must be going through some mental disorders, need to address the same and hence they invited a psychiatrist. I had been examined and interviewed; prescribed medicines until the moment when I decided to fight back by giving them an entrepreneurial bang particularly to my psychiatrist’s mind leaving him understand that entrepreneurship might be crazy but not really insane.
Treat your family like a next set of investors whom you approach for funding and other sort of backups, let them know as much as details as possible about your ideas, execution, team etc.
Let them understand and earn the compassion to eradicate the slightest thought of forcing you for doing a job under anyone.
Be carefree but not careless at least not in their eyes.
Most importantly, don’t talk in the language of Silicon Valley; be very grounded while approaching family. After all its your family and convincing them should be your first entrepreneurial deal.