Corporate life or entrepreneurship

A lot of my friends think being a hard core entrepreneur surely I must hate corporate careers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have been in corporate world actually — about 6.5 years to be precise. Climbed the ladders from being an engineer to being a leader in some top tech companies of the world. And there are merits to that path..

Who says corporate life is worse than entrepreneurship ?

Unlike many entrepreneurs I will not say it sucked and “forced me to rethink”. It was great- I provided for my middle class parents — felt liberated as a woman and techie - travelled internationally - bought assets - got the exposure to broaden my mind - became financially independent - restored my confidence — built a network — learnt to communicate and motivate — above all, learnt what is not working for the corporate world! It was great.

The only problem was the plushness of the chairs. The super comfort of the office. And a few odd reportees making you believe now you are the king of the world. The comfort zone of a secure salary and a faint sign of leadership suddenly giving you ideas that you surely have “now arrived” and surely you are “making real impact” in the world.

And then I started making friends with my older corporate friends, and they said “Boy Oh Boy! just you wait for midlife crisis to hit”…..

I have also written pieces badmouthing entrepreneurship as well.

The point I am making is — no side is glorious and no side is disgusting, in entirety. It is a mix of both.

Do what you want to do — but don’t start getting ideas. All sides have ugliness and prettiness. Pick a career because you feel like you want to do it - we all have duties and compulsions so go ahead and fulfil them - sure- but AT SOME POINT - reconsider — because eventually honesty to your own self means everything…when you go to sleep at night.

If you don’t-it will reflect in your self esteem, the quality of your relationships, your natural disposition to depression, your jealous attitude towards achievers as well as looking down upon those who fail ( and trust me, its easy to see ) and when your over bloated ego starts taking over, life has a way of making a public fool out of you. It has a way…

Ego is not always thinking you are the best, it is also thinking you know everything about a person, event or a life choice ( seriously? really “everything”? ).

We all do things from time to time for our families and situations and it is quite unselfish. At the same time, not giving the world the best of what you got — is also pretty selfish….It is a thoughtless gesture to the Universe that is feeding you, killing many animals to put food on your plate, snatching your share of oxygen and love from someone else.

What have you done to deserve it? By hiding behind the lie of “I never did what I could do because I lived for others “ ( yeah ya ya — all of us are Mother Teresa and Gandhi and Mandela )…but is it not true you are also “afraid”? That you lack “courage” to fail? That you are not brave enough to pursue things when they suddenly come passionately calling because a little voice says “What if you give it your best and still it does not work out? What would people say? How are you going to deal with the downgrading of your quality of life and your finances? How are you going to announce this to those in your family who think you are a hero?”

And do you not listen to this voice more often than you should?

Yes — surely you are sacrificing but you are also hiding from your fear of failure.

And would you be afraid of failure if your ego was not such a big deal? Think about it.

Of course! It is our duty to always do the best we can for those we care about but presenting them an individual who is passionate and full of life is probably the best we can do for them. It teaches them to go after their dreams and sets an example of a very fulfilled individual .

I have seen more families damaged by soulless, lack lustre guardians and members than I have seen those destroyed by the lack of a private school education.

If paying school fees and rent and an occasional holiday was all it took for a family to be happy- I am not sure there would be any separations in this world at all.

There is balance between self-fulfilment and duties, sometimes they clash sometimes they do not. Sometimes we sacrifice one, other times we do not. Constantly sticking to one side is neither intelligent nor unselfish. It is lazy, it is not smart, and it certainly smacks of lack of courage.

When we expand ourselves and push at our comfort zones, we also return as better individuals to our own families. Happier, newer and better.