How often have you heard someone say “I’m working on my start-up idea”, and rolled your eyes, and immediately slotted them as young and foolish. Don’t these aspiring fools realise, this is just a bubble, a bubble that is going to burst- and the statistics, they clearly indicate that only 1 in 10 ventures manages to wriggle it’s way to the start line (launching and establishing operations that generate any form of possible revenue). You pat these starry eyed entrepreneurs on their back, wish them luck, asking them not to forget you when they make their millions, while heart of hearts you know that you should be saying a silent prayer for them.
Most seasoned entrepreneurs talk about their journey, and if you are not reading between the lines, it all sounds the same: The struggle, the ups & downs, the determination to continue even when everything is going south, the agility to pivot after failure…. “Running the marathon, and not treating the journey as a 100metre dash”. But if you pay close attention you realise, every single story is different — there isn’t a fixed formula or path, and the thrill is in walking into the unknown, with the desire & will to conquer, putting up a front that is strong and fearless. But deep inside the entrepreneur is terrified of stepping on the “Drain Cash Flow to Zero” pedal.
The entrepreneurship bug bit me hard a year ago. When I did come out in the open and discuss it with my inner circle, it surprised me that no one seemed taken aback. Apparently it was obvious to all of them that I had to go entrepreneurial: So many emotions took over me at that point, I wanted someone to tell me that it’s a crazy road ahead and I should stick to being safe. Finish my MBA at HEC,Paris, get a fancy job and continue to enjoy Europe. Instead everyone including my parents gave me their blessings and asked me to take the leap. I decided to reach out to people in the start-up circle in India and ask them what they really thought. Of course what I heard from them was very different. They asked me not to do it because it is a painful struggle, and not everyone is ready to fight it out: The most recent person I spoke to said “Even a monkey can become a successful entrepreneur, as long as the monkey grows a thick skin, and toughens up to ride the wave, patiently”. He then added, that over the last 10 years, he has experienced emotions that he decided to document in his blog, and it has been the main source of sanity for him. This was the only piece of advice he gave me, to document my journey.
I’m a couple of months away from heading back home and launching my venture. This is my first declaration to the world that I am going entrepreneurial, and I must admit, it feels pretty damn liberating. Another aspiring entrepreneur, and a dear friend at business school told me, that the biggest hurdle most entrepreneurs face is the fear of failing, and having to tell the world that you failed. The reason people don’t talk about their plans in the open is because it’s that many more people who will need an explanation when the venture failures.
I have decided to fight the anxiety of failing by inviting the world to be a part of my journey. Failure or success, only time shall tell. Do jump on the bandwagon, it’s sure to be a goody bag of emotions, and drama of course!