A Year of Entrepreneurial Journey – From a Founder’s Diary [Inspiring]

[An inspiring story from Vishnu, founder of an analytics startup based out of Chennai. Vishnu shares his decision to startup against all odds and what keeps him going. ]

Many of you think, why I stick with certain things and be so adamant about. When I started my business exactly a year ago no one knew, whether I would win or lose. Neither did I. Others felt that I’m overconfident, inexperienced to build a business; but as a matter of fact, all I have is hope which others never understood or never tried to understand.

There were commitments from directors about investment and execution, but as time flew everyone had to take a back step to run their day to day families. Fine!

From then I had no support, no matter what; except my friend in London, and one in Hyderabad, financially a couple of times. I owe them about 27k overall(my debts as of now).

Then I started gathering people. I just found them on Linkedin. Searching for their profile/experience and wrote a cold mail saying, “I’m so and so, lacking in executing things needed help…”. Believe it or not this is almost begging for help. I had sent approx. 100 mails, out of which I now have two mentors(CEO of MNC, VP of MNC), one investor, two bank managers who are ready to help for loan of Rs.3 Million and Tamilnadu District Industries Center’s Regional Director.

All these days, many times I had no money to eat in afternoon; I had no money to recharge my mobile(I spent 8k every month and ppl used to give only missed calls while I was in England). I don’t regret because I chose it. Top of it I have been offered job in one company for Rs.1Lakh/month gross to head their operations. I didn’t join. When I shared my vision with friends and family that this is what I want to be, my company is going to be and I am planning to do things,  people laughed at me including closed ones. All I could do is a smile.

And a question raises why?
Because they are my dreams, I’ll have to stick with them. Everyone starts something, do something to feel the success. But lose their patience and perseverance in the early stages of failure. Its about winning, till you win you have to play. Win or die playing. Never quit! No matter what. Parents yell at you, friends laugh at you, girl friend makes fun of you, even she leaves you, neighbors think you are jobless. And even after listening to free advices from bunch of stupids who never knew what is a dream!

What am I today?
Started with nothing. Company turnover of 15 lakhs(Not a big money, but with one full time employee and one part time employee it is).In cards – Planning for two multi million Rs. projects for a political party and a bank.Building a product which is one of its kind in our field. And I tell to all of them, I’m not a joke. Today, I’m true to myself. I’m living to the extent with principles and to the fullest. I have courage to dare and execute things.

Why I’m sharing the experience?
Surely not to boast. But to tell my friends, if anyone of you are going through the same situation, You are not alone!

Why I stick with dreams and why you should start living?
Courage comes with first step of Not Regretting!

Never regret your decision, Never ever in your life (Unless you betray someone).Here’s something to ponder about. (From my mentor)

Five Regrets – wish you never regret!!! – By Bronnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My  patients  were  those  who  had  gone  home  to  die.  Some incredibly special times were shared.  I  was  with  them  for  the  last  three  to  twelve  weeks  of  their  lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every  single  patient  found  their  peace  before  they  departed  though,  every  one  of  them.

When  questioned  about  any  regrets  they  had  or  anything  they  would  do  differently,  common  themes  surfaced  again  and  again.

Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, but in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.   Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip.  But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content.  When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. Choose consciously, choose wisely, and choose honestly. Choose happiness.

[Naman is a startup enthusiast and has worked with couple of Indian startups as Product Manager. He is the founder of FindYogi]

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