On Being A Passionate, Shameless Entrepreneur And Creating Your Luck

You have to be shameless to try things and ask for help like it is your last breath. For that, your passion to make it happen needs to be as big as the passion for your body to breathe. There is no second thought.
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Editorial Notes: Guest article by Naman Sarawagi. Naman touches an interesting observation around entrepreneurs – i.e. of passion and soul. Many a times, we start solo and the world often rejects us. But it’s the shamelessness, a continuous strive that takes things forward!

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.{Mahatma Gandhi}

I was speaking to someone about the problems at FindYogi and the challenges that I am facing. During the conversation the person cut me short and declared, “may be you were just lucky with Freecharge”. He was referring to the exponential growth we got at Freecharge, that I keep boasting about, but am not able to replicate with FindYogi.passionpit.jpg

I re-looked at this answer I wrote for a friend. I realised I was indeed lucky with Freecharge. How could a startup grow so much so fast otherwise?

Though what that answer doesn’t tell you is the number of failed marketing attempts that we made, or how many times we wrote to people to write about us on their blogs or newspaper/magazine columns, or how many months we had to wait for approvals from telecom operators, or how many times we got rejected by payment gateways. All the external dependencies fell flat in the first attempt and yet we kept trying shamelessly. We pitched to every person who, we thought, could bring us more users. I tried everything that I had ever read about startup marketing and I was lucky that some of it worked.

That was the first real thing that I was working on, nobody really knew me and I had no reputation to keep. Yes, I was lucky because I was shamelessly trying. I did not have the mental boundary of expectations to carry.

As kids we are not raised that way. We are constantly reminded of “woh kya kahega“, “woh kya sochega” for trying everything that we are not 100% sure of. But when you are passionate about something all that just does not matter.

Next time when you fear from failing at something give it some thought. Is it because you aren’t really passionate about that thing? Is it because you believe that the reputation that you have today is bigger than the probability of success you want to have for tomorrow?

A lot of startup founders I see rarely talk about their own product on social media. Some of them don’t feel great about what they are chasing and others have set a mental boundary of what greatness is. The greatness is the passion. It is like dancing in a baraat at an Indian wedding. People dance not because they are great at it but because they really feel great about that occasion.

A lot of people haven’t put in their 100% into it. They still want to save onto something for the swim back. They don’t know why they are running. They don’t know where they want to go. They are not trying because they don’t believe it is good enough to pursue. It’s like they are running for the cheer but what they don’t realise is that people actually cheer when you run passionately.

Two examples of this from people I know: 

Avlesh– Co-Founder of Webengage – Every tweet of his has a single goal, to sell his product. Do people call it spam? Yes, if he was not passionate about it, the tweets would be as bad as spam. But people are sold to his passion. I have seen how his number of followers have grown on twitter. His passion is contagious and no, it’s not spam. People love cheering him because he loves running.

Annkur – Co-founder of Pricebaba – He executed a campaign to convince Google to name the recently launched version of Android as Kaju Katli. His failure was announced by Google last week, it’s called KitKat. But he did not care. He started campaigning for the next version to be called Ladoo. He might succeed. Though I think he has already succeeded partially, because this time people are cheering him and campaigning for a cause he started. People don’t bother about what you failed at earlier or what you attempted. If you really want to make something happen and your actions exhibit your passion, they will join you.

You have to be shameless to try things and ask for help like it is your last breath. For that, your passion to make it happen needs to be as big as the passion for your body to breathe. There is no second thought.

Here’s something that happened to me few months back. I always believed I was good at SEO but the traffic on FindYogi did not reflect that. Last couple of months I have asked a lot of people for help with SEO. I have written to every person I think has even a little knowledge about it. I had to swallow my pride for that but that’s OK. It wasn’t easy but hey, I couldn’t care less about what people would think about my knowledge when my product can’t breathe to life. What I am making has to be bigger than the pride I carry now for what I have done till date.

A note to that person: I was not lucky, I created my luck. I tried hard shamelessly and created enough opportunities to be lucky. This time around though, it seems I might be carrying some extra baggage I need to let go off.

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