Back to writing after 1.5 years..! Bruised, but still kicking it.

 

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That look-up, when in realization or utter confusion!

 

My last post was on Jan 2015 when I posted about the blues of being an entrepreneur and how not to suck being one! I had just started up my event management company and boy, did I have a story to tell.. 😀

1.5 years and 3 businesses later, I guess I’m more of an entrepreneur now and less of a writer. So I’m back with a vow to do so, more. Here are some crazy , weird observations/rants/understandings/life lessons/introspections that I’ve learned over this period.

  • Life is a bitch. Suck it up, keep going!

There were countless times I wanted to lock myself up and cry thinking of all the problems that kept popping up every so often and to which I couldn’t find a possible solution to. Yes, I thought of quitting, running away, taking up a daily job, driving Uber, freelancing or even going back to school. Things were more down than up. Optimism could only mask the issues temporarily and they were back, even more relentless, bigger.

But I understood the world simply doesn’t give two hoots about your worries or sadness and it keeps rotating. Unendingly.. And it’s then when I realized that no one preferred to listen to your whining, no matter how genuine your reasons were. This was the greatest realization (for mankind) I feel, after Archimedes’ one in the bath tub. And personally, I’m much more emotionally stable and contained than I ever was, and amazingly have become more adept at analyzing situations.

  • Your family is your foundation. Not your backup!

I have no shame in admitting that I always thought that I could fall back onto my family if things got worse . Getting into entrepreneurship, this was my backup plan. If shit happened, poof… back into the safe zone of the family. But gradually I started understanding the true value of family and that I had no right to shove my risks and troubles into my family, expecting them to come save the day. (Note : Till date neither did my family ever even hint about this nor will they ever , since they are epic!). I came to understand that I had to cut out my own path in this world and do so with my head and heart intact. This leads me to my third revelation which is…

  • … I’m slowly turning into an ‘Adult’!

Boy, was this a mighty revelation at all. Being the official family comedian and happy-go-lucky guy, I scoffed at anyone who asked me to be mature. I really did not agree with the viewpoint of being serious or thoughtful to be pre-requisite for being an adult. It was all in the right decisions and being a responsible funny guy , preached I. Nope.

I started thinking of life, career, future, savings and milestones in life. I couldn’t envision these things through any funny angle how much ever I tried. Life was molding me in its cogs to be an adult I realized. I no longer believed in partying until dropping dead, spending sleepless nights binge-watching movies, nor fill carts after carts through addictive online shopping (all of which I would have sworn by, didn’t make me any less an adult!). I started wearing formal ironed shirts for meetings, maintaining to-do lists, calendar markings,  and what not. Hell, I even started marking my emails with color tags in Gmail! I realized slowly but surely that being an adult isn’t about being any less funny or more serious ; it was simply about priorities and choices.

  • You need friends. You are no Superman!

If I stressed earlier about family , I can’t stress enough of having friends. Not the kind where there are thousands of them on your Facebook or Instagram, but you have no clue of who the person is. Rather those friends with whom you could hang out when you are happy/sad/angry/bitchy/nagging/high/elated/pissed or just basically any emotion on the human emotion spectrum, and still be yourself. It surely again doesn’t mean that you can be all emo and dependent on them (Refer point 1), but it helps give you perspectives that you can’t see. Luckily I have a few of them and I’m ever so grateful for them! I could kiss them outta love ! 😉

  • Failure is ok. Laziness/Procrastination not so!

I will accept once and for all, I’m born lazy. To put things in perspective, if there was a prize of million bucks and all I had to do was to just walk a kilometre for it, I would happily give that up and then later bluff of how charitable I was. I always procrastinated and thought light of the “gone time… blah blah blah.. time and tide.. blah blah” and believed in doing things at my own pace. My explanation (or rather an argument)? ” I should feel to do it. I can’t be forced!” Also, fear of failure/rejection/non-completion of things started etc made it, even more, harder for me.Well, entrepreneurship and life, in general, taught me rather clearly , how much of a naive man I was. I understood the effort mattered more than the achievement.

Proof I am improving? Heck, I’m blogging again after 1.5 years , am I not?! 😀

Well, I’ve got so much more to tell, but this is the gist of it all. Am I successful yet? Nope. Have I planned it all down to the last bit? Am I all serious and mature? Not at all. I hardly have any savings yet. But I’m learning, and with an open mind I keep finding new things in life, and I find inherently all of it a challenge. And I’m thankful for all that I have gone through in life. Cos’ as some old wise man said – It was those very paths that lead me to be who I am now!

Oh yeah!!

(drops mic)….. 😀

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Indian Entrepreneur 101 – How not to suck at being one!

A Young Entrepreneur on a Hot Day at Portland State

Right now as I sit in front of my laptop to blog, almost after 2 months, I can hardly construct meaningful sentences of the thoughts that are swirling a million to the buck in my head. And no I don’t god forbid, have Alzheimer’s. It’s just the after effects of my day-night efforts to become an entrepreneur in this country where all engineer’s ultimately become one, due to lack of jobs 🙂

Let me expound.

As I’ve mentioned before my path from engineering to event management, it wasn’t always hard to hate engineering. Least of all the luring image of me sweating and grunting against some groaning machine all covered in grease and lube, made sure I shuddered even during my quarter life crisis, that I never take up an engineering job. However I was to learn the grass is not always greener on the other side as some myopic old man quipped in the past. Judging on the basis of my creative juices that always had wanted a vent to escape and bring forth ideas and execute them since childhood, I went with my gut instinct of setting up my own event management company. And hence in the past  few months, I resigned from my earlier employer’s company and went about  starting up my dream. But now having become one, let me tell you my readers, the deathtrap’s and the ways how not to suck when you want to become a self-accomplished entrepreneur.

Company Name

Firstly, the name of your company. This is a never-ending loop of writing down and crossing out all those witty, fantastic names you think of. Mostly because, the one you like, your partner won’t like. The one he likes, you won’t. And if by any random occurrence of a meteorite landing in your backyard, both of you like it, its guffawed and spat on by that third person you went to opinion for. And hence, this takes an eternity while you satisfy your family and friends, your partners family and friends and finally, if at all that name hasn’t been taken up by some other guy yet, you finalize it.

Stylizing your Company 

Secondly, you set about the rules, styling and vibe of your organization. This again is a rabbit hole in Alice’s wonderland, since you can’t allegedly  be ‘inspired’ from anywhere lest you wanna stand yourself in a court for plagiarizing from similar companies. So you start giving your dream a unique face, feel and vibe. But hey, your partner gets a sudden idea and wants it incorporated too. Then your dad has one. Then your dad’s uncle thrice removed on his mom’s side has a spark. If you so much as dare to oppose them saying it’s your company and your partner, be ready for explicit Malayalam wrath and curse to be showered, sentencing your entire generation to be blind, crippled and suffering from smallpox . In short, it would have been better, you didn’t start the company in the first place, with all the expletives and curses hanging in the air, wafting about reminding of the impending doom for the company. But if at all you satisfy all these people, and decide on the corporate styling you adopt, congratulations. You just finished a quarter of the work required.

Creating your company stationery 

Next we need to design the company logo, website and related brochures, fliers etc. Welcome to the inferno. You just realized you are exhausted from the previous steps and just want to curl up and go to sleep. But it’s not to be so. So you sit down with your designer and give him a brief of what you want. He patiently jots down all of them and says he will have a couple of site samples done within 2 weeks. Since you are in India, you would have three national holidays, couple of hartals and bandhs, Saturdays and Sundays  and finally if the odds come in your favor, in the second month you see those samples. Luckily, it has not even a remote semblance of what you actually asked for. Again you go on a roller coaster idea of having the website have everything you want to be in the right place  and gel with the earlier vibe and style you have adopted for the company. While this is happening, parallelly you have your company logo to be designed. Again you have the entire process repeated as you see logos after logos but nothing special. And one fine day, you suddenly see the logo that you realize would sync with the company outlook. (It’s only sad later when you realize that you have become so tired and bleary with all the logo samples you saw, that you just confirmed the one logo that you had rejected in one of the early samples given to you, albeit in a different color -_-). Finally, when you have all in hand ready, you just finished half of what you set out for.

Official Registration and Office set-up

If you are still up and running by this time, congratulations. You have true skills to be an entrepreneur in this great country and you can take a lot of bullshit. Searching for a cost-effective office space in an accessible place locally, and in a building which doesn’t shout the 19th century, is mission impossible. However, since you have to, at least, do justice to all those time, energy and months that you escaped those living ancestors curse, didn’t get bankrupt yet and those beautiful website and logos that are waiting to be criticized by the world are still there, you have to go on. Day after day you run after brokers who claim to be descendants of Parashuram himself that there is yet a place in Kerala, he hasn’t sold. Multiply this guy with two more others and you have the whole dynasty and clan of parashuram running around and calling you relentlessly on your phone, claiming to have found ‘the one’ place. Finally, hopefully, you do.

The Launch

And finally, you are set to roll. Don’t worry. There are yet no clients and if lucky you have nothing to show your efforts as an actually relevant event management company.(However personally I was lucky on this single aspect as we had events up our sleeves given by our awesome understanding clients and hence could display some photos worthy of our salt). But don’t give up now. You have your entire rep staked on this and now if you back off, you better suicide than listen to those so-called family and friends, which starts with ‘I told you so !’. Just hold on to your beliefs and your pants ( since you must have reduced at least 2 sizes from the sleepless nights) and keep your head high of what you have already accomplished. Trust me when I say this. Only a few people face these insurmountable adversities and become businessmen. I know I’m one now. Hopefully my post helps you become one too.

See you on the other side 😀