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Entrepreneurship is by no means a profession but a lifestyle which you eat, drink, live and breathe every moment. I kind of had a sense of it because of the stories I had heard , thanks to the investment profile that my spouse was in before deciding to start his own venture , but as they say experience brings you actually closer to reality, its been an year and now I can vouch that it surely is a everyday roller coaster ride!
With entrepreneurship, its not just the person who takes the plunge but the entire ecosystem around him which on boards this journey. And because its such an unpredictable (yet enjoyable) journey everyone reacts differently when the ship decides to leave the harbour which is when the entrepreneur announces his decision to the family. Completely remember some funny, some weird reactions like —“have you thought everything around?” , “whats the need to leave a high profile job and do this?” :) , “how will the family survive agar nahin chala to?(what if it didn’t work?)” and the funniest of all from an old relative — “so you mean you are starting your own shop on mobile phone, kaise chalega, paisa kaise aayega(how will it work ,how will the money come ?):)
And so it is, if you happen to be an entrepreneur’s better half, you would always cherish those unforgettable and unending day and night discussions on ideas, hopes, implementations, analysis on past and current ventures in that space (a space in this lingo is an area or a domain which your product fits in ) , the prevalent and possible competition, stocking and re-visiting the finances for sustenance and so on. Basically you would have gone over and over them again and again, because that’s what your spouse would be thinking and you would have to actively participate in that and enjoy it. Tea time, meal time, no time and every time!
There would be this unsaid performance pressure for you too in the air now. Your better half is struggling day and night to recruit the right resource, build the best team, structure the right product , package it, market it and if that’s not enough raise money from potential investors, how can you not perform! The bar regarding expectations on your performance will also have gone up now multi fold. You would be the sole in charge of all the ministries including home, external, health , kids and social and those difficult relatives. So all your principles and your dreams of sharing tasks with your partner are useless now. You have to go and build your team of supportive in-laws, helpers, maids and manage them like he is doing at his office. Any conflicts, you are the one to manage!
Your lexicon and language would change to include so much from the startup jargon like doing a seed round (basically is the first round of investment in a company which is in its formative stage), potential investors, return on investment , market feasibility , turnaround time, traffic numbers and so on. The Google analytics would become the most sacred page now, those number graphs — the crests and the troughs is what you would think and even dream about now. If that’s not enough, you would observe that you follow success stories from startup ventures and are glued to what’s being posted on startup portals. So , though on a minuscule scale now, I also feel like an entrepreneur myself. My two cents also count now :)
Since there would be very less “we time” now, whatever is there would have to be utilized efficiently. Everything that you would have wanted to discuss with him — love, children, home, friends, relatives would have to take some chunk of that time and so as a logical consequence you would discuss whatever absolutely needs him. I remember starting to maintain a list of items to be discussed with my spouse sometime back but actually found that of no use. Why? Because I realized even after being super efficient, as I took this list to my entrepreneur better half, most of the items were just stuck off at the first mention as not important with the advice that I use the three management principles — prioritize, delegate and supervise and then come with the pending items :) I would have frowned and felt like hitting myself but now when I look back, I am sure that this prioritization and optimization has surely made me more decisive and efficient to take quick yet calculated decisions.
All said and written, but the start-up venture seems like our third child or his second wife which some times might have given me attention problem as well as to the kids. Entrepreneurship does mean less family time ,may be no family vacation and surely unavailability of your entrepreneur partner practically for most of the times, but it also means an unending roller coaster ride , full of excitement and life! Building and raising a startup from scratch is like bringing a baby to this world and then raising it to grow which surely is a satisfaction of a different level.
I know, going forward as till now, there would be yes and no’s, storms and milestones, achievements and learnings but one thing is for sure that there would be no dearth of excitement anytime soon! Thanks to this journey called entrepreneurship!
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