Here are excerpts of my conversation with those bitten by the entrepreneurship bug, on a Facebook Live session.
How was your life in your 9-5/ previous govt or pvt sector job?
Office time was spent in con-calls and firefighting problems, and then, I was tackling emails till midnight. The job profile was good, or it appeared to be good at that time. I realise now that there are so many things I did not know. Working on good excel sheets and Powerpoint templates is about 20% of a business, but it took up 80% of my time.
2. What was it, that triggered you to leave your 'comfort zone' ( the cushy job) and take a plunge?
I choose to be candid here. It was a clash of ethics. I did not go with the manner in which certain sensitive matters were being handled. I put up a strong fight for sometime, but then decided it was not worth wasting a life on. I could put my ability to better use than toe somebody else’s line.
3. How did you get to know – the area 'to go to' - your niche area – and how confident were you that you will be successful there?
It took sometime to reach the right place, and it was because I had no guide or mentor. Today, the concept of Ikigai is very clear to me - what is your calling, what are your competencies and what the world needs, and is willing to pay you for.
I found my calling in coaching and writing, but my profile spells Finance with a big F. So, the niche is Financial Coaching, Training and Writing.
4. What were the challenges in your 2nd innings and how did you get over them?
It took time, because I adopted the Trial-and-Error approach. There are more options I’ve rejected than the ones I accepted and moved ahead with.
Lack of structure
In a corporate, we take structures and methodologies for granted, and the lack of it in startups or NGOs hits hard. It took sometime to figure out their problems, and also that the youngsters have had no exposure to a structured way of working. The degree of casualness is very high, compared to the rigorous standards I was used to.
One dislikes the hypocrisy, the hollowness and the camps and lobbies in corporates, and then goes on to find that it exists everywhere. But the experience of having dealt with it before helps.
5. Did you have to learn new skills to CHANGE and ADAPT in this 'new zone' to be comfortable?
Yes with a capital Y. Learning has been a major part of the game. I’ve acquired about 10 certifications, in addition to the online courses and seminars and workshops. All of those are not used to make money, but it does add to making me what I am today.
There are few things where one at least needs to know the basics -
Design Thinking - Design is a strategy and process
Social Media Marketing
Being an influencer
This is apart from the domain expertise needed for your business.
6. How painful was this CHANGE? Did you repent on your decision for taking this plunge, anytime ?
The change in lifestyle was painful, because as I’ve said earlier, I like to work in a structured manner. But there is no repentance as such, because of the freedom I enjoy and the variety of things I can do. This was not possible in an employment scenario.
7. Whenever life gave you a jolt /you felt down, what did you do to bounce back?
Try another method
Develop immunity to the criticism being thrown at you.
8. Some professions/jobs are becoming redundant now – new options are opening up – what is your advice to the Start –ups and students who would like to grow their own businesses?
CERTAINTY IS AN ILLUSION, BUT DO NOT CONFUSE RISK AND UNCERTAINTY.
KNOW YOUR RISK APPETITE, AS IT IMPACTS EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE.
Is this your story too? Share your experience with us, and we will feature your story with or without your name (as desired by you) in this space. Helping others on their journey gets you good Karma, if nothing else.
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