Bhagwad Gita for Entrepreneurs
Every ‘would-be’ entrepreneur would someday or the other have to fight (altercation) or at least have hard time explaining his or her own people of the vision he holds for the future – how his/her business idea would change the world or if not that, possibly how his/her business idea will allow to make him much more than what he able to do currently. And this is especially true for people who are in cushy and comfortable jobs and are exploring the possibilities of quitting and starting fresh all over again. (And those who escape this phase are simply born lucky!) The cushier the job, the higher the resistance from the near and dear ones (unless you have built up reserves that will take care of your family for a couple of years) and still higher the conviction required to sell your idea to your own people. While everyone on the face of it will appear supportive and wish you good luck, but when it comes to the fact that you are going to put in your papers and forgo seven/eight figure salary and start with the business afresh, not many people will be willing to stand by you. Rather everyone will walk away as they don’t buy the logic of quitting a cushy job and doing something on your own. It’s not that they doubt your success or they doubt your business idea – but the very idea of quitting the job and starting on your own is not appealing enough to them.
This is where I think Bhagwad Gita offers significant help. And the stage, which the entrepreneur is in, is similar to that of Arjuna who had to fight his own people to win the Kingdom, which he and his brothers rightly deserved.
While in Bhagwad Gita, Arjuna was about to leave the battlefield because he could not fight with his own people; entrepreneurs find themselves in a similar position where they have to fight with their own people for their envisioned future. While the ‘would-be’ entrepreneur would be surprised to find his own peoples standing opposite to him, he needs some courage to challenge them and take his own course. It might be difficult (and who said entrepreneurship was easy?) but he has to be firm and work a way out. Some of the thoughts that can be useful for the entrepreneurs are:
Don't Explain to much: It is possible that people very close to you may not support you not because they don’t want you to succeed, but because some of their comforts may be discomforted should you take the plunge. The best option in such situations is to not try too hard to convince them or become emotional. Visualize yourself as Arjuna who cannot run away from the battlefield just because he has to fight against his own family members. What is important here is the purpose and not fight. If the purpose is grand simply hold on to your dreams and keep going, howsoever slow. Besides, not everyone can envision the future you have in your mind. So just don’t mind and carry on with whatever you think will take you closer to your coveted goal! A simple rule could be: turn a deaf ear to the myopic eyes!
Let your purpose rule your mind and not emotions. Emotional altercations have the effect of draining positive energy from our minds and thus you might have a feeling of being left alone. Do not allow such useless thoughts to occupy your mindspace. You are about to begin the journey of your dreams; you certainly don’t want to begin with a heavy heart. So relax and be honest to the purpose. Mind you, there is a bit of shit in everyone. So, shake it off and keep walking!
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Entrepreneurship is like marriage – it demands commitment and long hours. You cannot have pastime marriages. Somewhere down the line you will feel that possibly you cannot continue with your job and begin your project at the same time. This is the dilemma almost all the entrepreneurs face and believe it or not – putting the papers is the first step towards being a successful entrepreneur. If you think time has come to take the plunge, do not be afraid and do not think perpetually. Thinking is dimensionless, unless coupled with proper action (scalar quantity) and direction (vector quantity). When working together in sync, they can do wonders.
Learn to work with imperfection – it’s not a perfect world and when you are doing something for the first time don’t aim to be a perfectionist. A child never walks perfectly for the very first time. It is a learning process during which muscles are strengthened, reflexes become sharp and motor skills are learned. Repetitive behavior over the period of time leads to flawless action. As you go on the path, don’t be afraid of making mistakes (else you will not attempt anything) and learning on the job.
Find out Krishna in your life – just like Arjuna had Krishna his friend, his guide - possibly we at times need people who can see bigger picture and help us navigate through uncomfortable smoothness (US) of life. By US, I mean, a discomfort people get when they have everything going for their life, except for what they really would have want to. So here I am in a cushy job, doing well and there is no reason why I should be quitting just because I want to explore and do something of my own. I can easily climb my way to the corporate ladder and retire with a good corpus for the rest of my life. But what do you do, when you don’t want to be another brick in the wall? If that’s how you feel, its time you shake up the US in you and reach out to Krishna in your life. It could be a friend, a peer, a teacher whom you have admired or anyone who can listen to you, aspire you and help you navigate through the maze of entrepreneurial beginning.
Wish you a happy beginning!