Entrepreneurship at first looks glamorous but ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you what it’s really like. Running a startup is hard work and it can be a painful (but rewarding) journey. People often get into entrepreneurship for the wrong reasons and their startups end up dying, the default outcome of a startup. For the serious ones, there are many obstacles that come in the way and it becomes essential to have the right mentors and guides on the sidelines. We don’t often recommend training centres but when seasoned entrepreneur Anand Jain recommended Mustard Seed, I got in touch with the founders to learn more. Co-founded by Anil Thomas and Deepa A., Mustard Seed is a training company that believe in “learning by doing”. They have a special course for entrepreneurs and in this interview, Anil tells us more about it.
YS: Tell us about the co-founding team at Mustardseed and how did you get together?
Anil Thomas.: Very early in my career as HR professional I knew I had to be in the Learning & Development function. Training was my passion. After almost a decade of working as a Facilitator and L&D Head for various Training firms, I was brimming with Ideas and solutions to optimize the L&D efforts of Corporates , Entrepreneurs and Professionals. That’s when Mustard Seed was born with a dream to revolutionize the learning Experience. My wife (Deepa) quit her job as an Operations Professional in a Fortune 500 company and I quit my job as a L&D head ( India and Middle East) from a leading firm. We together founded Mustard Seed in 2007 and as we moved along we were privileged to find like-minded experts who joined us in this exciting journey.
YS: I wanted to focus on your course for entrepreneurs. What is it about?
AT: All businesses pass through different stages as they grow and develop. Each stage needs to be managed well, else the businesses hit a plateau and start stagnating. That explains why very often we come across Entrepreneurs who say ‘I am Stuck’. Mustard Seed Master Mind is designed to help Entrepreneurs and Business Owners to
1. Understand ‘Why Entrepreneurs get Stuck’ and 2. Learn how to come out ‘UNSTUCK’.
It is a Personal transformation program which will help Entrepreneurs and Business Owners to ‘double their productivity with half the effort. ‘
The course consists of 12 training days spread over a period of 1 year. Indoor experiential learning, adventure based experiential learning, One on one high performance coaching, specialized sales training including digital marketing and High Impact Presentation Skills are all packed into this year long learning fiesta.
YS: When did you start this course and what has your experience been over the years interacting with the entrepreneurs?
AT: We have been serving the Entrepreneur /business owner community and their organisations since 2007. Our varied experiences & interactions with them have helped us to understand that they are
1.Extremely demanding & ROI Conscious and
2.They are Fiercely loyal i.e if you fulfill/exceed their Expectations.
We have time and again been witness to the massive impact of our training programs on Business outcomes. We have recorded testimonials and case lets wherein after our interventions the Sales and Profits have broken all past records. That’s the reason why when we start a relationship with any Organisation they engage us year after year .
YS: What would be some mistakes that you see entrepreneurs make repeatedly?
AT: Current times are characterized by 2 things.1.Unusual Opportunities 2.Unprecedented levels of competition. However while entrepreneurs do notice the keen and intense competition, they are often not able to see the unusual opportunities and hence seize them.
Today Entrepreneurs entertain a lot of myths resulting in the loss of the very freedom they set out for. In my video I talk about these myths:
YS: What do you suggest is the best way for an entrepreneur to cope with work-life balance?
AT: The best way to bringing about a better work-life balance is to have a better level of awareness to ones talent and non-talent and being authentic enough to focus on your talent and get gifted and better people to manage your non-talent areas.
YS: At Mustrdseed, how big is the team and what is the vision of the company?
AT: We are a core group of 6 people and our vision is to revolutionise the learning experience for the individual by impacting behaviours that have a direct correlation to business results. We will do that by challenging the paradigm that if the student is not learning then it is not the student who has to change but rather the teacher himself and the method the teacher employs.
Website: Mustard Seed