I long wanted to meet Subroto Bagchi, the Chief Gardener of MindTree, when he visited Chennai. He did come for the launch of this book The Professional and I indeed missed it! The next day I was rather surprised to read in newspapers that the aim of becoming an entrepreneur, according to Subroto Bagchi, was to make money. Then Prof. Vivek Wadhwa also gave me the same opinion. I asked him what makes the first-generation entrepreneurs whose fathers, uncles, aunts, or whoever they know were only in secure government jobs take to entrepreneurship? He said that these people had seen them retire with pittance of money and they wanted a new lifestyle with loads of money. Yes, entrepreneurship is a mixed bag – some burn money before making money. Some make money (raise it from investors) and burn it off. Some find it hard to make money. But what’s more important is are you hungry to succeed as an entrepreneur? Money, fame, and whatever you desired follows.If your focus is only money, then you lost the game of entrepreneurship already. Swami Vivekananda said, “you deserve what you get but you always don’t get what you deserve.” You should enter into a zone where you work like a maniac, create value, make a name of your organization, and then customers come flocking to you like honeybees to flowers in search of nectar. But you shouldn’t take a sagely attitude that I don’t care about money. Money is a vital bloodline of your business and the point is the focus should not be too much on it. Although rich are revered in this world, but if someone is just after money, the world does not look at them graciously. They are labeled as cunning or whatever, the choicest of adjectives with all wrong connotations.
Success is what should drive you. Winning small battles every day. Getting your first office, even getting your first customer, or getting your first employee to work for a startup – all these give unique “kick” and act as hygienic factors. Many people are motivated by the fact that they make a difference in the lives of their employees. But success in what you do should keep you reaching milestone after milestone. It is in the smallest pleasures that this world thrives. N.R. Narayana Murthy said, “it took 25 years of hard work to become an overnight hero.” Entrepreneurs are usually motivated by creating something bigger than themselves. It is always great to leave behind a legacy, an in between, make loads of money too.
When you start, ask yourself a question? Why do I want to become an entrepreneur? Do I want to make money? Yes. But I also want to win everyday battles and the ultimate war that defines entrepreneurial success. If someone said, I set out to do this and did it without facing any hiccup, would life be interesting? You need to fight it out and at the end, create something that is more than yourself and that serves the world in ways you have never imagined.