I always wanted to share a little story from my childhood. Not because it is very inspiring or motivating, but because there are a few lessons that I feel are worth sharing. My decision to being an entrepreneur was half decided by the DNA – my father, uncle and grandfather all believed in “doing” things. And so was my childhood. I was told to try things out to know the answers. I was born with a very curious mind and my parents directed me to find out answers by trying things out rather than telling me the answers. In pursuit of answers, I feel that I have observed a common pattern.
1. I thought I knew how that thing worked.
2. I tried it out to prove myself correct.
3. I turned out to be wrong. Hell wrong!
4. I improved my knowledge and went back to step 1.
Before we proceed ahead, I want you to agree with these four steps. Agreed? Sure? Okay, let’s continue. (In case you didn’t agree, please leave a comment below to discuss your opinion because it is very much possible that I am wrong. Hell wrong!). The most interesting things in this process are step 2 and 3. They don’t sound huge but as soon as I will call these steps by their common name, they will gain tendency to scare shit out of any human. Step 2 is known as Risk and step 3 is called Failure – the two things we all are afraid of and yet the most crucial steps in learning. Yes yes, go up and re-read those steps again.
Often times, we do not take risks because… Seriously looking for a reason!!??? It is called “risk” for a reason. ;) Risk has two possible outcomes – either you succeed or your fail.
Taking risk, as a child didn’t seem difficult because we never cared about failure or as I like to call it, improvement. All we wanted to do is to learn. But now, we feel we know enough and start expecting a win.
And this expectation is what makes risk dangerous. For a budding entrepreneur, I’d like to remind what Big B always says, “Seekhna band toh jeetna band!” (Stop learning and you’ll stop winning.) Learning never ends. You should keep trying new things, keep making mistakes and keep improving.
FailureThis is a frightening term. Well, it is only if you stop at step 3. But if you quickly move to step 4 after finding out limitations in your earlier knowledge, failure isn’t failure.
Only a few are fortunate to have taken every decision correctly at the correct moment in their first go itself. For others, success is an iterative process. We improve with each iteration.
And, according to me, there’re no failures in entrepreneurship. People turn to entrepreneurship because they love the process of building a company, and not necessarily the money it brings at the end. Entrepreneurs cherish every moment that they have invested in building up a company from scratch. They cherish each moment so much that the final outcome doesn’t matter much.
Let me quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” and so is entrepreneurship.
Takeaway form this piece is not to be afraid of step 2 and not to stop at step 3. Dive in, take the risk and quickly move to step 4.