Let go of the past and live in the present: LimeRoad’s Suchi Mukherjee at Startup Spin show
Starting a new business can be terrifying; more so when you are leaving the comfort and security of a steady paycheck. And Suchi Mukherjee did exactly that by leaving her cushy job in London to settle in New Delhi and start, an online fashion and apparel store. A budding golfer, she once mentioned that she and her team at LimeRoad are in the dopamine business. That is certainly true because we get our fair share of the happy hormone from her conversation with cricket presenter and stand-up comedian Vikram Sathaye in the fourth episode of AWS Startup Spin - a show hosted in association with AWS, George P Johnson Experience Marketing and Bald Head Productions.
The conversation explores how golf has taught her the best life lessons, the role of her parents in shaping her life, the importance of rest and partnerships, and much more. Here are some highlights from the episode.
Letting go of the past
Golf has one major rule - forget the last shot, instead focus on the shot at hand. Drawing a parallel to the game, Suchi says forgetting a shot after hitting it takes you into a meditative zone, and the focus gained after that is unbeatable.
Referring to W Timothy Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Golf, Suchi recalls her teachings from the book which says that everyone has two selves - self one and self two. While the role of self one is to tell us what we cannot do, self two is non-judgemental and is the only self that needs to be activated. “It is all about shutting off self one and activating self two. 90 percent of the game is the mind, and it must be true for most things in life,” she says.
Suchi also talks about “getting inspired by the vision but loving the detail” - something she has learnt in theory as an entrepreneur. She says that golf is that detail in her life, and how it has taught her to enjoy the moment.
Lessons learnt while growing up
Recalling her mother’s significant role in her life, Suchi says how she taught her that there were three sets of people - people who learn from others, people who learn from experience, and people who never learn. She says her mother’s motto was to always aspire to be in the first set, which is why she used films to teach Suchi some important life lessons.
As a kid, Suchi always enjoyed a lot of independence. Recalling how her father wanted her to learn to drive when she was only 13, Suchi says, “I remember having my first mini-accident, and like any other kid, I got rattled. My dad believes, you never give up on a bad day. And he said wanted me to get back and drive. Not tomorrow, but right now,” she says. The incident taught her that it was okay to fail badly, but it is critically important to get up and try again.
Suchi goes on to talk about grit, and how it correlates with success. She cites psychologist Angela Duckworth and her definition of grit as a “combination of passion and perseverance”. She adds that adversity brings out the gritty side in people, which leads to something called a growth mindset. She goes on to narrate a story of Tiger Woods at the Delhi Golf Club, and how it teaches a lesson about how people who practice and persevere are the winners.
Purposeful Practice > Practice
Suchi reflects on the example of how Sir Alex Ferguson used to train his players to practice scoring goals in the final moments of a football match, which were suitably named ‘Fergie Time goals’.
She says, “I remember, like any other rookie, I used to go and hit 200 balls until I realised that it is just useless. Hitting 50 purposeful balls are way more effective and powerful for practice than the 200 you hit without thoughtfulness.” Comparing them with her life, she says that she follows similar rituals in her daily routine and at LimeRoad. She gives an example of an All Minds session that is conducted in the LimeRoad office in person pre-Covid, and now virtually. She says that having these sessions at the beginning of the week was much more effective than at the end of the week; all that energising that happened in the session poured right into people's workweek.
Talking about partnerships, Suchi elaborates on how the AWS team has been great partners and says it is her mission currently to find out how to surround business, herself and her team with a rich set of partners, not just for business but also for learning.