A friend of ours once jokingly addressed me and my partner “Oh look at the Angry birds” and we were very very offended and did not speak to him for a week – but to be honest in my journey of six years I have very often felt like RED (the ANGRY BIRDS protagonist who has trouble controlling anger) – I am an Entrepreneur by accident and disruptive leader due to circumstances which leave me no other option.
When we started our company – being first time entrepreneurs we were blank - we underestimated our own capabilities and strengths and looked to others for advice, guidance and mentoring. And all these mentors & well-wishers did was TALK TALK TALK - sometimes big, sometimes small, but eventually all the talking was done by them and all the work was done by us. The funny thing was – what they spoke seemed overwhelming and inspiring at first and later became a rhetoric full of shallow and pompous undertones. Anyone remember the MIGHTY EAGLE from ANGRY BIRDS ?
Nevertheless, we prodded on, discovered our hidden strengths and abilities which we never knew……. worked very hard, paid salaries every month and continued to work selflessly without taking a single penny. Did anyone say Foolish people ?
We trusted wrong people, employees trained by us left to join multinationals, people cheated us with money, people cheated us with false promises and big dreams, people who owed us money did not pay us and to top it all – we never took a single rupee home. We made mistakes – not one, not two but many – some almost fatal – but we survived and in the process – learnt people management skills, negotiation skills, lost all inhibitions, leadership skills, survival skills and so much more that life will never be the same again. We learnt a lot in the process - all those things which we would never learn in Harvard Business School. Company continued to be self-sustaining, employees continued to get paid and we lived on.
Almost six years are complete………we tried to list down the + ve’ s :
1. We worked on more than 100 + Apps & Platforms in these five years
2. We have survived without an investor
3. We have not taken any financial loan
4. We built a team we are proud of
5. We are self -sustaining
6. We are still relevant
7. We are rediscovering ourselves everyday with new strategy, new technology, new thoughts, new partners and new avenues….
We are still optimistic, we believe the best is yet to come and we look forward to the first half of the month and dread the second half of the month. But we are happy, we will not exchange an entrepreneur’s life for an overpaid employee’s life ever again.
We live in exciting times - This is life with a purpose, working towards a larger cause, a life of responsibility and commitment - moulding lives, creating products, managing people, paying salaries, working selflessly for a larger goal (maybe a drop in the ocean). It’s a penance (a tapasya) and I have mellowed and sometimes I am angry sometimes I am not so angry …………….