It happened in 4th Grade. A girl enters, pulse increases, time slows down. I’m left at the door, staring at her as she casually takes the middle seat of the middle row. She turns and looks in my direction to remind me that she is real.
A few things you should know about me: I fit the least cared about stereotype at school – the ‘nobody’. Some are known for their excellence, others for their notoriety. I was known for neither. Not that it bothered me. I was comfortable sitting in the corner just listening and nodding my head.
But that first day of 4th Grade changed everything. What ensued is an unintended lesson in entrepreneurship:
Have a vision
Up until that moment, my dreams were trivial and commonplace: A billion dollars and a movie every day. But this girl – this cute, pretty girl made me want something. I needed to talk to her. My shyness kept getting in the way. And my classmates interacting with her annoyed me. I needed to do something and that too fast.
I decided I had to get access to more resources. I started interacting with more people because I had this gut feeling that it could get me introduced to her. After a while, it worked. I was now a part of her friend circle.
Learn something about everything
I needed to grab her attention. I learnt all sort of stuff (cricket, singing, computer projects) just to see her cheer me on one more time. I learnt to adapt to different trends. Singing was cool at one point and cricket at another. The market demanded proactivity and I learnt to embrace it.
Traction – don’t lose hope
Traction is the trickiest part. To keep satisfying the person’s ever demanding needs on a regular basis. But I didn’t give up. Movies taught me that “kehte hai, ke agar kisi bhi cheez ko dil se chaho to puri ki puri qayanaat tumhe use milaane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai” (if you really desire something from the heart, then the whole universe will work towards getting you that).
And with that, I continued on this journey, strengthening my will every day.
I was not alone. The realisation hit me – I’m not sprinting, I’m racing. I wasn’t going to accept that though. I kept on with the struggle, even when I found out that she had started dating someone else. I downplayed the competition to keep my dreams afloat.
Alas, I had failed. Despair gripped me and all my efforts were in vain. Failure always hits hardest the first time. The world seemed cruel and God even more so.
I got back to observing her and realised that nothing had changed for her. She still kept her smile and continued with her life. But a lot had changed for me – new skills, new friends and a whole lot of new smiles attributed to my efforts. That’s when I created a new vision, a more worthwhile one: to bring a smile on someone’s face.
Boom! I’m back to square one, but better equipped and more mature. It’s time to live the experience once again. This time though, I know what it’s called – Entrepreneurship.
Ravneet is the co-founder of Brthe, one of the thirty global finalists at AngelHack. Its like your personal concierge that gets you the best mix of information & services you need.