Biswaroop is the Business Head & Sr. Vice President at Landmark Academy (A Landmark Group venture)
Having spent more than a decade working jobs, starting up and doing well for some time, failing miserably and painfully paying off the debts, slowly picking up the pieces of pride and itching to get back at it again; I can safely vouch that I have some grand stories to tell. But these stories will not be about success, they will be stories of misery and failure.
After all who doesn’t enjoy a story of another man’s misery? Look at BIG BOSS’ TRPs and all the internet memes that do the rounds whenever a spectacular failure unfolds. I mean look at Leonardo di Caprio or Rahul Gandhi!
But then this post is not about me. This post is about YOU.
You, who are in the mid-senior management of your company (desi ya MNC kya fark padta hai?). You, who have your 7 digit (kum toh nahi bola na?) pay package and your 6 digit EMIs for that swanky sedan and that 3 BHK flat in that posh gated community in the suburbs. You, who have a beautiful wife and an even more beautiful kid. You, who have won numerous sales contests on your way to your current position and have visited almost every country (read Thailand, Bali, Dubai, Malaysia, Hongkong etc.) that offers corporates crazy rates for Conventions or Regional meets.
A stellar career so far. Infact, something that every youngster who has just stepped into a job will aspire to achieve in the next decade or so. But what about you? You are already a VP or GM or Director or whatever fancy designation that your visiting card suggests. You have probably ‘been there and done that’. What next? After all you still have 20-25 years to go before you hit 60.
You who are adept at creating Business Plans for the next financial year and then break it up quarterwise, map it to every man in your team and craft out pivot tables and pie charts; Tumhara Koi Plan Hai?
I am sure the following has happened to everyone.
It’s a Friday evening. A bunch of friends or office mates all in their early to mid 30s decide to party at someone’s place whose wife is out of town. All the paraphernalia is quickly arranged, the food is ordered and everyone gets down to business.
Drink 1 & 2 – Latest office gossip and bitching about colleagues/bosses/system/industry/Govt is swiftly dealt with.
Drink 3 – Sports and Women in no particular order of preference are vociferously discussed.
Drink 4 – Mid life crisis: The nagging wife, the balding pate, the protruding belly, the cholesterol and bad sex life all take the party to a ‘different’ level.
And then, over a swig of single malt one bloke sighs
I always wanted to start a restaurant of my own yaar
His buddy quickly adds his thoughts
Ya bro, I also want to start my own business and be my own boss
The third dude says
Yeah man, my job sucks. Got only 11% increment this year. It would be awesome to take charge of how much money one can make, without all these restrictions.
The fourth dude chips in
This year alone I drove 17 Crores in sales revenues for the Company and what do I get in return – peanuts as incentives and abuses from the Boss?
Itna mehnat khud ke liye karta toh aaj kahaan se kahaan pahunch gaya hota!”
Everyone knows what happens the next Monday. Freshly shaved and wearing their best Monday attire, these gentlemen efficiently slip into the same grind that they were cribbing about over a few drinks.
Just pause for a few seconds and ask yourself honestly – Is this an anecdote from YOUR life?
So here is why TUMSE NA HO PAYEGA
1. Because you think of your work as ‘WORK’
Successful entrepreneurs do not actually have “work”. They are immersed totally in serving their community, their niche, their customers, their market.
Employees aren’t wedded to the idea of serving their customers. They are in love with their pay cheques and their free time – evenings, weekends and vacations. They “work” for their paycheque and for the perceived ideas of “security and stability”.
Entrepreneurs have passion and commitment. Doing what you love, matching up your passion with what the market wants etc. If you are to be an entrepreneur, your work, or at least some aspect of it has to be part of your passion.
2. Because you stop at Adequate
No job is designed for people to do their best. Day in day out employees strive to do what is just about adequate for their ‘job description’. Some people strive to always be better because there’s always room for improvement. You? You know that it is often better to stop at good enough. It gets the job done. That way you can get home to your family, to your life, to your 56 inch LED TV.
This is not an excuse. It’s a lifestyle. Having this attitude is what separates you from those who really change the world and potentially make a lot of money in the process. Do you stop at adequate? Is good enough just good enough for you?
3. Because your thinking is Conventional
Years of social conditioning makes people believe that working for someone else, being an employee, is secure. But it isn’t. Being an employee is the most insecure way of earning a living of all. It puts all your eggs in one basket. It makes your entire income dependant upon one pay cheque. I mean out of every 365 days a year, you receive your pay cheque only on 12 of these days!
Ned I say more?
But you will not accept this fact. It’s almost like a religion that you have accepted unquestioningly and will never speak out against. You don’t have it in you to go against the grain and reject this misguided belief.
To become an entrepreneur, you have to be honest and recognize that the belief that being an employee is secure is a delusion. When you become an entrepreneur, you are still not secure, but you are at least now the one in the driving seat. Entrepreneurs drive and control their own destiny.
4. Because you seek everyone’s Approval
You work, act and remain within the bounds of approval of others. Your Boss, your company policy, your wife, your parents and even your neighbours. Never ask for, or take advice from people who are employees. Yes, your Boss is also an employee and your retired father-in-law was also an employee.
The outlook of employees is totally different to that of an entrepreneur. And an entrepreneur will never ever get their approval. This also means that you must not “apologize” to others when people ask what you do. Don’t try to dress it up to make it sound somehow “conventional”, “regular” or “professional” or to “fit in” with their outlook.
Practically all entrepreneurs, when they ask for advice from the mainstream – the banks, their friends and acquaintances, are almost without exception told that what they plan will never work, that it is too risky, that it will fail, that you are crazy, and you’re definitely onto a loser.
Employees need the approval of others. Entrepreneurs do not.
5. Because buying a house or getting a competitive ROI on your investments are the major goals of your life
You have already bought that house haven’t you? You already have FDs, Mutual Funds, Insurance Policies and SIPs running?
So, remaining an employee lifelong is what you are destined for my friend.
Obsessing about retirement in your own home, with your nest egg and your healthcare taken care of, is the classic trait of an employee. Entrepreneurs know that successful enterprises are built on the foundations of risk and hence give returns which are way way better than what your best Wealth Manager can ever deliver.
An entrepreneur expects better from his time, money and efforts. Entrepreneurs embrace high risk and returns, employees do not.
6. Because your reasons for turning Entrepreneur are all wrong
If you wish to turn entrepreneur because of any of the following reasons, I have got bad news for you pal:
a) My job sucks
b) I have been fired and am now desperate
c) I want to get rich quick
d) I can hire flunkies to drive the business while I continue with my job
But the most important reason why TUMSE KABHI BHI NAA HO PAYEGA MUNNA is this:
You have an IDEA!
Ideas are not special. Ideas do not have any merit. Any half decent chap out there can crap out ideas like it is no one else’s business. It is called mental masturbation.
Only when these ideas are honed into something valuable do they offer any sort of real-world value. And doing that takes more than a few drinks of single malt whiskey. It takes hard work, commitment, intuition, sacrifice. It takes BALLS.
Inspired from articles by: T.W Anderson, Mike Michalowicz, Gene Marks and my experiences so far.