An update of 4 months

I am little intoxicated, I am not gonna lie. So what if it’s a 1 am on a Tuesday night. In fact, I have caught some bad, unhealthy habits over last few months. Last four months have been crazy! Having been cheated and fooled by partners, ecosystem, associates and dear ones. It was hard for the 22-year old drop out to take it all in. Not trying to over glorify the fact that I have dropped out of 1st year of engineering but, some or other person keeps pointing it out every single day.

Some of the major updates include, me turning 22, Ms Sil turning 21 and Silveronika turning 6 in last four months. These are absolutely all that matters to me anyways. Rest all is “not-so-important” to me. I ended up buying the same sedan (Hyundai Verna) that I talked (bitched) about in Goa travelogue. Although I always wanted buy an SUV but as it turns out, being a short guy that I am, Sedan suits and fits better.

January

Being a birthday month, it brought plenty of surprises. Some pleasant, some unpleasant. It was also the month when we (Silveronika) took the first longest ride of lifetime. We rode all the way to Little Rann of Kutch (LKR) and back. The latter jounrey being non-stop.

It was a crazy idea. Ms Sil had some dental conference happening in Ahmedabad. I proposed the plan to ride the entire way back-and-fro. We discovered a lot of things during this journey. The main thing being persistence and patience. Riding with merely 2-layer of clothing in 7-degree celsius all night was unimaginable and something that we were unprepared for. As you can anticipate, I caught a cough and cold on the return journey. All credits go to Ms Sil for being the tough lady that she is to be able to ride 50% of the return journey all by herself while carrying her sick better-half on the pillion sit of a sports bike.

The second ride of the month was to Goa on my birthday. Ms Sil planned most of it, I executed as per her plan. It was a good journey to North side of Goa. I discovered the other party-animal of myself for the first time. We experienced the calmer side of North Goa (Ashvem/Arambol beach). It was a memorable birthday celebration afterall.

On the professional side, one of the startups that I was part of, raised $60K in angel funding. A big achievement for the struggling bootstrap-entrepreneur like me. The celebration lasted for barely few weeks until my confounder decided to screw everybody’s happiness. On the return journey from my birthday trip, I got to know that my cofounder and dearest friend has decided to dilute my shares by 75%. All the efforts, hardwork, conceptualization gone waste. On the brighter side, all other shareholders in the same startup decided to stand by me and support the decisions that I take.

February

The valentine’s month? Not really for me. Being a person who never really believed in days, it didn’t really matter. The daily meetings to sort out the cofounder issues in the startup that I was cheated in went on. The cheating cofounder never really accepted his deeds. Investors walked out of the company. I wrote off my investments in the company, got an assurance to get certain $ in leu of selling back my shares to the company and what not. I could write a long essay on the erratic self-centered behavior of a founder in the company that is about to see a bright sunrise.

The last thing that a sinking ship expects is a turmoil in a romantic life. That happened as well. The entire month turned out to be a big fucking mess. Each day of the week brought new surprises to me. God knows how I stood strong in the entire episode and let it pass. I am surprised by own abilities to handle things with patience and positivity. Having said that, I got introduced to smoking and became a chronic smoker during the same period.

March 

March being Ms Sil’s birthday month had a brighter side to it. Not that I spent weeks in planning her special birthday but, I had that hope of positivity deep down within me. I planned a romantic trip, tried involving her close friends, some of them joined the celebration. For the first time in life, I managed to save good $ to gift her a Kindle. Ms Sil being the book lover herself, always wanted a Kindle. I was happy to be able to save money to gift her that gadget.

One true gift of entrepreneurship is to be able to value every single $. I am pretty sure nobody else can understand the value of money like an entrepreneur does. Being able to pay your employees on 1st of each month, being able to clear all the bills in the first week of a new month and then being a broke-ass has a charm of its own. It’s a feeling of eternal happiness and satisfaction. A new experience gave a new perspective towards a sacred love that I have always been craving for. Realized so many things at a young age that I think every individual of my generation should.

April 

April was full of long email fights with the same founder and some major business decisions that changed my life afterwords. I received a big cheque for selling shares back to the same company. Soon enough I realized that the same business partner has issued a stop payment order against the very same cheque. Things led to legal actions which are going to definitely going to haunt me for rest of my life as a digital entrepreneur.

Apart from the major decisions were made in the professional career, personal life looked it is going to fall apart. All credits to the strong bond that me and Ms sil have forged over years, we came back together. The major toll on my health, the bad habits developed in three months continued to grow and flourish. No major ride happened this month. Courtesy to the big fees paid to lawyers, I was broke-ass by end of the month.

May

The month of May was a great experience for me. I was almost on the hibernate mode professionally. Continued to focus on the new things that I signed up in professional life. Invested most of my time in personal life. Ms sil and I stayed together for over 14 days. We invested most of our time in fixing the broken things in our relationship. I learned to swim, another fear conquered in life. I have always been tremendously afraid of the water. Being able to overcome that fear and swimming was an achievement for me.

The anniversary week was absolutely beautiful. Full of new experiences, happiness and adventures. I would dedicate my next blog post for our 6-years of togetherness.

 

 

Something that I realized in last few months is – I am so all in for entrepreneurship that I prefer the pain. I love the climb but, for me the step back is exciting. I love when something goes wrong; it’s where I shine the most. But that’s not for everybody. When it starts affecting your family, your loved ones; that’s when it gets nasty. To me, the way I handled things even the fewer days when I really struggle, I took a real step back. I told myself that I can make trillion dollars tomorrow, maybe through bitcoin (if lucky enough) but if something happens to my loved ones; it means nothing. And then it really worries me. What I did is, I put the business in perspective. For me, it’s not really money; it’s my legacy. So I get hurt little bit more. Something that I have always believed in is, entrepreneurship sucks – it’s lonely, it’s a high risk. I can’t live without but, it’s like a bad but super hot girlfriend. There are a ton of bad days while living the life of an entrepreneur. But life goes on! You spend few days in a grief, you take a step back and rise back in like a phoenix. Ready to shine and ready conquer with the new energy all over again!

From Right Questions To Wrong Answers Or, Vice Versa?

The thing I would say is, when you grow up you tend to get told that, the world is the way it is. And you should live your life inside that world, try not to bash into the walls too much.. Try to have a nice family life.. Have fun.. Save a little money.. That’s a very generic and limited approach to life. It can much broader once you discover a very simple fact. That everything around you that you call life, is made by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it, influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use. The minute you understand that you can poke life.. push something in and something will pop out the other side. You can change and mold it. That’s may be the most important thing is to shake off this erroneous notion that the life is there and, you are just gonna live in it vs embracing it, changing it, shaping it, improving it to match your inner voice’s demands. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.

I would say that’s what happened to me a long back. I discovered the different between generic vs personalized way of living and embracing things. But I could never image that building a personalized life that matches your inner voice’s demand would be so much more difficult.

I still don’t understand why people like sports. They get so emotional over the weirdest things. But I do see the beauty in the rules, the invisible code of chaos hiding behind the menacing face of order. I don’t understand how people can find joy in little things.. Probably it’s important for human survival. Frankly, I could never get it..

People like to keep the journal. It’s the only way to program your routine like it’s supposed to. I keep my bedroom free of computer or internet access. All that’s left for me is ordinary analog sleep. Ending the day’s loop, you might not think that it’s a way to live. But why not? Repeating the same tasks each day. Without ever having to think about them. Isn’t that what everybody does? Keep things on repeat.

When you look closely at the seams between order and chaos, do you see the same things I see. The strains, the tears, the glimpse of truth hidden underneath. Why do they fight so desperately to mask what they are? Or is it that they become what they are when they put on the mask? Sometimes I wonder what you hide behind it. What mask do you wear? Or are you just as afraid as the rest of them? Me? Am I afraid? Nah, man. I am different.

An entrepreneur in me has become my god and like all gods, that madness takes you prisoner. People think their worship is some key to happiness. That’s just how a hidden person in you owns you. Even if I am not crazy enough to believe that distortion of reality. So fuck God. He’s not a good enough scapegoat for me.

Better the devil you know than devil you don’t, right?

Maybe the entrepreneur in me is unplugged, powerless! He’ll try to wear me down but as long as I stick to the regimen, he can’t take control. No matter how much of an illusion I think this is. That’s what the control of regimen, my routine journal, my perfectly constructed loop, what this whole thing’s been about. A gap in my consciousness.

May be its not about avoiding the crash, the fatal failure that could be ahead of me. But it’s about setting a breakpoint. To find the flaw in the code, fix it and carry on until you hit the next flaw. It’s a quest to keep on going, to always fight for footing. Maybe we are all stumbling from the right questions to the wrong answers. Or from the right answers to the wrong questions. It doesn’t matter where you go or where you come from, as long as you keep stumbling. That’s all it takes and that’s as good as it gets.

This game I have agreed to is dangerous. Maybe I will end up destroying a part of myself. win or lose, for better or worse, the entrepreneur in me is a part of me that makes me, me. The world that I have always wanted. I would like very much to fight for it. It’s just like chess.

In chess, external help isn’t allowed. That’s the beauty of this game. You are locked into a set of moves as determined by your previous choices. Your options dramatically changing with every decision. There is no lifeline. There is no external force at play. It is a pure battle of two opponents, or in this case, one! The game always concludes in stalemate. But you need a winner, so you always reset until you find it. You can think all the moves you want but, at the end of the day, the moves that an entrepreneur in you is making are the ones you are telling him to make.. And there are over 9 million possible positions after three chess moves each. There are over 288 billion different possible positions after four moves. A number of 40 moves game is greater than the number of electrons in the observable universe. You don’t need to know those outcomes. You just need to be able to see ahead of your opponent. But how can you when your other opponent is you? Stalemate. You can’t beat him and he can’t beat you. You could play again, but you will always be at this impasse.

When a computer gets hit with a kernel panic, there’s only so much you can do. An internal fatal error is hard to recover from. Probably that’s what has happened to me. Any second an entrepreneur in me is going to come back and my mind will be under siege again. I will wear that charming mask and burn rubber to get back on the track.

A distinct friend called up and said, I didn’t get placed in campus rounds. Thinking of trying my luck with building a startup. Did you ever consider whether entrepreneurs are born or made? You cannnot program yourself to be one. It has to be within you, a completely strange avatar of your own that commands you, dominates you, controls you and manipulates every move to match what he desires to become, to reach the milestone that he wants to conquer.

Dealing with your own mind is probably the most powerful takeaway of entrepreneurship. It can make you mentally invincible…

Laters!

– mr sil

Entrepreneurship is like a bad girlfriend!

It’s been close to 2 years since I dropped out of grad school. I have accomplished much compared to what most people do in 2 years. I have been successful in formalizing the ground to tomorrow’s big tree. As soon as you are out of college, the one bug that bites you hard is, financial independency. And if you drop out, which more or less happens against parent’s wish in India; the bug bites you even harder. My case was different, I took 5 years to realize that I was born to be an entrepreneur and not, mug up for an entrance exam to get in prestigious engineering school.

I always believed that you should do things that you are good at. In case of most people, they spend way too many years of their lives trying to check boxes of things that they are “not” good at. I highly recommend auditing yourself and if you don’t have an empathy or EQ or IQ then, find somebody who does and let them tell you who you are. In early days of being an entrepreneur, you don’t get money to do what you love. What you do is, position yourself to succeed. If you are doing something else and you want to do something you love, you do it after hours.

I had this stable, secure freelance job that paid enough to make living. The company shut down day before yesterday. I don’t really mind. My investment in my next big thing has been made and the product is on it’s way. I was smart enough to create couple more easy cash flow by now. I am so all-in for entrepreneurship that I prefer the pain. I love the climb but, for me the step back is exciting. I love it when something goes wrong; it’s when I shine the most. But that’s not for everybody!

When it starts affecting your family, your loved ones; that’s when it gets nasty. To me, the way I handle things even the fewer days when I really struggle, I take a real step back and make pretend that I am on the road, riding somewhere into the horizon and I get killed by a truck. I know that’s very dark and I apologize but that’s really what I do. And I tell myself that I can make trillion dollars tomorrow, may be through bitcoin (if lucky enough) but if something happens to me or my loved one; it means nothing. And then it really wires me. What I do is, I put business in perspective. For me, it’s not really money; it’s my legacy. So I get hurt little bit more.

Entrepreneurship sucks – it’s lonely, it’s high risk, I can’t live without it but, it’s like a bad girlfriend. There are ton of bad days while living life of an entrepreneur. 98% of entrepreneurship ventures are ought to fail.

If you every pay attention to what Steve Jobs does while giving a keynote; he is storytelling the whole way and then it’s a big hit. If you understand the consumer once, then you backtrack and you tell the story to get them emotionally there and that’s how you sell things. That’s marketing. There’s very big difference between marketing and sales.

Emotional Quotient is going to dominate the businesses over the next decade. The ability to manipulate the emotional engagement with the products and brands is going to be the game. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to experiment and learn part of it in last few years.

I believe that, the ability to adjust is the entire game. My ability to be comfortable in the massive chaos has been my biggest asset as an entrepreneur. I realized this way too early in life that, you need to bet on your strengths and not give a fuck about what you suck at.

Laters!

– Mr Sil.