I was thinking about what it takes to be a really good startup founder. And I realized the number one thing you need is persistence. It’s the ability to just understand that this whole journey is a frickin roller coaster ride, one minute you’re up, one minute you’re down, sideways, upside down. But the point is, you know it can change. And you know you have the power to change it. That’s the only thing. The single belief that even if things are down now, they can get better. They WILL get better. Because that’s why you’re there. Making sure they do.
It’ll be 4 years in August for me doing the whole running a startup thing. And that’s the one big thing I’ve learned. One minute, you’re positive you’ve landed your next big client, the next you find that you have to pay back taxes of $25K (with another $25K lawyer bill still pending from 2 years ago). One minute you think you’ve just cracked your big pivot on your business model, the next you realize the sales cycle is crap, and scalability is next to nill.
I think after persistence, it’s perspective. Perspective gives you the ability to persevere. That (practically) insane voice in the back of your head saying no, I think we are on to something. Forget what everyone else is saying, or what our own data shows, I feel it deep down, this is the right thing. Maybe we’re not doing it the right way, but damn are we close. We need to tweak it yes, but give up? No way.
I think that sometimes, running a startup is structured insanity.
But at the end of the day, I think it takes a very insane person to change the world.
When you are of a marriageable age, there are certain things that you should never ask your poor mother. Not for any other reason other than you don’t want to induce an early onset heart attack.
If you find out your parents have saved a few gold coins for your wedding jewelry, which now equates to a small fortune that can buy me a 1 BHK condo in Utah. Never should you ever ask if you can melt the gold, buy a place in Salt Lake City, and wear wood jewelry for your (not yet planned, not yet having a groom) wedding. Your mother won’t dignify it with a response. Only leave the room with a more than slightly constipated face.
If you find out your family is trying to mortgage their house for your (not yet planned, not yet having a groom) wedding. Never should you ever ask if you can take that money and invest it your friends startup. Which is currently doing 3 crore in turnover. And when you try to argue that hey, at least you know that this has a chance of return, just expect your mother to look like you just stabbed her in the appendix. Or saw Jesus rise from the grave and proclaim that George W. Bush is the savior of humanity.
If you find out your family is trying to put your profile on Shaadhi.com to find you a good husband. Never should you ask if you can add a box specifying “ok with pre-nup”. And when you try to argue that you know, you can never be too careful these days and 49% of Americans get divorced, just saying, she will look at you like you just told her you have 3 butt cheeks. Or that pork, it is decreed, is actually a vegetable.
Just a heads up. In case you were wondering.
Some people leave their hearts in San Francisco, but I think a part of mine will always be in Mumbai. Fact: did you know that your taste receptors actually make you taste differently once you know what you are tasting? (Blind vs. non-blind)- up to 20% different. That’s a lot of difference. I feel like that’s what Mumbai is for me. My blind vs. not blind test. There’s so much history here, good history I mean, that it’s always going to make me happy, every time I come here. No matter what ish is going on in life, or how crazy work is or whatever really.
In some ways I feel like I am witnessing the genesis of a new order, of a new world where the youth of today are giving the finger to the craziness of generations past and are re-creating what it means to really live. And I get to be a part of it. The technological melting pot of societal backwardness mixed with the hope that only people with notions of a bright future can muster.
When I say that the future is going to be wonderful, people think I’m crazy. But maybe, it’s not so crazy. Maybe it’s just going to be a reimagined future that nobody really understands, but we are all, either consciously or subconsciously, working towards.
Maybe it’s just our generations collectively conscious freudian slip for the betterment of humanity.
Sometimes I sit at the airport and think of all the different types of people I can be. There are the corporate ones that have everything in place, fashionably set, and you can tell they are on a path to doing things. Then there are the family ones who are clearly vacationing and are rich in time, and don’t have to be anywhere real fast. Then there are the women of leisure that just look like…this is where they live, for fun. I’m off to Paris, because I want to. College kids who are itching to get home, or dreading going back. The Aunty’s and Mums who are clearly heading off to visit other family.
And then there’s me. Not quite corporate. Not quite vacationing. Not quite leisurely. Not quite college. Not quite visiting. Not quite young. Not quite old.
Sort of like Goldilocks, but waiting to see what’s just right.
I think the word fearless is a misnomer, because that supposes that you live without fear. I genuinely don’t think that’s possible, nor do I think that’s healthy. I think fear is what keeps our mortality in check, it’s what keeps us thinking about reality.
The trick to be fearless, I think, is to learn how to live with it, and not let it dominate your life. How do you acknowledge it every day, knowing that it’s right there, but choose not to give in to it? Choose to do something else, something that doesn’t stem from that dark place.
I think the most fearless people know how to look fear right between the eyes, and say, heya there, you’re welcome to stay, and I heard what you’ve got to say, but I’ve got a bunch of things to do right now. So you can just chill, drink some chai, and wait. We can check in tomorrow if you have anything else to say but uh..I got a lot to do. I hope you don’t mind.
Sometimes, and by sometimes I think all the time, my life is like an emotional rollercoaster. Today I was trying this new thing where I was just observing what was happening, channeling my inner Charles Darwin and trying to gain insight into the origin of species. Or at least the origin of these insane emotions.
I think within the span of 8 hours, I felt: peaceful, nervous, attacked, pained, victimized, powerful, worried, calm, headache-y.
You know what I think the cure for headaches is? Laughing until you have to pee. And then you go pee and then laugh some more. I realized what I miss most about the US is sarcasm. So I YouTubed me some of my favorites.
Headache = gone
Asprin-me-not (maybe ever again).
On good days, I think…I stop thinking. I heard this idea that we are all spiritual beings going through a human experience and thought is basically the human part of us denying the essential goodness of life.
Crazy idea, what if we all stopped thinking for a bit, and started just feeling and experiencing? Surrendering to what will happen and having faith that things will work out as they should, whatever that “should” is?
Faith is such a funny word. It sounds insane, but if you look at society, most “sane” things we all do should technically be classified as insanity. Shouldn’t self loathing be insane, technically? Then why is it such a staple in our daily mental vernacular?
Do you think you can actually feel your soul? Growing bigger by feeding on happiness and getting smaller with the humanness trying to tear it down and keeping it trapped?