Stop Learning – Start Earning

Seems like every one in the country is building a startup or learning to build one. Startups are cool, startups are special. But startups with daddy’s money are neither cool nor special. Its like an Arab kid a flush with oil money buying 2 dozen franchise to bring back home and one of them eventually taking off. Where’s the excitement in that, what’s the real value creation, its like buying your self a long term job and telling every one that you really cant innovate and you are better off being a cog in some one else’s large scale corporate dream.

Then we have the middle class minions who think, who believe, who aspire to build the next Whatsapp. Snap-out of it I say. We need to move past the Me2 phase of copying others. The biggest dis service being done to people who are grounded in the country middle class, is that our friends are our biggest hindrance.

Since we’ve never learnt to push back and being really honest with our friends, we encourage shitty ideas till they break the bank. So we must move past that. We have got to stop soliciting feedback from the “mamu, the chacha, the uncle who works for some guy whose successful to the one Doctor in the family, to friends whose dad does import export, or some one who has a friend the Army” That is a sure fire way to get f***d trying to do an MVP or trying to prototype an idea on a limited scale.

Resources are scarce, relatives are not. So don’t rely on relatives who know nothing about your dreams, your aspirations or your goals. Some one who has worked all their life and barely gotten by, wont :

  • Give you their vote of confidence in your chosen discipline of being an entrepreneur
  • Wont relate to what you want or empathize with your cause
  • Wont be able to share any thing practical that will help you being successful
  • Would probably want you to come back to your senses and apply to an MNC just like bhai janaans son did.

The learning you so yearn for viz a vi people around you is basically useless. Time to move on.

Its good to have role models, but look around you, outside of your comfort zone. Don’t go out on a limb and have Richard Branson as your role model, the likely hood he will give you any practical advice or of you ever meeting him are next to none. There has to be a teacher a mentor a colleague a person you admire professionally, it takes a simple courtesy call to have them help you out and take you under their wing. The worst that can happen is a no.

You can then move on to the next. Be clear in your mind what you want from the relationship, most folks who are remotely successfully are dreadfully busy(topic for an other day) so its best to capitalize on the time you get.Be grateful when people offer you the biggest gift you will ever get when you are a “nobody”, its “somebody’s” time. Also remember that when you are a “somebody” you return the favor in kind and always be grounded in reality of your own origins.I see so many successful entrepreneurs who forget this rule..

Coming back to earning, you have to get of this death spiral called pivoting, because you can re calibrate only so many times. Make it, market it, manage it. If you cant do that then some things broken in the model. You can and should go back to the drawing board, but don’t get caught up in the lies you tell your self about one more week, one more month, one more deal, one more positive review. If its not working out(take the learning) cut the cord. Move on. Do some thing productive and constructive with your time and the feedback you have so generously received.

“Being an entrepreneur is not special, making money whilst being an entrepreneur is.”

You have to monetize it…if you cant, no one else can. This is not the valley, we don’t have VCs who have cash to burn, we have limited “so called” Angel investors and some real hard core “vulture capitalists” locally. Every one wants your pound of flesh along with a deal. We rarely have the “feel good” “philanthropist” investor who will write you a check because your idea is cool and they really don’t want you to make money. There is zero to limited “patient” capital in this country, so dream and dream big, but dream about ideas that can commercially get funded and when you make it big, you can use your own money to fund your “real dreams” and “the crazy ideas”. Till then, focus on earning…$$$$$


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