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5 years of entrepreneurship: what’s it like

“It’s been 5 years, where’s your blog post?,” asked Rajat.

If you know Rajat, he won’t take No for an answer and lo, here’s my post on my five years of Niswey!

Thankfully, he gave me the link to Suma’s blog from last year in which she wrote just 10 lines (on completing 10 years of entrepreneurship). So I thought, maybe I just have to write 5 lines then! But then her 10 lines had captured 10 years of her entrepreneurship journey. How does one do that!

10 years in 10 lines! Can you believe it?!? Summing it up in 5 lines? Impossible, I thought!

But wait, isn’t that is what I have been doing all these years? Pushing boundaries. Telling myself and others to do less and achieve more. To find workarounds, find a way. To give up fear. To think BIG! To get things done. Or in a nutshell, asking everyone around to achieve the impossible. Every. Single. Day.

Some days we fail, sometimes we succeed. On good days we feel like Usain Bolt – unbeatable. On bad days we console ourselves saying even Sachin Tendulkar gets out on a nought sometimes.

So then how has this journey been?

Honestly, it feels like a crash course on how to transform from being Usain Bolt to Sir Alex Ferguson. Too much sports, eh? For some reason it’s only sports that I relate entrepreneurship with. The exhilaration of winning a title while being an underdog, the frustration of losing to an arch rival. If you’ve ever played a sport, and cared about winning, you know exactly what I mean!

Back to the crash course. You start up like you’re running a sprint and you have to win, alone. You win. And then you realize, it’s a relay. And your teammates’ winning is equally or maybe more important than you winning alone. Before you even win the relay race, it dawns on you that it’s a year long season and not just gold medal races! You have to play well the entire season to win the league title. By now you have transitioned from a lone sprinter to a relay race team and now to a soccer team!

Being the first sprinter, you automatically become the captain of the team. While captaining the team during the league, another realization happens: you don’t have to win all the matches, you just have to win the highest number of matches to win the title.

You are smart, so you tell your teammates this philosophy, and you win the league. But oh! There’s Carling Cup, the FA Cup and then the prestigious UEFA Champions league. And the charity matches? And what about national team commitments? But by now you are tired.

What now? Another realization happens. You can’t be playing all the matches without suffering an injury. To win a treble you need a team which is not winning because of a great captain, but it’s winning on its own – without caring whether or not you have a captain. The team plays on its own, scoring goals on their own. Making their own mistakes and learning from them. And eventually becoming the best team in the world, the A Team.

But who’s the one noticing the mistakes and the successes, and ensuring that each person is performing to his potential? That’s when you become the coach. And so you become Sir Alex Ferguson.

So, from a lone sprinter, I ended up becoming the coach.

What’s next? To be the coach who retains and attracts the best talent, from around the globe. Who ensures the team builds a habit of winning. Who ensures that his team his happy, both on and off the field. Who ensures his players love playing the game. Who ensures the players love coming to the field, every single day. And who ensures that whatever his players put on their vision boards, is fulfilled.

Connect with me on Twitter: @AbhinavSahai


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  1. You know, I’m stunned by this line “Some days we fail, sometimes we succeed.”

    I’ve never thought of these 2 events in isolation and it’s always the END GOAL that becomes so so daunting:(

    Thanks for this deeeeeeeeeep thought. (Sorry, if you think I’m cracked)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. hey abhinav!

    many congrats on the 5 year milestone!! 

    i’m curious to read about YOUR LEARNINGS of being an entrepreneur for 5 years!!

    do share 🙂

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