I am a devout Art of Living disciple and have been practicing my ‘Kriya’ (spiritual practice) very diligently for the past 12 years now.
A couple of years ago, I noticed that despite meditating with utmost devotion, I wasn’t experiencing a ‘high’. What was worse was that even if I missed my meditation for a couple of days, I wasn’t experiencing a ‘low’.
Something was wrong and I met my teacher to ask her the reason.
She said, “Alok, your cup is full to the brim. You need to empty it to experience a sense of replenishment. Go and give back.”
That really struck me like a thunderbolt and it occurred to me that I had to give back to society – from whom I had received everything.
The problem was that when I tried to do the conventional charity stuff (going to hospitals to donate medicines, etc), I was repulsed. Those places made me uncomfortable. I was puzzled on how to ‘give back’.
That’s when it hit me that as a digital entrepreneur who had been lucky to survive 14 long industry years, I had seen and done a lot. I had the knowledge that so many entrepreneurs needed. I had the scars on my back that needed to be shared.
When you wish for good things, good things happen.
I woke up one night at 3 am with the name ‘Rodinhood’ in my head. It was the combination of Augustine Rodin who had sculpted ‘The Thinker’ and Robin Hood who did good things.
Rodinhood.com signified their combination – to ‘Think and Do’.
As if possessed, I began to write everything that I had experienced as an entrepreneur. My lawyer read some blogs, called me up and said, “Alok, your blogs are embarrassingly naked, and that’s why they are so good. Keep them up.”
A year later, I had written 100 blogs with titles such as ‘What I learnt at Marwari Business School’, ‘VC is Venture, Vapor, Vulture and Vampire Capital’, etc.
My blogs were a hit and all of a sudden, my life changed.
– Harvard Business School invited me to speak as part of an Indian Entrepreneurial summit they were hosting.
– Young entrepreneurs started coming up to me in airplanes and cafés to asked me questions or share their ideas!
– Leading publications began to ask me to contribute as a guest writer.
The Satori moment came a couple last year when I thought ‘Why Rodinhood? Why singular? Why not many Rodinhoods…?’
I launched ‘therodinhoods.wpengine.com’ – a social network for Entrepreneurs and that was the take off point.
Entrepreneurs from all walks of life found a platform and a place to share, discuss, learn and give back!
TheRodinhoods began meeting up on Fridays in my conference room – we named it the Open House! Initially about 4-10 entrepreneurs would turn up. Within a year we moved to the National Stock Exchange Auditorium with 150 attendees!
Today, TheRodinhoods has over 3600 8500
11500 12,500 members, 1000+ 4250+ 6000+ 6500+ blog articles/discussions and a very vibrant, real community that meet as often as they can. So many Rodinhoods work and co-operate with each other!
Blogging helped me to share. It let me give back. And in return I received a sense of fulfillment that I have never experienced in my life…
This and Sumant Mandal’s prodding was really why I kept blogging…
Lesson learnt : Give back to society and you will feel fulfilled…