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Celebrate Your Independence Day Today by Starting Up — I Did

By on Aug 15, 2013 in Opinion | 64 comments

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What is the “right time” to take the plunge?
When are you “ready” to turn entrepreneur?
When should you burn other bridges and start up?

If you are one of those who are plagued with these questions, you have been wasting time. The right time is right now. Get started!

Stop Waiting for a Soft Landing Into Entrepreneurship!
The problem with waiting for the right time is that it really never comes. And the reason it never comes is that it is already here!

After a Few Years of Work Experience, I Will Get Entrepreneurial — That’s a Lie!
Sure there is some value to amassing experience, contacts, and wealth. But can one really overlook the loss of time while one goes about hobnobbing with corporate-types? I would much rather that you start your entrepreneurial journey today.

In the mid to late nineties, I would conduct admission interviews of MBA aspirants. Though each interview was unique, there were some common questions I would ask. One among them was about the candidate’s career plan. Aspirants had a wide variety of responses about their first job post-MBA. But “after a few years of work experience, I will start my own business,” was a common refrain. I am still in touch with a few dozen of those students, and not even one of them has actually started their own business!

A Real Entrepreneur Is Characterized by Outrageous Optimism and Urgency
As an angel investor I am exposed to over 100 new founders each month. Like other investors I too have my prejudices about whom I reject right away. If I feel that the founder is not really an entrepreneur, I reject them without any consideration of their business plan, market, traction, and other such buzzwords. But how does one ascertain if someone is truly an entrepreneur? That is not easy, but two common characteristics of entrepreneurs are that they are always in a hurry, and they feel that they cannot lose.

The hurry works for me. The optimism is great too, as long as it does not make them indifferent to the nature of the risk that they are assuming.

I Have Decided to Follow My Own Advice
After my two decades as an entrepreneur and an investor, I often find myself amidst mentors. These gurus seem to have a magic wand: one swish and a failed venture converts to a successful one. Not really! But what I am getting at is the fact that mentors are always in the mode of, “Don’t do as I do. Just do as I say.” I am sure that I too often have been guilty of that. But not today! I have been toying with the idea of setting up my own startup-related blog. And what better day to start than the day I choose to advise my readers to jump right in.

Today is India’s independence day. Make it your independence day too. Unshackle your career, aspirations, future, self-esteem, and self-worth from some arbitrary paycheck and designation. Jump right in! Even if you do not reach your destination, the journey will be worth it.

This is the first post on my blog: StartUp Gang. On day one I am starting with quite the empty hand. Any love that you can show this blog will be deeply appreciated: tweets, shares, links, likes, +’s, comments, mentions, subscription to the newsletter, or any other form of kindness. Thanks again. Thanks for reading, and do come back.

64 Comments

  1. S. Puri

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    What a way to celebrate the Independence Day! Unique and true to the Ajeet style. Even though I completely agree with your logic of the right time being NOW, I am already planning my day at work (job!!) tomorrow as my holiday is nearing the end. Nevertheless, an inspiring article. Hope by tomorrow we have at least five percent of your readers putting in their papers. And, hey, do post the vacancies. Some people maybe interested – well, not me for sure (this is for my boss, just in case he happens to read this; and if he does, may be my NOW would be here).

    All the best for this venture! May this turn out to be as inspiring as your lectures.

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks S, frankly I am feeling highly inspired right now. I am committed to making this blog an absolutely top notch resource for entrepreneurs and investors alike. So keep reading.

    • Deepanjali Khurana

      September 17, 2013

      Post a Reply

      A very nicely put thought about how to recognize entrepreneurial traits. Ajeet has been articulate in judging whether a candidate is an entrepreneur at heart or not. The approach of not waiting and not resting on the part of the candidate explains it. This analysis is duly required by anyone who’s going to invest in a startup. But what I tend to disagree with, is that there’s no need to wait. I think it’s important to invest time in the idea and personal growth, before diving head-first into entrepreneurship. What I feel is that many can have a brilliant idea, but most of them don’t know what to do with it. Figuring that out and putting it into action requires ample introspection, second opinions, reality analyses and quite possibly, education. So I think time should also be treated as a thoughtful investment when one has a startup in mind.

      • Ajeet Khurana

        September 17, 2013

        Post a Reply

        Great ideas Deepanjali. Of course when I said that we do not need to wait, I did not mean that one should turn an entrepreneur at the age of 1. I was referring to the perpetual wait, or should I say paralysis, that prospective entrepreneurs sometimes demonstrate.

  2. Jaideep Juneja

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    What budding entrepreneurs probably need is more of coaching than mentoring. Many of them know what they want to do, all they need is a little support. Just knowing there is someone they can trust to bounce ideas off can make a huge difference.

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      You are right Jaideep. Today as I was about to go live with with blog, my thirteen-year-old said, “you advise so many people on their blogging strategies. So it must be really easy for you.” I told him that at best I know what needs to be done. Doing it is an entirely different story. :)

      In any case, thanks for visiting. I hope to see you on this blog often :)

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Naushad. For a person like me who claims to not bother about “auspicious dates” and the like, it is interesting that this is the third venture in the past 20 years that I am starting on 15th August :)

  3. Amit Barfa

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Great place, It will surely provide right directions for newbies.

    Also it will give lots of insights about indian startups and SME’s.

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      That is exactly the idea Amit. Thanks for visiting. Do visit whenever you get the chance. And in a few days tell me if you think I am living up to my stated goal. :)

  4. Sanjeev

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Nice way to make this great day special.. Hope to learn from this blog. BTW Awesome design :)

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks on all 3 counts Sanjeev. I hope to run a lot from running this blog too. Sharing is the right approach to learning, isn’t it? :)

  5. Rakesh Gupta

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    A good start for those who have been planning for their D day. I am probably amongst the rare breed who are coming from the opposite direction, and your blog may help me going back full circle.

    About time.

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Rakesh, I know about the other end that you are approaching from. I welcome you to join the fold of entrepreneurs again :)

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Yash, and I am committed to making sure that visitors learn. In a few days, please let me know if I am living up to my promise :)

  6. Vaibhav Deshpande

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    This looks really good! :) From my personal experiences, I completely agree that taking the plunge into some business in the toughest part. Looking forward to learn a lot from a tremendously experienced person like you, hoping that some day I will start too and everything will fall in place as planned.

    • StartupGang

      August 15, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Taking the plunge is difficult. But so is sustaining interest after the novelty is over. Having done it many times, I find the plunge easier :)

  7. Manzoor F

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Excellent and informative blog; written with inimitable style. The message of this particular post is universal; it has resonance with me sitting in the US, and is likely to have the same anywhere across the world.

    As for one actually taking the plunge ….. :)

    • StartupGang

      August 16, 2013

      Post a Reply

      All the best for your plunge Manzoor. And keep visiting. I promise ideas that will strike a chord :)

  8. Prerak Trivedi

    August 15, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Well Ajeet, I have really been tired of searching one place to have all of my doubts solve regarding Entrepreneurship. I think I am from that breed. Swimming against the flow. I hope you and your blog would be my toughest raft. Plus, after you write up to ‘How to pitch your start up idea?’ I am going to use those advises to pitch my start up ideas before you ;).

    All the best Angel,
    Prerak. :)

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 16, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Good one Prerak, just keep my remark in mind when I said, “Don’t do as I do. Just do as I say.” :) :) :)

  9. B Hari

    August 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Good deed mate.
    Wishing you all the best. I too am doing something similar and will share and exchange thoughts, ideas and experience. Happy nurturing..

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 16, 2013

      Post a Reply

      I am keen to know what you are doing. This is called an “ecosystem” for a reason, and I think we can always help each other out :)

  10. Aditya Kane

    August 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I like the design, the idea behind it and since I think you are one of the few people who speaks about start-ups and business strategies without the BS, I am looking forward to the newsletters.

    Just a small suggestion, I think its better to be see the author of posts and comments as Ajeet Khurana and not “Startup Gang” – which sort of feels like a website replying instead of a person. But I guess its still early days and you are still working out these things.

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 16, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Aditya :) I agree with your suggestion, and as you will notice have implemented it :) Thanks for the visit and keep coming back :)

  11. Deepak Jain

    August 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Nice day to start a new venture; liked the article and hopefully would like the future blog posts. All the Best for the blog.

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 16, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Deepak. Nice to see entrepreneurs like you here. I will make sure that I keep posting articles that you will enjoy :)

  12. Ritesh Sarvaiya

    August 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Awesome one for sure :-) Cheers, would love to value add on this platform, rocking one !!

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 16, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Ritesh. Also thanks for sending me the note on LinkedIn. I hope to interact a lot more with you on the StartUp Gang platform :)

  13. keyur savaliya

    August 16, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Nice startup advice.I am following you since last 2 months.I am part time engg. student,marketer and enterpreneur minded.Feeling happy by reading your article.All article guides me too much.

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 16, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Keyur. Nothing quite like getting entrepreneurial immediately after engineering :)

  14. Dr. Chinmaya P Chigateri

    August 17, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Hello Ajeet,

    Good write up and truly inspiring. As a start up entrepreneur since 10 months, I have realized that more than money, what entrepreneurs such as myself who come from a very strong technical background but limited business knowledge crave for is, mentoring. I hope early stage businessmen like me will be able to follow your blog and get the required knowledge and mentoring. I look forward to such articles in the future from you. Wishing Start Up Gang all the success!

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 17, 2013

      Post a Reply

      I agree. What happens is that until one can raise money, one tends to wrongly believe that raising money is the most important milestone. But once that money is raised one feels like it was the least important :)

  15. Mohul

    August 17, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Wow! All the best sirjee.. Startup world needs more motivators (and investors) like you.. Keep up the spirit and keep on rocking the world!

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 17, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Mohul. I have great things planned for this blog. And I am committed to pulling them through.

  16. Raj Broota

    August 17, 2013

    Post a Reply

    A nice start-up post for us kids looking to make our own start-ups.
    Looking forward to many more from you.
    Also, a nice chat over coffee would be much appreciated if you do get the time.

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 21, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Oh, so “Raj” the kid has grown up enough to drink coffee I can see :) Just kidding. Sure, let’s meet.

  17. D Singh

    August 19, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Nice Article,
    Well written on motivation front.
    I think the biggest hurdle many entrepreneurs face today is the liability they have.
    Without a steady flow of income it is difficult for them to take a plunge, in a society like ours.
    You have to admit we are very different compared to the west.

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 21, 2013

      Post a Reply

      We are different. But many of the differences actually are beneficial for us. Also, in my opinion people who are entrepreneurial place very little stock in the comfort of a steady income. In the same vein, those who would like the security of a steady income are quite likely not suited for entrepreneurship. But then again, to each her/his own.

  18. Prateek Raghuwanshi

    August 21, 2013

    Post a Reply

    One of the best Introductory post & a nice, motivational thoughts for wannabe entrepreneurs. Wish you good luck Mr. Ajeet & hope of more masterpiece from you through startupgang.

  19. Rahul Dasgupta

    August 23, 2013

    Post a Reply

    The first thing which I did after reading your blog was to subscribe for the newsletter. I am always hungry to gain great insights of start up ecosystem and nothing could have been better than landing up in the startupgang knowledge restaurant. Beautiful ambiance (design) and what I can say about the cook. Excited to get served :-)

    Best Regards,
    Rahul

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 23, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Thanks. I look forward to interacting with you with our newsletter :)

  20. Sandip Kadam

    August 23, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Hi
    Let me congratulate on your blog and hope to read experience from your blog as
    I am an entrepreneur and having my own consultancy firm called Konnect HR Executive search firm mainly dealing in Pharma , Healthcare , chemical and engineering segment, enjoying and working and growing Hope to experience same with your blog and other entrepreneurs. and very soon you will write on my experience too

    • Ajeet Khurana

      August 23, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Sounds good Sandip. I hope to get in touch with you and find out more about your venture :)

  21. Nandini Mansinghka

    September 3, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Great concept and design.Would love to see some failure stories in the start up space as that will give a rounded picture of the ecosystem. Of particular interest would be companies which faced scaling up
    Challenges

    • Ajeet Khurana

      September 3, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Absolutely. Without any doubt the startup space experiences more failure than successes. As a result, you will see some of that happening here for sure :)

    • Ravindra Kapoor

      September 7, 2013

      Post a Reply

      Scaling up is the hardest part, because growth can easily erode success and the formula behind a company. If you’re a CEO that is thoroughly in control, it’s easy to put weight behind your own way of doing things and make sure your company enforces that philosophy. Eventually however you face a challenge. I’m really interested in stories how to tackle that problem too.

  22. Kunal Sharma

    September 7, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Spot on article. As an entrepreneur you can wait forever and ever to start up your business. But unless a business is build from the ground up out of necessity, a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs tend to wait too long in my opinion. I don’t think anything less than entrepreneurial experience will give you the tools to form a business of your own. Sometimes it’s just trial and error. You fall and you stand up and keep walking.

    • Ajeet Khurana

      September 8, 2013

      Post a Reply

      True. Often working in a corporation provides little relevant experience for an aspiring entrepreneur. Thanks Kunal. Keep visiting.

  23. Aakarsh Gopi

    September 14, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Not so often, do people say things out loud. I’ve always been delaying things, and following my mentor’s advice blindly. We’ve disagreed on many fronts, still I followed him. Certainly a great day to break free from all that, Independence day. Thanks for this marvelous article, It did have an effect on me.

    P.s. – I know i’m a month late but it’s fate that always hampers progress of life. I should’ve read this article the moment i came up with the perfect idea for my startup.

  24. Saurabh Binani

    September 18, 2013

    Post a Reply

    A very good idea to start on independence day. this has inspired me to once again consider my decision of taking a taxi service venture of my own soon. Good Luck ahead !!!

  25. Rohit Dhar

    September 24, 2013

    Post a Reply

    This is one of the best blogs/articles that I have seen so far on entrepreneurship. Aligns very well with my thoughts. Have bookmarked and look forward to learn from this ecosystem.

    Considering I have already taken the plunge recently and would definitely need a mentor like you Ajeet, who has been there – done that. Additionally I love and appreciate great designs and this is definitely a master piece considering many blogs in the market.

    Would be honored if we could meet over a coffee?

    Cheers,
    Rohit

  26. Mushtaq Ahmed

    September 27, 2013

    Post a Reply

    Being a hard reader who even find difficult to read his books,your blog had made me to read including the comments and Thanks for showing me a new pathway called Entrepreneurship..And i am much attracted by”The problem with waiting for the right time is that it really never comes. And the reason it never comes is that it is already here!”.And sir a wholehearted wishes from my side for you success.

  27. Tushar Thakur

    October 2, 2013

    Post a Reply

    What a thoughts Ajeet.

    When you speak you simply throw the water of motivation. I wish to see some more ideas here. :)

    Keep it up.

  28. Gloria Bieser

    November 7, 2013

    Post a Reply

    I like what you said, for me self-employment is the only way to live, I do not want to make myself a slave to others, and work for them. My husband also supports me in this, and so all I can say is, you are on the right way. Just never give up. We can adjust our ways, but not give up, this is just no option :-)

  29. Rajvi Mehta

    December 8, 2013

    Post a Reply

    We have never seen such an exciting time for start ups in India. We have a large young population here and it all depends on how we play the card efficiently. Internet has enabled anyone to create a product. Two most important qualities have being mentioned here “need of hurry and the feeling that they cannot lose.” More and more people have being getting attracted to start ups and what a better helpline than this amazing site? More and more people will be benefited by this drive.

  30. Vijay Talreja

    January 7, 2014

    Post a Reply

    Ajeet – There is no doubt that you have a plethora of advice for both the early and mid aged (ain’t calling them old) entrepreneurs. I am glad that you have launched this website to bring thought leaders in this space and share their teachable point of views. There are many out there seeking guidance to venture into entrepreneurship and looking around for investors. I hope through the startupgang you are also able to get some the rock star investors, including yourself, to give some valuable tips to startups.

    • Ajeet Khurana

      January 8, 2014

      Post a Reply

      Thanks Vijay. I am keen to expand the number of angel investors in India — it can only help everyone. StartUpGang is a small effort in that direction.

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