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Celebrate Your Independence Day Today by Starting Up — I Did

By on Aug 15, 2013 in Opinion | 35 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.

35 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.

  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.

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