Exploring entrepreneurship

Crossroads

“You have a kid. Are you sure you want to do this?”

“What about the risks?”

“You don’t have a proper plan!”

Everyone’s been asking me.

It’s going to be a new journey for me! A shot at trying to see if I could be an entrepreneur.

Life update:

I have decided to leave my current job and am serving the notice period of 2 months now. And I haven’t bothered to look elsewhere… (until now, at least).

I have a few ideas for the short term, but honestly, NONE for the longer term. I have NO CLUE what to do except that I would like to figure out if entrepreneurship (in its very minimal form) is something for me… or not!

After thinking and deliberating for more than 2 years if I should go the entrepreneur’s route or not and going nowhere, I have decided to go the Nike way!

Just do it!

Thought: Perhaps, answers will appear! Or at least, the right questions to ask yourself will appear! Perhaps by trial and error. Or by way of elimination of the unwanted. If it does, and even if I figure out that entrepreneurship is not my cup of tea, it could be a worthy thing to try out.

It’s been 2 weeks and I should say, its been a roller-coaster already. Questions, doubts, can-you’s, but-you-dont-have-a-plan’s and a zillion thoughts plaguing already.

It is so tempting to get into another day job for another decent salary and not have to worry about where the next Rupee will come from. Easy life. The most unnerving thought is the uncertainty ahead! The journey looks daunting. Yet, it is surprising that there is a group that wants to try it out.

I could be in that group.. if I don’t chicken out.

Why this (hasty) move, now?

Not a hasty move, considering that I had been thinking on these lines for more than 2 years and my finances are better aligned to try this out. But clearly, it’s not a neatly laid out plan either.

No matter how much I thought about going-on-my-own, I couldn’t arrive at a decisive point. Perhaps, I thought, its better to just jump and see what happens!

These are few reasons why I might want to try it, but the list is not comprehensive. Frankly, few of them, frivolous!

  • To attempt to create a system which will work for me after a few years even if I stop working (passive income)
  • To attempt to engage the power of leverage (have people working for you than the other way round) and technology
  • Want to experiment if I could mix any of my multiple passions and skills and make financial sense out of it
  • My financial position is much better and feel now is the right time to take a plunge
  • My wife has a full time job and has agreed to support me fully
  • I always wanted to do something better and my felt my day job was kinda limiting
  • Of late, been feeling under-utilized or utilized for what I wasn’t meant for
  • Feel my financial discipline and reasonably decent investing skills should be leveraged too
  • Couldn’t stand corporate appraisals and one was just around the corner (you jerk!!)

And no, these are NOT the reasons (which most of my readers might think of due to a misleading post earlier):

  • Am not bored of a tech career. I still love ETL, Data warehouses and databases. It’s just that I don’t want to repeat what I did in the 2nd, 3rd years of my career! (And there is a high probability that I could stick to Tech, esp Business Analytics for my venture, if at all, it happens)
  • My “other” interests in travel and photography are certainly not the reasons. I was mulling entrepreneurship much before I got  into these. (If it makes financial sense, might explore this area too)
  • It’s not a mid-life crisis. It’s a how-can-I-get-a-nitrous-boost-in-my-career crisis!

So, what is your plan mister?

Absolutely none! Uh, almost!

I have a few short term ideas to sustain myself. One of it hinges on the training and consulting industry in my field. Other ideas are something that I would keep to myself for now.

In making my choice, I would rely heavily on the words of Jim Collins in Good to Great (esp what he describes as the Hedgehog concept)

THE Hedgehog concept from “Good to Great” by Jim Collins

For a great career, Jim says, you need these 3 to go together

  • passion for whatever you want to work on
  • skills that you possess to make things happen
  • economic sense and viability of the idea

Without boring you with a self discovery routine, I’ll simply say, am still working on it. Perhaps, if many are interested in knowing my thought process in arriving at any such ideas, I may blog about it.

As far as the plan, guidelines and preparedness go, am being conservative (which is good when you are unsure, but takes the thrust out considerably) here they are:

  • will have 1 or 2 short term not-intensive non-time-consuming projects to bring in cash while pursuing the longer term ideas (initially, I intend to keep this at not more than 10-15 days a month until a longer term plan is established after which I will taper off with the short term ideas)
  • no capital intensive ideas (which means the land purchase idea I had in Nilgiris is pushed out by at least 1 year) and mostly plan to fund my longer term ideas from my short term work
  • no long shots (read long gestation period ideas) when the short term idea is still not cash-flow-consistent
  • have created a trench of funding not exceeding a small portion of my net worth which I intend to dig into in a staggered and slow manner
  • re-aligning my portfolio and the risk-ability of the same
  • have already started maintaining finances for the not-yet-started-but-researching venture separately (my book keeping skills are excellent I would think and GNUCash is a huge help here)
  • already have stuff like Medical insurance (Family floater) and term insurance to cover for any eventualities
  • always have had an emergency fund to dig into for short term expenses in the event of a dry period, which I do not foresee, as my wife would still be employed and my short term idea should help too
  • working on strengthening my social network, at which until now, I had been very bad with

Still a long way away:

Like I said, I still have 2 months before I would be swimming naked. Who knows, I might chicken out and jump into the employment bandwagon again. Or I might stay the course and start something… small and niche that suits my pocket and doesn’t give me a nervous breakdown.

Thought: It may sound very cool to do something on your own, the moment you are out in the open, your brain goes blank sometimes and the other times, it keeps racing unwantedly. The coolness of your idea will soon die out and you will truly be swimming naked. To stay the course after that is a lot of effort. Especially when you keep getting calls from recruiters!

Let me see how I fare!!!

 

19 thoughts on “Exploring entrepreneurship

  1. What ever it is. All the best for this wonderful journey dude!! Keep us updated through this post. IT is always a roller coaster ride and your words gives an impression that you are well prepared and you EXACTLY know what your are doing. Great going and hats off.

  2. Dude,

    Goodluck for what ever you are upto next. If need be we are always there to help you out with what ever we can.

    Go for it. I know its a brave move which not everyone dares to take.

    Goodwishes and Goodluck.

    Keep smiling.

    Shiv

  3. All the best. And yes, you’ll figure it out alright. Don’t worry about tags, having to tell people this or that, or whats ‘expected’ – even from you of yourself.

    And if in doubt, there’s always coffee to catch up over 🙂

    Rgds,
    Sameer

  4. Hey dude, welcome to the club and wish you all the best in whatever you do!

    From your post, looks like you are on the right track – no amount of planning works with entrepreneurship and you just have to hear your inner calling and get on with it.

    Feel free to ping me if you need any kind of help!

  5. @Pramod, Shivu, Kesava, Venkat: Thx a ton! I know its a bit premature for me to be even talking about things as I haven’t gotten things rolling still.

    @Sameer: Thx! Been reading your entrypreneur blog recently and that helps a bunch!

    Will talk when we meet!

    @Pranav: Thx a ton! Words from ‘been there done that’ guys like you are very encouraging!!

  6. Stick with it Prem. You don’t want any regrets later for not having tried. And it looks like you’re reasonably well set up on the risk-side (as long as you don’t get into anything capital-intensive).

    I’m going through a similar stage. I’m taking a different route but even I’m not sure what that will lead to.

    Good luck!

  7. Not bad at all ! Last year had been a tough one but this one is a challenging one, which I am enjoying very much. Hope it remains the same throughout.

  8. Hi Prem,

    Go for it !! and all the the best wishes. Having a life partner supporting you will make all the difference – and as someone has already pointed out, you will not have regrets for not trying it out.

  9. Came to your blog through the nilgiris survey tweet and I suspected something like this and here I find this post. 🙂

    Awesome that you took the plunge! All the very best for whatever you intend to take up.

    1. @ Neelima: 🙂 guess it was too easy to guess! Thanks a lot for the wishes!

      Trying to figure out a few things… should be ready with a rough plan by March end, hopefuly..

  10. All the best Prem! Totally agree with you on your thoughts. And I can’t deny the fact that I have been thinking on similar lines!

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