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Some Give All

Any great endeavour involves total uncertainty and complete self-belief. One hundred thousand teenagers pursue cricket but only 11 make the Indian team

Last month I had to give the opening address to a group of early stage award winning Startups. In the days leading up to it I thought a lot about what I should say. I knew that the usual thoughts of courage and hope had to feature, but what was the one simple thought that separated this bunch of people from the rest of the world?

Then I remembered a song by Billy Ray Cyrus – ‘All gave some. Some gave all’!

At once I knew this was the thought. Some Give All.
Starting Up means Giving Your All.

You give all your efforts. All your energy. All your strength. All your money. To try and make a dream happen.

You set sail on a voyage of storm and uncertainty with only 10 per cent chance of reaching your destination (that’s right, 90 per cent of startups fail). You trust your instinct. You go with your gut. You ignore common sense. You sell your wife’s jewels. You often don’t have a clue where your next month’s rent is coming from. You step out each day to fight the good fight never quite knowing what you have to face or which side it will come from. You take the punches, fall on the ground, only to get up and battle on. You bounce back not only for yourself  but for your whole team.

But why do you do it?

You do if for what can happen if you should succeed.

First of all you believe that you are one of the ten who will succeed. A Startup Founder has to be a raging optimist – how else can he survive a stormy sea without a compass or a navigation chart?

Any great endeavour involves total uncertainty and complete self-belief.

One hundred thousand teenagers pursue cricket but only 11 make the Indian team.

Ten thousand aspiring girls and guys flock to Mumbai but only one becomes a superstar.

So in my mind these are the five top reasons people found startups.

* You have no boss:
 Many are just tired of the same nine-to-five routine. They feel they are getting suffocated and have a future more predictable than the contents of a McDonald’s burger.

* They want to make a difference: Some may argue with this, but I feel that in many cases a person who successfully starts up a path-breaking site called whymylife.com wins more respect than his classmate, who becomes the second in command of Microsoft India.

* They have faith in an Idea: Sometimes you feel that you have an idea that you simply have to bring to life!

* They have no idea what they are getting into: It’s true, many underestimate what they are going to face.

* They know the most famous people in the business world are those who started companies. It’s true. We all know who started Apple. We all know who started Uber and Facebook. But do you know the worldwide head of Unilever?

So you make it  happen – or you collapse trying.

But the beauty is that at the age of 70 or 80 when you look back a slow smile may cross your lips. As you think ‘I gave my all!’

As I ended my speech I told my audience. This journey definitely ends with you on a beach.

But that beach could be Caymans or Chowpatty!

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