Who Grows the Fastest?


One program for entrepreneurs, celebrated an Entrepreneurship Day. One-year, long time back it happened, and I celebrated Entrepreneurship Day by inviting hundred and eleven entrepreneurs there. And to all these guys, who have already seen life. They have coaches, they have consultants, they have read books. They’ve gone to the best of the universities in the world, to acquire the best of the qualifications that is there, according to either their aptitude or their financial capabilities.

What will I go and tell them? And that was my first ever exclusive entrepreneurship program. So, when I was sitting and thinking, I realized, the only challenge to growth for all of us, is, how do we manage transitions in life? Everything for us. In fact, those who handle transitions the best, grow the fastest. Those who struggle through transitions, grow the slowest. How do I handle transitions?

Has built his, Prabhuram has built his own business, and he’s grown into the whole thing, and he is, in one of the things that he manufactures, he does the best in the entire world, and all this, he has done. Now he wants to go to the next level. His brothers have to take certain responsibilities, they have to be empowered, he has to have his managers in place, and other things. How does he transition from, “If I am in the forefront, the best will happen.”? Then you become a limitation.

Then, Alubee has become whatever it is today, because of you, and it won’t become what it can become because of you, how do you not transition into going into the background, and still achieving the same level of productivity and excellence? How does he handle this transition? From the time I’ve started business I’ve got, my mind has always been working out, who will be the next investor? From where can I get the next funding? At what stage is my product going to make money? My mind has already got programmed into get funding, sustain myself, get funding, sustain myself.

In my mind. I’ve already programmed myself, saying that there is a critical mass, and that critical mass… because that is all every IT guy thinks. See from a time where conventional economy was, through your products, through your services, through your manufacturing, you make money. The latest trend in digital is, who will invest on my idea? Who else? Because we all did not come up in life, or some of the greatest organizations in the world today, did not come up because they found funding. They had a product which the market was ready to buy.

Whenever the money came from the market, these products and these organizations have become the biggest. Whenever your product was not buyable in the marketplace, but your mind was trapped into “Who will invest?”. Sustainability! I can understand two years, I can understand three years, I can understand five years. But in five years’ time, if you have not made money, then I think, you are in a trap. You are all the time trying to think who will invest in this idea. You can keep finding investors in the idea, but you’re in a trap, because you have not built a business model that is making money. As simple as that. How do I transition from all the time thinking about who will fund? To start thinking who is buying!

If in five years’ time, nobody has bought my product or service, in five years’ time, not enough people have bought my product or service, fundamentally, that is a flaw in the business model. How do I handle this transition? How does a Shweta, who’s been part of… So, the school will conduct exams, so within that system, she has found herself easy to go, and not for everybody, it’s not easy. For her, it was easy, to go and get four centums in board exams, and everybody celebrated. So, at the district level, zonal level, they will conduct swimming competitions. So, you’ll have to just go and take part in the entire thing.

You win, and everybody’s proud that, you keep consistently winning gold and breaking records in swimming. And then you go to London School of Economics to study there, and there you come. The system was demanding performance from you, and you kept performing. Then you join HDFC. Targets. You perform, you get incentive. You don’t perform, you lose your job. Pressure of corporate, and corporate knows how to make anybody a performer, or they will eliminate you from the organization. Amazing performance! For an organization which would not give you an increase for one year’s time, in four months’ time revises your salary, doubles your salary, because they feel otherwise, they’ll lose you in the marketplace. System is carrying you.

And then finally you come out, and now you’re an entrepreneur of your own, not accountable to anybody else except yourself. Now, instead of three months, you can do in nine months. Nobody’s gonna ask you any question. Now instead of earning in lakhs, you can earn in thousands. Nobody’s gonna ask you any question. And you’re not a breadwinner for the family, so there’s no compulsion. If I don’t earn this month, my family won’t eat! Now, how do you motivate yourself? Now, how do you remain a peak performer?

There is no system to help you. You are the system right now. In fact, others are looking at you for motivation. So, you can’t look at anybody else for motivation. Your time to be a follower is over. The day you become an entrepreneur; you have to lead. How do I handle this transition? In five years’, time you will get to handle the transition. In ten years’, time, he will make Alubee independent of him. Do we have those ten years?

Somewhere at fifty-five, she can come up with a world-changing design. We don’t have that sort of a time. We don’t have the time! You can’t at twenty-eight and twenty-nine, realize that I can’t be a little girl, the world is moving too fast. In five years’ time, you cannot have the first profit made as an entrepreneur. You don’t have that sort of a time! The more and more, I can keep giving examples. In fact, I feel like nailing each one of you right now by saying that, you’re taking too long in your transition. That the world will belong to those… who succeed in transition acceleration. Transition is life. We cannot avoid, transition is life. Everything is a transition.

From staying in the house, to going to a school, in playschool, is a transition. I went in one direction in life, got married, produced a child. Marriage did not work out. Now what next? How am I going to take my life from here, is a transition! I have been a doctor myself, and now I want to be a doctor-entrepreneur. So how do I sit in the lead and get others? Transition! From being a free bird, a bachelor, a spinster, to getting married and now responsible for another life, transition! From being a parent of one child to being a parent of another child, transition!

Everything is transition in life. If there is one thing like, death cannot be avoided by anybody in human life, which comes only once, transition cannot be avoided in life, because, every day, small office to big office transition. Small clients to big clients, transition. Ordinary success, no success, nobody knows you. Ordinary success, everybody’s your friend. Phenomenal success, your friends become your enemy. How do you handle this again? Suddenly, your success is not inspiring others, it’s making others jealous, envious. They want to stop you.

How do you handle this, at this moment, without getting emotional about it and leading through the whole thing? How do you handle this? From the time you had the child in your arms, it’s one way of parenting. To that time, the child is so flamboyant, another type of parenting. To the time the child is not listening to you. How do you empower? Another phase in parenting. And now, the child wants you to listen to him! The son has become the father! Now, how do you go through this transition? And we don’t have time! Transition acceleration.

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