I’m very grateful to all who have connected with me via different social platforms and I am happy to help them with best of my knowledge and experience. One of the questions which I am asked quite often especially by youngsters in their twenties and even by people in their forties or fifties is, what to choose viz. a job or own business? I’m sure many of you must be having the same dilemma, let’s ponder upon.
My best advice to young people who have just completed their college and either they have family support by means of initial capital or at least they don’t have to support their family in terms of capital, they should not waste a single day doing a job. Because most of the jobs are time intensive and as the clock reads we all have just twenty-four hours a day. What I believe is, a job can never make you rich. Jobs make you a machine. Doing the same work every single day might make you good at it but look around the only constant in today’s scenario is to change. And for some of you whose parents are pushing to get a job or who have to support their family in terms of capital, if possible try your best to convince them and if not then get the one with least amount of hours involved. Maybe a part-time or work from home would do and aside from that burn the midnight oil to turn things that really matter to you into reality. This is the best time one can invest to chase his passion. This is the time when you can be most flexible about your routine, your habits, your comfort and the fire inside is burning which will constantly push you to chase and complete tasks. Government is supporting startups and have come up with so many schemes. Good people are out there to help you.
I myself had no capital, no mentor, I couldn’t even speak English and back in the days, there was no internet or telephone. I did a job in a garment export house for two years, gained experience and bootstrapped my own business. It was a long struggle of eight years before I tasted success for the very first time. I had to cut down on my expenses in order to survive. I was hardworking and used to work eighteen hours a day. It took me almost seventeen years from a job of Rs300/- per month to reach a benchmark of 300 times oversubscribed IPO followed by a Presidential Award.
Twenty years ago, I was mentoring a young lawyer whose entire family was into the same profession but he didn’t want to practice law. Once he said, Sir, I am getting a job as a legal advisor for Rs40,000/- per month” and asked, “should I go for it?”. I told him these exact words, “beta paan ki dukan khol lena parantu naukri mat karna (son, you can open a betel shop but never think of a job)”. After which he started his own venture and today he has a very successful online tourism company with over fifty employees.
Two years ago, a very bright young man visited me for guidance. He was from some small town in Haryana and was in final year of his college. He got a campus placement in a big multinational company but he refused to take the job as his vision was to be an entrepreneur. His father was very upset with his decision and was not talking to him for almost a year. He told me his childhood story that how his father built up his small business and after a whole lot of struggle was able to give a comfortable life to their family. Inspired by the same, this young man from his savings of Rs2000/- started buying sports goods from Meerut wholesale market and sold them to the other students. He started working on a gifting portal and studied top gifting sites from Italy and Spain. He went deep into the villages of India to get some nayab (incredible) handmade gifts which no one in the market had. Since the inception, till today he has Rs 2Lacs as his capital. He was the true entrepreneur material.
And for those who are already in a job but are frustrated, unsatisfied and bother if they will die with these unfulfilled dreams. To them, my best advice is if you have a business idea and you believe in it then you must execute it but cautiously. Just don’t leave your job and jump into it. It’s never certain whether your idea will work or not. It may take much longer to execute than anticipated. You may run out of your savings and in this worse scenario, you have to wind up and get back to the same disgraceful job. This time you have to live with the pain of failure for rest of your life, which is even worse. Please don’t do this. One way to do this, find a co-founder or partner who can devote full time and you work part-time or late in the evenings and weekends. Take long breaks and work on your business. Once your business reaches the stage that pays you the same salary only then leave the job.
One of my young friend from Bangalore did exactly the same and I met him a few months back and was very happy to see his flourishing interior business. I know one middle-aged gentleman who left his very high paying job and started his own venture. Unfortunately, he is still struggling after four years and all his savings are diminished. He looks frustrated all the time which is human nature. You should also keep in mind that it is difficult to get a similar job after a gap.
My father wanted to be an entrepreneur. One of his childhood friends made it big in his own business of footwear and my father was very inspired by him. Meanwhile, my father was frustrated with his conventional job. He was almost ready to take a plunge but the same friend of him advised him against this. He told him that what if your business doesn’t work what will happen to your family. My father took his advice and focused on his job and we could all complete our education. Sometimes in life, you have to play safe.
Another advice is to those who have a good job and can save a lot of money, become an angel investor. Join some angel network like IAN and strategically invest some money in various startups. This way you can take an active part in the startup ecosystem and relive your youth. Mentor these young entrepreneurs, they need your Tajurba. With your Tajurba and their energy, it can do wonders. You can be the part of their exciting journey and earn some decent money with minimal risk.
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Still any doubts? comment below and feel free to ask.
Edited by- Rajat Babbar, linkedin- https://bit.ly/2GubULO