|About the Book|
We all go through life accumulating experiences, and from them we learn lessons. Some lessons are happy ones we learn from our successes and others from our failures (at least that’s the way it is supposed to be). An entrepreneur struggles at twoMoreWe all go through life accumulating experiences, and from them we learn lessons. Some lessons are happy ones we learn from our successes and others from our failures (at least that’s the way it is supposed to be). An entrepreneur struggles at two level. One is at a professional level trying to get the business right, and the other is at a personal level trying to cope with personal, familial and social pressures of the tons of setbacks that the entrepreneur has to navigate through the journey of a startup. This book is not about the professional struggle. There is no attempt at analyzing any business techniques.This book is about the personal and emotional struggles of an entrepreneur. More specifically it is about my personal struggles, along with some struggles that I observed of my friends and other fellow entrepreneurs. I have addressed this book to the set of people who from my personal experience needs emotional reinforcement, validation and encouragement the most – young persons who are either thinking of doing a startup or have just jumped into one.I happened to have been forced to keep note of my failures due to circumstances explained in the book, from which I have drawn inferences and codified them as lessons for myself. These are not general life lessons or technical lessons about running a business. These are lessons I have learnt about the personal struggles, trials and tribulations of a person doing a startup. I felt compelled to share my lessons with the world for reasons explained inside, in the most public way possible – by writing it in a book.So what qualifies me to be writing my lessons about a startup person’s personal struggles, that is worthy of your time and consideration? I am neither a person who succeeded spectacularly in a startup that you read about in business publications, nor am I a person of notoriety who failed spectacularly to be news worthy. That I believe is my primary qualification. I am the average startup guy, who has in his midlife reached an average destination that most startup guys on an average probably will reach. Thus I share the perspective of the vast majority of startup guys, who did not fail but are not sitting on personal net worth of hundreds of millions of dollars either.This book should be of interest to people who are thinking of jumping into a startup or who have started up and are now going through their struggles at a personal and emotional level, possibly full of self-doubt. I tackle these issues head-on, not to discourage anyone from doing a startup, quite the opposite. I would like you to see that these struggles can be overcome, and on an average you do not come out as bad in life as you may be scared of, even if your startup is not the next Facebook, Google or Microsoft.This book also gives insights into the toolkit available to any startup person, and how I use them. There is no ‘right’ way to use these toolkits, it depends on the person you are and your style. I had my strengths and weaknesses and I used them accordingly. You would use them differently. One thing about the use of the toolkit is universal though, which I illustrate continuously through the book, and my note keeping is the primary example of that – the importance of being able to measure yourself as objectively as possible and being able to improve. What you can measure you can improve.Don’t expect any secret or magic formula in this book, for there is none that I know of. Wouldn’t I have used it myself? And would I be sharing it so freely with you? This is a set of lessons and views that I have garnered through 25 years of my life as a startup guy.