It was around the same time that I left my college, last year, and it has been a heck of a ride. I’m grateful that I finished college, I never thought I would, but there is so much that I’ve learnt, and here is a little attempt to sum it up.
My experiences are majorly based on my choice of starting my own business. I hope they might be of help to you :)
1. On dropping out;
Being a drop out is cool, only if you’re cool anyways
In the beginning, when my entrepreneurial journey was just kicking off (first year of college), there was an air about the hippness of being a dropout. I certainly was identified by that air, but having finished college, I feel that it was the right thing to do. My friends (and acquaintances) who dropped out would have done equally well if they hadn’t. So this is just a matter of personal opinion.
2. On friends;
When in college, everyone seems to be open and helpful, there is no lack of support. This has changed dramatically after college. I’m only able to keep up with 5–10 friends.
Also, making new friends is kinda hard, as most new people I meet, are related to me professionally, and most professional relations are either me selling them something, or they selling me something.
This never leaves scope for trust, because both parties want the best deal. The spirit of giving, spending time, hanging out is lost (but I’m trying hard to not let it die).
3. On planning;
While in college, it’s easy to take time and break it into chunks for each topic. It doesn’t work in the real world, because there are no timelines.
I feel I’ve become poor at this. And will write about it when I come up with a way to fix it.
4. On relationships;
This is the hardest part.
There are two people inside me, one wants to learn from past mistakes and invest time in a solid romantic relationship, and build chemistry and magnetism and the other who feels that the former will take a lot of time, and keeps looking for something short term.
There is a consistent fight between the two. I hope the first one wins. (But as of now, it’s the second one who’s winning). As an wantrepreneur, there is a serious lack of social life, as I’m hardly able to spare time to meet my prospects and family, and finding a woman, who’s as crazy as you is something that is hard for me. College is a good place to date. Outside there is tinder (where I have 0 matches and a little hope).
There are two kinds of women I meet, one who is a potential customer. I’m afraid of approaching them, as it might destroy my company’s reputation (and this groups is generally over age, so) and others are women who work with you (in your office, as a partner, or in a co-working space). I’ve yet to figure this out. I’ve been rejected only once.
5. On money;
Too much of it is harmful, because it makes you too comfortable, and stops you from taking risks. Too less of it makes you insecure and prevents you from taking risks. It has to be there, just in the right amount.
My plan was (and still is) to create a recurring stream of income, so I have enough to experiment and take risks.
6. On hatred;
This was the newest experience, as never in my life, I’ve got hate messages, calls. There was a time when, I convinced my current co-founder to leave his last company, I got copies of hate mails that were circulated in that organisation, regarding staying away from me.
I’ve also got threat messages, mails, and cases of visitors on my website, who abuse me. These used to hurt at first, but now, I feel sorry for them.
I’m sorry to anybody whom I might have hurt, which led to this hatred against me.
7. On learning;
My formal education might be on hold, but education should never stop. I feel that my brain will start to deteriorate, if I stop learning. I’ve read more books in this one year, than I would have read in 3 years of college, and have made it a point to learn new skills.
I’m pretty lethargic when it comes to course work and assignments, but I hope I’ll finish them, and implement the skills I learn. I might even go back to college to get a Masters or Phd in HCI or AI.
8. On automation and AI;
The jobs of doctors, teachers, lawyers, sales men, markers, call centres, support and what not will be taken away by robots latest by 2100 (Says Peter Theil). This is the next place to be. Keep updated with what Salesforce, IBM, Google, Microsoft and Facebook is upto.
If you remotely love making bots or NLP, then this is a great time for you to be alive.
9. On being sales man;
Being a salesman is the most inhibiting task in the universe. Imagine calling a random stranger up, and asking him for real money, in exchange for your services, multiply this by 10 everyday. What you get is called hustle.
Now I realise why there aren’t many hustlers, because the shit is fucking hard. And you can only learn it by experience.
Remember that what you are selling is valuable for your client.
A piece of advice if you are in college : If you need an internship, just call the CEO up, and tell them that you like their company. They’ll be more than happy to hire you. If not, call the next company in the list. (And if you don’t have their numbers, hit me up and I’ll help you find their contacts.)
10. On having teachers and mentors;
It will be sad if you walk the entrepreneur’s path alone. Make sure to have people you can trust, and share your problems with them. Take their advices and apply them.
11. On not giving a fuck;
Another distinct feature of my life has been meeting people who just won’t care about you.
You have to segregate them and remove them away from you. Their toxicity only spreads.
It’s ok to not talk with, unfriend or even block some people.
12. On being a story teller;
Being able to communicate yourself clearly is probably the best skill you’d develop. It separates the men from the boys (and the ladies from girls). Invest as much time as you possibly can in this. Read. Write. Blog. Make a video maybe.
13. On keeping good care of your body;
This is job number 1. If you lose health, become overweight, lose abs, you’ll lose charm, confidence and lethargy and laid backness will take their place.
Keeping your body fit makes you disciplined, which carries forward to other parts of life.
14. On travelling;
Traveling makes you more aware. And it’s great to travel alone (I’m not sure if this goes well for women, but I’ve met women from other countries traveling along so). Make time to travel at least once every 6 months. Go to places you are afraid of. Don’t book a hotel. Don’t have a plan. Change your plans. Break your plans. Because the more you experience life, the bigger it becomes.
Thanks for reading.