This Budding Entrepreneur Can Inspire You
Yashraj Sharma has done an MBA in marketing from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Indore. He had a high-paying job and a lucrative career as a business analyst in front of him. But instead of running for materialistic goals, he chose the work that can give him satisfaction. Soon he left his job and co-founded Vidworks in 2017, a Delhi based video strategy & production company. In this article, he has shared his experience as a young and new entrepreneur.
Here is what Yashraj has to say,
While doing my MBA, I realised that if I want to test my true potential and make a real impact; I needed to work for myself and do what I would enjoy doing. As an avid cricketer, I worked on a sports technology idea with a couple of old friends during the final months of my MBA. When I joined Credit Suisse, I was working on this idea and gave whatever free time I had towards it.
The trigger to leave my nice, high paying job was the quality of work on offer. I believed there was less learning left for me and felt like an inessential cog in a big vehicle. I wanted to either work at a place which would challenge me or work for myself and I chose the latter.
While the work on Sports Tech start-up was on, it still didn’t require a full-time commitment if you’re not into coding. So this time, I experimented with setting up a video marketing company, as there is a constant increase in demand for videos as a marketing tool, especially on social media. Even before I joined, I was ready to leave the job. I really believed I was different, and that I had the courage to do things which others would refrain from just for the sake of being safe. I had already decided that I would rather succumb going for glory than chasing mediocrity for life. Leaving a job, as it may seem, wasn’t a really tough decision, to be honest.
On facing failures:
I have faced countless rejections, failures, setbacks, and what not. It’s almost become a habit now. For both the ventures I’m involved in, there have been so many things that have gone adrift of the plan and then we have had to put all our resources to get everything back on track. It’s not easy especially when you haven’t accounted for such contingencies.
So how do I deal with them? I just take them as a part of life now. I now expect things will go wrong more often than I imagine and am always mentally prepared for them. But most importantly, I make sure I learn from them so that I don’t do them again. And these failures have not only made me better at my work but a humbler person as well.
Lessons he learned from life:
Facing and dealing with rejections and then getting back and persisting can only be learnt if you’re really after something. There are no courses to teach you that and it will only come through the experience of trying to do something out of your league. I have also realised that as long as I’m in my comfort zone, I will not achieve anything extraordinary. There is no substitute for sustained hard work and relentlessness, in any field of life.
On motivation and positive thinking:
I’m a huge believer in motivation and positive thinking. It’s a positive mindset that helped me take risks despite a lack of ‘real world experience’. Even when doubts would creep in about the success of my venture. I would always think that whatever happens, it would end up teaching me tons and the experience would be useful for life. I have always seen it as an investment to become more capable.
For motivation, I keep watching inspirational videos on YouTube and I follow motivational quotes on Pinterest. I recently made it a point to learn something daily, through a book or a video or just invest time in improving myself by writing about things that I know or have experienced.
At this stage in life, I look at it in two ways:
a. First, and the more important way, is how many lives have I been able to impact in a positive way?
b. Second, which is more from a personal perspective, is how happy and satisfied I am with the kind of work that I do and the life that I live.
If I’m able to achieve both of these together, I’ll consider myself successful. But then, there are always more lives to be impacted, so I guess the work would never stop.
On the importance of setting a life goal:
I think it’s very difficult to have clarity on a singular life goal especially at this stage of life. We have goals on the professional front as well as personal front and want to see ourselves living a certain kind of life in the future. We can’t really keep personal and professional life completely separate while setting goals.
One thing I can say is it’s always better to have goals, both short and long-term, then dreams. Dreams, as the word is, are for dreamers while goals are for doers. Personally, I have a long-term goal or ambition of really leading an organisation to great heights. But it would be futile to dream about it and not act. I understand that for me to become capable enough I would need to work hard. I would need to make a real impact at whatever workplace I am, only then will I grow.
So when you realise that, every day needs an approach to making an impact. Make sure to do something that your clients or customers or co-workers would admire you for. What’s in my control is working hard and giving my best every day. I strongly believe if I do that, my long-term goals will be very much achievable. Setting a life goal motivates you to bring your best self out every day.
On the productive habit that he follows:
I have always kept myself fit and I really believe everyone should do that. It keeps both the mind and the body active and increases productivity at work.
Another thing that I’m in the process of inculcating is the habit of learning, from any source on any topic you feel like. I have realised that if we stop learning we stop growing. In this digital age, times are changing so fast that it’s easy to be left behind. So let’s make sure we don’t.
His source of motivation:
Thank God for the technology. I usually derive inspiration from watching videos of great people narrating their life experiences. Everyone has had it rough in their lives, and I need to go through it too if I have to achieve something worthwhile. It’s always very uplifting to be able to relate to some of these legends and realise that there’s a long way to go and I’m on the right track.
On a personal level, my family has been a constant source of support, which I must say I’m highly privileged for. I live alone and don’t have many friends around, unfortunately, so I mostly have to rely on myself to keep myself motivated.
Advice for students who want to become an entrepreneur:
One advice would surely be that if you’re passionate about something, or if you think you have an idea which could really work, don’t waste time. Give it your all, especially when you’re young. With age on your side, it is always an advantage as you have little to lose. But plan properly; make sure there are no bases uncovered while starting out. Blunders could sometimes be costly.
One more advice is that always remain prepared to do the dirty work. It’s not all glamorous. While starting out it’s just you, your founding partners and your collective passion to fuel the growth. Buckle up to take the hard knocks, expect the unexpected and don’t give up. Fight through these odds and you’d be soaring.