From the moment we set foot in the education system, we are groomed to to be a cog in a large well-oiled machine. We are taught to be employees who compete with others to come out on top of the rat race. As someone who’s holding down a job as well as managing a startup, I’ve been finding it increasingly hard to connect and see eye-to-eye with a majority of the people I know.
They way they think and the way I think is so different that I don’t even know where to begin finding that middle ground. Their modus operandi is the societal norm – whilst my way of thinking doesn’t even begin to register on their radar.
Most people will never work or be part of a startup so they simply don’t have the skillset to comprehend – or even imagine – how to make things work. Way too many people I meet think of a startup as either some glamorous venture that’ll take off overnight or just a hobby to keep you distracted from how unfulfilling things are at your day job.
But a startup is a lot more than that. People who work in established businesses fail to truly comprehend that a large enterprise was once a startup as well. A vast majority of the world’s population will never start a business, let alone build it from scratch.
And let’s face it. Most people don’t even want to.
They just never quite find the courage to venture forth and build their own business. If they do finally find the courage to try, they often ‘fail’ and then tell you that you can’t do it either.
Starting and building a business isn’t for everyone. It’s risky. There’s no certainty or security and you have no idea exactly what to plan for. Startup founders have to make things up as they go along. It isn’t a linear path and most people just don’t have the stomach for it.
And who can blame them?
Why give up a string of benefits and security for uncertainty and risk?
Because somewhere deep down, you know you must.
The entrepreneur’s mindset is completely different to the employee mindset. The entrepreneur finds it abhorrent to conform to organisational norms, whilst the employee finds joy and and stability in all that’s tried and true. It’s not that one’s wrong and the other is right.
It’s the mindset that differentiates the two.
As I juggle the dual hats of being both an employee and a startup founder, my mind is like a yoyo that always inevitably returns to its true purpose.
I started this business. And I will do what it takes to build it from the ground up.
About the Author
Dipa Sanatani is the Merchant of Stories. She delights in gazing out at the ocean and jumping in. She sees life as one great adventure and is an ardent student of the human experience. She is the author of The Little Light and the Founder of Mith Books. She works in a top secret day job.