The more you seek the uncomfortable, the more you will become comfortable. - Conor McGregor
My startup, PoolCircle, was based on my strong personal belief that carpooling is the most efficient way to travel. No other transport service can do what carpooling does, i.e., eliminate empty seats and thereby reducing vehicles on the road.
We later realized the challenges in making it work, but there was no second thought on the belief with which we had started, that was the importance and efficiency of carpooling. Even if I couldn’t do it, it was absolutely the right thing to do.
Products that require a significant amount of mindset and behavior change from the consumers, need to invest a lot of money to convince users to use it.
As one of the top investors of a famous e-commerce platform rightly said, “We think the first Rs.6000 crores was spent in getting Indians to shop online.” That’s the proof of large investment that is required to bring in mindset change.
That’s the reason PoolCircle didn’t work because we couldn’t raise the money to run a direct consumer product. In fact, we were quite successful in selling this solution in B2B space. Top enterprises were happy to promote carpooling among their employees. As much as it helped us pay the bills, a B2B ride-sharing platform didn’t align with our vision.
Success and failure should always be viewed in the context of the scale of the problem being solved and how is it being done. You see your success in your own way.
The only person who has never failed or is never wrong is the person who has never attempted, who has not pushed themselves out of his comfort zone to try to do things differently.
Entrepreneurs are ones who are comfortable being uncomfortable.
Entrepreneurship is not for somebody who likes being right a lot and it is also not for someone who prefers a linear growth. Success might not come readily but that does not define failure, because success and failure are very relative terms. Viewing them in the context of the goals and corresponding achievements would be the right thing to do.
While I currently hold a full-time paying job, I still view it as part of my entrepreneurial journey and I know that my startup was a key factor in my selection for this role.
This journey is going to leave you with an entrepreneurial mindset for lifetime. That is what, once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur, really means. They will never say it’s not my job because they don’t recognize too many boundaries. They will be outcome focused and will do what it takes to get the task done. They can cut through crap very quickly.
Failure can hurt and leave you questioning your self-worth, but I recommend quickly moving on to the next thing that can excite you. Ask yourself ‘So what? What next? At the end, it is about keeping your passion going and being excited about what you have taken up.
I strongly believe every journey is important because irrespective of what and how much you have achieved, what matters is how excited were you throughout. If it was high, then why wouldn’t you want to share the greatest and the most exciting part of your life!
Experience Contributed By :
Mr Raghu Ramanujam
He is a product leader and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in companies like Zoho and InMobi. He founded PoolCircle, a peer to peer ride sharing platform with a mission to take a million cars of the road. He currently is Vice President – Product Management at Tambora Systems. He’s an active blogger and a long distance runner.