B school, he was going against the tide. His parents, relatives and friends all have warned him against this. He belongs to a well respected middle class family where both parents were government employees. They had decent earnings and respect of others. They had a good life working 10 to 5 and never getting bugged down by pressures or challenges of deadlines that Is normal In corporate world. They had a nuclear family with a daughter and son.
The daughter is married to a footwear engineer who Is working In a reputed company with a handsome salary. Both the parents wanted their son to follow their foot steps, but the moment Shaman decide to do MBA they were a bit skeptical. However after seeing that corporate Jobs can also be well secured as their son -in- laws, they did not mind much. They have always encouraged Shaman to excel In his studies and provided him with all the necessary resources. They probably have decided what is best for their son and wanted to lead him in that direction. As with every parent they in their deepest of heart, they wanted the best for their son.
As always shaman excelled In his studies
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He did to sit for any campus Interview. HIS parents were shocked and pleaded against It. However Shaman was hell bent on working for him. He thought working for others is a waste of time and without much scope to utilities the full range of his skills and knowledge. Also he was convinced that he has learned enough strategies to make his business a success. He was adamant about his decision; it is not to say he did not respect his parent’s opinion but wanted to experience the world on his own way. After much of pleading and counseling, every body Including his parents gave up to his determination.
So Shaman started on a new Journey to set up his own venture which was never anyone around him. He had developed a business idea and had chalked out plans for an ‘Event Management Company during his studies. In fact he had received good grades from his lecturer on the business report he submitted on that same topic. He was reassured that his plans will be successful and he will soon be on his way to be a successful entrepreneur. His parents bowing down to his decision had decided to finance his business. He started with only four employees: two for marketing, one as Event Manager and the there as an office boy.
He was very cautious at the beginning not to fork out a lot of money on anything till he gets a feel of the market. He had rented the top floor off 3-storied building which belonged to one of his friend’s aunt. He set up office with the minimum infrastructure required to carry out business. He was positive and hopeful of the future. Since he grew up in that town he had many contacts and there will be no shortage of business for him, at least that’s what he thought. In the first week of business he was referred to his first client by one of his cousin. They wanted to organism a small event for their club members.
Which he readily agreed to and provided them with necessary documents; the co-ordination took the documents and assured him of business. The event was scheduled to be held after a week. It was almost a picture perfect beginning for him. And he believed that things will be much brighter in the coming days. Little did he know that a surprise rather a shock was waiting for him? He called the client after 4 days and to his be wilderness the contract was given to someone else. He felt much frustrated and upon his enquiry the co-ordination said they gave it to an experienced company in the field.
This is a set back for him and for his hopes. Now he indulged in a bit of negative self talk, he assumed that may be his parents were right. And he was wrong in choosing this path. However his strong determination convinced him otherwise and he kept a brave face in front of his parents and employees. He never showed his frustration to anyone. Now slowly he is learning to manage his emotion and himself. He is learning to handle set backs and disappointments. This was never taught to him in the a-school or in any of the Management books by C. K.
Parallax ND while handing over the check to each of his employees; he began to realize the value of each penny. He knew that he is running out finances and has to manage it rather carefully. He had no one to look for help. However he knew deep in his heart that he has chosen the right path. He continued in his endeavourer & had few near misses in the second month. Again the whole of second month went without contract and the pay day came much before he realized. He felt his hand shaking and shivering while handing out pay checks; apart from that he had to pay for rent and bills which he avoided the first month.
He thought to himself it this continues he will soon run out of cash and his dreams will die a premature death. The third month, he knew was crucial to his survival. But he was morally down so was the spirits of employees. It is as if everybody knew that the boat is sinking. And in fact his employees had secretly started searching for other Jobs. Shaman the bright, young, intelligent, smart graduate from a top a-school has now no answers to his own questions. He felt that there is no market for his business; people are too shrewd or cunning; it is nearly impossible for a start up business to et contracts etc.
This young graduate who was so good at answering question on case studies that, at times his lecturer had asked him to explain it to fellow students has now no answer to his own case. He thought to himself business is much different than it is actually taught in schools. He said to himself there is no room for a middle class, straightforward person in the business world. Business is domain of shrewd and rich. With all the thoughts he returned home late that night. His parents had never seen him coming home that late. He did not even take his food and went to his bed room.
They thought he was tired after a long days work and wants to sleep; so they did not bother him. Shaman sitting in his own little room is now experiencing a lot of emotions; he feels as if his dream has come to an end. He has no way to turn things around; he is heart broke. On top he is feeling much hungry but did not want to go out to face his parents. He feels like a victim of robbing his parents of their hard earned money and moreover their happiness. With a zillion questions in his mind; he felt restless & suffocated; as if he is trapped in a building that has caught fire.
Never in his life he ad this experience; it is as if he is passing out. Room. He thought that his parents have fallen asleep. He quietly entered the room and sat for sometime on the sofa. He then went to the fridge to fetch some water. With every drop of water entering his throat, he felt a sense of life. He came back to the sofa and unintentionally started browsing through the pages of a magazine which was probably lying there for months. While browsing he came across a page and little did he know that this page will define his destiny. He saw an interview by a leading entrepreneur on how to run a equines successfully.
This entrepreneur described various ways to manage cash flow, marketing and operation. Shaman was not interested in all that as his business is yet to get off from the ground. He unconsciously was searching for an answer to his own question. He wants to know “how to survive a start up business rather than how to manage a flourishing business? ” At times you never know neither you have answers to why certain things happen. There is an old saying, “the teacher appears when the student is ready’. May be Shaman is ready to know the answer.
His question was asked by the Journalist conducting the interview. To which the entrepreneur had replied as follows, “For a start up business it is more important to use imagination than reality’. He did not understand this and he read it again and still it did not make any sense to him. Things became clear once he read the explanation which goes like this: “As per statistics 55% small businesses show signs of failure in the first six months of opening door. It is nothing to do with business plan or the strategies or the market condition; it is more to do with the mindset of entrepreneur.
While starting a business, everyone expects good return and some even prepare a cash flow with hefty cash inflows from the very first month. Then when reality kicks in and they do not reach 40% of their projection or in cases nothing; they start feeling frustrated. After a few months they get caught in the negative loop. They feel that the market is not there; the idea has no value or they are not good managers. Now it is neither of them but rather it is their lack of ability to use their imagination. With anything we start, we are likely to experience difficulties or even fail a few times.
Reality is when we start collecting data around us and then reach a certain conclusion. May be the data around us is not very encouraging and the conclusion is against us. So this is the time to get hold of our imagination and create a more compelling future. Enterprise. Now they do not meet the targets and they start believing that fugues (Reality) are more powerful than their imagination. Or at least they let it to be. With this they give up their power to create and engulf themselves in the negative loop they call reality. And finally this loop strangles them to death.
So it is essential for an entrepreneur to use imagination to propel him/her in the direction he/she wants. And this becomes essential at the beginning when things are going against you. You have to hold on to your dreams and imagine the future finish in advance. You have to go out everyday with positive energy and try to create value for your clients. You have to let the fugues lie aside and use your creative self to attract more of business to you. ” Now this makes a lot of sense to Shaman. He understands every bit of the word written there and may be he has found answer to his all important question.
This he never read in any book nor heard in any lecture or seminar. And even he had never come across this enlightening piece in any material of his ideal C. K. Parallax. He went to bed with a lot of satisfaction and had the deepest sleep in months. He woke up late that morning and rushed to his office. On his way he chalked out plans to draw new clients and upon reaching office he discussed his new plans with his employees. More than the plan the employees were startled by the enthusiasm in his face & confidence in his voice.
It no longer is the sign of a defeated and tired man but ether the signs of an energetic, vibrant and centered individual. They took his plan seriously and worked every bit of the way. Shaman on his part lead the pack to believe in them and in the business idea using his imagination and creativity. He always discussed about the positive future they are running at. It seemed that the team is working with a new found energy; sure they lost the next two contracts to a bigger rival. But towards the end of the month they managed to scoop out a lucrative deal with a company for organizing events to promote their brand.
Finally towards the end of 3rd month he got his first contract. This may not be the beginning he had expected but he has learned his lessons. He impressed the company with his management and organization skills and bagged contracts for other brands of that company and got various referrals from that same company. To millions in a year. He employs 40 employees and has a nice office at the heart of the city. And this all he has achieved in a span of 3 years. His parents are proud of him so as his relatives and friends.