After years of contemplation, working with start-ups and reading about entrepreneurship, I have finally decided to take the plunge. And yes, it is scary. At a time when I am on the wrong-side of thirty, I have doubts whether it is a good decision to risk it all? Am I doing the right thing?
These are the five biggest questions that haunt me:
What about the pay check that comes every month?
The assurance that a fixed amount of money will come to my account at the end of the month is a great thing. It makes you forget everything. All the disagreements you have had with your manager, all the office politics you had to face, the traffic jams you had to course through to be in office on time, the sleepless nights you had spent thinking about how to do that assignment better while your partner happily snored away to glory beside you.
True, money cannot buy everything but most of the things that you want, you can only have if you have money in your wallet. Starting up would mean skipping all those vacations, visits to the Zaras and Chemistrys and most importantly skipping on checking out the latest restaurant that has opened up in the city.
What will people say?
It is very easy to say that I don’t care what people think about me but it is very difficult to actually practise it. God made us social animals. The friends we have, the colleagues we work with, the family, the extended family, they all matter. To me they definitely do. I do not want to be looked at as a loser. I always want to be a rock star in their eyes.
When I announced that I have put in my papers, the first question that came from them was if I had found a better job with a fatter pay cheque? When my answer was a ‘No’, the next question was so you are planning to start a family and have kids and all? Still a ‘No’.
When I said that I am starting up with my husband, all I got were looks and glances which were not very assuring. Only a few said “Wow! that’s great and let me know if I could be of any help.”
To those few I really owe a lot. To others, hopefully I could become that rock star again!
What will my maid think?
I know it may sound a bit funny but yes this is one of my biggest fears. My domestic help comes every morning at 7:30 am to do the dishes and cleaning, etc. She is used to seeing me make breakfast and get ready for work. Now with me having nowhere to go, what will she think! Won’t she go around telling everybody in the building that both husband and wife do not go for work? They sit at home all day. Won’t she think that will we be even able to pay her salary?
To avoid this, I have decided that I would wake up at the same time, make breakfast and get ready in the same way I used to do, till the time she has finished her work and left the house. If nothing else, it would at least help me stick to my routine and give some kind of semblance to a professional life now that I will be working from home.
There’s a hell lot of things that I still don’t know!
Firstly, both of us are pretty bad with numbers. To add to it we are unfamiliar with the legal aspects of running a business. When it comes to Indian tax laws, it is like we were residing somewhere in Pluto till now. When the first of our clients deducted 10% from our bill under TDS, we were like “What the hell! Why did he not pay full?”
It took a 10 min telephonic counselling from my dad to understand that this was actually the legal thing to do. Also, in the course of our conversation, I got to know that we should have charged the client Service Tax. Yes, this and many other goof ups we did on our very first billing.
But hopefully we will learn things soon. When it is your baby, you cannot really say I won’t do the potty cleaning. You have no other option but to do it.
Will it work out?
My husband and I are like two opposite poles with different working styles. While I prefer working in the morning, he prefers working till late in the night. He cannot work without music and I cannot concentrate when there is music. He is more of the ideator-types while I am more of the executor- types. Starting up with him would mean adding one more item to the list of 9999 things we disagree upon.
However, thankfully to our respite there are a few things that are common between us. We both want to do awesome work and can go to extremes to do it. We take pride in our creations…he in his designs and I in my writings. We may not be the best but we definitely want to be the best.
For the time being, we are relying on the belief that these common factors will see us through.
The decision to start up is great but scary. Did you have doubts in your mind too? What were the questions you faced and how did you find answers to them?
P.S: Our startup, Lemonade in Summer, is a Design, Content & Communications Agency based out of Bangalore. We are looking for work. So in case you have any design or communication needs, please mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org