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  • Writer's picturePriyanka Dang

Starting a Startup - When to Start?

Startup is the Buzz word. I had been hearing it for almost two decades and always wanted to do one. For the longest time, it was because it sounded cool, and who doesn't want to have revenues that scale to 100s of millions (of dollars!)? But honestly, that's not how it happened to me. Time flew by, and I couldn't startup because my definition of 'What and when to startup?" was incorrect. Candidly, it was ridiculously silly now that I look back! My definition was that a startup is the launch of a cool idea by young under-30 college dropouts that will revolutionize the world, have top-of-the-world investors vouch for it, and in a few years, get the founders millions of dollars. You can see how well that worked for me!

Well, in 2008 itself, I lost my college dropout qualification by becoming a (qualified?) Chartered Accountant. A few years later, I had crossed into my 30s. I had a lot of ideas, but none of them was revolutionary, or at least that is what I had thought then. Some of my work deliverables did get my skip-level manager's appreciation and Rs. 10K awards, but having an investor trust in me with millions of dollars was beyond my day and night dreams. Rather, I was becoming ineligible to startup by the day and almost gave up at one point! And then the dreaded Covid happened. While it shook me and my family deeply (like many others) to the rock bottom, it made me look at things from a totally different standpoint!!

And so in 2021, I did Startup!! Not at the peak point of my life, but at a deep trough, and not with a revolutionary idea but an evolutionary one. I started a startup, not as a college dropout, but as a professional with deep experience and expertise in my space (bookkeeping and accounting). I didn't have an investor's backing but solid foundational support from my family and friends. It wasn't a million-dollar idea on day 1, but after meeting a lot of founders, am positive of it becoming one someday, even though that is no longer my primary motivation!

So what is a startup? A startup is simply about starting up something that you are passionate about and which makes you feel fulfilled every single day. It's a place where you are the employee and the boss. Where you play the role of the creator, the salesperson, the delivery person, and the support specialist. It's about being in control and taking full responsibility for your success and failures. It's being truly independent and most importantly making a difference for your customers, no matter how small or large that is. I have come to love brief customer appreciation notes and small successful referrals over long promotion announcements and hefty bonuses in my previous life.

Circling back - So, when to start? All and any time is a good time to Start-up. You just need to have an extreme passion to achieve something and make a difference - be it small or big. Top it up with patience and will to hold on through difficult times and excitement to celebrate even small successes. There are things that will make it easier, like your experience in a domain, some financial backup, and the support of well-wishers. However, what really matters is to Start. If you are there at the edge like I was for years, dive now and fly!!



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