Today, as I look back to the same period a decade ago, it seems like it was a different era – and a different me! I ask myself at times whether I was smart or just lucky. Perhaps, a combination of both – one has to be smart to be in the right place at the right time to be lucky.
In the end, when I made the decision to sell IndiaWorld in November 1999, it was not an easy one. I had not created the business with an intention to cash out. For five years, IndiaWorld was the only life I ever had. But as I spoke to a few close friends, two things become clear. In business, it is important to know not just when to enter, but also when to exit. Also, by nature, my strength lay in taking new ideas and building new businesses, rather than sustaining existing ones. With this in mind, I decided to sell.
I don’t know if I will have another success as big as IndiaWorld. I do hope it will happen. But for me, more than that, entrepreneurship has always been about going out there, imagining things that no one has tried to do, and trying to build those. And in these efforts, failure is a more probable outcome than success. But that should not stop one from trying and thinking big.
These words of Dan Bricklin are for what life as an entrepreneur is all about:
Being a successful entrepreneur is tricky. You have to live with having control and not having control at the same time. It’s like this: In big business, when you need to cross a river, you simply design a bridge, build it, and march right across.
But in a small venture, you must climb the rocks. You don’t know where each step will take you, but you do know the general direction you are moving in. If you make a mistake, you get wet. If your calculations are wrong, you have to inch your way back to safety and find a different route.
And, as you jump from rock to slippery rock, you have to like the feeling.