Monday, September 3, 2007

The last 2 feet - Kindling the spirit of Entrepreneurship

Every other guy I meet these days wants to be an entrepreneur, at least initially. And most of them tried a little towards what they want but after some initial hiccups they just gave up, due to family responsibilities or something else or just because it's not their cup of tea. For those and for every one else who wants to be an entrepreneur or make it big in life, here is a small story.

Long ago, when gold diggers were hunting for gold all over, there was a town somewhere in Africa, in which a person named Abasi concluded with his amateur calculations that there was a huge gold mine in the middle of the town. He brought all the equipment necessary to dig and offered to share it with anyone who helped him in the process. Every one laughed at him and said he was crazy, for there would be no gold in there, since no gold was ever found in the neighboring districts ever. None came forward to help him but Abasi was not disheartened. He believed in what he calculated and set out to dig alone. Days passed, when he would toil in sun, rain and snow to reach the depth he thought at which the gold was present. The passers by, usually stopped near him, mocked him and ridiculed him saying they have never seen such a fool. He spent a good amount of time, money and energy when he hit a rock in the middle of his digging. He went on and on, struggled against all odds and continued but he found no signs of any gold anywhere closer. He kept telling himself that one day he would find the gold and all these people who ridiculed him will praise him for his tenacity. But after going down to a significant depth Abasi started losing hope, for, he was hitting one rock after another and there was no sign of gold being present. He couldn't even see the traces of a gold wire in the mud he was digging, though he used to process the mud at nights to check for even a slightest presence of gold, somewhere in there. But to his utter disappointment, he couldn't find anything. He started losing interest but he still went on and on. But one fine day when he hit a 16th rock he gave up. He thought his amateur calculations were indeed what they were, amateur. He decided that people who told him that there was no gold beneath were no fools and so he gave up, took his equipment and walked away. He was in so much grief, but he thought there was no point in wasting any more time and he quit.

Years passed by, but the pit that Abasi had dug, laid there, in the middle of the town as a mark of Abasi's failure. It stood as a sign of a person's foolishness who wouldn't heed to what the society told him and finally figured out himself after much toil. One day, a person named Khamisi from a neighboring town happened to see the pit and asked the people around what it was. They narrated him the story of Abasi who thought there was gold under and who was such a fool to not hear to other people and ended up wasting his time leaving it as a sign of his failure. Khamisi got interested in the tale and wanted to try out himself. Everyone ridiculed him, this time even more than they ridiculed Abasi, because it was proved that there was no gold there. None came forward to help Khamisi either but he started digging alone. He believed blindly that he will get the gold and after just digging 2 feet, he found the big box of gold and in front of the whole town which stayed agape, he walked off with a huge pile of gold..

This story is not about Khamisi becoming rich by taking off where Abasi left and going all the way to the gold. This story is about Abasi who lost the gold because he didn't have the dedication in him to carry on until he found the gold. He struggled against all odds, he went on though many people ridiculed and mocked him, he went on though no one came to support him, but somewhere down the lane he lost faith in himself and his belief. He quit giving in to what other people told him instead of following his own belief and that too when he was just 2 feet away from the gold. After spending so much time and effort, he could have carried on for the next 2 feet, but he chose to quit, the one mistake that every one of us quite often make...

Most of the young aspiring entrepreneurs give up and quit in the middle, because they are not aware that its just 2 feet that is the distance between them and their gold. Feuds between partners, lack of income potential in the business model and a bunch of other mistakes presented everywhere on the web to account for a huge percent of failure of startups are all just secondary. A startup fails because the founders have decided to quit before they took their dream to success. Though these entrepreneurs had initially decided to go against all odds and succeed, they give in to what the 'other people' like the investors or some stupid web review blog says and they give up and quit. Quitting is the single most mistake in my opinion that kills a startup, because everything else is just secondary. All you young entrepreneurs out there, if you come up with a great idea and believe 100% in it, then take it through to its success, and whenever you decide to quit, remember that you might just be 2 feet away from the success...

Here is a poster that always inspired me, though the author is not known, these verses have a great moral boosting spirit in them..

3 comments:

LANDflip - land for sale said...

Excellent story. Great post.

Clarke Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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