Having been in the social sector for over six years, the most important lesson for me through this journey has been that, it is necessary to have a sustainable and profitable way of contributing to society. That not only helps you as an individual to survive and sustain but makes that social activity sustainable support to the community. Having a profitable social service idea is not wrong is my crucial learning. Having volunteered for most time I spent in the social sector, I need to acquire this skill to be able to apply in my idea. I am gradually acquiring this skill by constantly reflecting on my learning through this course and I plan to build on this through the practicum term as well.
Another value most important for me is putting people before cash. This has been the very core of my being. Even in my professional life, I have always kept cash before people. But since I have done this in an extreme way, wherein it makes the whole concept unsustainable; therefore I plan to rationalize and balance it with the above learning, while making sure I never make people secondary. I plan to maintain value by making sure I earn to fulfill only the basic needs of myself and people close to me while not being greedy. I also plan to make this as a foundational principle of my enterprise, by capping maximum salaries drawn and promoting responsible spending.
Resonance is another quality I believe in. What I have learned in this respect is that when we serve our audience, we become a by-product of them and vice-versa. So if I am catering to a need in a responsible way I will not only grow myself responsibly but also my audience and eventually we grow each other. For me this also means, selling a product or service in a way that your value is communicated to the audience and they too are drawn towards your cause; while becoming the ambassadors. This entire process for me is resonance.
Curiosity has always been the fuel to my engine. Because I became curious in 2012 about how can we prevent suicide by listening to people, I ended up excelling in the field. Suicide prevention eventually became the goal of my life. I believe an entrepreneur has to be curious in different ways to be able to do what he/she is cut out for. He/she has to be curious not only about deeply exploring his idea through different perspectives but also be curious about exploring and finding out new qualities in him/her-self. He/she has to be curious to learn not only about what his/her interest lies in but also about other things, that will help him/her gain more insights. Curiosity opens many new doors that were unknown earlier. It also improves your networking opportunities, which is another important quality an entrepreneur needs to have.
I am just fine at networking. I do easily approach people and talk to them but to get that use for some mutual benefit, I don’t think I’m very good at that. I am a little hesitant to ask new people for help or support and to some extent even some that I know. At times I also expect people to be as committed as I am which creates a major hurdle because either I am not able to start what I am thinking of at all, or I spent too much time finding a perfect person. On these lines what I have learned is that skills can be developed for the people who are interested in it. So I need not wait or look for the people perfectly fit for the task, I can check if basic requirements are fulfilled, I can get them on board. So, I plan to develop on this learning by clearly identifying the basic requirements and distinguishing them with the perfect requirements I wish to have so that I get going with what I have decided and eventually build on it.
Patience is another quality I have learned is very important for an entrepreneur. Because it’s not a sprint race wherein you get results everyday or in each run. You need to patiently keep running and eventually, you will get results. In this respect, I need to develop fearlessness. I am patient most of the time, that is exactly why I am able to do this course at TII, but at times I feel so scared of losing out that I become impatient and end up creating some problems that then diverts attention from the important task to solving this problem which wasn’t even there earlier. I plan to do this by getting into the practice of rewinding through short breaks to avoid burnout as well as everyday revisit goals and purpose of my life so that I remember it exactly when the circumstances are making me or about to make me impatient.