Anand Raj, (at 4:54AM Saturday 2nd of January 2010, GMT)
Last summer I visited our mango orchard in our village in India. While looking at one mango tree, it was blissful to imagine that one little seed has become this awesome big tree and now full of mangos, thousands of mangos indeed. Does every seed have this kind of potential? Yes! It is the possibility of every seed to become tree. Yes, it is the possibility of each of us to become entrepreneurs. Weather this possibility can become a reality is a completely different question. We know that not all seeds become tree. A seed may not find a fertile ground, it may not get enough sun, it may not get enough water. But when a seed receives right amount of resources and environment, it can realize that potential.
Then I started thinking about this tree that is bearing thousands of mangos. What will the tree do with so many mangos? What will happen if this tree decides that these are my mangos, I worked very hard to bring them to this world, I gave my very best and so I will keep all these mangos to myself and will not share with anyone? We will all say that tree is out of its mind. Because only reason tree works so hard to bring these mangos to this beautiful world of ours is so that other people can enjoy the sweet delicious mangos and that?s what makes this tree happy. So happy that tree does it year after year, every year and in the process, also gives birth to many more trees and the process continues. What a selfless service to the society.
So my fellow entrepreneurs, here are the few things we can learn from the tree. Please complete this list by adding your own experiences:
Like a tree is hidden inside each seed, an entrepreneur is hidden inside each of us. We have to just realize it. Entrepreneurship is one of those things that either happens right now or never happens. So it can happen right at this very moment ? no preparation is needed, no degrees are required. We have to find a fertile ground (like Austin Texas), we have to find right environment and support (like our awesome Austin Technology Incubator or JSS STEP in Noida), we have to find out what kind of fruit it is going to deliver (product/service), we have to find the right orchard (like minded passionate team, advisors), we have to find whose needs this fruit is going to satisfy (customers), we have to find right amount of sun and water at the right time (angels or VCs) and lastly, we have to find out what we will do when our start-up bears all these fruits and what meaning it will make in this beautiful world of ours (making impact on society, giving back to society, social entrepreneurship).
Being the son of a farmer, I learned early on that too much sun or water can also kill the seed or tree. For the optimal growth of the tree, right amount of water and sun and only at the right time are very essential. The seed has to go through right amount of heat and pressure to sprout. Without that seed will not sprout. Always keep this in mind when you think of building your business and raising money. Money is important, but only the right amount and only at the right time and from the right sources. You cannot replace sun light with artificial one and expect same results.
Like a tree, enjoy this journey, never fear about the results. You see whether it is a small little tree or fully grown-up one, they all know how to enjoy every day whether it is a sunny day or icy storm.
In this journey, giving back to the society is important. Without that nirvana is not possible. Seed achieves nirvana because it doesn?t keep any of its mangoes to itself. Our society is full of examples of human beings who have lived their lives like a tree. Kanwal Rekhi, Dr. Sridhar Mitta, Isaac Barchas are some of the living examples of inspiration.
May all of us entrepreneurs follow a selfless journey of a tree and achieve Nirvana. Because Nirvana is the ultimate Bliss and that is why we are here for!