Never Give Up!
STORY OF AUROBINDA:
‘Life is a roller-coaster and has its ups and downs. We need to learn from our mistakes and advance towards a future making sure those mistakes are never repeated – hearing this for as long as I can remember. Doing it in real life is lot more challenging though. So, instead of repeating the cliché, I will just write my own life story…
Born in a middle class Indian family in the 60’s has its own challenges – society, education, resources etc. Childhood however, even in a conservative society, was quite fun. Challenges started when I became an adult and ‘on my own’. I wanted to do something meaningful in my life. Not just be there and work and retire and then just vanish. But how do I do that:
First hurdle seemed, that my engineering education is a bit less than what I need to make an impact. But now I am on my own and cannot go back to my Dad no more! So, I worked 5 years to accumulate enough fund to take me through my post-graduation in finance and management.
Back in the job market 2 years later and the same thought: ‘I wanted to be someone to make an impact in what I do’. I was helping companies get better in the business processes and usage of Enterprise-Applications. I was living a dream for the first 2 years. But my setup was upset again – this time my family situation. I had to move abroad to Ireland.
Another phase of my ‘chasing the dream’ started. Here no one knows me, no one knows what my education actually was – other than what they see in me as a project manager in IT department of a large insurance company – just a cog in the wheel. Far away from my dream of ‘making an impact’. It took a long time to overcome that.
20 years after I landed in Ireland, my wife and I started our own venture. We made headways, we own awards, we got mentioned in leading journals, we raised funds – then just when we are about to pull traction, we were hit by COVID-19. This is unprecedented and we are in uncharted waters. Tears of despair and sleepless nights ensued for days. But we cannot give-up our dreams! We cut costs and build for the time when we will come out on the other side – without knowing when that would be. We are still not clear of COVID-19, but we are clear in our heads that we have to keep pushing for it. I haven’t given up and I have no intention of doing so!
If one searches internet, the top 3 leaders are Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King (Jr). They endured extreme odds and still continued for their goals and their perseverance won at the end. My story is simpler and my odds are not as high – but it is a struggle to ‘make an impact’ and I will continue with my pursuit of success in my own way. I never give up!
STORY OF SOHINI:
Standing in the middle of a pandemic and trying to navigate survival of a start-up, personal and family challenges in two continents, I will be lying if I say the idea of ‘giving up’ did not pass my mind. But then having being face to face with personal loss at a young age, realities of life probably hit me earlier than I was ready for. If I did not give up then, no way I am giving up now! Looking back, I feel ‘never giving up’ at that stage has brought many life experiences, adventures and some achievements, no matter how small they are to the world. I learnt early on in this entrepreneurial journey that this ‘never give up’ attitude will be the mainstay for this innings of my life.
I think some of the credit will have to be given to my old life of working in the equity markets for 21yrs! During those times, amidst many economic and geopolitical turmoil, one thing I learnt was to keep calm while taking decisions and trying to control what is ‘within my control’ while being aware of the things that are ‘outside my control’. It never worked when I got stressed about things which I could not control. That hampered my decision making abilities, did not allow me to think outside the box, innovate to solve problems and most importantly TRY AGAIN! That realisation is a very important life lesson, which I think comes in handy now because believe me, being an entrepreneur is not easy, COVID 19 or not!
Dale Carnegie’s words “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all” is probably more relevant today than it was 70yrs ago!
Courage doesn’t always mean you have to roar from a rooftop but that small voice saying ‘I will try again’ - that is the spirit of never giving up and that is the spirit which is keeping the world going and innovation happening! Start-up innovation are nothing but just the small steps towards ‘never giving up’ and trying time after time.