At the age of 25 I was running 4 business ventures and by the age of 26, I was running a debt of Rs.45 lakh. Within six years of being an entrepreneur, I had managed to establish 4 businesses and consequently, close-down 2 of them.
I was suffering from the entrepreneur’s curse, a concept I was oblivious to prior to this event in my life. Everyone around me assumed that I was well on my way to becoming a successful entrepreneur, but I knew I was reaching the end of a downhill road.
This shed light on the stark difference between an outsider’s perception, and the individual’s reality. The crumbling defeat I encountered catapulted me to my current position, and provided me with the most prominent learning of my life, ’A shabby trajectory leads to success, because a path adorned with perfection can only cause mediocrity’.
As a 20-year-old, when I was fresh out of college, I had the unyielding fire like most freshers – I wanted to start my own venture and establish my name in the market. During college I, along with my friends, had formed a youth organisation to provide career and relationship guidance to fellow students, as well as counsel them on finding internship opportunities and imbibe practical work etiquette.
The organisation proved fruitful, and riding on the back of this success, I established Quantum Leap Learning Solutions, in an effort to build leaders and teams in corporate organizations. We also assisted companies in their flight to growth and evolution.
We started our entrepreneurial journey on a high note, and with the success of Quantum Leap Learning Solutions, over the next two years,
I started three more ventures–an outsourcing project management company, an event management company and a recruitment consulting firm.Out of the three, while the first establishment collapsed after a year, the recruitment firm didn’t take off either.
What had started as a novel idea had turned into a disastrous feat, its volatility teaching me unforgettable lessons.
During this bumpy trajectory, a friend brought me to a startling realization that challenged the lessons I had learned as a kid: Time isn’t money. I was working 18 hours a day with no time to spare, while simultaneously incurring a Rs. 70 lakh loss. Ultimately, I had achieved the abominable sin of attaining a negative ROI for my time.
But being an entrepreneur is equivalent to being an eternal optimist. Therefore, while my Profit and Loss sheet ran into the negative, my liabilities ran positive with me constantly taking debt, in the promise of a better future. The mounting debt led to an ever-mounting stress.
I had turned into a self-employed worker, and was no longer a business owner. Though I was putting in the hours, all I was putting out were fires, and there was no scope for growth or scalability. And so, I decided to take the bold step of re-educating myself on how to build a successful business.
Though I still had two active businesses, I would call this step one of the best professional decisions of my life.
The process of re-education started when I traveled across the length and breadth of the country and interviewed around 300 business leaders from various sectors to understand the psychology, and the systems, behind building a successful business, culminating into my book ‘Lead or Bleed’.
Still in debt, I invested Rs. 40,67,000 in my re-education by attending trainings and undergoing coaching from some amazing mentors and teachers.
The decision to re-educate myself was the first, after a lengthy gap, that led to highly positive ROI.
I imbibed a ‘Learner and Doer’ philosophy understanding in everything I did thereafter, bearing in mind that there is always scope for growth.I took upon me the mission to enable business owners to build a self-sustainable and self-growing business, replete with processes and teams.
A business established, such that, its legacy remains intact, even in the case of the proprietor’s absence, or exit.
With this philosophy in my mind, I embarked on a lifelong campaign to educate businesses and transform them into self-sustainable, scalable ventures. My book, ‘Lead or Bleed’ is also based on the same premise.
And it was this learning that inspired me to conduct the Business Breakthrough Seminar to impart key principles on building a prosperous business to entrepreneurs.
I was overwhelmed with the response I received, and it motivated me to design a programme that could further assist entrepreneurs in adopting the P.A.C.E system for accelerating their business growth.
It dawned on me, that if a seminar with limited seats could prove so beneficial, then a programme that could be duplicated with the same knowledge sans the space barriers, could certainly augment the benefits of the process.
Moreover, the programme offered the chance for specialized training and encouraged one-on-one interaction. As a trainer, not only do I get to impart the knowledge, I also receive a plethora of knowledge from the bright entrepreneurial minds I interact with.
I am privileged to have shared my experience and teachings with over 5,00,000 people, 150 organisations and 5,000 businessmen, in 6 countries across the world.
My ultimate goal is not to solely make profitable businesses, but contribute towards creating a profitable society. To encourage recognition of those who stimulate welfare and good initiatives in the society, we started an awards platform to honour heroes from the city, under DreamCraft Events & Entertainment.
As of now, we have succeeded in curating Heroes of Bengaluru and Heroes of Chennai Awards and are hopeful of doing the same across Indian cities.
It is my lifelong mission to generate businesses which could self-sustain and harmoniously co-exist with the society. I invested in myself, learnt and took a leap. I went from being a young entrepreneur with 2 failed businesses, to an Entrepreneur with 4 businesses, namely, Quantum Leap Learning Solutions Pvt Ltd. in partnership with Mr. Pranav Kumar Reddyand Mr. Karan Hasija, Dreamcatcher Investments, DreamCraftEvents and Entertainment Pvt Ltd and owning the celebrity badminton team, Karnataka Warriors.
With these diverse businesses, I am empowered to add value to more than one sector and more than one market, which serves as the true motivation behind becoming an entrepreneur.
With these ideas and numerous others, I yearn to instill the ‘Learner and Doer’ philosophy in every person I meet, every business I touch, and every situation I encounter. It is my ambition to empower MSME companies to grow and register as IPOs. Under the mentor ship of Quantum Leap Learning Solutions, over 350 entrepreneurs have filed and obtained more than 157 patents and trademarks.
I am determined to increase this number and I aspire that this philosophy will attain a wider reach.
The crusade that I embarked on taught me a multitude of things, instilled various philosophies, and inculcated numerous skills. But the principle takeaway from this journey, were the mistakes I learned to never repeat, starting with the nave attributes of hopeful optimism and desired perfection.
If owners start working like employees in expectation that the wheel of the company will balance itself, then they become self-employed, rather than entrepreneurs.
And if someone is fully invested in the business with a high level of dependency on their skills, then owners will cease managing, and start fire fighting. Instead, one should heavily invest in hiring people with valuable skills and upskilling themselves, like I did with my education, and.
A one-man army will reduce costs but increase debt, as solo reliance leads to stagnancy not growth.
My downfall taught me that a comfort zone is never comfortable, and therefore one should always play the game till you win and not play the game for winning and feel disappointed and drop out if you don’t win.At the age of 25 I was running 4 business ventures and by the age of 26, I was running a debt of Rs.45 lakh. Within six years of being an entrepreneur, I had managed to establish 4 businesses and consequently, close-down 2 of them. Click To Tweet
Rajiv Talreja is India’s leading transformational business coach. He coaches family business, skilled corporates and entrepreneurs to need an extra push to flourish their businesses. Rajiv has been a coach for the past decade and has helped his clientele achieve growth and success.