Soon after starting out, somebody advised us to stick it out for 9-10 months and if we made it through that phase, we'd be home safe. Now that we've made it this far, I thought of jotting down some learnings from the past year and some dreams for the next one.
Some learnings from our first year.
- You don't always need huge amounts of funding to get started. Self belief and willpower to overcome the tough days are enough.
- Don't be afraid to share a dream or an idea. Often one bad idea will lead to something else that is great.
- Learn to do things on your own. You may not always do it best, but when you do things on your own, you learn to communicate with the people who do it best which leads to better quality work.
- Have fun. When you work 10-12 hours a day, going out and enjoying some down time is the first thing to take a hit. Sometimes, it's alright to sacrifice sleep, for a night of unspeakable revelry. It's what recharges your batteries and powers you through the next few days.
- The bucks stops here. We're not reporting to anybody else. When you miss a deadline, there is nobody else to blame. You own all your successes and all your failures.
- Invest time and effort (and maybe some money) in creating a good work culture. We're a small team - 4 people - and everybody is part of one family. We don't like to think of ourselves as bosses and this helps our team work as one.
- Fight. For and against ideas, not people. The Teen Bandar office has seen its fair share of fights and arguments, but we know, that when we do so, we're doing it for the integrity of the ideas we believe in. We'll still go out and have that drink (err... frooti) afterwards.
- You don't always get the kind of clients that you want. But for every client that makes you want to pull your hair out, there are three that make you wonder what you have done in a past life to deserve such understanding and supportive ones.
But we're just a year old, still babies. And we have a long way to go. Some targets for year two.
- Build "Team Bandar". We really do want to get better at what we do and do more of what we do. And we know that we can't do it alone. We need to keep this family growing and for that we need to know we have enough to feed everyone.
- Chase more ideas. In year two, we should start working on more ideas that will some day become integral to what Teen Bandar will be. These are long term goals that may or may not pay off in the near future (or ever). But these are ideas that are worth chasing.
- Have more fun. Maybe this will be the year that we are able to work less and have more fun after work (unlikely, but we CAN dream)
- Get out of our comfort zones. This year, I will do more things I'm not comfortable at doing - speak to more clients, accounts (urgh) - and I'll try to get the rest of our team to try something new as well.
- We really should blog more often. I've learned so much from what other people have written both in India and around the world (Zomato Blog, Yourstory.in, Entrepreneur, The Next Web)
However things pan out, we will have good days and bad days, and the only thing we know for sure is that the journey will have been worth it. As Savio said before we began - "I'd rather regret doing this than regret not doing it"
Here's to another year without regrets.
Updated to add the last point about blogging more.