From a teaspoon to a Kilolitre! (Part I)

“Well, obviously, she’s feeling very sad, because of Cedric dying. Then I expect she’s feeling confused because she liked Cedric and now she likes Harry, and she can’t work out who she likes best.  Then she’ll be feeling guilty, thinking it’s an insult to Cedric’s memory to be kissing Harry at all, and she’ll be worrying about what everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry.  And she probably can’t work out what her feelings toward Harry are anyway, because he was the one who was with Cedric when Cedric died, so that’s all very mixed up and painful.  Oh, and she’s afraid she’s going to be thrown off the Ravenclaw Quidditch team because she’s been flying so badly,” said Hermione.

A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said, “One person can’t feel all that at once, they’d explode.”

“Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have,” said Hermione nastily, picking up her quill again.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Till mid 2019, you could have replaced Ron Weasley’s name with mine in the above passage, as I used to be equally stumped by the extreme range of emotions that some people could go through at a given point of time. And quite frankly I was very happy about it! I could easily count the emotions that I would usually experience on the fingers of my hands. Happy, sad, angry, restless, afraid, or hungry would sum up how I felt on most days and more often than not, the emotional state did not vary much during the day – if I was happy, I would stay happy through the day and if I was sad, I would ensure that I stayed that way till I went to sleep or started watching a movie.

However in the last 100 days or so, I have come to relate myself more with Hermione Granger’s long winding explanation of Cho Chang’s feelings. This is the biggest change that I have been experiencing since I have become an entrepreneur! And yes, coming to the point, I will quickly share my learnings from my early entrepreneurship days in a two-part series!

Reach out for help: I have been lucky to receive offers of help from a number of people. Some of the people who came forward to help are close friends and yet few of them are also those who are mere acquaintances. Many of them are not even from the same field and a small number are even competitors! Several of them know that I may never be able to reciprocate but they still came forward and have made genuine efforts. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me. Help is just a request away, do reach out!

Take advice: It is always a good idea to reach out to people whose advice you value and run your ideas past them before you launch a service or product in the market. I have been taking advice and have also been offering pro bono advice to friends who reach out. 

Perseverance pays: I am sure you are also one of those people who get a brain freeze every time you read about it or hear a business leader use the term, perseverance. However, I can assure you if you ignore this advice, it will be at your own peril! If I was to choose one thing that is most important, it will have to be, relentless focus on the objective no matter how many setbacks you may face. Knock on as many doors as required to get what you need.

Build a good team: It is imperative that you get a few people in early who share the same vision and also the same value system. And mind you, this is mission critical as it is very difficult to get good people to join you when you are starting new. If you are lucky to get the people you want, invest in them and cherish their contributions.

Take decisions swiftly: The assumptions that you go into the market with, will most likely get challenged in the initial few months itself and decisions have to be made quickly. And on many occasions, you don’t really have the data required to take an informed decision. However, it is critical that you go with your gut feel and take quick decisions. 

Pradeep Wadhwa
Co-founder & Principal at Kritical Edge Consulting
Pradeep is a seasoned communications professional, having witnessed both the client side as well as the consultancy side of life (in equal measures) for close to two decades.

Fortunate to be part of building and protecting reputation of leading organisations and brands across a variety of industry verticals, he has recently founded his unique C-Suite Consulting firm, Kritical Edge.

Previously he has worked in leadership roles with ReNew Power and PepsiCo India among other roles.

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