It was a cozy evening at the Windfarm beach at Mandhvi, Kutch. I and Goutham were walking and chatting in the wet sand. Suddenly we heard “Aapko ride chahiye sir?”, a boy asked us, taming a beautiful camel clad in colorful Rajastani saddle. He hails camel rides every evening in the beach.
So small was he, hey I was just roaming with my parents and playing video games with my brother at his age!. Goutham agreed but also commented, “These kids will make great entrepreneurs in future!”. That was a real comment. Maybe or may not, life would have other plans for them.
Strange life lessons have made entrepreneurs more wiser and wittier since their childhood. Gary Vaynerchunch, a serial entrepreneur, remembers his small ventures with baseball cards and the money borrowed from his father as great lessons in his early life. The Indian analogy would be selling samosas or comics, distributing newspapers, being a scribe or running a tuition center. My uncle remembers his driving experience to North India from Tamilnadu in his teen age for goods transport as his best ever experiences.
Coming back to some of the typical experiences you would get as a young entrepreneur. Customers bargain you really hard and might chide you for your ambitious demands. Business development is handicapped in a way. However, people skills become abundant in you. Your boss would mostly be arrogant, customers more exploiting and then the competitors. Your chats become refined over time, you create your unique value proposition and gain more bucks for that!. Plus you try to nudge your customers with silly looks and words. ( I have vivid memory from a Tamil movie, Marina).
On the other hand, you manage your finances and think of a portfolio for next week or month. The number of toffees/toys you would buy, the incremental addition to your savings for something big and for your education as well.
You eek out time after school (if you attend) and manage the precious resource. My father had reared goats as a child, he used to get 15mins to get ready for school, so much does he takes these days to pack up for office.
The scarcity keeps you run the extra mile every time. It becomes part of your acquired adaptation from your childhood. From that stems the stamina to try new products, break the ice and expand your company.
Alas, the beach was enjoyable. He was the famous ride hailer in Windfarm beach. He attracted more visitors and had continuous rides. His boss was happy and gave him a cut from the revenue. All I could do that day was to be dumb like the camel. But I came back one day and wanted to ask him “Aap school ja rahe hai kya?”. He was too busy that day.