By V. Bharathwaj , Founder, MyndGenie
The first 50 days have moved at a terrific pace -- it is hard to believe that it is only 50 days and not 250! Moving from a global senior executive role in a 10,000 plus people company to starting from nothing, the journey has been exciting. In the last 50 days I left my job, shifted my base back to India with my family, left the industry that I have been with for over a decade, and started a venture in a space that is unheard of- emotional wellness management. The pace has been terrific, the lessons interesting and the future open and full of opportunities.
Having survived the first 50 days, here are some of my observations, suggestions and lessons, in no particular order or structure:
Dealing With Nothingness
So where is your office? Hmmm- Indiranagar Coffee Day, sometimes Cox Town Coffee Day. While my search for a new office space is on, the advantage of the Coffee Day outlets is unbeatable for meetings. Felt weird especially after basking in the comfort of a corporate life. No company name, not a registered company (it took much longer than I expected), no employee, no office, no website, no tangible product. It was all about the idea and what can come out of it. The first challenge came with the name. Over 200 plus names and we were not yet there. If the name was good the domain was not available or the Twitter handle was not there or the name in Facebook/YouTube was not available. And 11 days later, one afternoon the name struck- MyndGenie and everything was available. Phew!
The Title Battle
May sound silly to some, but shedding a C level title in a successful company to start something ground up and then beginning to explain the idea to all types of people requires one fundamental shift. It requires one to shed any or all ego connected to a title. For the majority who do not know you, you are a ‘nobody’. There is nothing to defend, guard, leverage.
This is something I am dealing with every day. Unlike starting a business in a known field or replicating an existing business model where there is a reference to lean on, in my case there is no direct referenceable business model.
So what does your new company do? It is "emotional wellness management based on neuroscience and delivered through software and services". What the hell is that supposed to be? Oh ok, here's another try- "you can change your emotions, feelings and habits in an instant, within 5-7 minutes using brain techniques. Want to try it now?", or "You want to change your emotion in an instant. We are building an app for that". Ok, now we get talking. Telling and selling the idea to everyone is the MOST frequent activity that I have been doing. And every day the pitch is getting better. It’s fun.
Our team is virtual based in U.S., Singapore, Mumbai, and Bangalore, many of them who run other small businesses and are helping MyndGenie incubate. Pulling this diverse global team together every day to the MyndGenie vision, when they have their own priorities, is a unique challenge where I am putting past global experience to full use.
Some initial survival lessons that are working:
Resourcefulness v/s Resources
My number 1 mantra: If you are resourceful you can move mountains, if you are not even moving a pin is difficult. This is something I learnt from Tony Robbins and am putting it to full use. The MyndGenie method also enables that, so I do a MyndGenie on myself every day.
My number 2 mantra: Momentum=Progress. Anything that can provide me momentum in the direction of my goals is what I am focusing on. There are enough challenges that can consume me but the momentum sustains progress. A meeting two days back looks like something that happened two weeks back. There are so many things that have moved faster in the last 48 hours.
The number 3 mantra: I deal with uncertainty by constantly thinking of inventions around us including a safety pin or a straw. It was in someone's mind before it became a reality and then a commodity. I continue to look for references of every human invention that is now being accepted as a part of day to day life. It gives me the certainty about this business and business model.
I am fortunate enough to have a great core team, good friends, family and some level of contacts, all factors that are helping me. I salute those entrepreneurs who had nothing and created things that we all use.
One day I am sure you will also start using MyndGenie; till then let me run towards my next milestone!