Sarvesh is the founder and CEO of Internshala and abuses his authority regularly to dish out start up gyaan to unassuming innocent public and team members through this column. Read at your own risk, or leisure!
Couple of days back, I got my first salary from Internshala. My first salary 12 months after I left my job at Aviva and started working on Internshala full time.
It is a special moment; not just for me but also for my family, friends, and team members who have been there with me and for me right from the beginning. As a founder, it feels like a great validation of the idea.
These 12 ‘salary less’ months have been wonderful and when I look back, there are 3 key lessons that are worth sharing –
1. If you are already in a job (like I was) before you decide to start up; plan your personal finances with the same rigour as you would plan for your start up – I had budgeted for rent hikes, motorcycle breakdowns and monthly washing and cleaning of it; home trips, gifts for family for special occasions – everything! If you expect to start earning regular income again in “n” months time; budget for n+12 months of life without regular income – you never know when things get delayed in business.
Also take up Life Insurance (a sufficient cover of 2 Cr+), Medical Insurance (5 lacs or more), and Credit Cards while you are still in the job. Not only the expense will not pinch as much but also it would be difficult to get these once you are out of the job (yes, no body gives a credit card to a ‘jobless’ person!).
2. A start up teaches you your true worth – whether millions or pennies – in an honestly brutal way a start up tells you where you stand with respect to your earning potential.
My first salary, 6 years ago, was 10 times more than what I drew from Internshala today. Yet back then I felt unsatisfied because I was comparing myself with other batch mates who may have been earning more than I was without caring about my real contribution to the bottom line of the business. Today even with 1/10th of the salary, there is a hesitation – am I contributing enough back to the business to deserve this pay?
3. I have always been a frugal spender; still these 12 months taught me how to differentiate between a necessity and a luxury and question every penny that I spend. I have found that you need really very few things to lead a comfortable life; most of the expenses are just clutter. Not spending money that you don’t have on things that you don’t need not only leads to more open space in your home but also lot more peace in your mind. Visit my house anytime to experience it yourself :)
If you are a been there done that entrepreneur reading this post; would be great to hear how you felt when you earned your first salary from your venture. And if you are just starting on the journey, hope this proves useful at some point.
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