It is quite a lonely thing to start up, only if you count out the innumerable friends, acquaintances and allies you make in the process. It is not unlike moving out of your parent’s home for the first time, a few similarities were highlighted in this article almost a year back.
Fixing Things at Home and Work
This is not something we quite imagine doing before being on our own. From utilities to groceries, the amount of things to take care of is mind-boggling. Juggling work with these errands probably makes us a better manager of time and priorities. This is a crucial lesson in understanding what our parents go through to ensure our ‘well stocked’ family home runs smoothly. They do this while managing pampered kids (us), handling their work commitments and everything else. While leading companies, this is akin to handling basic administration tasks (“Have we run out of envelopes again?!”) till you can afford hiring a team to meeting the biggest clients which you as the founder ought to do.
Coming Home to No One
There are times when you win the biggest victories at work, or go through the most stressful situations and return home to no one at all. There isn’t anyone to talk to, it’s quite late at night and it’s just the bed before a quick supper. Such experiences strengthen us, teaching the importance of detachment and how to grapple with life on our own. We do not need social validation to feel good, and the darkest times can be tackled by a calm mind which doesn’t feel lonely after a long day. Coming home to no one gives us time to spend with ourselves, to think through decisions, to plan the coming days and allows us to study and focus on what is important. Alternately, it allows us to simply sleep well which is equally healthy. A few years of coming home to no one (right at the start) makes us ready for the bigger family-creating roller coaster ahead.
Washing Your Own Dishes
While having a maid is always an option, this applies to being on our own for all domestic tasks. Your breakfast won’t cook itself, your mess won’t clean itself and your bed won’t make itself either. Surprisingly, these are the basic things which we often do not take into consideration while living a comfortable life at the family home. No matter how exhausted we are from work, we have to take time out to look into the minute domestic details which make our life run. Is the fridge well stocked? Are the layers of dust at their minimum levels? Have the bills been paid? Small things matter most. You got to do the dishes when you got to do the dishes.
Isn’t Domestic Staff an Option?
When you build a company, the core is something you specialize at. It is dangerous to depend on anyone else to help you design and sustain the core, because you won’t know what to do with it when there’s no one around. Bruce Wayne controlled the development of Batman suit, Tony Stark built his suit with his bare hands (and didn’t hire a R&D team because they wouldn’t have known what to do with the billionaire whims and fancies) and there are real life examples all around us. We ought to run our home ourselves first, and then build on it. Get the right people to outsource tasks too, but stay connected to the core, always know what’s going on. It sets a strong foundation.
It is easier said than done, of course. One year of being on my own has been an enriching experience for me, and I’m still getting over the rawness of it all!