Entrepreneurship isn’t just a money game
For an entrepreneur, I know money is important, but money does not come because you desire money. It comes because you do something well. If you think only about money, that means, in my understanding, you are only interested in the consequence, not the process. Those who are only interested in the consequence and not in the process will only dream about it, they will not do it. In fact, they may end up robbing a bank.
Instead of constantly thinking about how much money you want to earn, if you look at what you want to create and if what you create is truly worthwhile, money will happen. At the end of your life, you cannot take what you have gathered. What matters is only what you have created.
If you look at modern-day entrepreneurs who made it big, such as N.R. Narayana Murthy or Mark Zuckerberg, these people did not bother about money. They bothered about creating something. And because what they created was valuable to everyone, money naturally came in. Above all, if you are creating what you value, if you are creating what you see as being of immense value to everyone’s life, you will have the joy of creating it.
An entrepreneur becomes an entrepreneur because he wants to create something that he thinks must happen. If you want to create something, money is a part of it. Without money, no activity moves properly in today’s world. So money is just another one of the materials to make things happen. Like there are material managers, you need a money manager.
How much money you make depends upon the times. The huge success stories of today like Facebook Inc. or Infosys Ltd are relevant to a certain time in history. At a certain time, certain technologies and breakthroughs allow these things to happen. You should not look for those things. You must just look at what it is that you want to create, in what way do you want to add value to people’s lives. If you are really offering something of great value to people’s lives, why do you have to count the money? It will anyway come.
Sometime ago, Narayana Murthy was with us at Isha and he was sharing a few things. He started out as a small entrepreneur and today, has become a name the entire world respects. When he chose his partners when Infosys was starting out—which is an important part of any business—the other six people were many years junior to him. But when he took them as partners, he gave them almost equal equity in his business as he himself had.
People told him he was crazy. Most of his partners had only a year of experience in the software industry and he was giving them so much stake in the company. So he replied, “It does not matter because I am not doing this for money. I want their 100% involvement. They should not be thinking of anything other than making this into a success.” And for him, it paid off because it is better to own 15% of Rs50,000 crore than 100% of Rs5 crore.
And above all, it is most important that people who are working with us are willing to throw their lives into it, because without everyone putting their lives into it, something big is not going to happen. If you work in a cautious way—“I will do eight hours work, you do eight hours work”—this will not make an enterprise. An entrepreneur has to live it. It is not just about making a living; it is about making a life out of the activity we perform. An entrepreneur is self-propelled—he does not need anything from outside to push him. He or she wants to push himself or herself 100% and do something. If this has to happen, the fundamental incentive is about creating something larger than yourself. Money is just a consequence.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is the founder of the Isha Foundation.
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