Friday, September 23, 2011

An Identity Crisis!

Whoosh... that is how the time went the last 3 years. Sep 18th, 2008 - the day the Lehman Brothers collapsed and the sub prime crisis erupted - I started my entrepreneurial journey.

3 years down the lane - I still feel young and wide eyed. And this brings us to an identity crisis I am having. How do I introduce myself to strangers? Earlier it was easy - I work for an IT company and the other party just imagines me walking in with a laptop bag, boarding a flight to US of A and bringing back lot of foreign chocolates - and of course living the high life and someone who can afford the high rents and bribes. [ honestly this is not true, and I am always frustrated when the non-ITians think that we are having an easy life ]

Now I honestly do not know how to introduce myself.  Here are the few attempts :

I run a startup. The problem is - it is now my 4th year. How long will i keep starting should I not have started up by now? Also it feels as if I am toying with an idea or a business model - and the other party might not take me seriously. Anyone else other than the entrepreneurial community will not even understand the term "startup" correctly. So I stopped using this.

I run a business. This I tell with the least confidence. Because to me a business man is one who wears a suit / dhoti ( I was b&bup from Coimbatore ) , chews paan, has a waddle of cash, is chauffeured around in a car, tips heavily,speaks loudly to everyone, and is on phone all the time. I am none of them - and I do not sound confident because something inside me is trying to shut my mouth when I use this introduction.

I am an entrepreneur. It took ages for me to get the spelling right. And I attended a french class for 2 weeks - not that it helped but at least I can tell it is a french word. Aside anything that sounds french is cool ( expose, creme-da-la-creme, fiancee ). I love this introduction - however the majority cannot identify this word.

I have my company. Lame.. Doesnt excite me one bit - how will the other party even talk to me after such a dead introduction.

Hopefully by next year I should have a good introduction. Till then I will shake hands and tell the first thing that comes to my mind and keep trying various options.