My Proficorn Way (Part 10)

Life’s Daily Clue

A habit that I have developed over the years is to wake up early. I like the quiet that the silence of the morning brings. It helps me reflect on the previous day’s meetings and ideas. This helps me think of the important takeaways and learnings which necessitate a change in my thinking. Doing this the next morning rather than the previous night helps set a distance that brings better perspective. And it is in these moments that I get the clues to unravel the mystery of what to do next.

It is like reading a good murder mystery. Even the best of detectives don’t get the solution right away (or else there would not have been a book!) It’s a slow process – one clue at a time, one question at a time, one answer at a time. A good writer’s detective will slowly solve the mystery – and the reader is there for the ride.

Daily life too provides us clues – one at a time. Big ideas may have their eureka moment, but there’s a lot of hard work and small ideas which go into the making of the big idea. It requires time. It needs the daily discipline of thinking deeply about meetings, conversations and readings that happened. It entails connecting the dots. It is a process of emergence – where the whole slowly starts becoming much more than the sum of the parts.

There will be many false starts along the way. There will be many paths which will lead to dead-ends. That is why perseverance matters. The search for a better way or a new idea runs through analysing the clues left behind in the micro-moments of the previous day.

It is therefore important for the entrepreneur to go through many different experiences – talking to different people, reading widely, taking time off to be alone, travelling to new places. Each creates a new clue – if one knows where to look. Each prints a new dot – to be joined with others. It is from these clues that new patterns start forming.

For me, the idea of Velvet Rope Marketing came slowly – starting when I first read Peter Fader’s book on Customer Centricity. I had picked up the book at Strand Book Shop in New York – on the last day of a US trip a year ago. And that happened because my Air India flight was delayed six hours. So, I decided to spend 3 of those hours at Strand – looking at every book in the “Marketing and Sales” section. Even after buying it, I did not immediately read it. It lay on my shelf for a few months. (I am a firm believer that every book comes with its “Will be read on” date!) And one day, I started reading. The ideas I had connected – the dots joined – the clues led me to the solution. A new venture was born.

Will be continued soon.

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