So you’re free | Take it easy

“A man left 15 years of service to follow his passion and built a mango farm in his village”. 

This inspired you to leave your high paying 20 year’s of service to follow your own passion. You left the cage and became free( as your colleagues told you) full of energy and ready to charge. However 6 months down the line you’re wondering what went wrong. You had everything sorted, you didn’t waste any time and were on top of things from day one. But here you are, completely lost and wanting to go back to the cage.

If this is, or going to be your story. You should read this..

“There was an experiment done on a bird who had been in a cage for a long time. They wanted to see the reaction of the bird on getting freedom. The morning of the experiment, the bird was well fed and taken to an open area for the final act. People were ready with cameras and notepads to record the event. Finally the door of the cage was opened, the bird cautiously moved towards the door. Once out, realizing that there were no walls to stop it from flying, with one spread of the wings it flew away to it’s freedom. There were claps and applause all the way. Then it happened, suddenly the bird fell down to the ground and died. People were shocked and investigated for the reason of such a tragedy. They later concluded that because the bird was in captivity for a long time hence its entire body including heart and brain had adapted to the limited activities within the cage. When it was set free and took that immediate flight, the excitement was too much to handle and hence it had an immediate cardiac arrest and died.”

Sounds interesting and familiar, isn’t it? Now this doesn’t mean that the bird should not be set free, however it should live a free life rather than die free.

So what scientists later experimented was, when they freed bird no.2, they first moved it to a bigger cage to give him more space to move. It was later moved out of cage & put in a room where it could fly but in a limited space (the bird was developing the skills of flying in a controlled environment). Slowly when it became confident of flying, it was set free and the experiment was successful. 

It was a great flight..

The learnings from this experiment can be related back to your story above. When you leave your well paying job of 15-20 years, there is extreme pressure as the whole world is watching you. You miscalculate in identifying your passion and take a plunge without realizing your capabilities and the terrain you’re entering into. The result more often than not is what happened to the bird no.1.

So how can we change the situation and make it a successful flight ? Simple, take the learnings from the second experiment and implement. Here’s what you should do?

  1. Relax : Do not rush into things, take rest. After working for 20 years, you deserve a holiday. You need to unlearn what you have learnt before you can learn new skills.
  2. Plan Finance : Starting a business takes time, sometime 2-3 years. You will have lesser chance of success if you do not have enough back-up to support yourself and family during this time hence have proper back-ups. This is the most important aspect of doing it right.
  3. Identify your passion : Your passion is what comes from within you and not what somebody else tells you. Often we mistake a random business opportunity to be our passion, as a result of which we loose interest very soon and fail. You should invest enough time i.e. at-least a month in identifying what you should do before taking a plunge. Do not under any circumstance take decision under pressure. Here is a tool to help you in identifying your PASSION
  4. Research : There is no substitute for a research hence do as much as possible on the subject chosen above. Meet people who are involved in the business and do field visits. Understand the market and future trends, take informed decisions.
  5. Aquire skills : Do not hesitate to take relevant trainings to acquire skills in the chosen area by a method suitable for you. (Classroom or online)
  6. Take time : Even if it takes 6 months just to cover above 5 steps, its fine. It’s a life changing decision and hence warrants time. 

When you decided to be on your own, you took on a huge responsibility. You decided to be a role model for many of your colleagues and friends. But that doesn’t mean that you have to take quick decisions under pressure and share the fate of bird no. 1.

Be bird no.2 and live free

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