There is Light at the End of the Tunnel
Amidst a global pandemic, this week we talk about inspirational stories to boost your morale and enforce the fact that ‘this too shall pass’
Welcome to One Up Your Career – the daily info-vitamin capsule ?? by Unnati to help you growth hack your career.
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This week we are going to be writing about inspiring stories of incidents from the past and of the people who have fought against odds. The reason we chose this as our week’s theme is that COVID-19 is not only threatening our health but also the economy, employment, and our morale.
Some factories have shut shop, SMEs is running out of money and people are out of jobs. The cloud of anxiety is hovering over all of us, including me. But let us try to see the silver lining in the cloud and learn from the past and present on things to work for the future.
The pandemic we are dealing with has brought a great amount of anxiety along with it. I do not think anyone in this world knows what we are heading towards and what truly the near future will be like. So, let me share the story of the deadly Spanish Flu to learn from history.
In 1918, the world was exhausted physically, emotionally, and psychologically with the second world war, when in a military camp a case of the Spanish flu was reported. What followed next was unthinkable. Within a couple of hours, the camp was full of flu-infected patients. The virus was highly transmissible in nature. Due to the ongoing war, countries decided to keep it under wraps so that they are not shown as weak, media was not allowed to report about it, people were unaware of the reason for millions of deaths, there was no global health organization and the worst of all; doctors were new to the concept of virus and were treating the Spanish flu as a bacterial infection. You have to agree that we are in a much better situation now!
Spanish flu is considered to be one of the worst virus outbreaks that killed up to 100 million people across the world. I cannot even begin to imagine the trauma the people were going through at that time.
Quite similar to what people think of Coronavirus; the Spanish flu was considered to be the beginning of the end of the world. But we are still alive, me writing and you reading the article. So, who discovered the cure to the flu. No one, there was no vaccination or cure developed for the flu, yet it ended in the year 1920.
The course of every pandemic is shaped like a bell curve. It will eventually go away. By 1920, the Spanish flu bell curve flattened as infected patients either died or developed an immunity. And the world moved on…
Recently I got an opportunity to interact with Girish Batra, founder of NetAmbit (this was before the lockdown) to talk about his entrepreneurial journey. Even though being an entrepreneur is not the same as fighting a virus but I gleaned some lessons that I found useful for you and me.
The journey of an entrepreneur has to go through ups and downs so there is a lot we can learn from his story about facing the downtime.
Learning is a Lifelong Activity
Girish is an IIM-A alumnus and he credits his attributes of work ethics, integrity, the art of working hard, and the will to give back to society to the alma mater. Even as an employee in Escort and Godrej he never said no, to groundwork in order to get the maximum exposure. When he started his current venture, he researched for 4 months and invested himself in learning everything about the business. In his words, he has learned a lot of lessons in life and is still learning.
Today, make use of the time to learn something new. Time spent on learning never goes to waste. Like how Girish used his field experience in the previous job and applied it at NetAmbit, you too can learn something new and prepare for the future.
Challenges are the best Teacher
In 2013, NetAmbit faced a huge challenge due to the brokerage license. This impacted their company for eight long months. The revenue dipped tremendously and the employees literally could not work. The business was affected so badly that many people advised to wind up the business. But according to Girish, his biggest learnings came from facing these tough times. The determination to revive the business kept them going and finally they were able to make a comeback.
When the times are tough then be sure that your learnings are at the maximum. It is making you in to a stronger person who is preparing to fight against all odds. Our lives have become tough but know one thing for sure that what does not kill you will make you stronger.
For Girish, becoming an entrepreneur was a clear plan in life. He wanted to get into business but during his college years, he realized the true objective of becoming an entrepreneur. It was to add value to society by creating employment and contributing to the GDP. It was looking at the bigger picture that kept him motivated and allowed him to focus on the end goal.
Yeah, we are struggling with various problems every day but let us look at the bigger picture here. The whole of humanity is facing a crisis and your smallest contribution can lead to great impact. I mean contribution in terms of following government rules and helping neighbors in whichever way possible. We can together survive the crisis. It is just a matter of waiting for the bell curve to flatten.
P.S – To listen to my complete conversation with Girish, visit this podcast channel.
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