“The reason many people in our society are miserable, sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to things they have no control over.”
― Dr. Steve Maraboli,
I had a chat with an entrepreneur friend recently and learnt a profound truth; that the only way to move forward in life is to severe attachments which are harmful and move forward.
This gentleman runs a very specialized ERP solutions company but has not been able to make a sale for the last year and a half.
When he set up his business 5 years ago, the opportunity size of the Indian market of about 2,500 entities had looked big enough. Today he has exhausted this market already. The issue is unique, while the very large players opt for the more established MNC ERPs, the smaller players are not mature enough to either implement or afford his software. So that leaves our entrepreneur only the mid-sized companies, whom he has already sold to, while the AMC revenue has been trickling in, the prospects of selling any more licenses of the software within the country looks bleak. He has liquidated almost all his assets to pay the salaries of his dwindling staff. And he is in a stage where he is wondering ‘what next?’
On my way back from the meeting, I caught myself wondering how – most often we ‘hold on to something’, a job, a relationship, a floundering business just because we’re afraid to let go. The spontaneity and enthusiasm would have dried up. We would have stopped enjoying the very thing we fell in love with, believed in ardently and cherished.
It is a paradox! Holding on to the business is only sapping him of his energy and resources. Yet the power to ‘let go’ eludes him! Even to his tired senses, it is clear that there is no merit in holding on! Fear of society – and the inability to deal with the vacuum that will stare at him, once he winds up the business has kept him from taking the decision to throw in the towel. I wonder, how long can he hold on?
Is he grappling with a sense of responsibility to his existing customers or is it the worry of abandoning the employees who have stuck to him through thick & thin? Is the industry responsible for pushing the vendor against the wall, till he succumbs? If players like him decide to pull out, what are the options they (the industry) are left with? Can they manage without segment specific software?
These will be interesting questions to deal with, for which I do not have ready answers. I am sure each one of us at some point in our lives are left grappling with similar questions. My dear entrepreneur friend, you better find the answers and deal with them, before it is too late. All the best to you!