As an 11-year-old growing up in a backward sector Northern India, King Sidharth and a few friends began organizing events and competitions for other children. They would make tickets and charge an entry fee, then award little prizes to whoever won. In an area where there wasn’t much else to do, Sidharth’s first business was a big success.
Seven years later, King Sidharth has just graduated from high school and he has already made a name for himself as one of India’s top young entrepreneurs. His primary work is in website development and design (see websites like MeditationRocks.us), but – like many young entrepreneurs – he’s never content working on just one thing.
King is also a speaker on topics of entrepreneurship and spirituality. He’s currently writing an e-magazine for teens (Friendz) and a book about the intersection of spirituality and science (Bhagvad Gita & the Law of Attraction). He’s also developing a movie that peeks into the lives of ten young entrepreneurs (“Friendz: The Movie”). Lastly, King is organizing a conference for teenagers called Createens. It will give young people an opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship, blogging, and more from world-wide experts.
The following is a short excerpt from 50 Interviews: Young Entrepreneurs (Volume 1).
Q: What is the single most important reason for your success?
A: I keep everybody out of the equation and follow my own inner calling. A lot of people get caught up asking, “What do you think, mother of mine? What do you think, father of mine?” But there are a thousand different people and you’re going to get a thousand different responses: somebody pointing you South, ten people pointing you North, even more pointing East. Where are you going to go? Go with yourself. Your point of view is unique in the world.
When you’re done with your vision, then you might ask for advice on minor things. You have to strike a balance. But even after asking people, follow what you think out of it, not what they think.
Take Google and Yahoo. These two are different perspectives of solving the same problem: finding content on the internet. Yahoo keeps on listening to people. Google doesn’t give a darn. They never ask you how their home page should look like. They never ask you anything – and that is really behind their success. They do it themselves. Then later, they might ask you how they could improve it.
Q: Why do you call yourself an outlaw in India?
A: I consider myself an outlaw because I refuse to follow a given pattern. I’m going to reinvent the wheel. My vision of the wheel is unique.
The majority of India thinks, “I’m here. I better play this safe because this is the only life I’ve got. I better get in the rat race that everyone has tried and tested.” How many students in your own class are really interested in enterprising? Are 90% of them just there for the degree? They want to get a good job so that they can get a good life, good money, and be happy. I ask them, “Why don’t you be happy in the first place?” Then you don’t need the degree and you don’t need the job. You can be happy now and then you can do anything you want.
That’s the reason I started Friendz in the first place. I saw talented people wasting their time with work and trying to score marks in exams when they could do so much more. The magazine is a place where teenagers can be themselves. I want to make it a platform for teenagers to know that there is nothing better than following their own passion.
You’re not going to find the real entrepreneurs in universities or online courses. Either you will find them as drop-outs or you will find them in the places least expected. Come to India. Go to the streets. They are street-smart people. They know how to sell. They can sell you your own shoes in two minutes.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: When you start out, whatever project you’re working on, realize that you don’t have to figure everything out about it in the first place. You can’t. You can’t sit on a breakfast table one morning and write out your life plan.
As you move on with your life, it will keep on changing. Creation is never complete. Keep on fine-tuning. If you’re a designer, you will realize that design is never complete. If you are writing a blog post, you will realize that a blog post is never perfect. Google is the best company in the world. But, it is still evolving and it always will be evolving. So, you don’t have to figure out all of the answers before you get started. All you have to figure out to begin with is what you want to do and just get started with it. The rest will come.
If this universe inspired an idea in you, then it has every means to fulfill it. Trust in that. The more you improve, the faster you grow. So, the secret to a bigger business is not finding the perfect plan and sticking to it. If you do that, your business is going to be dead. The secret is to keep on changing, keep on fine-tuning. The best scooter in India was Bajaj LML. For years, that was the only scooter you could get. But they didn’t do any research and they didn’t fine-tune their product. Every other company in India was doing just that. Today, LML has vanished from the market.
Entrepreneurship is never about playing it safe. If you want to play it safe, please close this book and go to sleep. It’s not for you. Life is not for you. Life is never about playing it safe. Life is about playing it fun. That’s behind every entrepreneur. If you go and ask, “What makes you so passionate about your blog, your product, or your business?” It’s because they love changing it and they love how it all comes to form.
Be yourself, nothing else will do.
This is an abridged version from King’s interview in our latest project, 50 Interviews: Young Entrepreneurs. King is the most enthusiastic entrepreneur I have ever come across. He absolutely loves what he’s doing. The main takeaway from his interview is just that, do what you love and love what you do. Awesome, right?!
King Sidharth’s Top Quotes
“If you’re not doing the things that you love, then your life is not worth living. What are you here for?”
“I’m going to reinvent the wheel. My vision of the wheel is unique.”
“It was just one year ago that I realized that what I was doing was entrepreneurship. Just two weeks ago, I learned how to spell it [laughs].”
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