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What goes on a founder's mind - a personal note

🤫 Where did I disappear for two weeks? ✅ 3 of my previous startup ideas failed 😩 and💰 Three books that changed my relationship with money

Benjemen Elengovan
Benjemen Elengovan
5 min read
What goes on a founder's mind - a personal note
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T / Unsplash

Hi FTF Friends 👋🏼,

I hope you are keeping well.

Five Things Friday' (aka FTF). FTF is a short weekly dose of inspiration; this email captures five things I encounter in my startup journey. This includes, the books I read, blogs, podcasts, favourite productivity hack, startup strategy, quote I'm pondering, smart tools and stories.

What's packed in this week's post

🤫 Where did I disappear for two weeks?

✅  3 of my previous startup ideas failed 😩

💰 Three books that changed my relationship with money

🙅 It's all about love

Baby Ayaan 👶 is here.

I have got some exciting news 🥳🥳. My wife and I were blessed with our second baby, 'Ayaan' 👶 (this time it's a boy). Mum and bub are safe and well.

I am personally excited 🤩 and feeling awesome 😇 to be a father again. But let me share with you the moments when he was born and what was running in my mind.

Ayaan struggled to come out, and his umbilical cord was around his neck. Adding to this, Ayaan, while in the tummy, passed meconium (earliest stool from an infant) and drank some of it. All of this combined raised the tension in the delivery room, with the doctor trying his best to keep mum and bub safe.

When Ayaan came out, he didn't breathe for a minute, and the midwife had to place him on the infant bed and provide oxygen and minor chest compressions. In a few seconds, Ayaan cried out loud and stabilising.

The last 120 seconds was genuinely scary and my heart of pounding at 180 beats. On one hand, I was ensuring my wife was taken care of and on the other looking at Ayaan and the drama of emergency around him.

Ayaan was soon taken to the nursery and was placed under observation for 4 hours to ensure he was completely alright and safe. While looking at Ayaan through the glass box, an anxious thought crossed my mind.  

What will I do to ensure my family and kids are supported and taken care, while I am on an aggressive and risky startup journey?

Unlike traditional employee pathways, early-stage startup founders aren't protected with a certain payday and work-life balance. Startup founders often take their loved ones on a journey filled with uncertainties and promises.

I am learning to juggle while juggling 🤹‍♀️, but I have learnt a few things so far.

1. Be prepared and manage risk proactively

2. Be smart around how you design your day-to-day life

3. Be surrounded by a great team. They will make your life easier

I found peace with my feelings and accepted my reality as a startup founder. I am on a journey of providing and building value for people. Nobody said this journey would be easy.

Three of my previous startup ideas failed 😩

and I learnt three lessons from that

Before sharing the lessons, I will quickly share the ideas I was working on to give context.

Idea #1 - Automated digital platform for young Indian graduates to find internships and complete immersive projects. "Fiverr for graduate interns'

Idea #2 - Crowdsourced deal-hunting platform for students

Idea #3 - Data analytics for small and medium businesses

There are some great companies out there doing some fantastic work in this space. So the idea wasn't bad, but I still failed 🤔

The lesson I learnt from this experience

Lesson #1 - It is not about the idea; it is about getting the right team and execution strategy. I failed to identify a great team that would join me to bring my idea to the world.

Lesson #2 - Think about the problem and not the solution. I was excited and took a deep dive into building the platform without clearly validating my assumptions without understanding the problem.

Lesson #3 - Trust in yourself. Go ahead and try it. I felt I wasn't an expert, and fear of failure stopped me from taking action.

Must-read books on personal finance

Coming from a medium salaried household, my relationship with money has been different.  Growing up with limited resources and most often crunched with cash, I changed my relationship with money and my financial freedoms.

The below three books has changed my entire relationship with money, investment, wealth generation and overall financial wellbeing.

Book #1 - I will teach you to be rich - from Ramit Sethi

This book was one of the first books I read in the realm of personal finance. My biggest takeaway from this book is about building automated personal finance. I highly recommend it if you are a young adult starting.

Book #2 - The Barefoot Investor 2020 Update: The Only Money Guide You'll Ever Need

Best book you can gift yourself on establishing great personal habits with money and becoming an intelligent investor. This book is conventional, and the author has shared this strategy with ordinary individuals (like me)—a simple yet powerful guide to saving and investing money.

Book #3 - The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness

Morgan Housel is a genius, and this short book outline a great lesson on numerous aspects of finance (wealth, greed, investing and more). This book significantly changed my perspective on wealth creation and enabled me to look beyond money and the material world philosophically.    

One quote to summarise my 15 years of love

Picture of Ishwarya (my wife) and me 15 years back 
”I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self-respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Well, that's all for this week. 😁

I hope you like my FTF posts. Please share your feedback, suggestions in the comments below, and I will write things that are most interesting and valuable to you. Also, if you think anyone in your network will benefit from these posts, please share.

Take care and be safe. 👋🏼


Benjemen Elengovan

Startup Addict | Founder & CEO of MyGigsters | Tech Enthusiast | ClubHouse @benjemen and Podcast Host


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