The entrepreneur, his wife and a long-awaited adventure
Rushika Bhatia
10X People

The entrepreneur, his wife and a long-awaited adventure

This morning, I accompanied my husband to ET Now’s Top 100 Retail Minds Awards Ceremony in Mumbai. Going in, I didn’t think much of it. He’s been running his jewellery startup, for three years now and it felt like a natural progression in his startup career.

But, as I sit here to watch him receive the Award and hear his name being taken on the same stage where some of the industry’s biggest heavyweights are being acknowledged, I’m simply dumbfounded. Dumbfounded because I’ve seen his journey unravel in front of me over the past three years, and it’s taken me sitting here today to realise: what an incredible adventure it has been. It’s made me reflect on what it truly means to be an entrepreneur.

For any of you reading this that is an entrepreneur or is married to an entrepreneur or simply knows an entrepreneur, I have to it say it outright: I salute you. They say entrepreneurship is the most overrated thing there could ever be – with the funding deals and the unicorn talk that surrounds it. Today, I’m of a different opinion: entrepreneurship is perhaps the most under-acknowledged, often neglected job that there is.

Full disclosure: I’m not one for expressing myself and my emotions. And, definitely not when it comes to my husband and definitely not on a public platform.

But, this article is different. This instance is different. This time it’s personal.

It’s personal not just for me, but for every entrepreneur, business owner out there that can’t help but feel a little lost, helpless and often times dejected with the trials and tribulations that come with running a business.

It’s personal for every entrepreneurial partner that is on the startup journey by default without even realizing it.

It’s personal for everyone that has an entrepreneur in their life that they take for granted.

And, that’s exactly why I’m sharing my story here. My hope is that it will inspire you and motivate you in the same way it impacted me.

About three years ago, I remember sitting in a small shared office space with my husband, who had just left his position (and fairly comfortable life) in his family business of 35 years to start his own business. He had a dream to build India’s first jewellery platform for young women looking for jewellery that was meaningful, without a hefty price tag. For anyone that’s struggled to find a quality gift for themselves or their partners without having to give up their month’s salary knows what I’m talking about.

Anyway, my husband knew it was a lonely path ahead and was fully aware of what he would have to give up to pursue the ‘road less travelled’, as they say. He went back to the drawing board and spent months trying to figure out what it took to venture out into the competitive, crowded Indian e-commerce space. He set up his small manufacturing unit – got his website designed – and went to market.

From there on, it was three years of not knowing which agency to work with. Three years of failing and starting all over again. Three years of reassuring not just himself – but his team of all of 20 – that the business will come. Three years of running things past me for some sort of acknowledgement. Three years of dinner conversations about building his business. Three years of – for the lack of better words – ‘just figuring s*** out’.

From handcrafting jewellery pieces himself to taking online courses on SEO and Google Ads, he did it all. Whether it was cold-calling PR agencies to promote his brand or sending out personal responses to customers along with their purchases, it’s been one hell of a damn hard road.

So, as I sit here watching him receive one of the most prestigious awards in the Indian start-up space, I can’t help but wonder – what makes him go back to it every single day. Damn, what makes every entrepreneur go back and try harder every single time? And, I ask him that. To which he says, whenever things don’t look optimistic – it all comes down a simple question: “How badly do you want it? “Because this is what I’ve wanted all my life.”