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Running a Start-Up

April, 2021

It's the dream of every youngster out there. And of old retirees, too. And everyone in between. While growing up, and in our formative years, we all have dreams and aspirations. Few get the opportunity to chase them, many do not.

It'll be fair to say that most of us believe we have that one ground breaking idea that could potentially change the world. And we're lucky to be living in these exciting times, with technology, innovation and what not at our fingertips.

But somewhere in the rate race to earn money, look for safe pastures and security and conform with societal expectations, many a dream is burnt. While that might be the case, some do manage to pursue their ambitions, either devoting their entire time to it, or by working two jobs, actually one job and then moonlighting on their idea, in the hope that it would one day become viable enough to be solely focussed on.

And those who can't do, teach, or sometimes consult. As we at TSB decided to do. At TSB, we decided to take on the rather heavy mantle of working closely with companies of all types and sizes, and helping them grow. And with some of our smaller clients, getting close to Founders and understanding what makes them get out of bed every morning is particularly enriching. And that's what makes us get out of bed every morning, too.

Sure, sometimes we feel we've stumbled upon something amazing, something that we would like to moonlight with, and backed with our years of strategy consulting experience, we devote man hours to date and assess the commercial viability of our offering. I'm excited that, at this point in time, we are working on a couple of these internal projects, and hope that we'll be in a position to share more details in the coming months.

Now back to running a consulting firm. Consulting is often considered to be a glamorous profession, where you get to rub shoulders with the who's who of the business, social, sports, arts, you name it, world. And to a large extent, that's true. But what is also true, and something that isn't visible, are the long hours at work, and those long sleepless nights, where you're literally living and breathing the project you're working on.

My consultant teammates and friends would attest to the numerous occasions they would have woken up at 4 am, with a sudden realization of the perfect element to be added to a business plan they've been working on for weeks, or that one extra element that could make a business feasible, or not! That's how immersed we end up getting in our projects, and satisfying as it is, it's not easy. Many might agree that consulting is among the top few professions where you're likely to suffer from stress and burnouts. Working long hours, often in challenging environments cannot be easy, and recent world events have strained margins on most projects, adding to the stress and frustration, of working almost thanklessly, sometimes.

And it does take its toll. We have had to deal with it internally, too, as most other companies have had to, I'm sure. Sudden burnout induced sabbaticals, and the like, and with limited bandwidth to offset these, it sure can be challenging. With deadlines and demanding clients (rightfully, since they're paying for a service) being such an integral part of the job, it is very easy to let stress get the better of you, your life and your interpersonal relationships. It's not easy, but you need to be thick skinned and hang in there. Seek support, there is so much out there, with therapy, workshops, stress management tools and techniques, and the like.

As someone running a company, these are some of the things that keep me up at night, and sometimes make me want to sleep that extra hour in the morning! But then again, doing what we love is what motivates us all at TSB to make each day count!

  • Written By Abhinav Srivastava

Abhinav, a highly skilled management consultant, is one of TSB’s co-founders. He prefers to obsess over a BlackBerry in a world of iPhones.