Friday, May 31, 2013

First Impressions of India

Before I jump into it, just wanted to mention that in our layover in Doha, I met an AKPsi brother (from Penn State as well!!!) who recognized me from our last PBLI, crazy huh? Alright, so...

We have been in Ahmedabad, India for a couple of days now and are adjusting to the big change of being on a vegetarian diet, sober, and dusty all the time. As soon as we left the customs area at 5 AM, we were greeted by a large crowd of folks who were waiting for our arrival! Haha, j/k, but holy cow there are a lot of people at this time. Rich stood out in the crowd as the foreigner (really?!) and the children came up to him like an attraction of some sorts, haha.

We finally meet up with Gopal's uncle (Gaurav) and aunt (Trupti), got into a Rickshaw (taxi), and headed to his Uncle's place. As we were driving through the towns, I can safely say that what you envisioned about India is probably close. It was an eye opener and made me realize how our definition of "living" is different in the States than here. As I see it, "living" in the States means how can we get more of it and in India, it means making do with what you have. That is why you barely see any use of disposable items here, like the usage of napkins at meals or at all. As we continue moving, you see a lot of people living off the streets, cooking, sleeping, and cleaning. Dogs, cows, camels, and lambs walk around, also living off the streets. Regardless, people and animal live together in respect and with the sense of shared "community." The most interesting thing is that there are no road laws or stop lights, people can drive on either lane, one way streets are turned into two ways, and honking means "I'm coming through." I would call it a "cluster f*ck" of a traffic jam but again, people drive with a mutual respect for each other and I have yet to see one accident. Controlled chaos?

We get to Gopal's uncle place, we meet his wife (Kimali) and their daughter (Raji) who sat us down and fed us our first Indian meal which was absolutely amazing! Everything here is unprocessed, natural, and fresh. We ended up taking a power nap (6-hour+ by accident), luckily it was during the hottest period of the day. Speaking of hot, holy hell in hell, it has been an average of 110 degrees every day!

That same night, we caught our first Indian sunset and slept out on the terrace since it was much cooler then sleeping inside. Gazing at the stars and having a breeze come throughout the night, what an awesome experience. I have slept outside before, camping, passing out on a bench (you know, haha), etc, but nothing beats sleeping on a terrace!

Will go into more of my experience so far in the next post. Also, these past couple of days, we have been running around India, looking for a table and chairs for the team and also in the process of looking for a window a/c to cool this place down! Just happy we have internet, max available here is at 4 mb/s, high tech we are! ;)

TT Quote Pick: "It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required." -Winston Churchill

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Standing on a Man-Made City in a Desert

After a 13-hour flight, we finally arrived in Dubai! We were greeted by Gopal's cousin, Naman and his friend Sachin, and they are really cool dudes! I can see us being good friends for a long time!

Since we lost a day in Dubai, no thanks to the weather issue in NYC, we only had 48-hours, so here it goes:

Day 1 - 5:30 PM: Tried India Street Food called Pani Puri, did 6 "shots" or bites of it, had some Parathas (pan-fried Indian flatbread) for dinner, headed to Bar 360 (a circular bar on the waters) for Shisha (REAL Hookah) and bottle service (of course), and finally ended the night with a view of Atlantis and stroll on the Palm beach. Bed at 4:00 AM.


Day 2 - 11 AM: Headed out to grab some lunch (variety of Parathas, another type of flat bread), Dubai Mall (6th largest mall in the world) to check out the aquarium and ice rink,  headed to the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, to check out the sunset and night time views (and to shamelessly market MeSocial), headed to the beach to check out the city night views, and then ended the night at the Marina and a cafe to smoke some more Shisha. Bed at 2:00 AM.


Day 3 - 9 AM: Beach time for a couples hours before it got too hot, then back to pack. Headed to the airport at 5:30 PM.
Oh yeah, that work related stuff, we stopped into an electronics shop on the last day, picked and paid for 3 brand new fully loaded laptops (for my developers) all in a matter of 10 minutes, probably the fastest time for me to buy anything, let alone laptops!

Cannot wait to visit Dubai and see Nanam and Sachin again, still need to sky dive, go on a desert safari, and do so much more! Now off to India!

(Side Note: I know this is a quick and dirty of the Dubai trip but I promised to keep the blog postings short!)

TT Advice: As long as you keep thinking "I," you will never know what "WE" can do. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Stressful Departure

Nothing like waking up to hear that your Finance guy has decided to step down, it was a disappointment but it was my risk to choose someone that is risk averse and not a risk taker. I know for myself, I'm a risk taker and I have gotten far in my career, and hopefully with this start-up, because of it. Do I bring on another Finance person or do I keep my team leaner? Stress #1.

On the same day, I scrambled around to clear out my apt for the final sale, Stress #2, and to make it to the airport to find out that the weather caused our flights to DC to be cancelled, making us miss our connecting flights to Dubai, Stress #3. The perfect stress trifecta?

However, without the support of my friends and family, I would not be able to push through. I wanted thank my Jersey Boys (Sims, Urkasian, and Paul), Alyssa, Leslie, Dallas, and Brinda for coming out the night before to wish Rich and myself off onto our new adventure. Much love.

Finally, I want to thank one of my best friends from Penn State, Christine, who accommodated us in DC while we try to make our way to India. Always good to catch up with her!

Hopefully, the weather holds out and we can finally head out to Dubai today!

TT Lesson Learn: What I hate most is owing people anything, which is the reason why I was so easy to free up shares of my company to people that worked for me on this venture. However, what I have learned, to test a person's entrepreneurial mindset, give them at least a year before offering any company shares. Loyalty, dedication, and risk are components of an entrepreneur.

Monday, May 20, 2013

First Day of a New Chapter

Today is the first time in 14 years that I do not have some sort of paying job to go to. And this is the first time in 14 years, I feel content and I'm actually ok with that. Running my own company, creating something, and being somebody is my endless quest to be successful, to feel successful. Hopefully, I can find that one day. And to find it, I need to do this on my own.

I gave up a 6-digit salary, a great job in a high profile role, and my own condo in New York City. Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. This is not my definition of success, just steps to get to the next step.... Today.

This is my first blog post as I document my start as an entrepreneur but most importantly, the Founder of 1ME, LLC. I promise to keep these posts short and will end it with a lesson learn, tip, advice, or quote. Thank you for your on-going support, nothing can be built without it!

TT Quote Pick: "For one minute, walk outside, stand there in silence, look up at the sky, and contemplate how amazing life is."  -Unknown