Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2 years in, 10 things I have learned so far

Cannot believe it has been 2 years already since 1Me, LLC became official. Time has flown and a lot of progress has been made. I have learned a lot about myself on this journey, so I wanted to share the top 10 things that I have learned so far:

1. Recruit 24/7. Every meeting, happy hour, lunch/dinner is an opportunity to recruit the best. I always enjoy hearing what people do and what their motivation is so that I can put them in future roles as I continually build this company. There are a lot of great people out there and I want them. You may or may not know it but I may have your career planned out already, haha.

2. Do not give away your company. The majority of my original team members are no longer here and getting back equity shares was a hassle and waste of time. At that time, I was using equity as a form of “payment.” Real entrepreneurs will stay with you for the opportunity, with no pay, because real entrepreneurs are there to create something, a better future.

3. Be constructive, not critical. I have OCD, am annoyingly detail oriented, and have high expectations, all good… for me but not necessarily good when building a team. To build a team, you need to grow them. To do that, focus on how to make things better and not on what they did wrong. In short, highlight solutions and not problems.

4. Learn to adapt to your environment. I went from living in a renovated condo in NYC to India, and was that an eye opener. Going from being a non-veg to a veg to living by myself to a dorm style shared room, I had to learn to adapt because it is about making the best of the situation so that you can move on to a better situation. It is like all new things, it will take time to adapt and you will always feel silly for saying “I can’t do this” initially.

5. Say No. At one point, I was working full-time for my regular job, for 1ME, as a Regional Director for AKPsi, and a Founding Member/President for the AKPsi NYC Alumni Chapter. When I realized that I could no longer put in 110% effort into my RD role, I began to transition out of that position. Stepping down as the RD was probably the hardest decision I had to make because I enjoyed pushing myself to make a difference for my students and volunteers.  I used to be a "yes" guy but time is so valuable these days. If you cannot put 110% in it, do not do it, you cannot please everyone and you end up doing more harm than good.

6. You are not the biggest asset, the team is. I was an “I’ll do it myself” type of guy but at some point it becomes impossible to do it all. Surround yourself with good people that believe in you and build them. Your goal is to make them better than you so that you can build a better company. There is no me in team.

7. Workout, be healthy. Simple enough, the best time to free and open your mind is when you are working out and the adrenaline pumping.  My best thinking is when I’m sweating first thing in the morning. You can do more with a healthy mind and body then just sitting around and feeding on crap.

8. Be grateful, humility goes a long way. On my journey in establishing this company, I have met many great people and received a lot of support which has helped me to get to today. I truly am grateful to have such great people and opportunities in my life, without them I could not have made it. The simplest way to thank someone is to say thank you and by doing the small things for them. I have seen too many people take things for granted, make selfish decisions, and turn their backs. As a human being, you are not better than anyone else, everyone has their own paths and the best thing you can do is empower them to move forward in their life.

9. Create your core values and use them. Sometimes you run into difficult decisions that you have to make. Having a set of core values that you and your team believe in allow you to make that decision. It is a base and a guide for the company.

10. Appreciate. When I started a crowd funding campaign for 1ME, I had my doubts because it was a lot of money I was looking to raise. The support that I received from people that I have known throughout my life time was absolutely amazing. I was surprised by the unexpected that donated and truly appreciate all of the support. Experiencing India, I have learned that having your basic needs met such as food, clean water, and having a roof over your head makes you fortunate. There are many people in this world that do not even have these basic necessities. When you are having a bad day, remember that there is someone else out there who is having it a lot worse. Appreciate what you have, if you want more, go get it, and always, always, give back.


  1. Disagree with number 2 but otherwise good stuff - keep at it homie!

    1. Thanks bro! I may not give it away initially, but I do allow an opportunity to invest, only after they have been with the company for at least a year.

  2. Hi Thomas,

    This is going to be a long comment, so brace yourself :)

    First, I completely agree with all your points and I'd like to add 2 more-
    (11) Persevere: As an entrepreneur, you are deciding to do things the tough way and learn from failure. Dave Mcclure once said “A ‘startup’ is a company that is confused about 1) What its product is 2) Who its customers are and 3) How to make money." It's a long struggle but whatever the outcome, you always win!

    (12) Always reach out and always respect: We don't make products or solutions; we build relationships. People are and always will be your greatest capital.

    I'm a fellow Drexel graduate like you. I'm a fellow entrepreneur like you. However I'm, if I may say so, not as brave and focused as you. My roommates, while at Drexel, were in fact associated with you (and I'm guessing formed a big part of your second point :) ). Though I never discussed what they were doing, I knew about 1ME. I graduated and returned to India and am in a startup myself (Last-Bench! - Recently, through Facebook I saw a 1ME post and eventually was led to your blog. I was quite impressed. You made the decision to come to India, which is quite incredible (tbh as an Indian and a Mumbai-ite, I was skeptical of relocating back!).

    I commend you for your decisions and your risk taking ability. I respect your passion and your strength. And I can safely say (now that you have imbibed Indian culture :D) Karma will pay you back handsomely :)

    I can't offer you much other than support, help and possible synergy. But, if you are in the look out to interact with a fellow Indian entrepreneur or want an Indian perspective to things in the fast lane, feel free to give me a holla. I'll try my best to help out in any way!

    I'm located in Mumbai, and if you are this side it'll be great to meet with you. Feel at home in India, there's always help (and something new) around the corner!

    You can contact me at: (I'm a little wary of giving my cellphone number out to open view).

    Good luck!