Entrepreneur Husband, Working Wife: Week 1

Picture Courtesy Fredrick Rubensson/ Flickr

If you think that the title of this post is eerily similar to the title of an Ang Lee Movie, then I leave it to you to figure out who is the Tiger and who is the Dragon.

Earlier this week, my wife Mrunal started working full time to support us while I work on building Kamakshi Media. She decided to take up the job for another reason:for the past year and a half, she had stayed at home, and was taking up freelancing work. In the process, she began to feel that her learning had stopped, and she was no longer enjoying spending long hours at home all by herself. In that respect, Mrunal is much more social than I am. So here’s a summary of what transpired in the Vyas household on week #1.

Mrunal prepares lunch at 6 AM, (yes, A.M!) while I take Buddy out for a walk. We have cereal for breakfast, Mrunal leaves for work at 8 AM. Thank you, Uber (or Ola), because the car battery is dead. I promise to get that fixed by the end of the day. The morning is crazy, with too many interruptions. First the maid, then the trash collection, followed by a phone call from Father in Law, and finally, Buddy’s howling for an unscheduled walk. Looks like last night’s chicken did not go down well. I am three hours behind schedule by 11 AM.

Rest of the morning/ afternoon spent in audio recordings, social media, and writing. Before I know it, it is 6 PM. Time to walk Buddy again. A couple of hours later, Mrunal is back home, tired and irritated. Tired because it was her first day at work, irritated because I forgot to chop the vegetables and knead the dough for Rotis.

The story repeats, but in the evening I help out with the dinner. In other words, marginal improvement. The interruptions do not bother that much, thanks to some early morning meditation and the following realization:

Do not see the interruptions as a nuisance- treat them as an opportunity to stop staring at the screen and step away from the desk. Lets’ call it.. random Pomodoro. You will get plenty of those in India.

Wedding anniversary. Between the breaks, the day goes in cleaning the house, and getting the car fixed. Evening it is time to get some wine and ordering dinner. The latter, I forget. Thank you, Mrunal for taking care of the food situation.

By 3 PM, I am brain dead. Sort of. Spend the next couple of hours watching Shark Tank. I get charged up and begin writing down job descriptions for building the team. Immediate priorities are a Social Media Manager, and a Virtual Assistant. Right now, I am both. And more. Need to start hiring right away so that I can free up my time for other tasks such as meeting clients and investors. March end looked so far away when I started out in early January! And I was supposed to start hiring in the end of March.

Had a couple of great responses for the job postings, but looks like it’s a chicken and egg problem. No team means no investors, and no investors means no money means cannot find good people. Wait a minute, make that GREAT people. It’s a shame, considering that I live in a country of 1.3 billion people.

Learning: If finding a job was difficult, hiring an employee is even more difficult.

Slowest day of the week, but surprisingly, also the most productive. Good breakfast for both of us. Need to add some exercise to the schedule. Lots of writing done, reached out to over 20 potential guests for future episodes. Love the fact that now I have over 30 podcast episodes, a website, and over 50 Five star reviews on iTunes to pitch to these guests. For the first cycle, I had nothing except a two page concept note. Things are much better now, but lining up guests still involves a lot of cold calling.

Have to review the manuscript for my novella that I got back from the editor. Most people liked the concept sketch for my cover design for this novella. Also the title, Mera Bharat MIHAAN. More on that later, but first of all, I need to find a cover designer.

I have begun to appreciate that there are no “weekends” for entrepreneurs, but the upside is that there are no Monday Morning Blues. The good part is that I schedule the tasks for the upcoming week in advance. That involved editing of audio files, scheduling the podcast episodes on Libsyn, and getting the shownotes ready on Wordpress blog. Sometimes, the weekends are reserved for these tasks, in case I am unable to complete them during the course of the week. This week was an exception. All episodes ready for the next week, the wife and I can have some personal time on Saturday. After all, it is wedding anniversary week.

Learning: Making a schedule is great, adhering to it is even more great, but factoring in interruptions and unexpected surprises is the greatest thing one can do for themselves. For example: Buddy is unwell today, so most likely I will need to take him to the Vet. But before that, I will have to fill in petrol (or gas, as some people call it). Working backwards and identifying points of failure helps!

Creator- Gaatha Story- Podcast of Children's Stories. Cofounder Kamakshi Media and Author. Husband, dog lover. Country Manager for FSC, India. www.amarvyas.com

Creator- Gaatha Story- Podcast of Children's Stories. Cofounder Kamakshi Media and Author. Husband, dog lover. Country Manager for FSC, India. www.amarvyas.com