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Is passion enough to fuel your entrepreneurial dreams? Falak Randerian shares her insights on how a passion for reading helped create My Little Chatterbox.
“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life” mused Federico Fellini. This has kept me going on and on.
After working in Corporate Communication and Training for six years, I took a break in November, 2010, when my daughter was born. This was accompanied with a shift from Delhi to Bangalore, a city where I have never lived before.
While on my break, I knew I would eventually want to work, and the sooner the better. The break gave me an opportunity to analyze the situation and work on a plan. It was only when my daughter turned one and I started looking at options to keep her involved, that the idea of My Little Chatterbox was born.
My Little Chatterbox is a dream come true. It is a club which believes in creating a lifelong association with reading, and books. It does so in various ways, be it The Reading Room, where our Book club, Phonics workshops, and communication sessions take place; or our Tale in a Mail, which is a one-of-its-kind monthly subscription box of hand-picked books for children between 0-6 years of age.
Since I work late into the night, my day starts at 8:00 am and I try to finish most of my work till 11:00 am. Till then, my daughter remains with her dad (if she’s not at school). After picking my daughter up from school, I try to be with her, without my laptop and my phone (which is really hard to do!). I go to The Reading Room at around 3:30 pm and stay there till 6:30 pm. This is the time I devote to my sessions. My daughter is with me all through – she knows she needs to work quietly when mom is taking a session.
Once home, I spend time with my daughter till she’s in bed by around 8:00 pm. This is where my ‘me-time’ starts – I workout, catch up with my husband, family, and friends. Finally, at around 11:30 pm I go back to work, especially answering emails, checking logistics for Tale in a Mail, and research. My day ends at around 1:00 am.
The perfect balance between personal and professional life is crucial, especially when you are running your own venture. My weekends (half of my Saturday and Sundays) are for my family; I try to disconnect from work as much as I can. To keep my sanity intact, I do things like being a part of the Bangalore Storytelling Society, which is an initiative to revive and popularize the art of storytelling. I also organize various events at The Reading Room.
If you are passionate about what you have set out to do, then you will never get bogged down by any kind of pressure. If you aren’t passionate about what you are doing, the smallest things will make you question yourself.
In Bangalore, you see story tellers everywhere, and book reading clubs are cropping up in every nook and corner. Seeing this makes me immensely happy, but it also makes me work harder to create a niche for myself, for My Little Chatterbox. I do let my work speak for myself- people who come to my sessions love them. I love seeing kids coming up and thanking me.
I don’t believe in replicating a model someone else has successfully developed. Everyone has a specific set of expertise. To create an identity for yourself, you need to know what you want and what exactly you can do best. This is a very competitive market, and making your own mark is crucial if you are looking at the long run.
To all women aiming at entrepreneurship, I would say – if you are passionate about something and want to take the plunge into entrepreneurship, do it for yourself more than anyone else. Plan, prepare for success, and be ready for failure.