Start-up Day 180: Eat, Pray, Love and Network

eat pray love

Today makes us a half-a-year old company! I have a lot to share with the start-up community and future entrepreneurs already (beyond what I have already written about: Work-life balanceProductivity). But let’s talk about the most recent and intriguing insight now.

The last few weeks alone is enough to make me feel like I am in a movie (..a well known one, as you can read from the title). We just got a brand new project in Italy last week, I am flying to India for an existing project this week…and I strangely wonder if we have any project news coming up from Indonesia the following week, or whether our pending proposal for a Chinese project counts for the “love” instead..

Not sure, who is writing the plot of our story, but there is definitely some mild level of plagiarism going on… so I apologize from Elizabeth Gilbert, who is the author of the original story and the New York Times Best Seller “Eat, Pray, Love” in advance for any more similarities yet to unfold, which is beyond my control.

In fact, if you look from an entrepreneur’s perspective, the book (or the movie) offers tremendous levels of clues and insights to new companies and founders, and I would like to share it the way I see & live through it.

Here is what the “story” is trying to say to those entrepreneurs out there:

0. Background (USA):

  • Original: “At 32 years old, Elizabeth Gilbert was educated, had a home, a husband, and a successful career… but she was not happy”
  • What it means: You have about 10+ years of experience after college and a successful career, but something is missing. You are not happy, and looking for some major change in your life.

1. Eat (Italy):

  • Original: “You know what your problem is: ‘you don’t know how to enjoy yourself'”, “This is my no-carb-left-behind experiment, I am going for it!”
  • What it means: It has been a long time since you spared time for the things you enjoy. Doing what you are passionate is what you are craving for, and you should go for it! If you are waiting for the right moment to start your company, this may be it.

2. Pray (India):

  • Original: “At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you”
  • What it means: There is so many unknowns in life and in your new start-up, many opportunities, many ways to do things, a lot of things that can go wrong. Just relax. Let go of it a little bit. Be optimistic. Have faith in your “karma” to find more meaning in life and in what you want to do. Do not try to plan for the perfect product/service, just do it!

3. Love (Indonesia):

  • Original: “Find your inner peace and balance between daily enjoyments and divine spirituality”
  • What it means: Start-up success is all about the balance between what you are passionate about and what earns you a living. The balance of long-term desires/wishes and struggle of short-term goals/targets. Ideals vs. realities. Learn to love this dilemma, and build a peaceful balance.

BONUS: Network (Globally): There is no corresponding act in the original story about networking or meeting new people. But the entire story is built on building new relationships in different countries and cultures. When I think about the places I have been to in the last 6 months (US, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil and Mexico) through conferences, meetings and a vacation, I realize how many new people I met and how enriching this experience was personally and professionally. Significant portion of the opportunities presented themselves through these new connections, and it made the entire journey a lot more enjoyable and fun. The biggest insight I can offer to new (or to-be) entrepreneurs is to share meals, prayers/dreams and love/respect with as many people as possible, as soon as possible.

I hope to hear from your start-up journey. Where it took you so far in the world? What friendships and possibilities it brought to you?

Enjoy your journey when you Eat, Pray, Love and Network!


Picture sources: “Eat, Pray, Love” book cover by Penguin (2006) – edited, snapshots from “Eat, Pray, Love” movie by Columbia Pictures (2010)

About the author: Evren Ozkaya, Ph.D. is the Founder and CEO of Supply Chain Wizard, LLC, a management and technology consulting firm focusing on designing strategies to improve operational performance of companies with complex supply chains. Dr. Ozkaya writes about various topics such as Entrepreneurship, Productivity, Consulting, Communication & Presentation Skills, Technology & Data Analytics, Supply Chain Security and Supply Chain Transformations.

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