It has been a year since my co-founder Prabhath & I have started Leucine Rich Bio and it has been one amazing journey. I have read a lot of blogs, articles and books on entrepreneurship but nothing prepares you for the journey. It is seductive, it is addictive, it is painful, it grinds you, it shocks you and it saps you of all your energy. Yet, you go to bed wanting to back at the first light of the day. A quote I recently read best explains the journey of an entrepreneur:
“Entrepreneur: someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down “
I have always been passionate about genomics since college and when I saw the first opportunity to start a company around it, I dived in heads on. Over the last year my knowledge of genomics has gone up but not as much of how much I have learnt about the Indian Companies Act or putting together a pitch deck or even how much carpet area is needed for ten employees.
I have also slowly learnt to sell and selling happens at every stage.
The first selling started at home and by far the most difficult. You are bare naked in front of your family. No branding to cover your, no razzmatazz to dazzle with. They can see right through you and call your bluff at every level. It is important to sell your dream to them. You need them on your side. Without it the journey is twice as difficult. Within no time you realise the need for your cousin’s old laptop or your uncle’s garage. That was my first taste of selling and how dreadfully bad I was.
An early advice I got was that you can never control the money coming into the company but always control the money going out. We also realised having a place to work out off was important. We were going to be a six member team and working out of our house would be distracting. Scouting for an office space took a while. I would say that was the first business deal we did and that set the tone for future deals. We found a great place to work, where the only thing missing would be a scenic view. Along with the office came the perfect landlord who has now become our friend, advisor and confidant.
Prabhath and I have always been passionate about genomics. Infusing that passion to our team was our challenge. We wanted a young team who had fresh ideas and were ready to innovate at every step. For this to happen selling our dream to them was very important. What is our passion and why are we doing this. You are not showing a slide a to an investor talking about a pain that you can solve but you are telling fresh graduates about the pain within you to bring about change. Keep innovating at every step is our mantra and no one does this better than hungry young minds. It’s been a year now and I am glad that the team is still intact.
And then the sale happened. After countless days of not breaking through, novice mistakes and frustrating meetings. Before we knew it the second sale happened and then the third. Selling at different levels helps you for the big one. It is like getting the right equipment to climb up Mount Everest. You still have to climb up Mount Everest.
As we bolster ourselves to release a slew of apps and services we begin a new kind of selling, selling our dreams, goals and achievements to investors. I hear that is a tough one to crack. We are ready!!