What most people imagine when they think of a job by the sea is flip-flops, waves, sunshine, beer and finally a job that pays the bills. Being an entrepreneur by the sea allows you to have all of the above but in a way that you would never expect.
The alarm rings and I sleepily reach over to hit snooze but midway through the motion I realise that it’s just a dream. The alarm never rings. My mind just wakes up and makes sleep impossible. Hundreds of unfinished thoughts from the previous night flood my memory and there’s a daily struggle between my toothbrush and computer. Work is just part of my life. It’s so well integrated into my life that it’s no longer work. It’s just life. To me, work is an ugly word used to describe the actions of people who wake up with alarms and take mundane train rides to a sterile white room called the office. As an entrepreneur, my transit takes exactly 10 seconds (from the bed) and my office is my home which in turn is a beautiful 100 year old Portuguese villa.
Entrepreneurship allows me to do something I like doing. In fact it allows me to do anything and when I’m not running around like a headless chicken, I usually choose to do something that will have the most impact. Life is short and wasting precious time on beautifying an excel sheet is frivolous. And so I made a decision to become an entrepreneur to ensure that my work and my life has some meaning to me. Entrepreneurship is not a profession, it’s a way of life. It starts the moment you make a conscious decision to take ownership of your life. To be the master of your own destiny. You have to accept responsibility for every success, failure and for the direction of your life. This means that at every single point in time, you are where you are because you choose to be there. And in my mind, what better place to choose to be than Goa.
Living life in Goa comes with quite a few perks. First on that list would be a piece of art perfected over decades – the fish thali. Added to this, the air is clean and traffic jams don’t factor in my daily vocabulary. In my mind Goa undoubtedly has the highest standard of living in India. The Goan culture of Susegad prevails throughout the state. Susegad originates from the Portuguese word “sossegado” which means quiet and depicts Goan way of always taking it easy and living life in contentment. As a city person, my first reaction to this form of life was frustration and anger which slowly gave way to acceptance and understanding that life isn’t going anywhere if the shops close at 2pm. Balance is the key.
As entrepreneurs in Goa, Laura (my life and business partner) usually conduct our meetings over a long walk down Miramar beach – no laptops, no notebooks and the horizon as our physical limit (which does wonders for our discussions). As we go about our exciting business of starting new hostels, at some stage the regular offenders have to be dealt with – finance, accounting, legal, procurement, etc etc. In an increasingly connected world, the internet gives us the luxury of operating a location independent office and Goa provides an idyllic setting to go about our daily routine.
The truth is that life is either a tightrope or a feather bed. If you’re not on the tightrope, you’re sitting on your ass. So we wear flip-flops because we can, watch the waves during our meetings, sweat in the sunshine as we go about our work and at the end of the day, celebrate our small victories with a cold beer. Cheers!!