This is something very amusing.
This is about how a venture capitalist denied funding but made me realize I’m a lifestyle entrepreneur because we, at Regrob, are profitable and are free to work as we like.
What’s wrong with profits? Profitability ought to be good, right? Isn’t that the whole point of building a business? In the second part, I answer these.
I left my 9 to 5 job with a fat cheque in three years. It wasn’t even 9 to 5, but 7 to 10 pm. It took two hours in morning traffic on the way to the office and vice versa in the evening. Two extra hours in the office only to show my colleagues and boss that I work hard. That two hours of extra work is for small increments and promotion. With those tiny increments, I could dream of a bigger house and a better car. But in truth, I was only loading myself with bigger EMIs. It consumed 70% of my salary. Eventually, you get addicted to the euphoria you feel when you receive your salary every month. And it is not an easy one to quit. We master office politics, join the office circus, butter up the boss, and adulate higher authorities to get more of that salary. Another factor that stressed me all the time was, ‘If I don’t upgrade myself, I’ll be out of the corporate world.’ Probably at the age of 45 when the mid-life crisis strikes. What’ll I do then?
Earlier, when you passed out from college, your knowledge would remain valid for at least 20 years. Your education would have value, unlike today.
The business models you studied would remain in business, and so would you. But that is not the same now.
Automation and digitization have changed how the business operates.
Technology has amplified the business proliferation. And, the education couldn’t keep up. Now you graduate and your education, your knowledge is all outdated.
Even if you have skills, you can’t show them to companies because of office politics. In the end, thoughts like, why not start your own business appear.
Well, this is common for all corporate guys. It was the same for me.
Eventually, I left the job. After leaving the job, I started my first venture, which everybody calls startup. I call it another glorified job since I was the founder. Some of my friends came up with all sorts of ideas, including the likes of selling tea, lassi, and printing shirts or something.
I started a travel agency firm on my friend’s suggestion who had no experience in the business. I messed up. I failed big time. I lost a massive amount of money. However, the first few years were fruitful. I felt satisfied as to the founder of the company. My company was on news articles, magazines and received awards. There are many reasons my first venture failed. Some were:
- Asset-heavy business
- Thin margin in the business
- Lack of technology
- No prior exposure to business
It wasn’t profitable. And business is all about profitability.
Working in a company differs totally from running a company. In the company, they assign you a fixed monotonous task. When you start your own company, you face the actual world, which is different from how you experienced it before. You’ve to manage everything from non-core work to core work. You’re the office boy, manager, HR, director, CEO, etc
My first venture made me realize I started another glorified job that had the same routine and sucked more of my time.
I left my previous job thinking it would have more freedom. I thought I would be free to travel; I assumed I would get more time to spend with my family. My vision in life was simple. I wanted to create a life where I’m thriving and not merely surviving.
When I failed, I realized, to have wealth, we need an engine that can continuously generate wealth.
The engine is paramount to print money, which most people do not realize. Businesses should’ve such generators
Well, failure is the step to success. After this, I decided to start another venture. But this time, focus on automation. I wanted to create a business with a high margin, high profitability, and more freedom for me and the company’s stakeholders.
Since I was young, I was always interested in real estate. I had invested in real estate, and it gave me good money. So I decided to start a real estate business.
I started networking with IIM alumni to brainstorm on the business model. Spent six months on building technology, business model, and doing lots of research.
We picked case studies from Ivy league universities and met foreign professors and also entrepreneurs from silicon valley.
During this journey, we got some amazing mentors from the technology and management field like Sukanta Dey, Bhanu (both alumni of IIT Kanpur), and Chirag (Ex Snapdeal director). We got a pool of successful people who mentored us through the journey in building products and technology.
We launched our product and received tremendous success.
After 1.5 years, we called Ivy league universities to present our business model through our network. We won 1st prize, and they published our case study. Our business model name is the Asset-light franchise model.
It gave us the freedom I desired and the money, of course.
The venture was successful for me, my partner, and all our franchise partners.
We wanted to start a new age of entrepreneurs with our business model—asset-light franchise model.
The asset-light model gives
- Better return
- Lower profit volatility
- A larger scale of sales
- Decentralized model for stakeholders like franchise partner
This is something very interesting which I mentioned before.
How a venture capitalist made me realize I’m a lifestyle entrepreneur.
So we went to a venture capitalist (VC) to raise funds for our firm Regrob. The first time an investor asked if I was building a lifestyle business, I felt insulted. With images of working from the beach or spending my days golfing with clients. After a lengthy discussion, he told us,
“We cannot fund you as you are lifestyle entrepreneurs.”
I asked him what a lifestyle entrepreneur is. He explained: It is a business where people become millionaires, have a wealthy lifestyle, and live life on their terms by utilizing technology but not 100%. It is half offline, half online business. This meant the end of my dreams as a billionaire. But being a millionaire is not so bad, is it?
Successful lifestyle businesses are great for the founders, management, stakeholders like franchise partners, vendors and employees but disastrous for investors.
End of the day, VCs invest money in companies and sell the company to other investors. They make money from there. It would be best for the VCs to sell off their investment for whatever they can get, even if it means taking a loss. Profits do not matter in valuing a startup. It is measured by growth rates, not by profit. You can understand this concept when you go for funding.
In this entire process, I learned something new. I realized that unknowingly I became a lifestyle entrepreneur who is living life on his terms. I was very happy
We created a wealth engine platform, and so other people’s terms and conditions do not constrain us.
I had been looking for this kind of lifestyle.
This lifestyle business gave me lots of freedom and time. I can work on my terms and conditions.
I don’t need permission from anyone to travel to exotic locations. Like in corporate life, I would have to wait for leave approval, arrange money for which I would have to save, and cut on my expenses. Or I can apply for a loan using a credit card which I would have to pay by working more.
I’m fond of jeeps, and I have them. I love to meet people. So I travel. I meet builders and attend high-end seminars. We have a club for entrepreneurs where we regularly meet and work on new business ideas.
One thing I’ve realized you can become successful if you’re surrounded by successful people. Successful people will not only make you wealthy but also wise.
And the best part is, I don’t have to be worried about retirement or the mid-life crisis.
I got what I was looking for through lifestyle entrepreneurship. Maybe the other co-founder of Regrob has different objectives. Maybe his goal is not lifestyle entrepreneurship but centered on achieving things from the business. Everyone has their ambitions in life.
We came up with an IPO also but postponed it on advice of financial advisor .
During this journey, a lot of my friends approached me to start a business with them. My close friend was in a corporate job and wanted to work with us as soon as possible. So I offered him a Regrob franchise. Initially, he was planning to take a loan and purchase a high-end vehicle. But he dropped the plan.
He took the loan and his savings and invested in the Regrob franchise. He gave me a good reason for doing so. He told me,
“Vivek, my vehicle will depreciate over the years, and simultaneously I’ll be paying back the loan and interest. If I invest money in business, it’ll generate money for me, and then I can buy any luxurious vehicle without being tied up with the loan.”
I had a long discussion with him on why we spend money on big cars, luxury items, and other things but not a business. We discussed why we do not invest in starting something of our own. And the single reason was ‘delayed gratification.’
That’s how our opening franchise starts.
Now Regrob has more than 50 plus franchises all over India. We have three kinds of franchises in India.
All my franchise partners are relishing the life of Lifestyle entrepreneurs.
I know a lot of my franchisees who work 5 days a week and earn handsome money. Some work 10 months in a year and reward themselves with 2 months of vacation. Some franchisees work the entire year, and they never rest. Everyone has their own goals. They’ve their bucket list of things they want to achieve in their life.
If you want to become a lifestyle entrepreneur and make high profits, start a franchise with us.
Regrob Is IIT and IIM alumni Venture
Regrob is India’s leading tech enabled brokerage firm. Regrob is online to offline (O2O model) in real estate industry
To talk about how we can work together to build a profitable business for you!
Plz visit – Start Real Estate Franchise Business in India
So we have created a ready-made business model for people looking to start their Lifestyle entrepreneur journey.
What’s a Lifestyle Business?
The term itself implies a business that runs in harmony with work and life.
Ignore that. It is far from the truth. It is essentially a company that aims to optimize profitability rather than quickly retreat. And since more work by fewer employees means higher profitability, so-called lifestyle enterprises are the only companies with a worse work-life balance than start-ups.