Inspiring journey of young and energetic story teller from Mumbai who turned her hobby into the profession.
23rd, November 2018 - Startup
The best way to communicate and inspire others is by sharing beautiful stories. Story telling is powerful tool to reach out to the people and inspire them. Being a writer and storyteller Stuti Changel shares her journey with Startupsjourney. Here is the details of conversation.
S J: Stuti Changle can you please tell us about your background?
S C: My hometown is Indore and I have completed my schooling from various schools across India. I am a post-graduate in management from the prestigious B-school IMI, New Delhi and a graduate in Computer Science and Technology. I dreamt of being an author since childhood and one day, I packed a rucksack and left Mumbai, in search of my true self. I met people with extraordinary stories - travelers, entrepreneurs, artists, visionaries and saints, who gave me the revelation to take steps in a new direction. A minimalist at heart, I find myself moving farther from the never-ending quest of owning material possessions and a step closer to owning a vast ocean of experiences. I feel glad that my first novel, ON THE OPEN ROAD - Three Lives, Five Cities, and One Startup is receiving a phenomenal response from the readers. It draws from my real-life experiences and I wish to inspire my readers to follow their heart and live their dreams!
S J: Being Management and Technical background person, how was your earlier life?
S C: It was a usual life, comfortable with all the perks you have while working for a corporate. After work, I used to stroll around and find comfort in the cafeterias where I would scribble on my diary or type my experiences on my laptop. I would wonder what my true purpose is. Why does writing comfort me like nothing else does? Why am I even running after security? Until one day, these thoughts became obsessive beyond my control and I started questioning my existence. Yes, existential crisis is rare at such a young age, but when you feel you are not meant to be the person you are, you make a move to become someone you truly believe in. I always wanted to be a storyteller. I was making money - a lot of it - but somehow felt empty on the inside. My heart would tell me to pursue my long lost dream of becoming a storyteller whereas my mind would warn me about the risk and its consequences. Eventually, I gave in!
S J:What is that moment made you quit your high paying job in sales and become a storyteller?
S C: I had already started penning down my first while I was still working. After a few months, I had a feeling that I could take this up full-time in the long run. So, I decided to quit and started building my profile as a writer. I started off with establishing my social media channels. Social media is one of the most effective ways to reach out to the audiences especially if you don’t have a very high budget. I had quit my job and was raised with middle-class values so every hard earned penny mattered. The response, specifically on Instagram and Facebook was phenomenal. Most of my sales still come from the social media outreach. The realization did happen over a couple of months so did the initial groundwork for establishing my niche in a new career path. None of it happened overnight, it was a continuous process with an unwavering faith in my dream.
S J: Storytelling is a proven method to motivate and inspire people. Can you share your experience?
S C: Yes, I totally agree to this! I have been inspired from storytellers and authors across the world and across the timeline. Some tales from the 1700s are still important in terms of the teachings that they have and the values that they confer. Also, some of my favorite writers are from countries where I have never been! That’s the power of stories. Whether it’s a good talk, or a movie, or a novel, or our grandmother’s bedtime story; each of them have inspired and empowered us in some way or the other!
S J: Your first novel - ON THE OPEN ROAD - Three Lives, Five Cities, One Startup can you share the details?
S C: n the open road is a heart touching and inspiring journey of three souls who resolve to pursue their dreams and battle against all the odds to startup a company. Myra, Kabir and Sandy, the main characters of the story are 20-somethings from young India who battle the societal taboos and their inner demons to live life on their terms. The story is about breaking free from the old routine lives to be able to embrace the new. It encapsulates the emotional journey that one has to take to be able to live their dreams. Through my novel, I want to say it out loud that we, the youth, are the future of the nation, and it is the time that we boldly pursue our choices. Let’s build the India of the future through entrepreneurship, because each one of us, no matter where we come from, has that one idea that holds the potential to touch a million lives.
S J: You met lot many Entrepreneurs, how was your journey as a writer and your experience?
S C: To meet entrepreneurs was an enlightening and empowering process for me. I believe that entrepreneurs are full of life when it comes to their everyday presence and highly resolute when it come to their ambition and dreams. Either way, they light a spark in you. They teach you to find happiness in the everyday challenges that one has to handle and persevere to achieve the dream nonetheless.
When I started out as a writer, I was young and naive enough to believe that my dreams could become a reality someday. That’s all! It gave me the initial push to make a move. As and when my life’s journey moved forward & I became more confident about my choices I embraced the opportunities that came my way & gave my 100% to it. I eventually started enjoying the bumpy road & hustling became a part of my life.
S J: According to you is Indian Startup ecosystem on the right path?
S C: We’ve so many young Indians who are now bubbling with aspirations and want to pursue their ideas. The numbers have definitely seen a jump from where we were ten years back. As a writer, one of my goals is to break the societal taboos around starting up, and if I analyse it from my lens as a writer I do see a wave of change coming in. I interact with so many readers at events and social media followers who are enthusiastic about pursuing their dreams and are willing to embrace change and accept failure. I believe these are the points on which I can say that we’re on the right path - developing a positive sentiment around pursuing one’s ideas!
S J: What are the common challenges and issues that are shared by Entrepreneurs?
S C: The dream of becoming an entrepreneur is buoyant; but the truth is the road is filled with more challenges than celebrations. Starting a business whether big or small requires carrying out certain processes that might decide the fate of the business i.e. the success or failure of the business. In the enthusiasm to start a business what most entrepreneurs forget is practicality of the business. A lot of entrepreneurs have great ideas and their businesses are growing rapidly year after year, but finance and raising money to get started is a major hurdle. Then there are some market forces and government policies which can leave an entrepreneur’s plans outdated or even obsolete. The failure rate for entrepreneurs is increasing, and a prime reason is because many give up at the first sign of a major roadblock. They see big challenges as signs that they should throw in the towel, and when the going gets tough, they forget what it was they were really working toward in the first place.
Other challenges are in acquiring patent, license, and trademark for similar related goods and services despite the growing legitimacy of market.
The highs and lows of an entrepreneurial journey could be overwhelming for those who come from a corporate background and are used to a rather steady life.
Failures, and when I say failures, I suggest a lot of them, would be a part of the journey. Entrepreneurs need to keep that in mind and make sure that they don’t lose focus on their long term goals owing to some short term failures.
S J: Your quote on Entrepreneurship at present scenario
S C: ‘Some of the greatest startup ideas lie in the trash bins of the cafes.’ We scribble on tissue papers, diary papers and used paper. Before leaving the cafe, we throw it in the trash. Not because we lack a belief in our idea, we lack belief in ourselves.
S J: Your advice to the people
S C: A message that I would like to give to everyone is, don’t let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. A lot of us have a misconception that to pursue our ideas, to startup companies, we need to be super rich, or blessed. It’s absolute nonsense. I come from a middle-class family, and yes, it is hard to convince your parents at times, but in the end, nothing is impossible. It can all happen. Just believe in yourself and your dreams. Work hard. Work every day. You can and will do wonders. In the end, everything that does not work out sums up to the things that do. The idea is to never give up, never give up. Believe in the beauty of your dreams. Follow your heart with courage. There’s no shortcut to success. The only way to explore one’s full capacity is to keep at one’s inner calling. The journey is much more crucial than the destination. Enjoy the journey! Hustle.
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