For the longest time, I felt conflicted about staying a freelancer versus becoming an entrepreneur. The main difference I saw between the two was that a freelancer worked by/for themselves, whereas an entrepreneur worked alongside others to advance a cause they care about.
All I’ve ever wanted to do was to have a small consulting business to sustain myself, work with a handful of clients to make a difference in their lives, and live from anywhere. For instance, I was never interested in making seven figures because it was uninspiring to me (and besides, I didn’t need that much money, so why bother?!). I didn’t see the point of accumulating all that wealth only to give it away in the end, because you can’t take it with you.
Trying to make the small business work didn’t work for me for many reasons, not the least of which was because I always felt I was meant to do something bigger and here I was trying to put myself in a box trying to make this thing work. I felt like a square peg in a round hole. I felt pigeonholed in trying to do one thing and to find (and serve) clients in a specific way and I struggled with it despite listening to conventional advice (or maybe because of it?). Regardless, I felt like a bird trapped in a cage who was waiting to be let out. Going through this experience reminded me of what Rumi said:
Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open?
My challenge for the longest time has been knowing I can serve others in a big way and being unable to do so for many reasons. It was frustrating to know in my heart of hearts that I had much to offer and I wasn’t able to serve others in a way that felt true to myself. A part of me felt the reason I had been unfulfilled in my life was because God (or Divine Intelligence) wanted me to play it big. And that He/It was waiting for me all along to listen to my inner voice, live to my potential, and level up.
Have you ever felt being called to do something, but no matter how much you ignored it, it didn’t seem to go away? Well, that’s how I had been feeling for quite some time. Every time I felt it, I would justify the feeling and talk myself out of it, but it never felt quite right to ignore it. In other words, I was letting my thinking get in the way of my feeling, every single time. My heart was naturally guiding me in one direction, while I used my mind to purposefully go in the other.
American memoirist and poet Maya Angelou wrote:
There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.
One of the big reasons I had been ignoring this recurring feeling was I was reluctant to make the jump to being an entrepreneur, because I was concerned it would mean I would have to spend more time working than I would have liked, because not only would I be working with others, but it also meant I would need to share things in public in a bigger way, as I was repeatedly told that my ideas were too big and philosophical (translation: abstract and impractical), and that I should bring myself back to the ground.
The last thing I wanted was to be in the limelight and to work with others. I say this because I’m an introvert (INFJ-A) through and through. Besides, I believe true success is a three-legged stool. Spending more time on work would have meant having less time for myself and my relationships, either of which I was unwilling to compromise on. Maybe, I was making an assumption that entrepreneurship would take more of my time than needed.
But, here’s the thing. I couldn’t ignore this feeling anymore, so I decided to go all in on myself. Not too long ago, I stopped trying to “make things happen” (by way of doing) and decided to focus on (being) myself. I trusted myself that the doing (of things) will work itself out. Once I decided to simply be myself, it felt quite freeing. It felt as if I had gotten out of jail and I could be whoever I wanted to be and say (and share) whatever I wanted to say from my heart without trying to fit myself in some box.
As I share this story with you, I’m reminded of these words by MLK Jr.:
You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be.
And one day, some great moment stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great truth, some great issue, some great cause.
And you refuse to do it for you are afraid.
You refuse to do it for you want to live longer.
You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be run down or that you will lose your status, or you’re afraid that one may stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand.
Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90.
And the end of breath in your life is but the late signal of an earlier death of the spirit.
Today, I’m 40 and I’m just getting started…
Hear my story
Explore my philosophy
I invite you to explore my philosophy, which has inspired others to live a more meaningful life, and I hope, it will inspire you too.
Rishabh is a true philosopher. He believes there is no greater success in the world than rightful living — how we live each day matters more than what we do (“achieve”) in our lives. And, if we focus on our actions and strive to be our best, together, we can change the world.
He has devoted his professional life to help advance a vision of the world that does not yet exist; a world in which the vast majority of people act with intention, play to their strengths, and live modestly as a life ambition. Rishabh brings this vision to life by waking up every day to inspire others (including himself) to be their best, so that together, we may all live a life that matters. He helps others simplify their lives, set changes in motion, and do things naturally (joyfully and sustainably). He does this through writing, coaching, speaking, and community building.
Originally from Bombay, India, Rishabh is a self-sufficient traveler with no fixed destination. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business (BA) and remains eternally curious. In addition to being a hopeless romantic,1 he is an avid Nintendo fan, and an unabashed lover of ice cream — quintessentially, a millennial at heart.
He’s single. 🧡 ↩