Legend has it that Maharishi Valmiki was Ratnakara, was a young boy who was found by a hunter who adopted and raised him and under his guidance became an accomplished hunter. Over the years, as Ratnakara had a family, it became difficult for him to make ends meet.
As a result, out of desperation, he took to rob travelers who passed by his area. One day, Sage Narada was passing by the forest where Ratnakara lived. Ratnakara attacked Sage Narada intending to rob him. Unfazed, Sage Narada asked him why he was committing the sin of robbing and Ratnakara replied, “To feed my family.
” To this, Sage Narada said, “Ratnakara, go and ask your family if they will also share the sins you are committing to take care of them.” Ratnakara returned to his family and asked every member if they were willing to share his sins. No one was ready or willing to share the burden of Ratnakara’s sins.
Heartbroken at his family’s response, Ratnakara returned to Sage Narada and asked him the path to salvation. That set the path for Ratnakara to become Maharishi Valmiki. Entrepreneurs of today get spotted and groomed by many around them. Many in the “ecosystem” benefit from his deeds and actions. If their means are good, the benefits are sustained. If the means are somewhat questionable and they face difficulties, they are soon alone, like Ratnakara realized. While there are accelerators, angel investors, venture capitalists and board members, the question in my mind is this.
Is there at least one person who can as dispassionately as Sage Narada, ask the entrepreneurs some hard questions to set them think? While there are many investors or “interested parties”, how many of them are pursuing their own agendas and how many of them genuinely wish to do what is right for the entrepreneur, even if it means asking hard questions and holding a mirror at the right time.
As I see bright entrepreneurs becoming tainted all of a sudden, I also ask myself this question. Were they always this way or did their contexts lead them, down this path? Did the people around them care enough to be tough minded in their relationship or pursued their own agendas? I really wish every entrepreneur has at least one or two Sage Naradas in their lives so they can pursue their passion but take the right path.