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My life journey: Work in progress - Shivangi Mehta



From an early age, we are taught that it's bad to make mistakes and that they need to be avoided by all means otherwise there are unpleasant consequences. The truth however is that failure and making mistakes is a necessary part of success and it cannot be avoided. I have learned that the hard way

Mostly people prefer to "play it safe" but being me, I decided to jump right in my first venture without any prior experience in that field. We started working on our venture by purely being passionate about it. Curiosity was our teacher, which helped us understand the steps to start our venture. All we use to do was keep asking lots of questions, researching and implement whatever we had researched just to fathom what it would lead to. Slowly and gradually we started running full fledge business

Driven with extreme passion we had no idea how our journey in entrepreneur world would pan out. But we were absolutely obsessed with our idea and all we could think was how to make this work

We started with very low finances and worked extremely hard, tried all possible permutation and combination to make our venture work, few ideas worked and a few didn"t, every failure was a new learning and next time we tried harder with a different strategy.

There came a time that we actually thought maybe our venture will work out because we were proving ourselves, more work lead us to more operational challenges, which we somehow managed initially. But like most failed star-up there comes a roadblock from which one can"t recover. As a team, we all tried our best it felt like we"re literally pushing against the tides every day. Handling failure for me was not easy, it was not only about financial ruin, but I was utterly embarrassed and frustrated

It was the scariest time in my life; imagine your entire identity you worked towards has shattered. My mourning period was the longest and most excruciating; but my life changed when I accepted it and decided to move on. Sounds like a bad break up, I guess it was for me, I loved and was obsessed with my work.

It took me some time to realize that my life is not limited to one failed startup; my dreams and aspirations are much bigger and greater to get bogged down so easily. And YVO has been instrumental to help me realize I was fortunate enough to have a support system, for many their startups is do or die

Just as I was trying to recover and collect my pieces, I had given myself some time off to travel, spent time with family and friends. During that time, one of the evening with friends, we started discussing issues related to India and various NGO"s that was the starting point of Young Volunteers Organization YVO, none of us anticipated than that a casual discussion would lead to something so extraordinary. Started with 6 people to have crossed the benchmark of 300 volunteers, who supports various causes by mere monthly donation of Rs.300 on a recurring basis. Isn"t this amazing! I am not here to talk about what have we done to help others grow, but to talk about how helping others helped me figure out my own life and helped me see the world from a broader perspective

For once in my life I stopped worrying about me and my problems instead started focusing on how I can help to improve someone else life. YVO offered me the tools and platform to work with communities and individuals to help implement change. As one of the active member I got an opportunity to offer my insight, support and advocacy to build the frameworks for change. It has allowed me to delve deeper and help develop a deeper practice of self-reflection, which helped me realize my life goals and helped me move on from my failures. Social work has brought this awareness into how I live my life and decision I make. It has changed me as a person I have become more active, engaged, and compassionate. YVO has offered a lens with which I see things from a holistic perspective

Thanks to YVO I have truly understood how small acts can lead to a big impact. Being part of YVO has completely altered my definition of success and I have realized that one"s success should not be measured only in monetary terms, but also by one"s virtues. That could be by bringing positive difference or value addition in the lives of any of your loved ones, organisation, customer, nation, environment, and animals. If you have managed to do that, you are a successful human being