Ananya Birla (my favourite musician ever wrote a beautiful article about her struggles. I noticed the editors left out a few minor changes in their last round so I did them for her) Her original link is at the bottom.
I never really felt like I fitted in at school. That’s mostly because any school available for my education was smaller than my dog Poofy’s Monte-Carlo holiday kennel. I wrote the words ‘misfit’, and even ‘failure’ in my diary, because I knew they’d come in handy to throw at random at Miss Malini’s salivating PR team once I buy my social media following in the future. I didn’t comfortably fit into certain boxes or categories, because knowing that my Puhpas’s company’s net worth of forty-five billion dollars in 2015 would usually send any of my commoner friends into a coronary breakdown and because breaking the rules is a luxury I can buy from the change left in my pilates track pants, understanding my privilege and not harping on about how ‘I’ve worked hard’ never really made sense to me.
But as I’ve grown up I found that being a Forbes frequenter have served me well. I always felt compelled to shake things up, to take the road less travelled, you know – because I can reach there in my private Jet giving Ramu Kaka (my personal pilot) a three minute notice. And I believe a lot of entrepreneurs go through the same thing because it’s amazing being tone deaf and blind; saying absolutely whatever comes to the tip of my mind.
I would never advocate being reckless, but I think it’s time we acknowledge that there is power and value in strategically swimming against the tide, especially when you understand I AM THE TIDE (Please recite this in the same Leviathanish way Vader does when he says ‘I am your father’) Breaking the “rules” (who wrote those, anyway? lulz conglomerates like daddy’s) is sometimes the most productive thing you can do for manifesting your vision because you will fail magnificently and will need to sell your O+ blood so you can afford instant noodles, whilst I will glide through the air with the same clinical efficiency as a peregrine falcon in a dive bomb)
Here, I decided to share the rules I broke and why you should think about breaking them too (though this can be summed up with a single ‘Cuz I can afford to, bitch’)
“Never work with friends or family” – because your family and friends are also poor.
What do you want from those who work with you in accomplishing your goals: loyalty, honest communication and shared passions? DO YOU HAVE A BILLION DOLLARS THO? NO?!?!? SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SLAVE AWAY YOU EEKIE COMMONER. Ugh.
I’ve found that the candidness, dedication, and the shared passions I have with my closest crew of friends has made them ideal colleagues. I understand that all of them are lying scumbag yes-men because if anyone had heard the travesty of a first song I produced (which I hear they regularly use now in both Guantanamo Bay and ISIS as a persuasive torture technique), they would have threatened me with harakiri before letting me publish it. They get me, they get what I’m trying to create (lol) – mostly a parody of what would happen if baboons hit random keys on a piano if they’re starved for a week. When one of us succeeds (me) – we all succeed (also me). When it comes to my music, I need to be comfortable enough to expose myself creatively, to be ‘vulnerable’- a term I have heard of in the movie Love Actually and always wanted to experience but was shocked when Harrods said they don’t sell it wholesale. The trust I have with my friends (and the eight digits that sing a Opera-esque melody when I swipe my black platinum debit card) make them the ideal people to help with my musical career. I forget sometimes that my name brought me to open for Coldplay whilst musicians who have sold their spleens to fund one final trip to Mood Indigo hoping they’d get noticed watched in utter shock, willing to blind themselves with a pitchfork than seeing Devraj Sanyal hiccup his way through calling me a musician online.
“Follow the crowd, don’t fight the current trends”
When I had the idea for Svatantra, the public in India didn’t think very much of the microfinance industry. Microfinance means loaning small amounts of money at fair and affordable rates so rural women with little to spare can grow their businesses. But there were a lot of organisations around going by the name of ‘microfinance‘, who loaned money at extortionate rates. That tainted the industry’s reputation. But I believed in the potential benefits of microfinance – when it’s done RIGHT. Though I am doing fantastic work here, I feel like I forget hundreds of entrepreneurs who have had similar ideas have been asked to brand their backsides with a ‘I will say yes to every clause save sucking dick’ to get a measly round of funding allocated in return for a gigantic chunk of the business and one of horcruxes they had to make to get through it.
When it comes to any business, you’re playing the long game. I come up with these gems of utterly obvious advice watching Suits and reruns of The Wire in my jacuzzi made from the remains of the Lighthouse of Alexandria (purana wala, haan) Five years on, Svatantra is thriving and so are many of the women who benefited from our approach to microfinance. Our customers speak for themselves, and their success is shifting the way people view microfinance. (TBH, Svatantra is pretty cool and it has helped a ton of women, so credit where it’s due well done AB. I’d never want to belittle her efforts with mental health or micro financing female entrepreneurs . She’s done amazing work there. Let’s move on to stuff I don’t feel bad taking a dig at)
”Don’t dream too big” – Teri aukat thodi hi hai.
I was obsessed with music ever since I was young. But even when I was at college, performing regularly and writing my own material, I was still scared to tell other people that this was what I wanted to do with my life because they would have rightly fallen on their knees and begged me to leave the guitar at Furtados. It’s so important to realise that life is short and in order to be happy we must do what we’re really passionate about, especially when I, unlike y’all can afford to resurrect Jimi Hendrix for a remedial tutorial in how to tune a guitar. My dream is to be the first Indian artist to break into the commercial international music arena. Has it been done before? No. Does that mean it’s impossible to buy? Certainly not! Do you know what is possible in a paltry four million dollars? I’ll tell you. I can host my OWN FUCKING NH7 and NOT RELY ON A COMEDY COLLECTIVE TO LAUNCH FUTURE HEADLINING ACTS VIA YOUTUBE. BTW ON A SIDE NOTE HONESTLY, HOW MANY TIMES WILL RAGHU DIXIT DANCE TO LOKADA KADAJI BEFORE THE PUNE CROWD GETS BORED.
When I decided to set up Svatantra, I was just 17 and people told me I was dreaming., because that’s an age when normal people hallucinate into oblivion looking at the EMI’s on college loans.
Only you know if you have the fortitude and inner resources (See how I played this card) to withstand failure or criticism. In my case my AMEX card acts like a ‘protego’ like shield so I have never experienced either. I hear several Muslims went to Haj specially to beg the prophet, peace be upon him to never have me produce a song again. That’s when I unleashed ‘Meant to Be’ – the song that made the Gallagher brothers unite and Key and Peele split.
Bots are beginning to respond really positively to my work, my last song went platinum in India via the hard work put in by teenagers employed by clickfarms in Tuvalu and we had loads of radio plays and streams from around the world (other farms in Mozambique, Djibouti, Mauritius, etc).
When you begin writing a song it can be intimidating, just you and a blank page and in my case absolutely not the slightest mirage of talent. But amazing producers across the world stepped forward to work with me (I wonder why sometimes, it baffles me), from Atlanta to Oslo, and now I have four songs coming out early next year that…let me just say if you found my last two songs bad – this lot is going to make those bad boys look like Gimme Shelter and Yellow Submarine.
“Work day and night. Your vision should completely consume you.”
Now see you guys, I have a brunch reservation waiting for me at the new Noma and Rene Redzepi’s going to personally feed me hand fished molluscs covered with truffle oil. Work hard and all okay? Love you bye xoxo
This guest post was edited for posterity by Sumedh Natu and is an article of satire)
Here’s the original – http://www.mscareergirl.com/2018/01/01/the-rules-that-its-okay-to-break/