Oh! what a year it’s been. Having spent over a decade building, scaling, and exiting multiple startups, I was subjected to the popular notion of hustle hard and work tirelessly. Either you work 100 hours a week or you forget about success coming your way.
The hustle mindset made me put myself in the shoes of a racehorse. I put on a pair of blinders
that forced me to only look forward towards the finish line.
And I did just one thing; I sprinted. I sprinted without a break. According to the hustle mindset, taking a break guaranteed to finish last.
I took my break.
In August 2018, a media exclusive read, “ItzCash’s Bhavik Vasa resigns as Chief Growth Officer”.
And oh! what a year it’s been.
I could hardly have imagined my time off will turn into such an interesting journey. The last one year has challenged my entire notion of “being on a break”.
While I had spent the larger part of the last 10 years playing the one role of a business person, this one year had me playing a multitude of roles. In this past year, I’ve been a father, learner, mentor, seeker, and of course, creator.
A big reason for my break was me embracing fatherhood. Only a few days in and I could say
with full confidence that a paternity “break” is anything but a break. It’s a task that required me
to learn so many new skills right from changing diapers to training my very unmusical vocal cords to sing lullabies.
And that was my first learning from my break – the importance of reskilling.
In careers that span decades, most of us put on a pair of blinders, develop a one-track vision,
and just sprint. We’re so occupied with hustling every day that we seep into monotonous
roles, leaving us no time to pick up new skills.
It was only when I took a break did I get the time and opportunity to learn new skills.
My break also afforded me the luxury of taking off my blinders. I have a peripheral vision now.
And that meant I started seeing more of what was around me; new skills to learn, new people
to meet, new opportunities to explore.
Reskilling and expanding my horizons have been two of the three key outcomes of taking a break.
The third key outcome was, in fact, realising that this wasn’t a break at all. It was a pause.
Now while I’ve already established that I’m a terrible singer, I’m going to turn to music to explain to you the difference between a mere break and a pause.
Imagine your favourite song. Mine’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ by Frank Sinatra. Now try imagining it without the pauses. The song ends up being nothing but a continuous stream of different sounds that make no sense.
What’s missing? It’s the pauses. The pauses in between every note are what turn sounds into melodies. The pauses are as important as the notes. However, as I write this I can’t help but hope that your favourite song isn’t Breathless by Shankar Mahadevan.
So this has been my pause. A year where I learnt how to transition between doing and just being.
Over the last year, I did a lot of things – performed a series of actions, met with a great bunch of people across genres of creativity and business, and put into motion an ambitious and exciting passion project.
I also took my pauses and learned how to be still and play my notes with the correct timing. This is how I’ve chosen to create my tunes.
And it’s in the pauses that I’ve found my greatest moments of inspiration and learning.
I’ve achieved a sense of balance in the moves I make. Learning to take pauses has been a learning in hustling smart rather than hustling hard.
Pause and re-calibrate. That’s how I perfected my hustle. Equipped with the knack of knowing when to pause and when to play a note. I am all re-charged up now and am looking forward to bringing newer possibilities and creations to the world.