Who is a leader? We meet all kinds of leaders in our lives. Clergymen, educators, politicians, managers, employers, philanthropists, the head of the household–there are so many leaders that we meet, know and are led by. Each of these leaders has a journey, a goal and a destination.
When I first started my business in 2019, I remember thinking, “This is the start of something new, for me.” It started with a decision that I made at the London Book Fair to start my own business.
At that point, I had been a teacher for several years. I was already a leader. I led the classroom. I led the education of my students. My students, themselves, were from different backgrounds and walks of life. My job as their teacher was to lead their hearts, lead their minds, and their conscience.
I worked largely with younger people–teenagers. I had students from other ages as well; toddlers, infants, young children, adults and the elderly. Depending on where they were in terms of ability, experience and knowledge, I would try to guide them on their educational journey. Because fundamentally, that is what a leader is.
A guide that says, “Go here! Don’t go there!”. And why do they tell you this? Because they’ve been there and done that, right?
Despite the joy that teaching brought me, it also brought a lot of emotional baggage–and a lot of it was not my own. Families would come to you to mediate. A lot of times you would have to tell them things that they didn’t want to hear. And then they would go on and just be whoever they were. They would remain together and you were the outside party that had come in very momentarily. You didn’t really factor into their lives. Apart from a ‘thank you for all that you’ve done for me’ or sometimes even a ‘you’re terrible.’
You learn to contend with abuse from both your students and their parents. But there were so many beautiful things as well. The love that I felt, the love that was given me. The notes of thanks and gratitude and vice versa. It was a fulfilling career in more ways than one.
If there have been any moments in my life where I have experienced true happiness, it was in that profession. Yet, I left it. Why?
It’s hard to say why we make the decisions that we do in the moment in time that we make them.
So I embarked on the journey of starting and building a business centred around the power of the word. A new adventure was born, reborn and you could even say, resurrected.
I am Dipa Sanatani and I am The Merchant of Stories.