“The creative entrepreneur walks a different path from the technology entrepreneur. She/he needs to wear two hats. The first is the designer/writer/artist hat to define the creative vision of their product or service. The second is the business hat to understand the dynamics of their chosen marketplace and sell it to as many people as possible.”
I rest my hands at middle C. I remember that much. Now what shall I do? Is it like riding a bike? A skill that one apparently never forgets. I have memories of people who hadn’t touched a piano in years and it suddenly coming back to them like a flash of inspiration. As I gazed at the keys of my piano, I didn’t feel inspired at all. I felt a numb nothing.
The spirit that resides in this body longs to create. It draws its inspiration from an unseen hand that pervades the universe.
My new book is out. It’s the second book I’ve written and it’s non fiction. It’s called The Merchant of Stories and it follows my journey as a creative entrepreneur–a voyage where I juggle the dual hats of living in this world as a creative as well as navigating the marketplace in which my work is published and distributed.
The Kinokuniya flagship store is located on Orchard Road–Singapore’s iconic shopping district. I’ve always found the entrance to the bookstore rather modest and inconspicuous. The moment I walk in, however, I am always spellbound by the impressive 33,000 sq. ft. space that houses an extensive collection of more than 400,000 titles from all over the world.
There’s a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes as I do what it takes to keep the whole machine functioning as a business. The corporate world has a reputation for being cold and heartless–for treating people like cogs in a machine and extracting value from them for the purpose of profit. Is the capitalist system really as toxic as it is made out to be?
What is my ideal day? Like all innocuous questions, it was easy to ask and difficult to answer. I think of all the things I love doing – like travelling, eating out and hiking – all of which are not possible right now because of the Coronavirus.
Apprentice-style learn-by-doing is a trademark of Gujarati businesses. I had learnt under a master from the day I emerged from the womb. Business school felt trivial and theoretical in comparison. During my first year, I gave my lecturers a hard time by misbehaving and sleeping in class. My good grades came as a surprise to them. Who needs school when life is our best teacher?
Sometimes it takes a serious blast from the past to make you realise how far you’ve come from where you first started. Two nights ago, I unexpectedly found myself in Singapore’s Holland Village. I hadn’t been there in years – not since I was an accounting student. It was a popular date spot and I had many flashbacks of my life in my late teens.
Astrology had been a part of our life since time immemorial. While some tend to put their entire faith upon it, leaving everything to their fate and hoping destiny to drive their chariot of life; some deny it completely and set upon building their own path through determination, hard work and perseverance. But there are very few rare souls like author Dipa Sanatani who can combine the two paths into a single entity: Astrology with Allegory, Fate with Freewill, Destiny with Hard Work.