Back in 2000, the dot-com boom had gripped me too. I was 27 back then. And like all guys my age, I too was on the lookout for a big idea – an idea that would be my passport to success, riches and fame.  Bingo, I said to myself, when finally a thought rolled over in my head. 

Hemant, what do you think about the idea? I was snapped out of my reverie by the question shot at me by my partner. That’s a good idea, I replied. However, we should discuss this in detail. What are your doubts, he asked. 

Meeting over, I moved back to my desk thinking about those presentations that I made in the year 2000 to the VCs about my million-dollar idea. Lack of details and maybe conviction in what I wanted to build resulted in the VCs sowing seeds of doubt in my head. And doubts multiply at a rapid pace! 

And it was this very experience that I summarized in an entire paragraph on how doubts can derail your plans in my book. But my partner succinctly put that entire paragraph in just one line!  

Doubts masquerade as bandits ready to rob you off your dreams. 

 When I read the line, I was filled with an emotion I can’t really describe. It was the same emotion that stayed with me for years after giving up on my dot-com project to contend with the practicalities of life. 

And all these years, I’ve never had the courage to go close to that emotion but I can never forget the lessons it has taught me.

  1.  You never speak your real doubts. They are way too complicated for someone else to comprehend
  2. You are the only one listening to your real doubts and they make home in your mind and heart
  3. Finally, they are the real bandits covering their face while robbing you so you can never real pin point which particular doubt robbed you 

Questions are springboards. Asking the right ones help you soar higher. However, when the same questions pave way for the doubts, they become quicksand. Remember the same old sinking feeling? I doubt who wouldn’t! 🙂


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