Chapter 1, Scene 1: The Cafe

Chapter 1, Scene 1: The Cafe

As I mentioned in my last post, I am embarking on a new project this year, which is to write a book on a journey to product/market fit. The twist that I have added to this, is to make it read more like a story rather than purely a book with tactical advice and strategies. I personally think this should make it a more interesting read, as also help improve and showcase my writing skills.

I will provide periodic updates on my blog from the book as I write it. People who have subscribed to my mailing list for this book will get a front row seat and get regular updates and chapters as they are released. If you are interested please sign up with the link below.

Journey to Product/Market Fit Inside Group

I have written a first draft of the opening scene for my book! It would be great to get feedback and suggestions on whether this sets the stage adequately. I look forward to your thoughts.


I feel numb. Thoughts race through my mind, faster than I can hold on to any of them. I have sat and spent much time in this very cafe, sipping the same lattes countless number of times, all the while thinking about today. The day I would hand in my resignation and finally start pursuing the idea and dream that has been consuming my days and nights for the last 6 months. Suddenly it all seems unreal and for the first time in my life I feel unsure about my future. Everything up to this point of time has fortunately worked out exactly as I have planned for it to but I am now standing on uncharted territory!

From graduating top of my class at one of the top colleges in London, to being employed and promoted rapidly to become a senior marketing manager at one of the worlds largest FMCG companies, in such a short span of time has been a great ride and I could palpably visualize the next 10 – 20 years of my life on this trajectory, if I had stayed the course!

I have however been going through a continuous internal dialogue with myself, repeatedly asking myself whether this was truly the sum of all that I really wanted for myself. Conflicting advice from various quarters compounded my confusion even further and gradually caused an intense level of internal frustration, bringing me to this point today!

The point where, instead of taking a path that was well paved and on course, to the one I find myself at this moment, with little or no visibility into what my tomorrows will bring. I pick up my phone and dial James to tell him the news. James, a good and trusted friend runs a small web development setup and over the last couple of years I have seen him go from a single person outfit to a team of 8 people.

“It’s done!” I say to him. Even to myself I sound dramatically like someone out of a movie after committing a dubious deed…a sense of accomplishment with a cautious undertone.

Without a moment’s hesitation James reaction is, “Congratulations, we should definitely celebrate this weekend”! I feel elated at the thought of entering a whole new world here and having someone understand and embrace the action I have taken! My parents and my friends at work have certainly not been on the same page with me on this and have thought that this was a passing phase, one I would be able to get over!

We decide to meet at an event for entrepreneurs later this week. This phone call has not only been comforting but suddenly makes things a lot more real for me. There is no turning back now. I have taken this plunge and consciously closed some doors…in the hope and dream that I would now have to work towards having other doors start opening for me.

I leave the cafe with mixed emotions. I need to get myself together before I meet everyone over the weekend…

2 Comments Chapter 1, Scene 1: The Cafe

  1. steve

    this seems like the book “The Goal” by Goldratt, it was very good way to get the point across in an entertaining storyline. so this may do well. i hope the book goes into the psychological issues underlying the protaganist.
    * Why does he want to be an Entrepreneur?
    * How does he view his role in the world to go from a worker to a leader?
    * What makes him think he can succeed where others have not?
    * What does he feel he can do right, where others have done wrong, or have not even considered doing what he wants to do?
    * How does he handle the difference between his idea and the response of the world?
    * How does he deal with lack of success, when others are getting all the praise for something that doesn’t even come close to the important work he is trying to effect?
    * How does he persist and overcome roadblocks to achieve his goal?

  2. Usman Sheikh

    Thank you for the comment and feedback Steve. Just got “The Goal” on my Kindle, will be interesting to see the parallels.

    The psychological issues fascinate me as well and was one of the reasons I chose the storyline format. Doing some research on storyline development and hopefully all subscribers will be getting first chapters delivered to their email sometime this month.

    I look forward to getting your feedback and thoughts along the way. Thank you!

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