Mentor on a Journey

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The week before the big TiEcon 2013 conference for entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley, our startup MentorCloud invited Sashi Chimala to talk about mentoring from his perspective as a successful long-time serial entrepreneur.  I was asked to interview Sashi and present his long experience in both entrepreneurship and mentoring in the company blog. The result is “Journey with a Purpose”, published on 8 May 2013.  I decided to present Sashi’s journey in a series of stories like this…

While an undergraduate in Engineering at JNT University, he created a mail-order cartoon art school. The school was advertised in magazines, offering ten lessons by mail, with exercises critiqued by Sashi and a certificate of completion at the end. The school only ran for a year and served one hundred students (it took much more effort than he had thought) but lead to a profound experience.

Three years after Sashi closed down his cartooning school, when he was at a conference, a severely disabled man approached him. Although the man was impaired in all of his limbs and could only move with difficulty, he had diligently completed the cartooning school lessons and came to that conference specifically to thank Sashi for teaching him to be a successful cartoonist. Sashi never met his student or knew of his disability until that day. Sashi’s only regret is that he wished he had saved his cartooning lesson material!

This remarkable conversation brought home to Sashi how entrepreneurship was not just about making money and having fun but could at the same time be an opportunity to help impact lives. That student showed him the purpose of business in a new dimension.

Usually my composition projects are either creative writing, teaching, or for business purposes. Sashi’s was an interesting combination of these. I plan to write more journey stories as opportunities permit.

Image Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson

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