Do you dream of not just working for yourself, but also of building a billion dollar organization? If so, here are the six points to keep in mind as you walk the entrepreneurial path:
1) Believe in Yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will? Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey (till you find a Partner) – forming the idea alone, launching the company alone and taking your first step alone in the market can be very hard. So, it’s very important for you to believe in yourself, your capabilities and your instincts. Always remember, Titanic was built by professionals. Google and Apple were started by Amateurs.
In 2014, I tried launching my eCommerce company with my limited personal savings. I faced innumerable three-dimensional challenges, hurdles, obstacles and roadblocks, but I still kept on going despite bruises and blemishes in my hands and knees, meeting farmers, partners and potential customers all alone under the scorching heat of 44 degree Celsius. I still remember the day when I walked on the paddy fields and met the farmers to buy their production for my company.
It’s THE BEST job I have ever taken up in my life – a job that gave me tremendous amount of learning, experience and unforgettable moments. I was in LOVE with it; it was my life. It was an enjoyment that woke me up every night, mid-night, only to think about the execution; it was a fever that never came down. I was sleepless for nights with excitement and festivity; a loving force that drove me everyday …
So, follow your passion, follow your heart. It’s not money, it’s not success, but it’s about serving your customers.
(3) Embracing Failures
This is another part of the game. Be ready for it. “Failure is not the end, but a stepping stone to success.” It’s the failure that teaches you lessons. So, embrace it and move on.
During my entrepreneurial voyage, there were many times when my heart and mind collided with each other. My mind said, “Stop it! There is no road ahead”, but my heart said “Go on, you can do it. It’s just a matter of few darker days”. Today, when I look back, I recall the invaluable learnings and experiences I gained. There is no trade-off to such a journey. So, enjoy the ride, because in the end, you have nothing to lose.
(4) Be Pragmatic
While being ambitious and confident is good, it’s essential to keep your feet on the ground. Pragmatism helps a lot in avoiding costly mistakes. After launching the company successfully, it’s easy to get carried away with numbers. But hold on! Do not spread your arms like wildfire. It’s important to prove your idea locally and then expand globally. Try to work with few customers initially and listen to their feedback. Do your homework with thorough market analysis and keep a tap on the global economic situation.
While raising funds from investors, do not show a hockey stick growth.
(5) Social Capital
One of your most important resources! Your social capital – your network of people – will help you walk the path of success. In an organization, social networking is not just about co-ordination among peers, seniors and directs, but also their communication, trust and job satisfaction. It’s them who will offer you their shoulder during your hard times. So, always honor, respect and appreciate their contribution.
Outside your company, your customers, suppliers, distribution channels, friends and family offer social networking. They can offer you leads/projects which you may not have even imagined. So, it’s crucial to maintain healthy relationships with all the stakeholders at all times.
(6) Building your Team
Do not try to do everything on your own. Build a team with utmost care because it’s the team that will help you build your organization; that will help you build a unique identity in front of your customers, partners and society. Hire talents for their passion first, and then for their skills. Let the position be open (even if it needs to be filled immediately) if you do not find a good match, because the cost of hiring a wrong talent is very high and can create irreparable damages. Do not invest in costly resources; you have a limited budget.
Choose your Board Members, Investors, Employees, Partners and your Customers with a lot of thought. When you start, you are small with limited resources and capabilities. So, look at performing a good marriage. There has to be a cohesion and bond among the players so that you can thrive for excellence with one organizational goal in mind.
Entrepreneurship is like giving birth to a child and raising it to an adult. You will witness different facets of it as you steer towards your success. So, enjoy the journey! Because there is NO job better than building a company on your own!