TOP 10 ENTREPRENEURSHIP INSIGHTS
A number of people I know personally would love to have all the advantages of being an entrepreneur but also have the security that one gets as a salaried professional. This is just like saying “I want to go to heaven but I don’t want to die.” “Security” and “Entrepreneurship” rarely go hand in hand. Having worked professionally for over 11 years and then 11 years as an entrepreneur ,given below are my top 10 entrepreneurship insights for a professional who is just about to get into business or an entrepreneur venturing into a new business.
1) Know your why? — You got to know why you are doing what you are doing. Do you have your One Page to Success document for your business in place? If I had to do it all over again then this would have been my start point. I would not look at chasing revenue until this step is done. What is your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) that excites you and drives you to be in business? Knowing this will make your journey enjoyable.
2) The Mindset — This one applies more to the first time entrepreneur. The switch from being a professional to an entrepreneur is not like a switch that goes on and off. It is not like black and white. You have to go through the grey area before the switch finally happens.
3) 1000 Day Cycle — You will not get rich soon. It will take you 1000 days to set your business. It is important to remember though that you stay in the same business for 1000 days. Sometimes you will wonder if delayed gratification is getting a little too delayed. But stay put. “Patience” needs to become your middle name.
4) Lifestyle — This one also is for the first time entrepreneur. You have heard this from enough people but let me tell you once again that you will have to curb your lifestyle. Of course, logically it is because you are not making the same amount as you were as a professional. The real reason though is to train your mind to be frugal. It goes a long way in being a start-up entrepreneur.
5) Focus — If you are a seasoned professional or a multi skilled entrepreneur, you are good at so many things that you believe that anything you take, you could turnaround. As a new venture entrepreneur, that could be your biggest downfall. Focus on your core strength and build that strong. Once that is done the other areas you touch can be turned into gold as well.
6) Take Baby Steps — Small victories under your belt are very important. A regular leather belt from “Dharavi” (Asia’s biggest slum) which can hold your pants tight is of bigger value than a “Gucci” belt that can’t hold your pants. Sure, the “Gucci” belt looks good but is not useful to you. So good to have big plans and big ideas but start by getting smaller things done.
7 )Your Savings Account is not your Current Account — This one is a killer one for the first time entrepreneur. You are so used to operating your savings account (since as a corporate professional that is the only account you have!!!) that post becoming an entrepreneur you often keep pouring money from your savings account into your business current account to keep your business afloat. This is a cardinal sin. Don’t do it.
8) Know when to cut your losses — Your business needs cash-flow and your business needs profitability. If this does not happen then stop that business. No point living in denial. Give yourself a reasonable time to do that and then make that decision. It doesn’t mean you stop being in business. It just means that you stop being in “That” business.
9) Fail forward — Know that you will have failures. You might wonder what people will say if you fail. You will question yourself if your “Pride” will take a beating. No one can steal your pride; You can only lose it. So just move on and learn from the experience and apply it somewhere else.
10) You are doing it for yourself and your family and not for anyone else — This should be the guiding post at any point you start wondering what anyone else is saying about you and your business. For every one person who stands by you there will be a 100 who will pull you down. When you hear them saying “All is Hell”, you got to know deep inside that it indicates “All is Well”.
Entrepreneurship is fun! Entrepreneurship is Freedom! And no one ever said that Freedom came without a Price!