Some Start-up Don’ts that may later Haunt.

nailbites started for one reason — We had to. None of us knew the word entrepreneur or anything about it when we started off. Everything was a first-hand experience and so today, after 7 years and counting, what I have learned is by way of doing it — there was no other way I would have ever figured it out.

We enjoyed every process as much as it gruelled our senses and questioned our abilities. It gave us a perspective, both about working and living, which otherwise would have taken another 10 years to learn and experience.

Year on year, we would work hard on getting ourselves right and giving our best to being the best. It was about putting our learning into action and assessing our own ways of doing by analyzing it inch by inch. There are some ‘don’ts’ I can not resist to share, no matter how many entrepreneurs have already warned you of them.

  • Never ever talk, walk or act to impress anyone. Be your very self while running a business.

This helps you escape any false image which you may not live up to in the future and end up screwing things later. It’s better to be what you are and behave honestly and try improving your very self on the way instead of misleading by being someone that you are not. Believe me, it does affect your business as well.

  • Never consider yourself as the small player. Aim for the bigger move and work towards it from day One.

This is a common syndrome where we find ourselves dealing way too humbly and giving up on bigger opportunities for which we think the time has not yet arrived. Quoting way too less, agreeing on non-mutual terms, focusing on a single client who is the biggest payer of all, etc would all lead to misery at the end. You are here to make it big. Behave accordingly.

  • Never hide your ambitions, aims, goals. Talk about them as much as possible. Only if you do believe in them.

Hiding your next big goal, being secretive above your objective is not going to take you anywhere. It’s mostly due to the insecurity that thrives in us. Talking to people about your idea and being convincing about it is more courageous than starting up. So take it head on. Meet people and talk about it in full length. You will be surprised to see how people react to it and help you out without you even asking for it. You get to dig out resources that way.

  • Never confide in words. They matter only when sufficed with actions.

A client often finds new players (start-ups) the best people to work with (for maximum output in minimum fee). Big promises, big talks, lots of good words would come your way. Take them all in, but don’t let them ruin your business sense. Excel sheets demand numbers, not words. Stay focused and keep giving your best and for those who want you to work for free or for a meagre fee, tell them: “I like you, but I love my business more”.

  • Never let a key problem take a back seat, just because other parts of the machinery (read company) are working fine.

Start ups have this tendency of being excited about one particular aspect of the company, and keeping some clearly visible issues under dim lights. Sometimes a whole year goes by without that issue being resolved. But I bet, you do feel that irk that gives you a discomfort feeling. Pick it, face it, resolve it and then go ahead with your plans. A small issue can break down the whole machinery down the line. Never wait.

  • How your employees work ‘with’ you is more important than how they work ‘for’ you.

How tough managing your team could be is evident from the existence of so many HR souls on this planet. To keep things simple, interact with your employees and work together during the start and finish of any project… let’s keep the middle part to be lead by them. Behave human and lead them from the front. Pointing fingers is worst. Resolving any issue together is what works. It’s a ‘team’ you see!

  • Do mistakes, but never repeat them.

It’s not uncommon to have a series of mistakes to your credit during your initial years. The thing to be wary about is to ignore them and commit them again. You missed a deadline and lost a client? Ok, cool! But did you just did that with another one, because you thought it won’t matter this time? Not cool.

  • Identify your strength and work on your weakness.

Hate handling people? Work on it. Love delegating work? Stay good at it!

You have any Don’ts to share? Please do!
You can reach me at
Twitter: @anamikajoshi

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