Yes! When people come to me asking for a suggestion because they want to start an enterprise I always respond: NO!, DON’T DO IT!
I strongly believe in my response and in the next minutes, I’ll explain to you why!
First of all, I’m proudly an entrepreneur (CEO of OaCP), and during my experience, I learned some basic rules of the games:
1) It is not a job, it is a lifestyle.
You cannot schedule a working time as 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM — Meal — 2:30 PMto 5:00 PM, you wake up as an entrepreneur, you have your breakfast as an entrepreneur you go to bed as an entrepreneur.
I know that it seems to exclude your family and friends from the equation but, because it is a lifestyle, there is a natural convergence between family and job.
2) 2 ears one mouth:
Did you reach your Ph.D. as the best of your cohort? Yes?…. remember (as my math professor said) you are the lemon and life is a juicer….
Be conscious that your knowledge, even if you are the best in your field of interest, is only a micro-fraction of the world knowledge.
It means that you don’t have to feel stupid, but yo must be ready to be open-minded and a better listener than a speaker.
Every single person does you will meet in your daily life, will have something that you ignore, so: ask them, be ready to listen to their experience (it will be better in a completely different field). Remeber that a single person could be your life-changer.
3) “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
You cannot let anything into the hands of faith, even if it is a forecast, you must plan how to reach your aims.
People know that in 3 or 5 years the world will not be the same and (sometimes) your product and your technology could be replaced by something better, cheaper, more efficient but the point is another: USE YOUR F..KING BRAIN!
If you plan, and you fail, you could easily understand where is the failure, and try to not repeat the mistake.
If you plan, you can pivot to something quite different, before crushing the Iceberg. And as Douglas MacArthur said: “We are not retreating — we are advancing in another Direction”
4) Be fast!
You must act as fast as you can (it is possible if you plan all the actions).
You need to be as big as possible before the bigger fish start to notice that you are swimming in the same lake.
Only in that case, probably, it could decide that it easier to acquire you than to eat you!
5) Read The Divine Comedy.
I believe that it was the manifesto of entrepreneurship:
You must go deep into a hell infernal if you want to rise up to the heaven.
(To receive investors money give you not only a positive cash flow but also a lot of responsibility and you must be prepared to give more than 1000% as the same as you are close to failing).
6) Read Ayn Rand’ Atlas Shrugged.
It was written in 1957 but it is a good example of a perfect forecast (I’m from Italy….. and this is happening now).
That means: avoid countries with a huge amount of regulations because “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion — when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing — when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors — when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you — when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice — you may know that your society is doomed.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, p. 413; Francisco d’Anconia to Bertram Scudder