First thing you should know before you continue reading; there’s no such Rocket science or some Theorem or Algebraic Formula to become an Entrepreneur. Each and every Entrepreneur we know is different from the other. There are similarities between Entrepreneurs and we will walk through those in continuation with this article. Before we discuss about those similarities, please take a pause for a few seconds and list your favorite top 10 Entrepreneurs…..
Most of us look at Steve Jobs(Apple), Bill Gates(Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg(Facebook), Larry Page and Sergey Brin(Google), Jeff Bezos(Amazon), Narayan Murthy(Infosys), Azim Premji(Wipro), Lakshmi Niwas Mittal ( Arcelor Mittal Steel) & Dhirubhai Ambani ( Reliance ).
Now if you try to compare qualities of Mark Zuckerberg and Dhirubhai Ambani, it would be extremely difficult to identify similarities between both. Every Entrepreneur evolves with his own Success model and continues to purify his thought process with experience. Mark’s employees treat him like a friend, while Dhirubhai’s employees treated him like an old-timer Boss. A New Generation Entrepreneur has to play a friendly role with his young team, while an old timer had his own harsh ways of getting things done. Steve Jobs played a role of a Mentor for his Team and motivated them all the time to do something innovative, while Larry and Sergey themselves did all the innovative coding and research in the initial few years. Every Entrepreneur has his own success formula, but few things are common amongst all, which we will review in the other half of this write-up.
When I started my Business, I had no clue of what I would be after 3 – 5 years. Dreams were always there at the back of my mind, but the Road was never visible in the beginning. The raw material I had with me to become an Entrepreneur was my Engineering Degree and the knowledge I got from Engineering, positive thinking and motivation that I accumulated by reading good books like “You can Win” or “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people” and Rock Solid support that came from my Father and Mother to do something different from the rest. I had this belief from my college days that I was a good leader and I could lead people in the right direction. Leadership was my passion right from the school days, but I never wanted to become a Politician nor did I want people to vote for me and make me an Elected Leader. Things are extremely difficult in the initial days of your Entrepreneurship, as you are not aware of what all is there within you and what is your core expertise.
Every new customer I got for my “Outsourced Hosting Support” Business, gave me enough boost to work hard for 18 hours a day. I always kept doors of my brain open to grab any new opportunity that came towards me. Most of the startups fail because they don’t create or accept opportunities which come towards them.
Few principles which I followed right from the beginning have helped me to come so far:-
- Honesty is the best Policy Always be as honest as you can while communicating with the potential customers or your existing customers. Successful people never trust dishonest people. startup Entrepreneurs tend to become dishonest due to their inexperience and fear of losing. Only fearless people can be honest. Customers love to stick to an organization lead by a fearless leader and your staff will also stick to their job if they are convinced about your honesty and fearless attitude.
- Accept the Challenges Never hesitate to accept any challenging work, take the challenge and think about the execution after you accept the challenge. Human brain is always inclined towards rejecting a challenging opportunity as soon as it comes, but one should make it a habit of forcing their mind to accept the challenging opportunity.
- Work to Serve your people Don’t think about reaping the fruits right from the day one, let your new staff get the maximum benefits from your initial growth and evolving Leadership. This move in the initial days will help you to retain those good people for very long.
- Make Mistakes, but don’t repeat Learn from Mistakes, but never repeat those mistakes. Allow your staff to experiment and make mistakes, but tell them firmly that you won’t allow them to repeat mistakes. An old timer Boss may not allow his staff to do anything innovative on their own, which stops the overall growth of the organization. Promoting innovative thinking has minor risks involved, but taking calculated risks and allowing your people to play within that circle is alright. Some parents these days stop their children from experimenting, they tend to become over protective about their children, such fearful or protective thinking can never allow their children to become Entrepreneurs.
- Punish others only if you would do the same to yourself Punish others only for their repetitive mistakes, for which you would punish yourself. Don’t be rude and punish people unnecessarily. Harsh and arrogant behavior with the Staff promotes negativity within the organization and innovative thinking or growth cannot happen in an organization having negative minds.
- Technical, Sales and Marketing Skills are must Sales and Marketing Skills are extremely important in the initial days. Technical knowledge of your field is must, but your Finance related knowledge has to improve within couple of years’ time for sustenance and growth of your Business. An Entrepreneur is the one within the organization who is good in each and every department within the organization. It can be Sales & Marketing, Design and Development, Billing, Accounts, Customer Service or Technical Support.
- SWOT Analysis of your Business Model Research and regular analysis of your Business model is extremely important. If you foresee any Weakness in your business model or Threat for your Business model in the future, then look for diversification options. Plan for the diversification simultaneously and take decisions. Convince your people about the decision you have taken for their better future and growth. Don’t force your people to blindly follow you, make them aware of your plans and allow them to come up with their questions. Only allow those Employees to be around you who can dare to question you.
- Sailing in the Dead Sea will never make you a good Sailor Every Entrepreneur has to go through multiple bad patches during his Entrepreneurship, so give your best during such bad times to sustain and also to continue with the growth. Always cherish the lessons you learn during such bad times. Lessons which you will learn during the bad times will help you to reap fruits when the sun shines.
- Communication and Good understanding with your customers Maintaining Good relation with your customers and having regular communication with them is extremely important. Same thing is must while managing your Staff as well. Miss-communication always results in misunderstanding and which in turn makes a major impact on your Business.
- Pain of Discipline is nothing like the Pain of disappointment it is painful to work for hours and hours without moving from your computer or to prepare an important quote for your potential customer or answer a 30 pre-sales question sheet sent by a potential customer; but the benefits you will reap after putting the efforts will make you forget all the pain you had to take. For me, it has been more painful to have lost a good customer or having lost an opportunity to get a good customer, so hesitation for hard work has never been on my cards.
- 99% people fail when they are 99% close to the Target Giving up when the going gets tough is the easiest option preferred by common people. If you have been fortunate to watch the 2 best Wimbledon Tennis matches between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer that have made History, then you would have easily managed to figure out how tough things are at the top level. Either you chose to compete like Rafa or Federer or give-up and live a common Man’s life. Finishing skill and winning a tough match in the end is the common skill amongst Entrepreneurs and most successful Sportsmen.
To be a New Generation Entrepreneur, you will need to study success of all types of Entrepreneurs and adapt some of their skills. Following one single Entrepreneur completely can never make you successful. You have to come up with your own Success Formula to become an Entrepreneur.
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