Entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging journeys that will take you out of your comfort zone. One of the most enriching parts of this journey is the people you meet along the way.
You interact with all kinds of people when it comes to building your team, getting resources and funding, trying to find a mentor, and so on. This is especially true if you are a first-time entrepreneur. Here are five kinds of people to avoid when you are starting out as a first-time entrepreneur:
Make false promises
As a first-time entrepreneur, one tends to trust everyone due to limited knowledge and experience in all crucial areas. At this time, the entrepreneur is at his most vulnerable, and tends to give repeat chances to someone with false promises.
Whether you are building your own team, outsourcing, or raising funds, you must avoid such people so as to move according to plan and within the given budget.
Have a short-term view
This is most relevant to fund-raising. Scouting for funds is a lengthy, long-drawn exercise for a first-timer and involves meeting all sorts of investors -- from individual to institutional. Of these, few are professional enough to get back to you with a proper explanation on why they will or won’t fund you.
Some don’t respond, others keep you hanging, while some give you a positive reply, albeit with a lots of ifs and buts. There are also investors who are interested only in short-term gains and want to force you to make changes to your product/ service and business plan as per their own interests. It’s a trap, I say. Avoid such investors.
Have biased views, with little experience in given domain
These people come not only with preconceived notions, but also with an I-know-everything mindset. How do you spot them? They will either say your business plan won’t work, or they’ll say it is too easy. While a biased negative view can impact your motivation, believing how what you are doing is cakewalk can result in making you complacent. Beware.
Those with negative attitude towards risk-taking
The emotional support of family and friends keeps us going in life. The same goes for when you start a venture. And although they care for you and give you the best advice based on their knowledge and experience, they might be unable to realize and visualize what you are trying to build.
And if that happens, you must keep an emotional distance – physical distance from friends and family is not always possible -- from such people.
Yourself, when you are low:
The biggest support or hurdle in this journey of becoming an entrepreneur is your own attitude. There will be times when you feel lonely -- when others won’t be able to understand your dream, when you are unable to spend quality time with your family and friends, when you feel the financial pressure, and so on.
If this gives you the blues, it’s natural. But don’t give in to these feelings too often. Take a break from work, go for a walk, talk to someone you love, sleep over it, and start all over again. Warning: Never take a decision when you are feeling low.
(As told to Prerna Raturi)