Running A Startup Is Like Being In A Twisted Martin Scorsese Thriller
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So this is life….sipping a chilled drink by the beach on a Sunday afternoon, while listening to your favourite song on your mobile, that hasn’t rang the whole day. No worry of Monday that is coming in next few hours…ah this is the entrepreneurial life!
But then you realise your transformation from a corporate employee to an entrepreneur hasn’t been easy and it has made you learn & unlearn lot of things in the process:
You have to sometimes take the plunge before you even start walking:
For me my dad has been the biggest influence in my life to take the entrepreneurial plunge. Knowingly or unknowingly I caught on his entrepreneurial streak from early age. My Dad started from scratch with zero backing. What I have learnt from my Dad’s experience is Anyone can make more money with money, art is to make money when you have no money.
And before I knew it, I had to take a plunge into my entrepreneurial journey in 2010. This helped me when I was working as an employee too as I never considered it as just a job but as my own ventures & setting up operations for them. Hence, jumping into entrepreneurship was inevitable.
Mental toughness is the most important trait while building a business:
When I joined the real estate business from being a senior management executive in the growing digital industry, it took me from meeting marketing heads, CEOs and industry stalwarts to dealing with police, government officials, politicians, local goons to so called social workers on daily basis. It was my determination that helped me handle pressure of running an unorganised business in an unprofessional industry, raise capital in a cash crunch economy and handle complex people who are cut throat in their approach to get you out of business everyday.
Building a business is like running a marathon ultimately it is not about the speed but endurance:
Many entrepreneurs realise this sooner than later,in their journey that maybe working in a job was better than doing your own thing. Because building your own business takes a lot out of you. And that’s when the burn out happens and founders sway away from their focus. Passion wears off & what is required underneath is perseverance to achieve. Don’t just love what you are doing but make sure you don’t give up till it is done.
Bigger the problem your product is solving bigger your business will turn out to be:
Many entrepreneurs usually miss out on this key question: What is the need gap the product or service is solving? When I recently co-founded www.beckfriends.com - the idea was to simplify sending anything anywhere in the world through technology. All of us in the team know that we are trying to solve a big problem. I strongly believe for an entrepreneur his ambition is the fuel to achieve success.
Being flexible in the execution of the business plan is the best strategy for building your business:
9 out of 10 times a successful startup is only executing a failed concept in a better way. Your approach to solving the problem is the key. In case of our startup we are trying to solve the problem of simplifying sending anything anywhere by building a peer-to-peer network which allows users send things economically & earn as they travel.
Frugality is an important ingredient in the recipe of success:
This stands true even when you make it big with your business or when your business is bootstrapped. The more frugal you are with your investor’s money, the more confidence you will gain from the community. It is good to be under staffed & hire people who are happy to go beyond their defined profile to learn. A secret sauce for a startup is finding the need gap & filling it with profitability.
As I recount these entrepreneurial twists and turns in my head, I get back to sipping my chilled drink by the beach and struggling to complete the pending presentation in the next few hours before getting hit by the chaos of the start of the coming week. Realising one last thing: Being your own boss isn’t easy!