An entrepreneur faces many challenges while setting up a business. To deal with such challenges, tell yourself that I am not going to lose heart and won’t let others control my activities, I am not going to let the world decide who I am, or how good I am.
Whenever you go against the tide or stop being conventional, people will try to discourage you. At that time, you need to be courageous and have faith in yourself. Let your work speak for you. There are many ways of communication. You need to be confident, self-assured while communicating with someone; right body language and a good voice is always an advantage. Another advice, it is better to work within your means. I am personally against venture capitalists.
New age leaders or entrepreneurs should follow the ‘theory of effectuation’; conceptually it is the process of identifying opportunities and new ventures. Entrepreneur and managers think very differently. Managers are the causal thinkers. They set a goal and aggregate the resources required to get the work done. Meanwhile, first generation entrepreneurs are effectual reasoners.
An effectual reasoner evaluates his resources, and finds out ways to do things with those resources. While starting a business, you should not be worried about the top line or the bottom line; only focus on breaking it even. Unlike managers, entrepreneurs are not worried about market shares, profit or loss. They are like ‘aaj ka din kaisa raha’- how was today.
Learn from your failure
I have not been successful in every venture that I had started. Learn from your mistake and put your ego aside. When you go to a customer, be rational. Also never ever forget your first customer, because he gives you trust along with his money.
Keep your ego aside
Learn to put your ego aside. Entrepreneurs have to be persuasive with his customers, give him something that he will find attractive. Offer him an attractive value proposition. Always give your best to the customer, and in return make a good profit. Another thing I learned from my experience is that never believe in rumours. For example, in terms of technology, if someone tells you that nothing is going to change, it will definitely change. Always use your own judgement in such cases.
Under promise and over deliver
Never ever make a promise to your customers that you can’t deliver. If you promise something to your customer but cant deliver it, you are going to lose him/her forever. Try your best to stop your instinct to assure him/her with a false promise. Instead ask him to give you more time than you require. Try to convince him with what you have and what you can offier.
I believe you form a partnership with a human being and not an organisation. It is important to build a certain relationship with your partner. I have 14 partners in about eight cities and I realized there are three rules which every entrepreneur should follow while forming a partnerships. First, prepare your dissolution deal before you prepare a partnership deal. You must know how to part ways, otherwise it can get really messy. Moreover, never enter into a partnership where you are not an equal partner. Always keep the casting vote with you, in case of dead lock, it will be helpful. People have to plan for generations ahead. If you don’t share the same vision with your partner, the partnership will not last.
If you only want to make money, then you are a businessman and not an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur should always work towards making a difference. I want to train 10,000 entrepreneurs. Till now I have managed to train only 1,000. I want to train another 9,000 before I die. Each entrepreneur will create jobs for 500 people, which will impact another 5,000. It will create medical benefits and other benefits for so many people. This is my vision.
(This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (October 2016 Issue).