All Entrepreneurs go through a journey and have several anecdotes to narrate . Here are six :
1. Have Patience All Things Are Difficult Before They Become Easy:
In our earlier days, I was not able to achieve much productivity from my team. We soon realized that this was the most basic differentiator between us. If you expect the same productivity and leadership, your each team member could have become an entrepreneur. Once this was clear we realized one has to nurture the team with patience. Yes, one can build a loyal, dedicated team of achievers through patience and perseverance and then difficult things begin to look easy.
2. Roller Coaster Ride: After 12 years I still feel I can expect any news (good or bad)- Emotional turmoils are a plenty. I stepped into my office and I saw celebrations going on. We had just bagged a large project, which would fetch us high revenue. The next instance we got this mail stating that our funding will be stopped for another assignment, mid-course because of fund crunch with the client!
One has to be prepared with plan A, B, C, D….. The show must go on! There is no formula there is no mantra. You know best this can come through instinct or gut feeling once you have these Roller Coaster Rides.
3. Our Culture Is What Defines Us: It’s an integral part of the organization, the way we work, and the way we approach and strategize.Develop a culture and the way of working at the work place. There was this one time when we were surrounded by local leaders (more of miscreants) in a remote location because one of our employee misdeeds. Our well-wishers requested us not to visit the site because of the grave situation. If we back-out, it will create a loss of credibility in the region. We braved it listened to all issues, sacked the erring team-members, refused discussion with the anti-social elements. We took a stand and were able to win back the credibility of our customers.
4. Survival of The Fittest: Other companies might be your competitors but you can still be good friends with them. They are like your neighbors better have them as your friends than enemies. There are times when one business can complement the other. Positivity will enhance positivity. “ Anyone who imagines they can work alone winds up surrounded by nothing but rivals, without companions. The fact is none ascends alone” Lance Armstrong, Those who are the fittest will survive any which way!
5. Where There Is A Will There Is A Way: When we started we were the pioneers in our sector. Then came the large Corporates & Educational Institutions with financial backing and muscle power pitching for the same business. We neither had financial backing nor business experience or any legacy to boast off. All we had was the insight of a nascent industry…..today the industry has taken shape and we are happy to be a part of this growth. We faltered made mistakes; experimented with several models, and while doing so learnt so much more.
We looked for funding from Banks/ Investors; several times we were about to sign the term sheet. But last minute it was stalled. Over the years we were happy not to get into hasty investments. Finance can be the biggest hurdle for an entrepreneur. But once you are successful you will have investors/ banks queuing up. Till then finance yourself through long-term clients!Where there is a will there is a way!
6. Work For The Big Picture And Not Ego
In our 11th year of operation, we wanted to expand our board and management team. After a long search, we managed to get good people on-board. Since the positions were for senior most we were ready to give the designations held by founders of the company. It was essential to bring in other senior professionals who could head the organization and we saw a perfect fit. “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants. “- David Ogilvy.