The words no entrepreneur has ever said, “this is easy stuff”. So, what makes all of this worth it? Is there a recipe for success? I think not.
Are there certain characteristics that help? Obviously.
1. Perseverance, Discipline, Commitment
Don’t be an entrepreneur if you’ve never really been able to commit to anything. If your interests change like the weather, you have four different brilliant business ideas a day, you’ve never been to hold down a job (or a relationship), I would tread carefully. To make a business work, to make an idea fly, requires a soul crushing, mind numbing dedication and a bloody minded disposition too. It’s day after day. There is a discipline, there is no substitute for it. You are a dog after a bone.
2. An Idea That Works
I’ve heard many people say I want to be an entrepreneur or I want to be a rich entrepreneur and make loads of money. What one should want is an idea to work — entrepreneurship is an end, the means is the idea, the passion. Commit yourself to an idea, examine the idea and then be your own worst critic. Go after the idea. Fight for the idea. Make the whole universe conspire to it. A wise man once advised my business partner and me to always be on opposite sides of an idea. There is much merit in having someone play devils advocate. Otherwise – 'welcome to hell'.
3. How Is A Digipreneur Different?
Well, it's not madly different. The one problem is connectivity. It’s 24X7. It’s 24X7 and 366 days a year. You will be contacted and you will contact. Be prepared for no weekends, no public holidays, no boundaries. Also, everything is changing, just keeping up with the Facebook algorithm is task enough. There was the 20 per cent text rule, it was there and then it was gone, but not quite. There was Panda. There was Penguin. That’s what makes things exciting though. People say it’s not rocket science, but it isn’t for everyone either.
4. People Management Is The Key
Get Used To Eating Humble Pie. Lots of it. Nothing like the wrath of a client, employee or investor wronged. But people management is the key. Be good to everyone, at least attempt to be so as you need all the goodwill you can gather. A disgruntled employee will write a bad review. A disgruntled client will often spread the word. A disgruntled entrepreneur can just drink wine. Be good to your team, be good to your client and get a very large punching bag.
5. The F words — Funding and Financials!
Even the most sound business ideas need to be funded and need a solid financial plan. There are multiple examples of businesses that have bled cash or been too leveraged, and have as a result failed. Business models, conservative assumptions and lots of excel. Excel is your friend. Be ready to go through ups and downs, make sure you have a contingency plan for when the chips are down, for they most certainly will be.
Is it worth it? The jury is still out on that one.