#7 Powerful Learnings Of An Entrepreneur Dad Passed Down To An Entrepreneur Son
Having an entrepreneur father can teach one so many things that become core pillars of not only the way an empire is built, but also how it shapes you up as a human being.
This Sunday was Father's Day. While I always believed a lot of these annual events celebrating this Day or that Day are just marketing gimmicks by large organisations, this particular one did put me into a deeply thoughtful mode.
Having an entrepreneur father can teach one so many things that become core pillars of not only the way an empire is built, but also how it shapes you up as a human being. Leaving a cushy job to start a business of your own is at times not a choice, but an obligation. Why so? Well, it’s usually when you have some really huge shoes to fill and those shoes are often those of your father’s.
At first, there aren’t many reasons to jump into this world of uncertainty and risk called “Entrepreneurship”. But, having seen a father do far more audacious things is one such push that anyone watching him would take the plunge. While there’s an exceptionally high bar to scale, read along the 7 Powerful Learnings that will help every entrepreneur thrive.
1. "Build an outstanding team"
No one - be it an entrepreneur, a president, an athlete or a scientist - has been successful without a team. Find people who believe in your vision, people who are brilliant at what they do, people who inspire you, people with character. Provide them an environment to flourish and a mission. Truly value their contributions. Invest in them in every way. Your success will be the sum of their individual successes.
2. "Take risks"
Like Jeff Bezos says, "If there is a 10% chance of a 100X payout, you should take that bet every time." By definition, entrepreneurship is risky business. Follow your intuition and take risks if you have conviction. Playing safe will only get you so far. What would you regret more - failure or not trying?
3. "Be patient"
Nothing worth talking about is ever built overnight. A company is built brick by brick, from the ground up. Entrepreneurship is long durations of self doubt and anxiety riddled with short durations of ecstasy, especially in the beginning. Be patient - with your people, your partners, and your customers. If you are at it long enough with genuine efforts in the right direction, you will maximise your chances of success in the long term.
4. "Raising capital is important"
Be financially prudent. It almost always takes more time to raise capital than you think - so plan for it. Running out of money is a disastrous reason for not achieving your dream.
5. "Discuss your vision and goals every single day"
There is nothing more powerful than a purpose that is bigger than the individual. An entrepreneur needs to define it, timeline it, and remind each person who is playing a role in the collective achievement of that purpose every single day. The more it gets underlined in everyday dialogue, the more real it becomes for everyone.
6. "Never repeat mistakes"
Learn from mistakes. Try and find out the root causes for the mistake. Discuss them openly without blaming people or getting upset with consequences. But, be firm in learning from them. Mistakes are costly and not repeating them matters.
7. "Imagine success"
Imagine what it would feel like to achieve your dreams. Imagine the sound of the IPO bell. Happy investors clapping for you. 1 million customers. 5000 employees. Close your eyes and imagine it to every last detail. Visualising success is an exceptionally powerful motivator.
An entrepreneur's life is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires dedication, courage and the will to keep going when everything hurts. Practicing these tenets can ideally change your life and the only hope is that every entrepreneur can live by such learning and achieve tremendous triumph.
An NIT Nagpur Computer Science 2009 and IIM Lucknow 2011 alumni and after 4 years at McKinsey & Co; Shantanu ventured into the world of entrepreneurship with Bombay Shaving Company. He is passionate about building an organization that solves for real needs, disrupts a traditional industry through technology.