#10 things I learnt in My Journey from Large MNC to a Startup
The first hurdle is making the transition from employee to entrepreneur and giving up a regular pay check, paid benefits, and paid vacation
This surely is an accepted fact that every employee as an individual has always wish in his heart to start his own business, nurture a brand, share & make people work on their ideas and see it flourish. Though, there is always a thin line between Real and Virtual.
Some people live their dream while others satisfy themselves believing that one day their dream might turn into reality. Some people call this finding their passion, but it’s more than that. Think about your skills, abilities and experience.
Consider what you can realistically see yourself doing for hours each day, for weeks and years. With my personal experience after 18 long years of experience in an MNC, I would actually dare to set up a company of my own along with my friends. The very idea to quit a successful career and parting away with the regularity of income gave shudders to me in the initial years. With years passing by, maybe the thrill of experimenting converted the shudders to a roller coaster experience which seems more satisfying and enjoyable post trying it out!
If I put this journey in a nutshell and jot down my experiences for all others who dream to start-up from their desk jobs, following shall be the ten major learning amongst the countless others which are worth looking up to:
1. Patience, immense patience
The first hurdle is making the transition from employee to entrepreneur and giving up a regular pay check, paid benefits, and paid vacation. All that goes off, leaves you with your untried ideas to transform into your businesses. Which anyway is not that easy, there is always and anxiety around before the commencement. Such businesses start either by celebration or by burning the midnight oil in silence, attaching few expectations to it. What we learnt is dreamers can only achieve, but patient dreamers would achieve it large! However, the road is long and weary, destination is far, but never give up.
2. Know your back-bones & Create A Good Team
We may have had hundreds of good contacts, dozens of close well-wishers and few very good all-time supporters in your years of experience in MNC. But when we start something by yourself, sacrificing all our comfort and luxuries, we get to understand the real supporters and our back-bones. If your idea seems viable then you should determine who you want on your business leadership team when you eventually start full time. Depending on your personal experience, you may need help in areas such as finance, marketing, customer service and production.
3. Hikes are for employees, Entrepreneurs look for long term growth
One should know how to secure the finance. When we try to invest the maximum of our savings in a start-up, it is evident that the next couple of years would be financially tough for us. For a small venture, this might mean saving up some money to get through the first few months but if your aspirations are a bit larger, you may need to think about how to procure venture capital or other outside investment.
One should also have a mindset that when you start your own business, there is no longer those salary eagerness, hikes and appraisals.
4. Every small thing surely does matter
When you work as an employee in a large company or MNC, expenses and disbursal are very easy to pay and handle, as the amount is reimbursed by the MNC itself. But for a Start up and from an Entrepreneur point of view the scene dissent we are bound to limit the expenses and give a close mark on cost cutting, setting up a company budget, as the initial savings of our company would help it in long run.
5. There is no department for the Entrepreneurs- We are the Accountants to the Tech-experts
In a start-up one would have to don multiple hats, sometime as a salesman, business analyst, accountant, operations manager, product architect and trouble shooter. This sometimes get tiring to manage and supervise every function, nonetheless having an insight of every business function in deep with a 360o holistic view has been a wonderful experience!
6. Micromanagement wouldn’t get you anywhere
While in the initial days, smallest of things do matter as quoted in the above two points and they even tend to pinch harder. However, it must be nailed to our mind that you should have an Eagle’s eye and you will have to gauge anything and everything happening in your company, you must create a fine line to differentiate between such ten smaller savings to one large earning!
Hiring is the key
However, it is difficult to hire satisfied workforce in this competitive environment. But at this point you have a choice. You can try to navigate this process on your own and dedicate a lot of time to find you people who have done this before and let them help you.
With time, we now understand people better and can analyse how appropriate the candidate is for the organisation and for their designation.
8. No longer in love with the desks and cabins:
The lavish cabins, desks and conference rooms are no longer a significant requirement. Today we yearn for open cabins which always welcome any employee. With a business of our own, we understand the true spirit require by a manager – where we can have our doors open to any level of silly doubts to the most imaginative ideas.
9. Seeing other perspectives:
Business teaches you to look into the other perspectives. It’s not what you wish to sell, it’s about what the customers want, it’s about what the employees and investors expect from you and when we understand this perspective, life and business seems to be sorted. However, we fail to see and understand such perspective as an employee.
10. Keeping the self-motivation mode on
The best lesson I have learn so far is- there are times when the whole world seems out of place, everything seems to be a mess, there seems no way forward, we entrepreneurs have to kick ourselves and carve a side way forward to keep going and remind ourselves that we are the one upon whom our staff strength is counting on and is looking up for inspiration and motivation.
These are few significant lessons that I have learn and I firmly believe that Knowledge are always good, to grow with time. With all issues around, the excitement of starting-up something of my own never fades and keeps me going to be a better entrepreneur! To all those who wish to quit your regular 9 to 5 job and take up something new, my only advice to you is- Do it with a plan, everything will fall in place!
Shailesh Agrawal is an IT & Finance expert with more than 22 years of industry experience. An all India 3rd rank holder in Chartered Accountancy and Company Secretary, he has an impressive knowledge and experience on a gamut of Corporate and Tax related issues.