Eight Things We Learn Along the Way
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Turning entrepreneurs is singularly the most exciting thing a professional can ever do. It has its fair share of ups, downs, manoeuvring sideways and moments of ducking under and jumping over obstacles. Not a day passes by when one doesn’t feel the despair of rushing headlong into a stone wall, and each day also brings with it the euphoria of creating something new. Here is some learning that might help other entrepreneurs in the making.
Believing in Your Dreams and Your Own Capacity to Achieve Them: An entrepreneur has to be slightly audacious in terms of self-belief. The ability to overcome obstacles stems from the belief that an entrepreneur has what it takes to achieve vaulted targets.
Opinions Matter – But Decisions are Yours, The Consequences Too: We often use the word ‘ownership’ loosely, until the moment when the reality of it hits home. While it is necessary to take into account different, often divergent, opinions and thoughts, ownership means taking the final decision on things and having the fortitude to face the consequences of every such decision.
Instilling Self-Belief in the Team is a Game Changer: Every entrepreneur starts with the dream of a crack team and is then grounded by the reality of recruitment. Every entrepreneur goes through a lot of soul-searching in qualifying what constitutes the ‘ideal candidate’ only to realise that like most ideal things that is a myth. The best employee is one who believes in oneself and backs oneself to fulfil the organisation’s objectives. As an entrepreneur, enabling people to believe in their own abilities is the greatest value one can add.
Identifying People’s Traits and Talents, and Putting Them to Best Use: Entrepreneurs end up working with people who go far beyond what their CV’s reveal. Content writers have turned into illustrators and accountants into scriptwriters during the course of a start-up’s journey. It is an entrepreneur’s duty to invest time and effort to identify traits and talents – which when nurtured gives happier employees and better output.
One Size Never Fits All: It is imperative to work as a team but respect the fact that each individual is unique in terms of values and motivations. Their socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, upbringing and influences are different and so, the same formula is never applicable to everyone. Every conversation in a mentoring session needs to be customized to strike the right chord.
Never Presume Anything: As dreamers, entrepreneurs go in with lofty thoughts and a ton of presumptions about people, processes and how things will be done. Over time it is seen that the only way to be effective is to be specific and objective in every decision and every action. It is important to teach oneself to not be overwhelmed by presumptions.
Nothing is Isolated: On a day to day basis, a lot of decisions are made which will affect the outcome of the venture – and often not in the most obvious ways. Working counter-intuitively works great in some cases while being instinctive help at times. A holistic, 360-degree world view of every decision and its implications is an absolute necessity for an entrepreneur.