Five Things I've Learned As An Entrepreneur When I ventured into the land of entrepreneurship, little did I know that the experience was going to yield profound learning that would thereafter impact every aspect of my life.

By Jawad Sajwani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

When I ventured into the land of entrepreneurship, little did I know that the experience was going to yield profound learning that would thereafter impact every aspect of my life. Before I started my own business, I had been an executive for 12 years, and while I had seen a lot of success, and there was plenty more of it on my horizon, I still felt that something was missing. I wanted to do something for myself, and by myself.

Hence, I made the decision to start a business. Now, after four years as an entrepreneur, I look back and feel a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. I'm not a millionaire yet, and I've not achieved all my goals either, but the journey has been truly amazing. Here are four things that I learned during my time as an entrepreneur, which, I hope, will be of benefit to you all as well:

1. Start Small

First of all, have faith in the idea you have for your business. Make it a small one, so that if it does fail, you can go back to it, improve it and bring about changes to your business model to make it a successful one. If, in any case, this cannot be done, then you can still pull the plug on it at a minimal loss, since it is a small venture.

2. Know Your Industry

Do your homework on the industry you are venturing into. Know your competition, and know how the industry works. Get to know what type of business models work and what do not. Having an innovative model is of no use if the industry is not ready or not willing to accept it. If you're adamant enough to stick to your model, then ensure that you have the stamina and the resources you need to run the business for a long time. These resources, be it human, financial or IT, will be the fuel that you will run on, so be prudent and have a long term plan.

3. Know Your Customers

After all, they are the ones who will buy your product or services. So, make sure you understand how they think and what would make them buy your service. Also, be prepared to tell your customers why you are better than your competition in the market.

4. Get A Mentor

Get yourself a mentor or a business coach, someone who can be there during the tough periods you may go through. And for a startup, there will be several such periods, and they will last for a long while. I might sound a bit depressing, but then again, not all businesses or business owners strike gold. Many of us struggle, and many of us quit, or have to quit. Of course, there are also proven methods to start a business—check out the book, The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries.

5. Trust Your Intuition

Your intuition, your gut feeling, is a very strong weapon that you have. Many times, it will seem to fail you, but rest assured that such experiences will provide you with valuable life lessons instead. Sometimes, no matter how much data you may have, your gut feeling will be the crucial factor in making a decision—so trust in it.

Jawad Sajwani is the co-founder of Authenticity Coaching & Consultancy, and is the first Emirati male coach to obtain Accredited Certified Coach Certification (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). As an executive and entrepreneur coach, Jawad works with individuals who want to create a sustainable focused business or a career using the Everything DiSC assessment tools as part of his one-to-one entrepreneur coaching program. His passion is to learn and to share his knowledge and experience as an executive for 17 years with a MBA from Bradford University. 

Related Topics

Starting a Business

7 Lessons I Learned From Selling a 6-Figure Blogging Business

Here are a few critical lessons from my experience building and selling a successful blogging business.


5 SEO Tips to Grow Your Small Business

Stop following SEO strategies that don't work. Discover the five essential SEO tips you need to grow your small business.

Side Hustle

He Launched His Creative Side Hustle Out of a Garage. Now It's Worth $225 Million.

Tom Humble, CXO and founder of E.C.D. Automotive Design, followed his passion for custom auto design into big business.

Money & Finance

25 Quotes About Making Money and Keeping Perspective

Success, happiness and money are intertwined but seldom interchangeable.

Growth Strategies

How Technology Affects International Trade

Technology has played a role across each of the paths in the value chain with an aim to achieve both speed and efficiency.

Money & Finance

What Investors Really Want

Forget what you <i>think</i> you know about getting start-up or expansion capital. Here's what investors are looking for.