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Entrepreneurship: The True Process of Learning Don't think in terms of incremental growth (10per cent, 20per cent), think in terms of multiples of growth (2X, 3X and so on)

By Hareesh Tibrewala

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There are people who learn while working and the key to become perfect is to practice and this is how one can become perfect. Journey as an entrepreneur is a process of self-teaching. A few tips that can help you learn and become perfect while working are as follows.

  1. There is no Substitute For Hard Work

Like someone once said, success is 1per cent inspiration and 99per cent perspiration. Our modern-day business construct, derived from western thinking, talks about work-life balance. For an entrepreneur this concept of work-life balance is humbug. There are only two phases in the life of an entrepreneur: work and sleep. When you are not working, you are sleeping. And when you are not sleeping, you are working. Everything else is a bonus. Family vacations, Sunday outings, friends and parties…everything is a bonus. This is not to say that family and me-time is not important. It is just that we are not able to see them as two distinct things. "work" and "life" are both continuums and both run side by side.

2. Don't be Shy of Knocking on Every Door

As a budding entrepreneur one will need a lot of help and guidance. And quite often this help and guidance are available in our immediate circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances. Don't be hesitant to ask for that help. Knock every door that you can. Some will help you, some won't. Leverage those who are able to assist…....and you will see a lot of valuable inputs come your way.

3. Focus on Creating Value, Not on Valuation

Many times we get carried away by the concept of valuation. And in our anxiety to raise capital or get investment into the business, we may window dress the company or take decisions that make the business look good in the short term but hurt it is in the long-term. As entrepreneurs, we should focus on creating value. Create something that is valuable, and sooner or later…… will get a valuation for the same.

4. Business Targets Cannot be Missed

Be very demanding of yourself. Sometimes when we miss our targets, as entrepreneurs we start rationalizing the same (bad economy, bad monsoon etc.). Honestly, none of these factors is relevant for start-ups or small businesses. And because we don't have a "boss" we are able to get away with this rationalization. we need to be demanding of ourselves and ensure that timelines and targets don't get missed

5. Senior Talent Is Very Critical

The best investment one can make is not in technology or in marketing but in good quality senior talent. Good professional talent brings in experience, expertise, sagaciousness as well as a sounding board that can help in crucial decision making.

6. Perfection, but not at Cost of Growth

While it is good to be a perfectionist, the cost of perfection increases exponentially. Which means that it the cost to do perfect 70per cent right is X, then the cost to do it 90per cent perfect is 2X and 100per cent perfect is 5X. Doing something 90per cent perfect is just fine. Focus the balance time on business growth and strategic thinking.

7. Be Ambitious

Nothing worthwhile in life was ever achieved without ambition. One must have a strong ambition and willing to invest in hard work to bring it to life. Don't think in terms of incremental growth (10per cent, 20per cent etc). Think in terms of multiples of growth (2X, 3X and so on). Good strategy, constant lookout for opportunities and hard work will enable this kind of growth

Hareesh Tibrewala

Joint CEO, Mirum India (Formerly Social Wavelength)

Hareesh Tibrewala is a serial entrepreneur. In 1997 he co-founded, one of India’s first ecommerce ventures. Perhaps he was way ahead of his times, since ecommerce and Internet were both in their nascent stages in India. He exited this business in 2007 without much financial success. After spending a couple of years in corporate India, he co-founded a social media agency Social Wavelength (now rebranded as Mirum) in 2009. Leveraging all the learnings from his previous entrepreneurial venture, he quickly grew Social Wavelength into one of India’s premier social media agency. In 2014, WPP, world’s largest communication company, bought a controlling stake in Social Wavelength. Hareesh continues to run the agency as Managing Director and Joint CEO.

Hareesh has co-authored a book “If I Had To Do It Again”, which is the story of and is a guide for budding and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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