3 Things All Young Entrepreneurs Must Know
I was in my third year of engineering when I realised I wanted to be an entrepreneur. These aspirations had a lasting impact on my mind so much so that even when I was studying at the London School of Economics for my Masters, my mind kept going to how efficaciously technology was being put to use as an enabler for education and how it is important to initiate something like this in the education space in India.
That was years ago. I am now an entrepreneur after having started India's first hybrid ed-tech tutoring platform for school students and I can only say that the journey has been nothing short of exhilarating. As a youngster who set up a startup company that has today created a niche for itself, I can say I have seen days with extreme thrills as well as ones that have had all the power to force me into depression. No two days have ever been the same.
But I can say for sure that each day has come with its set of conundrums, triumphs, and most importantly learnings. Yes, a lot of the learnings are from the business perspective and have a lot to do with market research, product development, business model etc. But a majority of them have been ones that have helped me develop and feel empowered as a human being. And, that for me is one of the most beautiful aspects of being an entrepreneur. Sometimes, when I ask myself what I have achieved by being an entrepreneur, I get an answer like one of these:
Bow down to change because it will take you places: I have realised that it is very important to be agile and flexible to change if you are an entrepreneur. This agility should be reflected not only in business models but also in one's thought process and mindset. This is something that I learned early on in my journey. My company's product has undergone several iterations and has evolved into its current shape. Although it is very easy to cling on to what we create after putting in lots of effort, it is important to change it quickly based on customer demands and trends of a particular time.
Success does not come overnight: There are days that give you the down and out feeling before a moment of success. There are tens of people ridiculing you before you come across one who appreciates you. The idea is to keep going on with dedication and focus and ultimately success will be achieved. Often failures are not due to failure of the business model or product but because the team couldn't persevere till the day of success.
Lead your team but with empathy: As a founder, it is essential to be empathetic towards your team. After all, they are putting in sweat and time to realize your dream, which has now become their dream. One must understand that they will also have good days and bad days. While it is very important to appreciate their good work, it is equally important to share their grief/worries, help them get over it and get back to normal. This is essential for the overall success of a venture.
It's not easy to start a company from scratch and yet it gives you an adrenaline rush every time you achieve that goal you set! I have always believed that the journey is more important than the destination itself because it often wields greater fulfilment.