Entrepreneurship is the new craze and many youngsters, as well as experienced professionals, are now exploring ways to have their own start-ups. The government is encouraging start-ups in a big way and we have seen an exponential growth in the number of new ventures opening every day.
To ensure your enterprise thrives grows and does not die a premature death, read these ten commandments for entrepreneurs that will help you scale your venture towards success and fame!
Get Ready for Mess: As the saying is in the army, all the plans fail as the boots hit the ground. In spite of your best plans, things will go wrong. And that too, in a big way. The supplier that you counted upon will disappoint you.
That employee that you trusted so much, won’t turn up for work. The customer who promised you your first project, will feign helplessness. The agency that promised you miracles, will turn out to be unreliable. Be ready for all of this and more. Why? Because you are passionate about your idea and ‘come what may’, you have decided to succeed. Persist. At the end of the mess, lies beauty. Hold on and beauty will be yours. Remember, the process of creating ‘beauty’ is always, always and always ‘A MESSY AFFAIR’.
Discipline: However basic it may sound, discipline is the most important trait any entrepreneur must incorporate in his/her daily life. Discipline inspires confidence. Discipline ensures you do ‘first things first’ and you get it ‘first time right’. In the face of chaos, your discipline keeps things in control. Discipline ensures you are not carried away by distractions and you stay focused on things that matter the most.
Meetings: Be a master on conducting meetings. Much time is wasted on unnecessary meetings. Meetings that should not take more than 15 minutes are stretched to hours. I prefer loads of, what we call as, ‘standing meetings’. Conduct the meeting with everyone standing. You will be surprised to find, there is efficiency and efficacy in standing meetings. Meetings will be short, to-the-point and productive. Isn’t that the objective of having the meetings? By the way, on a lighter note, I do not recommend such meetings with clients! Did you know Jeff Bezos conducts silent meetings. Silent meetings? Yeah! What does that mean? Well, that is a topic for another day.
Relax: Know what relaxes you and do that often. It is extremely important that you stay relaxed. A frantic, tensed, stressed, or a panicked YOU, is the last thing your business needs. Your best happens when you are relaxed. As the CEO of your organisation, you are certainly going to work long hours and you need to be an ACE in getting the best out of people and yourself. That you can do, only when you are relaxed. Relax more than you do. Your business depends on that to thrive.
Leadership and Being a Team Player: There is a misconception that ‘getting things done’ at any cost, must be your strength for you to succeed. GAP International, the world’s leading research firm, found that only 8% CEOs of the Fortune 500 believe, their best come out with the mindset of ‘getting things done’.
Exceptional entrepreneurs are people who make people believe in themselves through appreciation, motivation, providing support systems and developing people. When they do that, people respond brilliantly. They stretch themselves. They stand up to be counted. They rally around when chips are down. They surprise everyone with their industriousness. They solve more than what was expected from them. All this is done with devotion and a sense of ownership. Now, this is what I call as true leadership. It is not about giving people the ultimatum of ‘perform or perish’. It is about helping people to rise and shine. That is how you create team players.
Find a Mentor: One of the compulsory things that I suggest to every entrepreneur is to find a mentor. Small tips go a long way in helping an entrepreneur from making terrible yet avoidable mistakes. The experiences of a mentor gives perspectives that an entrepreneur would have otherwise missed. These perspectives may sometimes be the difference between failure and success. Finally, why re-invent the wheel? Just go and learn how to make the wheel. It is easier, faster and efficient too. That is what having a Mentor can do for you. You need not re-invent the wheel as your Mentor has already done that. Who is the right mentor?
- Those who have done what you wish to do
- Those who love to develop others.
- Those who have interest in your business area
Ability to Take Feedback: No mother likes to be told that she has an ugly baby. Entrepreneurs are possessive of their ideas. Subconsciously they crave for validations much more than they seeking feedback. However, feedbacks will play a huge role in ‘developing’ your business idea.
I cannot over emphasise the need to take feedbacks in the right spirit. Be open to them. Warning! Be selective in implementing feedbacks. Carefully and dispassionately, analyse the feedbacks, and only what is appropriate, must be acted upon. One must let go of their ego and take constructive feedback in order to rectify errors and avoid foreseen pitfalls. On a lighter note, I often say, the issue is in the word itself. Feedback makes one think, it will take them BACK. I recommend people to change the word feedback to FEEDFRONT in their mental dictionary. Maybe then, it will become easier to accept it.
Networking: Imagine, a spider with one strand vs imagine the spider with its web. What do you think will be more effective for the spider in catching its prey? Similarly, working alone vs having a network that works with you, is an important asset for any entrepreneur. Meeting new people and establishing a mutually beneficial relationship, adds much value to any venture. Having said this, keep the following points in mind. It takes time to network. It takes the effort to network. It takes genuinity to network. Networking helps you in leapfrogging. Networking helps you in making things happen through a phone call that miles of emails can never achieve. There are some essential rules for networking. One of them being, give much more than you wish to take.
Research: Curiosity killed the cat, but in case of a business venture, the absence of curiosity kills the business. Researching about the industry and competition gives valuable insights that assist in designing future plans and avoiding unnecessary losses. Here is a solid guideline to your research. Research on what you are solving and not what you are selling !!! Research on whom can you help best rather than how can you persuade people through appropriately coloured tabs and attractive fonts and glitzy prints. You will be glad you followed the above advice.
Hard Working: There is absolutely no shortcut to hard work and every successful businessman will always give anecdotes of sleepless nights and pre-dawn work schedules. After all, it takes blood, sweat, luck and dedication to become successful in any endeavour. Get ready to tighten your belts, get ready for a big pot of coffee, forget about work-life balance until you are standing on your feet, get ready to burn the midnight oil. What will make all this possible is, your ability to enjoy it as it happens? So, have a music system around. Create a great playlist for yourself. Groove a little, crack jokes while things are chaotic, and work harder than everybody you have ever known.
Bonus Point: I promised 10 but I am giving 11. Make this as a rule of your enterprise. Always give more than you promised. Your customers will love you for that. Don’t you agree? Need I say more?
Best wishes always. May the butterfly be your inspiration – for beauty, elegance, contribution and for the need to change and transform yourself. Without that, success and fame will be miles away. With that success and fame is only a question of time.
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