Entrepreneurship is the latest buzz word and most sought after tag today. Most of us here, at some point of time, have tried to become an Entrepreneur. To make things easier aspiring entrepreneurs or even experienced ones, here is all about Secrets of Successful Entrepreneur.
Before crash landing to the secrets, it is important to understand the concepts and principles it operates on. This is going to be a long article, but completely worth it.
Who is an Entrepreneur?
By definition, “An Entrepreneur is a person who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards”. If we take some effort and try to understand the meaning of the statement, we can better understand this profession.
It obviously means that one has to start his/her own business but that’s not all. It clearly mentions that there are risks and rewards. And, the owner is liable for both. Most of the people aspiring to become an Entrepreneur often ignores the later. They see big dreams of what if they succeed. Little attention they give to the fact that what if they fail.
Entrepreneurship versus Business
Honestly speaking, there is a very fine line between them. And a layman may not be able to see this difference and appreciate it. But, it is very important for us to know how an Entrepreneur is different from Business Person.
From my experience of being an entrepreneur, I believe that the only difference between an entrepreneur and a business person is MINDSET.
Confused? Let me explain
Every business or venture has a desired outcome. Now it can vary and depends upon number of factors such as revenue, profits, culture, value addition, etc. But the way in which management works to achieve these outcomes is what differentiates a business person from an entrepreneur.
Let’s take an example of each. (The Sweet Shop)
Business Person : He/She will be more concerned about sales & profits, staff management, quality of products, etc. Achieving these daily targets will make him/her satisfied and this will repeat everyday.
Entrepreneur : He/She will be more concerned about branding, expansion, customer satisfaction, etc in addition to factors mentioned in case of Business Person. Achieving daily targets will make him/her feel rewarded and motivated for further growth tomorrow.
Does this means Business Person is a negative concept?
Not at all!
Every entrepreneur is a business person but every business person may not be an entrepreneur. Therefore, Entrepreneur = Business Person + 1.
This “+1” is the mindset we talked about in the previous section.
Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs
Here are 7 secrets based on my and my colleagues’ experiences
Have a purpose
This may not be specific to entrepreneurs but I’ve seen many doing this mistake.
Entrepreneurship is not about huge profits and luxurious lifestyle only. Yes they do come as a part of the package but if this is the only reason for starting your business, I’m afraid people will quit when challenges come in their way. A simple thought “I’ll earn money doing something else”, will be good enough to tear down all efforts, resources and the business.
Therefore, instead have a purpose. It may not always have to be a great favor to society or a cause. It can be something as simple as “I really enjoy doing this” or “This has huge potential in future and I can be comfortable learning and doing this”.
Some people, like Elon Musk has a vision for humanity and Ritesh Agarwal has a solution to a problem. But not every entrepreneur needs to have big, unique and different ideas. (More on this in next section)
Therefore, find a purpose of doing something. Don’t do it because everyone else is doing it.
One can earn decent salary and live a very good life. Not all entrepreneurs earn a lot! Choose wisely.
Successful entrepreneurs know their business inside out. They definitely do know everything in this world but they definitely know everything about their business.
Therefore, finding a business niche which you understand is important. Although it is true that no one can be master of all trade and therefore team building comes into play, but at least one should be knowing something of everything and specific of one thing.
This type of personality is called V-Shape personality and is most suitable for entrepreneurs.
Now, finding business niche can be challenging and takes a good amount of time. But every business does not need to be something new, unique or out of the box. It can be anything. Even if it is being done by thousands, an entrepreneur can find a different way of doing it, if required and viable.
Please note that doing something differently or doing something completely new is not going to confirm your business success. Market demand also has to be considered.
To conclude, a business idea can be anything, “New Idea” or “Old Idea in New Way”, it has to meet market demand.
Example : We can become successful entrepreneur by selling Cow Milk. Vision & Mindset matters!
Perfection is the Enemy of Progress in Action
“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70 percent of the information you wish you had” – Jeff Bezos (CEO & Founder, Amazon.com)
I have seen few of my colleagues making 100 plans but never executing one. Be it a study plan, business plan or any other goal oriented plans in the life. This is because we fear to fail. Little do we understand that anticipated failures and calculated risks are important for growth.
No matter how smart we are and how hard we try, we can never perfect anything just by planning and thinking about anything. Because we cannot anticipate everything. We need to take action, collect feedback, implement the changes and re-take actions. This is the path to close-to perfection.
Absolute perfection is a myth.
Therefore, start taking actions. Every plan is perfect if it’s taking care of minimum requirements and viability. Otherwise, you may also end up making a “Perfect Business Plan” which does not exist. And probably, you will never start your business.
I can debate on this all day.
A successful entrepreneur is confident of his/her decisions.
At the same time they have fear. They anticipate the worst case scenario and know the outcomes of their decisions. And that’s what I call Anticipated Fear. A person claiming to be absolutely fearless is either lying or has never done anything significant.
A confident person without fear is probably over confident. Avoid it!
Before taking any decision, analyse the pros and cons of it. If you are OK with the worst case scenario, then you have taken a calculated risk and your decision will give you confidence to continue further.
Don’t put all eggs in one basket
It is strange that we learn this in our childhood but still fail to apply it in life.
In an entrepreneurs’ life, there is a risk.
Risk of things not working out which is very natural. Therefore, until an idea hits the success trajectory, one should always try different things and distribute their resources wisely among them. Success of 1/10 ideas is more probable than 1/1. Basics of probability.
Therefore, always plan and look for different options to work on. Don’t let your ego overtake your wisdom. The goal is the become an entrepreneur. Not an entrepreneur in ABC niche.
If I have INR 1,00,000/- as my business budget, I will probably try 5 different ideas, each having a budget of INR 15,000/-. The remaining INR 25,000/- is my emergency fund.
Time to Quit!
It is as important to know when to quit as it is to know how and what to do.
I have seen many colleagues being emotional about their venture. They do not feel like quitting a venture even if it is non profitable and they’re on the verge of being collapsed.
A successful entrepreneur will always have a PLAN to know how much they can push themselves for their business. Be it mentally, physically, emotionally or financially.
Let’s be practical. We have a family to feed and a life to live. Our business cannot be everything for us.
Have a Quit Plan even before starting your business. You’ll work much efficiently. Trust Me!
Tell me honestly! How many of us feel that we can learn and do everything on our own.
I’m not challenging anyone’s capability here. But the point is, why should we?
Working in a team or being a solo performer is different thing. But knowing to build a team that delivers is what makes a person successful entrepreneur and a business successful.
Whenever there is problem, having a team working on it is always better than going all alone. Therefore, if you’re thinking of becoming an Entrepreneur, learn the art of getting the right person work for you.
Initially, one may argue that they cannot pay more employees due to financial constraints. How about making them your partners? If you have a mindset and vision, people will trust it. Offer them a share of your organisation and let them work for you.
Always remember, an employee will as your working hours and paychecks amount. A partner will ask you works to be done and revenue. Choose wisely!
Being an Entrepreneur is exciting, rewarding and challenging. One should definitely try doing this once, if they wish to. But always remember few points,
- There is no comparison between Job and Business. Not all jobs are bad and not all businesses are successful.
- Always do it for a reason. Reason can be anything which keeps you going. Avoid temptations.
- Plan it well, know your limits and take actions. Planning to perfection is myth.
I would love to know your opinions on this and will keep updating this.
Few start-ups in my friend circle. You can follow them, read Blogs and interact!