Entrepreneurs are the future of the Indian economy. There is absolutely no doubt about the truth to that statement. Being an entrepreneur comes with its own unique set of challenges. Not just on a professional front, but on a social and personal level as well.
The challenges of being an entrepreneur in a country like India, include the old-set mentality of having the security of a steady income, which a 9 to 5 office job does provide. While many entrepreneur wannabes will scoff at the notion, there is a certain merit to the old ways, agree many successful entrepreneurs.
- Financial Stability: Take the case of Shantanu Singh, a 31 year old e-commerce entrepreneur from Bengaluru. Shantanu says that before he hit upon the idea, and even when his idea was in the last stages of fruition, he held down a corporate job. “It would stand you in good stead to remember, that your idea, however novel, isn’t going to pay your bills until it materialises.” Shantanu recommends working weekends, holidays and even late at night on your passion, while holding down a job to pay the bills.
- The question of doing something you love: Entrepreneurship gives an individual the freedom to pursue their passion. It would be prudent to remember however that your passion may not always have a market. Benjamin D’Souza is an avid biker, who wanted to pursue a career in building his own prototype electrical bike. “I found it difficult to find any takers for an electrical bike. I found it hard to believe, but eventually I did see the conventional wisdom in the marketplace and switched over instead to make precision instruments for biking enthusiasts who like modifying their own rides.” The learning from this is that there is more to your passion than just one thing that you can devote your energies to.
- Secrecy and sharing ideas: Entrepreneurs needn’t be secretive about ideas that they think can make them millionaires. Says Prem Malhotra, a successful restaurateur, “the only way to understand the viability of an idea, is to share it with folk who’ve more knowledge and experience than you do. Sometimes, when you are married to an idea, you become myopic to the inherent flaws or some aspects of the idea that may mar its execution and eventual success.” Sharing ideas and taking feedback on them is the best way to work out the kinks in your plan of executing them.
- Associate with the right people: Entrepreneurship needs to be encouraged and promoted. This also means that surrounding yourself with the right kind of people can help pay dividends. Remember that there isn’t any ‘right’ or ‘foolproof’ strategy to make it big, but there are the right kind of people to help incubate and foster your ideas and help take it to the next level altogether.
- Making it fun: We’ve often been regaled of how ‘fun’ a certain workplace is. Anything that is worth doing, is worth doing well and in a fun manner. Says Nikhil Owaisi, the founder of a travel startup, “never underestimate the value of fun. To your employees and associates it is the constant motivating factor that brings them into office every day.” Small things like a casual dress code, interesting decor and fun activities, can really inject a new dose of morale into your team.
There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur, than now. Taking charge of your own professional destiny is a gutsy and difficult thing to do, but keeping in mind the fringe benefit of being your own boss and really pursuing your passion are two things that really make it worth it.