Entrepreneurship â€“ what does it really mean to me after a career of close to two decades in journalism and running business magazines for almost 15 and meeting so many different types of entrepreneurs, besides my own tryst with business. I have identified a few traits that really define an entrepreneur â€“ some through hard knocks with reality and some through sheer passion for accomplishing a target. But what I have also understood is that becoming an entrepreneur is not everyone‘s cup of tea as is now so widely believedâ€¦ perhaps owing to the growing number of b-schools, start up angels and incubators, the idea of being your own boss among other reasons.
â€¢ Entrepreneurship is a long journey â€“ You can‘t hop on and off based on how you feel on a particular day. It is a strong commitment to an idea requiring you to constantly navigate your space with innovation and dexterity.
â€¢ Money is not the only enabling agent â€“ It is the most critical aspect of your business but money alone does not entail success. Deep pockets help, but when you have it too easy the tendency to procrastinate grows. Being compelled by challenges â€“ especially financial ones â€“ brings out real innovation. You have to be prepared for the worst eventualities like losing your house or digging into a safety nest.
â€¢ Customer is king â€“ When an entrepreneur understands this, he pretty much understands all aspects of business. It‘s not about what you like and what you think others should like. It‘s always about what the customer is willing to pay for.
Numbers matter â€“ Ultimately the only reason for business is to make profit. If you are not in it for the profit, you are not in business for the right reason.
â€¢ Attention to detail â€“ It‘s the little things that really matter. Even in our closest relationships, it‘s the finer details of how we extend ourselves that make a great relationship. Something as simple as a smile in your voice over the phone helps. If you don‘t put a hundred percent into doing something, it will show.
â€¢ Trust â€“ The team you work with on a daily basis have to be on the same page as you. They may not be as passionate but they must have discipline and the dedication to realize the goals of the company. You must also allow others to lead and make decisions and not get caught up in everyday details if you want to grow and expand. However, always check what you are putting your signature on.
â€¢ Get talked about â€“ Never push aside the idea of branding and all efforts that go into it. Even if it‘s a small business with the ability to cater to only a niche group, talk about your business, talk about your productâ€¦ use every platform available to promote your brand. The only rule â€“ never mislead customers.
â€¢ Every day is an adventure â€“ Keep the passion for what you do. Ups and downs will always occur, but don‘t lose sight of why you chose to do what you do. Know when it‘s time to close shop, but more importantly know when to hang in. Progress is key, stagnation is not. Always know your competition.