By Priya Rege Jaggi
For some people, the corporate world looks very attractive till such time you actually enter it. The glamour wanes after a while as you start realizing the constraints of a big organization. The ideas that you have for business expansion take very long to get implemented. Sometimes, your boss doesn’t have time to even listen to the new ideas and this can lead to frustration, especially if you are bursting with ideas.
Then, there are some who actually hijack your ideas and present it as theirs. You meet all kinds, but sometimes, the enthusiasm and aspirations with which you entered the organization kind of gets thwarted, and despondency sets in.
At such times, you may feel like starting something of your own.
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In today’s world, entrepreneurship is glorified and most corporate employees would be dreaming of starting out on their own. The harsh reality is – it has its own share of ups and downs, and it’s a path that is not meant for everyone.
It requires a lot of mental and financial resilience. Also, a good support from family and friends too. As they say out of ten startups even if two or three become successful, it’s a good progress.
Basically one should look at the mental satisfaction one gets out of implementing your own ideas. The money comes later. It’s a tremendous sense of achievement and joy of overcoming obstacles is what keeps an entrepreneur going. Entrepreneurship requires a special, strong mindset like they say of fighter pilots.
Whatever may happen you have your duty to perform. You should have super confidence in yourself and your skills. In case of adverse circumstances you have to keep your mood and morale up.
As an entrepreneur you have duty and responsibility towards others, as a salaried person you just have to worry about your own pay-cheque, here you have to take care of your employees’ pay-cheques.
After 10 years in the corporate world, I have taken the plunge into starting my own business about 6 months ago. I did this after a lot of soul searching and wondering if this was the right path. However, once I started I knew this was the right path for me and I really enjoy the freedom that it gives. I had always been an entrepreneur at heart and these are a few points to ponder if you are planning to take the plunge.
Know Your ‘Why’
The right answer is not only to be rich and famous. There has to be a passion which drives you beyond regular reason, something you think the world is missing. Your ‘why’ you want to do your own business will drive you through the ups and downs which you will experience everyday.
If you love working without much supervision, taking your own decisions and are not afraid to take risks – you might be an entrepreneur.
Build A Support System
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This includes both financial and emotional support.
Financial – When you quit a corporate job, the first thing you miss is the SMS that hits your inbox at the end of the month announcing that the salary has been credited. Starting your own business not only means an absence of the paycheck but also some investment from your end. Do ensure you have planned finances for the next 2 years for you and your family. It will give you the staying power for your business.
Emotional support – A new business is a new baby which takes up a lot of your time and energy. Make sure you speak with your family and they understand your decision and passion. They should also be ready to face and respond to ‘log kya kahenge’ syndrome because you will need all the support you can get!
Prepare To Be Office Boy And CEO At The Same Time
In the early days, you will have to do everything for the company and wear many hats in the same day. In the corporate world, you are taught to specialize, and a finance person is not expected to understand operations or marketing.
In your own business, you have to learn a bit of everything to keep the engine running till you can hire specialists. Be ready to take on versatile and tough roles everyday, since you don’t have a large corporate setup.
Starting off, you would also prefer to be a lean organization as much as possible which makes you more responsible for everything. Even before hiring someone, I always try and do the job myself so I know what it entails and can give more meaningful direction.
I have spent 10 years in sales or marketing roles but now I have to read legal documents, agreements and ensure financials are in place. I have been at the printer getting visiting cards and stationery ready while standing outside on the phone and negotiating commission with an agency partner.
Do You Take Failure In Your Stride And Get Up Again?
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Resilience is very much needed for entrepreneurs. There could be setbacks, all your schemes may not give desired results, some may totally fail but experimentation is the key. You have to learn to take that disappointment in your stride and be prepared for some setbacks. Think through what went wrong, strategize and start a new day.
In all of this, in all the hard work and the struggle and the failure, if you are really thinking of being an entrepreneur, you will always have to look at the bigger picture. There could be some small failures on the way, but the journey to your larger goal should keep you going.