Being an Entrepreneur


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Being an Entrepreneur

  1. 1. The Marketing Solutions & Services ProviderBeing an EntrepreneurT here are an estimated 6.5 billion people on earth. Of these, a third live in India and China. In the Indian subcontinent alone, thereare 450 million children below the age of 15 whowill join the workforce soon. Neither thegovernment nor large businesses can bythemselves create avenues for employment andgrowth for these people. It can only be done bynew entrepreneurs.Entrepreneurs create jobs. Jobs provide people withlivelihoods. Without a livelihood, every one of us is lost on this planet. Givena good source of livelihood, we feel secure enough to raise families and areable to provide emotional security to the people who depend on us, besidesexploring our own potential. Thus developing entrepreneurship should be amatter of global priority.In my life, I have been an entrepreneur twice. In my higher secondary schooldays, when I joined hands with my friend and we together started a musicstore. At the age of 38, Innovista Consulting happened and it continues tohappen. In between, I worked for other people and helped build some reallylarge and successful organizations. Even as a salaried employee in theseorganizations, my style of functioning was entrepreneurial. In that sense,even though Innovista Consulting is the only single platform of my life’sexperience in entrepreneurship, I have nurtured many of the experiencesright through.Entrepreneurs drive innovation. Innovation seldom comes from very largeand established players. The reason is simple. Innovation disrupts theestablished way of things. Large, profitable organizations frown atdisruptions. For innovative people, it is sometimes easier to start somethinggrounds-up.
  2. 2. The Marketing Solutions & Services ProviderEntrepreneurship is a creative process and when done successfully, it cangive you the highest sense of accomplishment possible. That sense ofaccomplishment is next only to having and raising your baby.It is worthwhile to draw a checklist for preparedness to understand better ifyou are ready to start as an entrepreneur. Here is a set of questions, whoseanswers will decide if unlike the characters from my past, you are ready tostart. • Am I ready to give up my house, car, official position and related benefits? • Would I be willing to take a serious income cut to make sure the company is not saddled with a fat compensation structure – and thereby can break even sooner? • Would I be happy travelling by trains and low cost airlines as against the business class travel I am so accustomed to as a director in a multinational corporation? • Will it be fine with me to stay in a modest hotel and not star hotels and travel at times by buses and not taxis. • Am I willing to work 70 hours a week for the next few years to make sure the company stands on its own? • Will I be comfortable in working out of a cheap business center or from a downmarket address, with bad air conditioning, hired furniture, poor lighting and no secretaries? • Will I be able to set my own goals and work un-supervised?Self confidence: It is the #1 attribute of an Entrepreneur:The foremost attribute of people who become entrepreneurs is self-confidence. I would even argue that there are no exceptions to this rule. Youcannot show me a person who does not believe in himself and yet issuccessful entrepreneur. However small may be the size of his endeavour,
  3. 3. The Marketing Solutions & Services Providerself-confidence is the most critical ingredient of success. What is self-confidence? It is difficult to define it, but most people will be able to judgewhether they have it by doing a little introspection.Entrepreneur value their sense of freedom, but they are also verydisciplined:All my life, both on the personal and the professional fronts, I have enjoyedbeing free to set my goals and create and work towards my own work planand take my own decisions. I like taking instructions from more competentpeople and my customers. But I don’t like someone telling me how to goabout doing my work. I work best when I am given what is called a ‘porousboundary’. When I look back at all the jobs that I did well, I see a commonthread. Each one allowed me an enormous amount of freedom to do what Iwanted to do.Many people mistake freedom with the absence of accountability. Freedom tome is the ability to explore and settle options in the way I think is suitableand the ability to work within porous boundaries.Sometimes people think that freedom for a business person is about decidingfor yourself when to come and go, who to serve and not, how much to payyourself, how much to be able to spend on entertainment, choosing the hotelyou want to stay or accounting a personal trip as official.None of these are about freedom. If you ask people who know, they will tellyou that such attributes are severely looked down upon by successfulentrepreneurs.A good entrepreneur is a highly disciplined person:Freedom to such an individual is an inner need for space in which the personcan create greater value without interference. That process of creating agreater value often involves risks, of trying creative ideas to stay ahead. He
  4. 4. The Marketing Solutions & Services Providerdoes not enjoy someone pulling him from behind or asking for a progressreport by breathing down his neck every now and then.This does not mean entrepreneurs are not accountable.Entrepreneurship is about egolessness:Many people start companies in the prime of their careers, often afterwinning accolades as professional managers in large companies. That isgreat, but when you start your own company, you must know that you leaveyour past behind. That is easier said than done.A person’s corporate success often comes from the power of the chair he sitson. He often underestimates how much he is an extension of that artefact.So, when that person steps out, the world repositions him without hisknowing.Entrepreneurs love money:If you do not love to make money, do not start a business. I meet a lot ofpeople who love technology, so they want to start a company. I meet a lot ofpeople who tell me that they have earned enough in their life and now wantto set up a company to ‘give something back’. None of these people will evermake great entrepreneurs. Wealth is granted by Goddess Lakshmi. She isextremely jealous and possessive. She does not come to those who treat heras if she is incidental. Even if you manage to bring her in on some pretext,mythology has it that she flees at the smallest act of neglect. So, if someonesays money is not my prime motivator, know that the goddess is listening.Send in your comments to:Dr. Sekhar Basak,Managing Director,Innovista Consulting,Better known for “Innokit” and “Konzerve Plus”Email: md@innovistaconsulting.comHP: +91-9871203111Skype: sekhar_basakHomepage:
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