Some Broad Perspectives
Starting your entrepreneurial journey with the following broad perspectives in mind will serve you well.
- Be Humble and a Learner. Embrace the fact that will need to become a better entrepreneur. Don’t resist what you don’t know, but rather take it on as a part of learning to be better at what you do. The process of entrepreneurship and learning never stops.
- Focus on Customers. Have a passionate focus on solving problems for customers. In the complexity of a venture, it is easy to lose focus on this. Customers pay you, they provide you insights, they offer valuable critique, and they make you better. Think about what it takes to turn customers not only into supporters but raving fans.
- Serve your employees. Your team that makes the difference. It’s your team that makes the dream happen. Don’t think of them as cogs in the wheel that are helping you realize your dream. Serve them and they will serve your dream well. Make their work life better, thank them incessantly, and help them solve their family problems. If you do they will treat it as their business. And when you hire, think of the way they view how they want their work life to be as much as you look at their talent.
- Love and Learn from Competitors. Love competitors, Learn from competitors. Competitors are the best laboratory for you. Don’t copy from them – learn from them. Find what works, what doesn’t and why they are successful and unsuccessful.
Some Tactics To Think About
There are things you can do to improve your chances of success both before and after you make the entrepreneurial leap. Here are a few:
- Cut Spending to a Bare-Minimum. Learn how to live frugally (even if you don’t want to start living like that right now). In a startup life, a lot of times you have to figure out ways to cut down spending to improve your survival rate. Learn how you can do that now. If you have figured out how to live 12-18 months without a paycheck, you are on your way.
- Build Networks. Keep meeting people on local entrepreneurship meetups and other events. You never know who among those will give you the lifeline at the right time.
- Learn Sales and Marketing. Your startup’s future depends on it. You just can’t think that you will hire someone who will automatically sell stuff for you.
- Build your savings. The one who has gold in his pockets sets the rules in a startup.
- Figure out the top 5 things you want to do in your life and do it NOW (if you can). In a startup life, you won’t have time to do them. By doing them before, you will have less regrets starting up on your own. You can always convince yourself that you did those things that many of your peers (who are still making that hefty salary) have not done.
Remember that reading a swimming book is very different from getting into the water. No amount of reading books will actually prepare you for what you are going to face. Get ready to embrace the fun and unpredictable turns.