Entrepreneurship is in fashion these days; it has become a style statement. A few years back if a young graduate started a venture, he/she would have been considered impractical with no sense of responsibility. You would never have gotten any support for plunging in and would have been constantly tortured with the statement “Will you be able to get some money this month at least? “
But times are changing and so is the mindset of people. I have seen people transforming from being not-so-happy to being proud when their children become entrepreneurs. Now they proudly say “Mere bachhe ka business hai” (My child is an entrepreneur).
But even now, I would say, “Don’t be an entrepreneur”
Yes, I mean it when I say “Don’t be an entrepreneur!”, but it comes with a clause “if” or rather a several “ifs”.
Be very careful and clear whenever you decide to take the plunge.
Don’t be an entrepreneur … IF:
- You think “I am bored with my job”:
- Entrepreneurship is not for people who feel bored with their current job. If the mindset you carry is to look for a change, then better look for another job opportunity because entrepreneurship comes with a lot of responsibilities; responsibility towards your team, investors, customers, industry, government and society.
- You think “I can do better if I work this hard for myself”
- This is a general notion and thought that most of us carry, but I feel this state of mind would do no good for aspiring entrepreneurs. Always keep in mind that if you think that you are working hard then it means there is somebody who forces you to work hard because that is the only time when this thought comes into mind. If self-motivation is what drives you to work hard then it will not be “work” – it will be passion.
- You think “I can get richer, quicker”
- With start-ups raking in a lot of money as seed funds, early-stage funding and VC funding, there is a notion that this is the easiest way to be rich. Trust me – it’s not. Investors are not people who would put money just like that; they need to be convinced that you have a plan, vision, team and above all a thought process to bring in change. For almost all successful entrepreneurs, money was just a by-product; primarily it was the desire to address a customer’s pain point, make life simpler and make a larger positive impact.
- You think “I will be the boss and will have people to do my job”
- If you just want to boss around people then as an entrepreneur it would be the worst notion you would carry. For being a successful entrepreneur, you shouldn’t be a “Good Boss” but a “Good Leader”. Most of the candidates who will join your start-up will come with a want-to-learn mindset, so it is very important that you lead by example, hence you will have to probably work much more than you were doing in your job, be methodical, disciplined and work really smart.
- You think “I can always get back to my job”
- Until the time you remove your safety net, you will never ever be able to focus on your key goal of that to be a successful entrepreneur. The thought of getting back to a job will always be a big hurdle to your success. This would somewhere prepare you for failure but will never make you strong enough to deal with success or rather experience success. Dealing with success is much tougher than dealing with failure.
Entrepreneurship is not just another job; it’s a lifestyle you choose. It comes with its own share of challenges but I am pretty sure that the work satisfaction it gives and the high an entrepreneur experiences is something that everyone should go through. If you aspire to be an entrepreneur then as Leo Burnett quoted “When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
Sujit Nair is a marketer having around 2 decades of experience with various B2B, B2C and D2C brands, and currently heads marketing and growth for a fitness tech brand