You, me, we all can be Entrepreneurs!!!
Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t. You are right.” This statement drafts the distinction between an entrepreneur and a want-repreneur (who wants to, but never becomes one). It is no cake-walk and requires a lot of work and sacrifice, strong zeal and conviction. But at the end of the tunnel, there is sunlight.
One thing that is always taught to us as part of our management program is that our country requires good managers. Well this is true, but more importantly, our country requires good entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs bring new concepts and products to market, and create jobs and wealth. Their fresh thinking and initiatives have the potential to create a positive social change.
Some people believe that in order to make your mark, you have got to have a business idea that is unique. Well, this is not entirely true. It’s not about having a revolutionary idea, it is about having an idea which makes life simple. Sometimes we often ignore the most obvious things which when implemented by a focussed man who has faith in it and is passionate about it, can create wonders. Perfect execution and building upon the idea is the key.
Another myth is that entrepreneurs work alone or that one need to be a master of all trades in order to succeed. Yes, it is true that once you start your own venture you need to multi-task, you may not have sufficient funds for hiring many personnel and hence need to perform many tasks on your own. You may need to be your own accountant, technician or perhaps your own peon. But this does not mean you fight the long battle alone. Instead, you should build a team of people who also believe in the project, delegate the areas you struggle with to them and try to focus on what you are good at.
The billionaire founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson received a letter from a 12-year-old girl asking him what skills he needed when he was first starting out. He replied to her “The key enterprising skills I used when first starting out are the very same ones I use today: the art of delegation, risk-taking, surrounding yourself with a great team and working on projects you really believe in.” Well you can’t be best at everything so delegate the areas you struggle with to people who also believe in the project and try to focus on what you are good at.
An entrepreneurial venture can be a high risk, high gain affair. One could make a fortune out of it. So sometimes entrepreneurs do get carried away and are enticed to take shortcuts. But as Warren Buffet has pointed out “It takes twenty years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” If you think about it, you will do things differently.
(Rahul is a first year student at IIM Shillong who aspires to be an entrepreneur)