Seven lessons in entrepreneurship
Guest Column: Arnab Mitra, Managing Director, LIQVD ASIA, shares his experiences on LIQVD ASIA completing seven years
As we complete seven years with LIQVD ASIA (www.liqvd.asia), it seems I have finally come to terms with the entrepreneur that I am. And one of the most important reasons why is because I think I have been able to justify the whole idea of being independently employed in my own venture to me and my internal systems.
The best part of doing this is that the opportunity at the other side of the table is immense and hence I thought of jotting down seven lessons that I have learnt from my own stint as an entrepreneur.
You don't need a blockbuster idea to do good
Results are a function of the execution and the commitment, rather than the idea. We can all think of ways to improve the world, but too many aspiring entrepreneurs I know keep finding excuses not to start, waiting for that ultimate idea that can't fail.
Find corporate sponsors to reduce start-up costs
The key to success as a start-up is finding like-minded people and it can work on the front-end with sponsors before you have back-end customers for revenue. LIQVD ASIA has learned early to focus on ideas with humanitarian as well as commercial value, such that others are more than willing to help and buy our services.
Sometimes it helps to not know what's not possible
It's refreshing to see the unlimited creativity and curiosity of very young entrepreneurs. I see many aspiring entrepreneurs hesitating due to all the things they know can go wrong, to the point that they never start anything. The lesson is that you can never succeed if you never start.
Celebrate small wins
Starting a company is hard, growing one is hard and running one is hard. Doing this day in and day out can be tiresome. Sometimes I feel like I'm not winning or getting anywhere.
Many people celebrate the big wins (when the needle really moves), but what about the small wins?
In your short-term plan, identify small wins to celebrate. Avoid the notion that you have to land some fantastic, outstanding client or reach thousands of customers before celebrating. Rejoice over the first customer or transaction or over squashing a minor coding bug in a few days. Revel in the moment of pushing through three months.
Recognising small victories can boost your morale and provide a surge of energy.
Start to start, not because of any other reason
A lot of the entrepreneurs are planning their exit strategies before they even start and to my mind that's counter-productive. The joy of starting up and the responsibilities associated with it are supposed to be enjoyed beyond an eye at the final objective. Clarity is like destination, too much focus on it kills the fun of the journey.
It's not all about you and your ideas
Take time to serve and help others. My focus on my early businesses led to just me, me, me. This was a lonely experience and it negatively affected me and my businesses. I've since changed and now continually make time for others. I look for opportunities to assist people and serve. This not only makes me feel better about myself but it helps my business. Karma may exist - or not - but definitely more businesses and people are drawn to you when you help them.
Test and do it now
Too many times I've thought of an idea and then contemplated various scenarios and how it could play out. I analysed every aspect and tried to guess and estimate all the contingencies.
That's needed to some extent but the best approach is to just start building and testing an idea. Brainstorm a quick way to put together the most basic form of a product to send to potential customers. This process will result in the best estimates of how the product might fare in the marketplace and provide real feedback to help you polish your idea.
While I take no guarantee that these lessons will yield 100% results, I must also accept that these are my life lessons and for sure worth consideration if not followership.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com
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