The Entrepreneur journey is not as glamorous as it seems. Entrepreneurs are often portrayed as the know-how winners but this is rarely the case. Founders start with ideas, many ideas.
This is the beginning, to get their product or service out, they’ve to go through several stages.
We’ve heard “entrepreneurs must find a solution to a pain”. I’m not sure about that, entrepreneurs can open a Pandora box for needs we didn’t know we had.
But every solution starts we assumptions. Next comes a series of trial and error experiments. You’ve to test the idea, find customers, and make sure the idea is viable. The final product is the tip of the iceberg.
The truth is entrepreneurs are constantly sorting problems in order to keep the business going.
The path from idea to conception is long. Not matter how many business books you read. You can take advice from other small business owners, but your path is different because your product is different.
You’re a different person with a different story so don’t expect your business flourish the same way others do. Some methods may work. It takes a lot of experimentation to get to the point when people love your product. It’s not an easy path, but I guess it’s cool to build something out of nothing.
Founders often tell how their business were about to fail, when a last minute experiment saved the day. These stories are real. Moments of self doubt make you think if the project is worth pursuing. There will times when pulling the plug is the best decision. Other times you have to carry on.
I don’t think entrepreneurs have everything clear 100% of the time. Self doubt is human, and business owners are humans. However, business owners don’t take anything for granted, they fail and stand up hundred of times.
What an entrepreneur needs to succeed? I realised some qualities tend to repeat.
According to Manoj Bhargava the founder of 5 Hour energy drink you must be able to find a good product, fix what is wrong and scale.
In this podcast he suggests newbie entrepreneurs looking to start a business should have
Common Sense: use your common sense, easy right? We tend to complicate things. Manoj tells to get the facts of your business right and focus on the things that need urgent attention.
Determination: this is the force that will keep you going, especially in low times. Determination is the key to push forward, not matter what.
Urgency: don’t delay, easy said than done. Sometimes it’s hard to keep moving. Yet, urgency translates into do it now!
The CEO and co-founder of Zappos Tony Hsieh says you’ve to be comfortable with losing everything. He lives in a trailer, so we can say he lives what he preaches.
I think being vulnerable makes you more human. It doesn’t matter where you’re in business you still need to be ready to fail and be OK with that.
Always keep your feet on the ground. According to Hsieh you must ponder:
Uncertainty: let’s face it, not knowing what’s next can feel a bit weird. Not everyone is comfortable with having not idea what the future brings. Although, uncertainty can led to creativity, it can also make people anxious. You’ve to be comfortable with that.
Humility: It’s easy to forget we’re all humans regardless the business net worth. Humility says to the ego ” rests at the back “. You should not let success alter your perception of who you are. In addition, business thrive when there is less hierarchy and more coherence.
Employers and employees should remember they’re in this together.
Rashmi Sinha the founder of Slide Share has a laid back approach when it comes to work.
Her company makes slide presentations available to millions of users worldwide. She left academy to start her own business with her husband and brother. Slide-Share was the product of experiments.
She maintains an open minded policy. Her days start with a general meeting. Everyone in the team have a say. With this method she has an overview of the team’s ideas. People listen to each other.
Not doubt Sinha embraces:
Openness: This is one of the mot powerful qualities of an entrepreneur. Openness allows to listen to others, integrate ideas, adopt strategies and cultivate growth. If you want to be successful you must be open.
Openness also gives you flexibility to listen different point of views and iterate from your co-workers.
These qualities are a must for newbie entrepreneurs. I know there is a lot of glamour with the word these days, but an entrepreneur journey is far from glamorous.
You don’t have a road map. Yet, drawing one can be exhilarating and at the same time extremely challenging.