Published on October 30, 2014
The Questions Would you rather be told what should be done or decide what will be done? Would you rather be blamed for most failures or know that you are solely responsible for all successes? Would you rather work hard for somebody else’s vision or spend your worthy hours pursuing your own passion? If you answered in the affirmative to the latter half of these questions, you should definitely read on to learn about your true calling. The Mindset What is it about entrepreneurship that has people shaking their heads in disapproval? Is it the magnitude of risk involved? Or is the lack of startup capital that is the hindrance? More often than not, it is nothing but our outlook. The feeling of incompetence that people associate with themselves forms the biggest obstacle on the road to a successful career. The ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ that keep crossing their minds, are nothing but excuses! Step out from the green room and take centre stage for once and it may be the best decision you’ve ever made! The Benefits What can be better than being your own boss and managing your own affairs? The opportunities for growth and development, both personal and financial, far exceed those of employment. It helps a person to become competent in multiple areas of strategizing, sales, marketing and financial management, thereby enabling all-round development. It helps to inculcate problem solving and creative thinking abilities. Recognition of the fact that you are responsible for your own actions motivates people tremendously! When skeptics cite possibilities of huge losses as a major deterrent of entrepreneurship, they are not totally inaccurate. However, the risk of losing money becomes a real threat only when someone goes about their business (pun intended), taking unnecessary risks or overindulging in speculative activities. The threat of losing jobs is a far bigger reality in today’s volatile job market. The norm of quick ‘hiring and firing’ is an unfortunate reality. Also, think about the uncertainty of the so-called ‘unconquerable successes’ of these corporate giants. Could anybody have foreseen the downfall of Nokia or Blackberry when these biggies were at the zenith of their success? Not likely. Secondly, unavailability of capital, often the biggest turn off; is perhaps an easily resolved problem. There are several businesses that virtually require no startup capital. Moreover, the Government encourages and provides financial support to small businesses. Be a go-getter and the way to attain the requisite resources emerges automatically. Remember, the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do it! Most importantly, the feeling of self worth that entrepreneurial success creates is unmatched. In 2007, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, alumni of IIT Delhi, founded Flipkart, which has a revenue of $US 1 billion today. The irony is that they were both working for Amazon.com previously, one of the major contenders of Flipkart in India. The lesson learnt here is that nothing is too bizarre or unaccomplishable until you yourself lack conviction! The Inspiration Sameer Gehlaut is known for Indiabulls, which he established in 2000, after acquiring Inorbit Securities, a stock brokerage company. However, few know that he had initially been employed at Halliburton and was an alumnus of IIT, Delhi. Indiabulls started its operations from a small office near the Hauz Khas bus terminal. It had a tin roof and two computers. In ten years, the group has become one of the leading financial and real estate companies in India. In 2008, Forbes estimated his net worth at $1.2 billion and declared him the 45th richest person in India. Imagine if India’s youngest self-made billionaire had chosen to keep working instead of starting his own enterprise, would he ever have attained such pinnacles of success? There is no dearth of entrepreneurial success stories. Take Warren Buffet or Richard Branson for instance. However, the real inspiration comes from those who had very humble beginnings yet went on to accomplish tremendous success, often becoming self styled billionaires. Why look to the West when we have our own desi ‘Rags to riches’ anecdotes? Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of Reliance Industries, was one of the sons of a teacher. Heonce bought a tin of groundnut oil on credit from a local wholesaler and sold it in retail on the roadside. He made small profits from this simple exercise. On weekends, he used to set up bhajia stalls at fairs to make ends meet . Then Reliance Industries happened, and in 2007, the combined fortune of the Ambani family stood at $60 billion, making Ambanis the second richest family in the world. The Lesson Remember, entrepreneurship is not designed for a chosen few who allegedly have the ‘aptitude’ for it. Regardless of what your guarded thoughts suggest, your age, experience (or lack of it), gender or finances, cannot become hindrances unless you let them! Entrepreneurship is for anyone who has the courage to try. It is about not being afraid of falling. And failing But mostly, it is about knowing that there is always a way up again!