Let me start by saying being an entrepreneur is probably the best thing in the world and is also the worst nightmare. Self employment is a choice and making that choice a successful decision is all up to nothing but perseverance. Take it from me, if you want to succeed at something, never give up on it. No matter what the business idea is and no matter how difficult things become while running it, the best thing you can do is to stick by it and keep going because in the long run – your perseverance will be rewarded.
Words to live by – Never say die. And It’s not over till the fat lady sings.
Let me tell you something – the successful entrepreneur changes his career a minimum of 15-25 times before he becomes successful. You don’t believe me check out these quotes – http://www.incomediary.com/top-young-entrepreneur-quotes –
Ill put some of them here in case you don’t read all
“I find it best to dive right in and learn the hard way.”
– Pete Cashmore, Mashable
I love this quote there’s also another quote from none other than Sir Richard Branson that inspired me, it says “If some one gives you an opportunity, take and learn how to do it later” So you get the drift, starting out is probably the easiest and at the same time requires a lot of sacrifices. While I was a student at college I practically winged it the whole time, whether it was assignments or presentations or the exams itself. I never worked until the last minute and when I did the work – I went all out. You could say it was a risk but I was unknowingly training myself to handle work at crunch times. I winged it back then and graduated and I’m winging it right now as an entrepreneur. There is no idea i don’t like and I’m always looking for more ideas to start new businesses every day. You could say I’m a bit naive but that naive, brashness which comes with being 25 is a weapon in my arsenal.
In business you have to learn to adapt and make decisions at crunch moments – My habits as an undergrad in college practically trained me for business, because now I can work fast and efficient and at the last minute. If you have an idea or are contemplating starting your own business the biggest word of advice I can give you is – just do it. Figure it our later. Just take the leap and learn as it progresses. That’s what I did and that’s what all the guys in that article did. I’m not saying don’t do the basic studies like assessing if its profitable and when you’re going to break even. Do all that, come on thats common sense. But take the leap and then figure it out.
Now coming back to career change and a 15-20 times at that. I can vouch for that quote – I can’t find it now but whoever said that couldn’t have hit the nail on the head in a more perfect way. The greatest of the greats started from humble beginnings. My beginnings were humble as well – I worked as a door to door salesman for 4 months before I quit because I couldnt take the walking around in the heat and pitching to random strangers.
But it taught me a lot.
Next I worked in marketing for a start up that made software for tablets – in my free time all I checked were the stock markets, that was my passion – again it taught me a lot and I visited the big 4 CA/CPA firms because the software was for CA students. All this running around and fixing appointments kind of prepared me for what I do now – the same thing. See, life is a meeting, the more people you meet the more likely you are to get more business its not rocket science really. Anyway then I wanted to do my own thing – I wanted to sell shoes online- the big ecommerce companies in India had not started doing that back then. So i wrote a business plan but before I knew it and could find investors they began selling shoes and clothes online as well. Failure no 1.
Then I wanted to do something else – I wanted to start a company that brokered the import and export of coal, wood, steel and other such resources- so I called up my friend who’s family ran a huge power company and started to broker a deal for their requirement of coal. So I tied up with somebody who knew a miner and things were going well until it came to the last part the shipping of it to India. So basically they worked out the numbers and realised to import it from the US was not viable for them because of the time and the cost. I almost struck the deal and could have made a huge income. But there I was at failure no 2.
I tried my hand at several other ideas and another 7 business plans went to waste. One common thing – failure. I was used to it by now – my direct sales job had taught me- every ‘No’ leads you to a ‘Yes’, the law of averages and so on – fucking bullshit sales lingo and norms of sales if you ask me but it teaches you none the less. As an entrepreneur you have got to learn to take failure – if you can’t take failure then don’t get self employed. I have taken a lot of failure – college, personal life, job and business. So you have to get used to it – Failure is a common theme, so get accustomed to failing.
“The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is that you’ll fail ten times for every success.”
– Adam Horwitz, Mobile Monopoly
Anyway before I started my company and got into stock broking and other types of broking I really stumbled, I failed, I learned(I taught myself finance online), I fought battles, I pitched to investors, the works, basically. So long story short if you want to succeed – You need to persevere. Just stick to you guns, work hard, manage the issues, sleep less, meet more people, somehow pay the bills, give it time and don’t stress yourself too much( although it’s hard, you will stress yourself guaranteed).
Perseverance will reward you in the long run- there have been times when I couldn’t pay the rent through the initial years and I scrambled madly at the last minute to sort out the money. Anyway now things are looking up and we will end this year with considerable profits. One other thing – adapt and innovate – so the stock markets crashed and I was hardly making enough money because a lot of my clients got spooked- what did I do? – I diversified into real estate and private equity broking. I adapted and I innovated. Instead of narrowly thinking about only improving my stock broking business – I opened other avenues. A trust me it was a huge benefit. Now, I am not at the mercy of stock markets anymore. I adapted and that’s what you need to do. Find ways to innovate and adapt.
Stick to your idea and your guns, trust your entrepreneurial instincts and give it time. You will succeed. Be #persistent , oh and another thing -Follow up a lot – I made the mistake on just moving on to newer clients and things instead of following up. Follow ups are like doing something with 50% of the work done. So yeah- follow up a lot.
And once again remember if you want to succeed as a business owner –
“You must persevere.”
Have a great week.