Category Archives: Early Lerning: Entrepreneur

Beyond Motivation

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

Starting up? Do you really have it in you? Let’s discuss what it takes beyond motivation to be an entrepreneur.

Apart from what we discussed in Creating a successful business and Keys to build a successful business check out what other important attributes are required.

Anyone with a strong desire, commitment and belief can be an entrepreneur. The key to becoming one is the strong desire to control your own destiny. This desire need to be so strong that you are ready to RISK your family, future and career. A belief that you have a better way, a better idea that will do wonders to the industry you choose.

Almost all successful entrepreneurs share some common personality traits, confidence, and ability to sell, setup a business and trust their intuition. Not only Confidence will help, it has to be backed up by the ability to sell your ideas, setup a business and trust your intuition in the long run.

Remember small business is fiercely competitive, and it’s you the entrepreneur with confidence who survive.

Measuring your strengths and weaknesses is a major attribute you must look at. No one has all the qualities needed to be a successful entrepreneur. The important thing is to access your strengths and weaknesses in your Personal and Professional life.

  1. Analyze your Personal attributes.

Ask these questions to yourself, am I self-motivated, am I a hard worker, am I focused, do I have common sense, am I well-organized, can I take time out for doing business and am I ready to compromise my family to achieve success in business? If the answer to all the questions is yes, you are the entrepreneur material.

Amongst all attributes mentioned above, compromising family is a major task to achieve, it’s not that you don’t give time to family, only the time is less. An emotional trait breaks down the motivation, focus and discipline which are the key attributes to a successful entrepreneurship. A balancing of personal and professional life is required at this time.

2. Analyze your Professional attributes.

Being an entrepreneur needs you to take many roles within your organization, but this doesn’t mean that you should be professionally competent in all aspects and roles. Evaluate your skill sets and find out your strengths and weaknesses, put down the attributes and rate yourself. Ex. If the attributes required for your business are technology, sales, marketing and administration. Put down your self-analysis on each of the attributes on a scale of 10. This will help you define where you are good at and where you will require help.

Additionally goal setting is a key to success of any business. Setting goals for the business will keep you on track and focused all the time to achieve them. The qualities one should aim at while setting goals are:

  1. Be specific: Set a specific goal and not assumptions. Raising funds for the business is not a specific goal, but raising $50000 by September 30 is. So be specific while setting goals.
  2. Be Positive: Being optimistic and positive is an important quality. To be able to pay office space rent is not an inspirational goal, but achieving financial security is. It depends on how you phrase it. Rephrase your goal to a broader vision to attain it with more focus and enthusiasm.
  3. Be Realistic: Set realistic goals, aiming to earn $1000000 every month when you have never reached that amount even in a single year of business, it’s an unrealistic goal. Instead set goals to achieve a 20% increase in the revenue every quarter, this is real.
  4. Set short and long term goals: Short term goals can be set for weeks then months and then a year, this helps achieve the goals in progression. Long term goals can be set for 5, 10 or 20 years. Setting more long term goals helps keep a track on progress in the long run. Just be sure you are setting realistic goals may it be short or long term.

Beyond Motivation

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Importance of Policies And Procedures

Starting up? Don’t think that you would start your business and make the policies and procedures for the succession of business later. I know most of us think that making policies and procedures at a very early stage of business is a waste of time and capital, but it’s very important for the business to become successful.

The reasons why policies and procedures are required:

  1. It brings structure to a company

By creating policies and procedures, a company knows what the rules are, what success and failure is. It also helps on succession planning of a company. Mostly startups fail due to lack of policies and procedures, they focus more on the generating revenue, marketing and other things which are undoubtedly very essential but while doing this the founders come across situations where the vision diverge and things start falling apart. If we have a set of policies and procedures at this point, referring to which a decision can be made without any diversion from the vision of a company.

This will also help leverage human capital, you retain good people when you have a structure.

2. It brings operational success to a company

During succession planning, the key is operational success. If a company doesn’t succeed operationally, it cannot progress. The key to operational success is a company’s policies and procedures. There are many people and different level of authorities involved in running operations, if these people do not have a direction, the decision making will diverge and thus a company can become unsuccessful operationally. By creating policies and procedures, the operations employees are restricted to a fixed direction which is in the company’s best interest.

3. It helps Risk Management

Loss of knowledge is very critical to the success of a company. During a succession planning a company should be prepared for a planned or unplanned loss of knowledge. In such situations, the policies and procedures can direct a company to assess the risk of losing a key individual in a critical role, and can mitigate the damage caused by turnover. Here the policies and procedures will also help in onboarding a new individual in that critical role at the same time maintain decorum of a company and avoid panic impacting success.

4. It brings Control and Compliance

By ensuring that policies and procedures are in place for succession planning, businesses can also ensure they are in compliance with regulatory rules and guidelines. Compliance and control are very important to any company’s success. Control and compliance comes in place by defining the policies and procedures of a company. Essentially, the compliance and control policies of a company are dynamic and allow room for change to grow with the company.

Additionally, the benefits of policies and procedures are as mentioned below and if implemented from startup phase, it will help develop a very successful business.

  • Employees are provided with information that allows them freedom to carry out their job and make decisions within defined boundaries.
  • Employees understand the constraints of their job without using a ‘trial and error’ approach, as key points are visible in well-written policies and procedures.
  • Policies and procedures enable the workforce to clearly understand individual & team responsibilities, thus saving time and resources. Everyone is working off the same page; employees can get the “official” word on how they should go about their tasks quickly and easily.
  • Clearly written policies and procedures allow managers to exercise control by exception rather than ‘micro-manage’ their staff.
  • Clearly written policies and procedures provide legal protection.

I tell my people when it comes to Policies and Procedures; “Restrictions Apply”, Think before you do!

Policies and Procedures

It’s time to Start!

I described in my early posts, what attitude it takes to say Just Do It! And what are the key traits to successful entrepreneurship. Today, let’s start building you, as an entrepreneur. It’s the time to Start!

Whatever idea you have to start-up a business with is great and you must believe in your idea no matter how many drawbacks you discover or people tell you about your idea. It’s your belief in your idea that will give you the perfect start.

“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” – Henry Ford

Now, you have an idea, an insanely great idea and you believe in it, how do you start building a product?

This is where you have to be very patient and conscious. It’s your enthusiasm and curiosity about your product that is more likely to overpower you and lead you to taking wrong decisions and uncalculated risks. Remember to control your curiosity and enthusiasm, you already know that your product is insanely great, why to get over enthusiastic and curious about it. Keep the enthusiasm and curiosity to help you build a great product.

Let’s now see how we go by building your product in an organized manner.

Sit back and note down the idea in a descriptive way and categorize the idea into segments. Once you have this plotted, take some time and make iterations which you think you can. Once the iterations are made, you will be able to define your product. Following this simple yet critical task, you have defined your product and now have a blueprint to focus on.

Focus on what is defined lies the key here onwards.

Are you an expert on all what it takes to build your product?  No one is. So, the next important task is to divide your blueprint into several categories and find out which experts do you need to work with you on building the product. This is the most challenging part, you have to find great people just like you to work with you. Talk to people you know are great and make them believe in your idea and have them onboard. Thus you build a great team who now have the same vision and focus. Remember, a great team creates great products.

Always remember, the product is yours and you have to be in love with it and have to build it yourself as entrepreneurs, a great product can also be built by hiring people but then if you don’t build your own product, you just become the salesman of the product. If you build your product yourself, you will know what exactly your product is and not what you think your product is.

To sum it up; define your product, build a great team and build the product on your own are the 3 key to get started.

In my future posts I will discuss all the 3 steps to get started in detail.

For now, here is another inspirational video for you. Be inspired, Be an Entrepreneur.

The Success 3

On July 15, I shared the first insight on becoming an entrepreneur. Today let’s go through a few more examples and how the collaborative approach towards incorporating leadership and entrepreneurship skills from these people will help you become a successful entrepreneur.

The people who I am really inspired other than Sir Branson are; Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jordan Belfort and I think that they have left a great blueprint to follow for all of us.

Below are a few traits that are phenomenal amongst all of them and I would suggest be the basics for any entrepreneur. A combination of all of them would make you very successful.

  1. Vision and Imagination (The ability to create a determined and compelling vision for the future)
  2. Focus (The ability to stay away from distractions and focus only on your goals)
  3. Taking calculated Risks and adopting the right strategy.

In line with what keeps you motivated to become an entrepreneur, the next phase is to explore the above mentioned qualities in yourselves.

You all have these qualities in you, make them work for you!

Having a great vision and imagination does not work by itself, it has to be accompanied by Focus on your goals and once these two are in place, you need to learn is to take calculated risks and adopting the right strategy.

Taking calculated risks and adopting the right strategy is the only factor that would differentiate between success and failure in your entrepreneurial venture. Even taking calculated risks but not adopting the right strategy would lead to a failure and vice-versa.

Then comes Leadership,

Leadership is having a vision, being able to articulate that so the people around you can understand it and giving a consensus on a common vision. – Steve Jobs

In my further posts I would be sharing more about Vision and focus and later I would discuss some of the most effective strategies and risk taking attributes. All of these combined learning will help you as a start-up entrepreneur. Keep watching.

Here’s an inspirational video featuring Steve Jobs:

Just Do it!

The first thing, I would say to young aspiring people is start calling yourself an entrepreneur from the day you get your first business idea and you have a faith that your product will make wonders. This way you will be able to overcome all the discouragement that will come when you talk to people about your idea and the obvious answer you will get is: It’s not going to work! People have tried before. Listen to people and then just say this to yourself; “Screw it, just do it!”

Every one of us has an entrepreneur within us, it’s just that only a few have the gut to become one.

Here is a perfect example; Sir. Richard Branson. At the age of 15, Branson dropped out of high school to start his first business, a magazine for young activists titled Student. Four years later, in 1970, Branson began selling records by mail. In 1971, he opened his first record store. In 1972, he opened a recording studio. In 1973, he started his own record label. The Virgin business was scaling very high and if we look Richard was not even 24 that time.

Today, the Virgin Group is a well-regarded global conglomerate of about 350 companies, branching into the entertainment, travel, and mobile industries.

Not all of Richard’s ideas have been successful, Virgin Cola was unsuccessful and finally it shut down. But here is what Branson has about overcoming failures: “If you have enough determination…. It’s more likely that you will succeed because of what you learned from the occasions when you didn’t succeed, the most important thing is to not be put off by failure.”

Here is an advice video from Sir. Richard Branson for you to be motivated: