We hear the word ‘entrepreneur’ a lot these days. Many people see it as a means to enjoy a whole new level of professional, financial, and personal freedom. For many, who are thinking of starting a business, the difficulty is not about coming up with an idea. The fear and the challenge is in deciding when the time is right to start a business. How do you know when to take the plunge?
Fear of the unknown is natural. After all, leaving the relative safety of predictable income and jumping into a new challenge is not a cakewalk. A startup is a marathon and not a sprint. Hence, one needs to be well prepared mentally before signing up for something that involves time, money, and passion.
Put on your thinking cap
Thinking of transitioning from being an employee to becoming your boss does not happen overnight. You just cannot quit a job only based on an idea to start a venture. It needs to be a well-thought process. And doing so involves a rigorous assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, your position in life, and of course your financial situation. As an entrepreneur, you decide what the next best step is, and you execute that step in your day-to-day actions. This requires both a significant mindset shift and discipline. There will always be a fight to divide your time to develop the product, develop a strong team, and get your company funded.
You are lucky if you have partners from the get-go. It is challenging to motivate employees in a startup in comparison to doing so in a corporate environment. For one thing, with a small team, the work is often massive, and the rewards are less defined. Thus, it becomes imperative to come up with your own creative ways to motivate the team, and get the business going.
Estimate costs and network to thrive
Planning is a crucial step to start any business. Be calculative to do your forecasts. Challenge your costs and strategize a survival plan for crisis situations. Invest in networking that will help you get in touch with important influencers to help in your business. Networking often opens doors to several referrals. Research on sources who would be interested in funding your venture and build that network to get to know your banker or investor.
Believe in your Idea
Undoubtedly, passion is a major driving force to bring one success. Having the ability to do what you love means you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. But, is not it always better to play a safe bet?
It is advisable to keep verifying your ideas with your friends, family and well-wishers. This gives you confidence to achieve your entrepreneurial dreams.
With all that being said, you just have an idea to sell to yourself, to your parents, to your team members, and to the investors. The thought of running your own venture, spending your days working on something you are passionate about, and choosing how and where you spend your time is enticing. On the other, realize there will be days of sleepless nights, cash flow shortfalls, and mindset hurdles between you and your destination.
Shivank Agarwal is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Mitron TV. Views are personal)