Challenges, sorrows, failures, disappointments, success, risks, recognition, satisfaction etc these words are always entangled with an entrepreneur’s life. As much as you gain you lose the same. Sometimes joys, sometimes sorrow, sometimes confusions, sometimes challenges, life is not easy as you think. When travelling in this path, after some time if you turn back and see you will realize what you have earned as well as what you have lost.
Now I’m an entrepreneur. It’s nearly one year since I started to be on my own and just thought of writing this post today to share the difficulties and experience I underwent during this period. I’m sure I would not have learned so much if I had worked for a company because I wouldn’t have taken such risk if I worked for someone. As an Entrepreneur, I faced so many challenges and there are heaps of risks accumulated in my list. I was always willing to take challenges not only these days even when I was schooling. I guess this life further strengthen my challenging ability.
When I was working for a company I was in two minds i.e. a year back, whether to start my own venture or not. I know the decision I’m going to take has an opportunity cost. If I continue to work on my own definitely I can earn more than what I would have been getting by working in a company per month. However, I knew an entrepreneur’s life is not an easy one. I realized that always I cannot be in the safe zone. So many advices from people circled my mind. Some advised positively and many negatively. Some looked at this as an immature decision and some laughed at it. When I told I’m going to be my own, the biggest question people asked was “how you are going to survive?”. However, my gut feeling didn’t allow me to keep quiet and quit my decision. I know I can make it, but the big concern I had was about my parents and my girl. Even my parents were not in favour of my decision. They told me to try and see. Generally, girls want their guys to be in a decent job with a safe zone life. It’s rare that they want the person whom they are going to marry to be an entrepreneur at his very early stage struggling to achieve the victory. When I told the decision to my girl, “You can, we will rock “, that was the reply she told me. All the questions I had about my decision vanished away and I started to be on my own.
After struggling for 8 months I’m the happiest person these days with the smile thinking about my company. Now I have a brand of my own. I’m not going to say I have earned money but I’m happy about the growth of my brand. I can proudly say that I’m an owner of a brand.
I never compare my life to any other. Because I know each individual’s path of journey is totally different. I know now I’m no more in the safe zone. Now I have taken my brand to a certain extent. I have clients both locally and internationally. Apart from that “Epitom” is a quite a known brand in the HR sector of Sri Lanka. Those days handling foreign clients was a nightmare to me. Because it was very difficult to understand their language. These days I feel it’s pretty easy, one thing always there in my mind, all are human. Deals are done.
I’m very grateful to my cousin because he is the one who encouraged and supported me to get into the business with him. Now we both are in two different fields. We both meet up regularly and discuss the progress of our brands. Though we are not partners today still we share our experiences.” friend in need is a friend indeed” this is a common saying and I realized it as 100% true because of my friend who helped me to start my journey as an entrepreneur. Also, I’m thankful to my previous bosses who helped me and guided me in many occasions.
Whenever I’m disappointed and say “I’m totally fed up” I had an encouragement always. The words from my girl “Don’t worry we will rock” keep myself motivated which I feel as the real motivation exists in the word. It carries lots of value and energy. Still, a long path to go and I know I have to answer so many people who are around me but I will try my best and work hard to keep the spirit going.
Few things I would like to share with people who are thinking of starting something of their own.
1- Always keep in mind that money is not the ultimate thing, it’s the experience you earn.
2- Try to avoid partnerships, but get good assistance and guidance from someone.
3- Do not have second thoughts of what you are going to do.
4- Always value your gut feeling, If it says yes for anything “GO FOR IT”.
5- Careful about your competition, always monitor them.
6- Hard work matters a lot, but you should believe in god too. Always start the day with a prayer.
7- Make sure you are not away from family and friend. Be in touch with them (This I failed to do).
8- Though you are struggling do not give up. One day you will succeed. It is always dark before dawn.
9- Do not get discouraged by others words. Only action can win arguments. Prove them and show that they are wrong. Do not argue with others. You will lose your precious time.
10- Always remember people helped you. Even a small help matters a lot.
11- Do not reveal your secret to anyone. One day it might destroy you.
12- In business, you will start something and end up in some other. That’s the entrepreneurship nature. But love what you do.
13- Take big risks, the return is always high.
14- Manage your cash flow properly. Keep reserves for future growth.
15- Try to attend as much as external events. It will help you one day. Create your own network. Don’t place yourself in a short circle. World is too big.
16- If you think the negatives in your mind are beating positives try to speak to someone who encourages you. Try avoiding speaking to the negative mindset people. Because their thoughts can destroy you.
17- Listen and watch motivational videos and read articles about entrepreneurs. It will keep you in the game. That’s why people say if you want to get the real motivation to speak to an entrepreneur because they are the people always motivate themselves.
18- Give rest to mind and thought. That is important for more productive days.
19- Pay your overheads on time, do not keep any balances.
20- People might say “You cannot be a Bill Gates”, Even if you cannot be you can have a try. Speaking from the safe zone is always easy. Forget about them.
21- Create a clear vision and work towards it. When you see the success the best happiest person is always “YOU”.
22- Always look for opportunities. It’s all around you.
23- Until you establish yourself strong enough try to do one thing at a time. Do it correctly. Do not consider too many options at once. It will diversify your effort and bring you less success.
24- Save some cash for marketing.
25- Never fall into debts. It will destroy your liquidity.
26- Try to get the help from others but give the return back. If you didn’t do that then you will be stuck in the middle.
These are some key learning points I have studied during this one year. I didn’t lose any but instead, I gained so much. New set of people, a new pattern of thinking, new ways of implementing things, international contacts, out of box thinking, understanding of so many people, market, the taste of failures etc. It’s not about money, it’s about the experience which are worthy than money. In the entrepreneurship life, you will lose money. Money won’t come as you expect. It will take its momentum first to get the control.
“The Secret” and “The Power” those are the two books given me the control over this life. Sometimes mind works in a negative way. If you feel so, just take a deep breath and continue your work. You will see the real difference. I would recommend you all to read these books / even you can buy the movie at Liberty Plaza. Listen/read these, your world will change.
To get the outcome of your hard work it will take time. The negative thoughts might take you away from your vision. Do never give up. Walt Disney took 10 years to come up with the world loving character Micky Mouse and even he had pulled off from the company he worked for saying he is not having creativity. Steve Jobs got pulled from his own company later again he became the CEO of the business. It’s all about hard work, but in the entrepreneur life, it will take some time for you to get the maximum out from the hard work.
Entrepreneurs remember one thing,
“Winner Win by pushing their limits until the limits become the norm