Lessons For Aspiring Entrepreneurs
They say, "entrepreneurship is like jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down". To me, a bold and unafraid twenty year old girl who lacked direction but had big dreams, back in 2018, that jump looked like my only way out. Entrepreneurship and financial independence were two adrenaline-packed rollercoaster rides I needed the tickets of. And I got them, only to realise that entrepreneurship is not even remotely as glamorous as it looks like, it is a cut-throat war; a long, slow, painful process that may or may not lead to financial success.
Given the dedication and commitment I put in over the last three years, things worked out wonderfully for me. Taking complete control and responsibility for building my own future has been extremely rewarding, and very honestly, terrifying at the same time. Even though it gets easier each day as I learn to spot patterns, build momentum, develop and streamline systems and processes, I still feel like I live on the edge and that things can take a downward turn at any moment. As scary as that might seem, I firmly believe that over the years to come, I have to be open to learning, garnering new experiences, adapting and relentlessly moving forward. That's the mindset every aspiring entrepreneur should possess.
What my journey in entrepreneurship has taught me, at a personal level is - to turn my fear of the unknown and uncertainty of the future into a force that fuels my present. Having said that, here are some business lessons I’ve learnt over the past few years building my own company. Some of these have been adapted from Peter Thiel's - Zero to One, a book on 'innovation in business' I fell in love with, the moment I read the first few lines. I highly recommend reading it to all.
Long-term success of a business is rooted in two things - constant innovation i.e. relentless pursuit of offering something new, and the willingness to improving lives by delivering value.
As an aspiring entrepreneur, do not enter competitive markets (i.e pick problems whose solution could benefit a large segment of people, but not many are solving, or solving well enough), because in competitive markets the profit margins are low, and the market ends up deciding the price of the offering, you don't get to. No company makes an economic profit under perfect competition. Perfectly competitive markets achieve equilibrium, and equilibrium is the death of a business.
Building monopolies is the key. Having factors that distinguish your business from other businesses is paramount. Every business is successful exactly to the extent that it does something that other businesses cannot.
Success of a business is directly proportional to its understanding of the market. A thorough understanding of the ins-and-outs of your market segment and your industry is a powerful competitive advantage.
Idolizing competition, preaching it, internalising its necessity and enacting its commandments results in getting trapped into it. It is important to recognise competition as a destructive force and work accordingly.
Value of your business is the sum of all money it will make in the future.
Always start with lesser on your plate. Start with creating and dominating a niche market, and then gradually expanding into related and slightly broader but related consumer segments.
Be a definite optimist i.e. always have a plan. Be certain that you'll have a bright future, but be equally certain of how you are going to pursue it. Iteration without a plan will take you nowhere.
Be obsessed with your customers, their experience with your business and their needs because they decide the fate of your venture.
Build your startup with scalability in mind. Nobody wants a genius business model that cannot be replicated for multiplied revenue.
In the early days, prioritise discovering yourself, understanding your strengths and weaknesses and what you are naturally curious about, building skills, and getting rid of limiting self-beliefs, instead of chasing money.
No matter what stage of the journey you’re going on, don't forget to feel grateful for those who have helped you in any way and feel proud for how far you have come.
That was all from my side. I'd like to know which of these you agree/disagree to? Let me know in the comments section right below! I really hope this blog has provided some value and insight about the world of entrepreneurship to you, and that you take these lessons and hit the ground running with your own ideas! The biggest difference between the somebody and nobody very often only comes down to - who is willing to take action, who is will to put in the work, the grind? Are you willing?