Entrepreneurship is the buzz word right now. Everyone seems to have that next disruptive idea which will create the next unicorn. Now, if you are the founder of a startup, you are looked upon as a role model and the society puts you on a high pedestal. It is amazing how things have changed in the last decade. When I completed my engineering and joined Philips as a graduate apprentice, my family and folks felt I had made it big in life. Working in a prestigious MNC, the expectation was that I would have a steady and secure job and retire from the same company. Not any more! Neither are there any MNCs (or for that matter any company) which can promise you a steady secure job till retirement, and nor the youth has the temperament, patience and attitude to grow steadily along the organisational hierarchy. So, everyone must try their hands at entrepreneurship and make it rather big very very quickly.
This is great as there is no harm in being ambitious (can we say the same for over-ambitious?), but you better know what it takes to be an entrepreneur, and whether you will enjoy the startup journey or not. I would like to make one thing crystal clear – running a startup is 99% hardwork and 1% luck. Apart from hardwork, there is no magic sauce to success. And, if you get de-motivated and stop enjoying swimming against the current mid-stream, well… then be mentally prepared to sink.
So here are some traits you must either have, or inculcate if you want to be a successful entrepreneur:
Your brain doesn’t need time off from work!
Don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting you be workaholic, working 16-18 hours a day. hen you run into a problem, you can’t switch off your brain from thinking about it unless you have found a way out. This is a 24×7 thing, and it doesn’t matter what environment you operate in. Subconsciously, you are always observing and picking clues to find a way out. If you are the kind who usually switches off while trying to solve a problem after some time, you will not enjoy the startup journey.
You live neither in the past nor in the future, but only the present!
While every startup has a goal and a grandiose vision that they are working towards, the founding team is deep rooted in the present. The entrepreneur has to have the mindset of “this is where I am now and this is what needs to be done next.”
Often entrepreneurs, especially the ones who had spent a lot of time in corporate world, start to compare their lifestyle before and after doing the startup. All the corporate highs of delegation, power, influence, travel and meetings are suddenly gone. If you cannot let go of the past, you will not enjoy the startup journey.