As a kid, we have many dreams that keep changing very frequently, sometimes within hours. From being an engineer to being a pilot when we saw a plane flying in the sky, from being a doctor to even driving a train, we had seen millions of dreams as kids. But then – we grew. Dreams took a back seat and suddenly life happened. We realized our responsibilities and coerced ourselves into getting a job, let alone our dream job! We settle for years trying to make peace with the reality and subduing our dreams.
But are we content with what we are? There is a constant war going on within us. We don’t want to settle with what we have and itch to live our dream. Sometimes it is about being our own boss, i.e. starting our own business. But is everybody fit to be an entrepreneur? Just like any other profession is not meant for everybody, so is entrepreneurship. Especially if you like the ‘Me’ time after your 9/5 job as entrepreneurship is a 24x7x365 job. Yes, you still remain an employee of your organization, and that is how you win the game. A stats pertaining to US show that over 50 percent of all businesses fail after five years, 40 percent of the startups fail due to a bad fit and 38 percent due to lack of time and involvement.
Another analysis of 58 French failures reflect that around 40 percent of them died due to bad fit between team & projects, 38 percent due to lack of time & involvement, 31 percent for the lack of capital and 29 percent due to poor market analysis. More or less, the environment in India is equally fragile and we too have a number of startups failing for the similar reasons. In fact, sometimes our reasons are weird enough to laugh at but at the same time to introspect on how we can fix it – the social factor that discourages taking entrepreneurship. I have seen, and bet you too, a number of families encouraging their kids wanting to pursue a job but discouraging the one who wants to venture into entrepreneurship. With only mouth service from friends & relatives, mostly, the way to entrepreneurship becomes full of hurdles that you need to jump one-by-one strategically.
What it Needs?
So you need to have courage to disagree with your family, fight with your relatives (and sometimes inner self), burn mid-night oil and even sell off your assets to build your dream startup. If you are ready for all these, still entrepreneurship might not be for you. Why? Because many a times, the problem lies within ourselves. I am not talking about the lack of market research, technology & innovation, market approach, similar product line, but what I mean is your determination to make it there on the top at any cost.
We read a lot of startup success stories and tend to feed our dreams with the belief that if s/he can, I can too. But getting influenced by other’s success stories can inflict more harm than good. How? We do not know the ground reality of their struggle, the challenges they faced and the challenges that were thrown on them by others, the bootstrapping which they might be done selling their dream car or sometimes their dream home. Without knowing them, we usually get carried away with the glossy picture of today’s startup world which makes you feel like the Page 3 stars. And then, boom… the bubble bursts. So if you think it’s a patch to quick money, if you can’t solve a real world problem the way others can’t, if you make plans but with no action taken, if you dream big but can’t handle small stuffs, and if you don’t hate the status quo but love to settle with what you have achieved, entrepreneurship may not be your true calling.
The fact is entrepreneurship can be annoying sometime and hence do a reality check before you step into this world. Check how gruesome situation/people can be and if you can sustain and win over them. But most important than having a Plan B is to check if you can sustain the failure and stand back again. Just because entrepreneurship feels right for one person doesn’t mean it is right for you. So assess yourself, and find your true calling. May be you are meant to lead someone else’s company and take it to new heights. Who knows you could be the next Satya Nadella or the next Sundar Pichai leading the global companies and creating newer values & innovations in the space!