The word entrepreneurship is associated with a person brave enough to reject the paved paths and attempt to strike it on their own. We then take the liberty to label it as a smart man’s venture or a fool’s gimmick. It’s not a lack of inspirational success stories holding one back but the risks associated with it. It’s the notion that one invests in themselves and eventually builds a trust system of investors whose livelihood could be made or broken.
For an entrepreneurial ecosystem to thrive, we need venture capitalists to fund startups and angel investors to persist with the ventures despite when the going gets tough. We need a series of smart decisions, a strong support system, innovative concepts that thrive in a crowded market, easy laws or policies by that bureaucracy, a talented pool of skilled people to drive the business and of course, financial stability. The reason why Bangalore became a hotspot for innovation and global corporations is that it offered a serene and salubrious environment (including the weather) in terms of readily available pool of talent, and unobtrusive government enabling laws and tax breaks that encouraged companies to reap the benefits, and most importantly, a thriving culture of innovation that was long the characteristic of the city before the IT industry made it it’s home.
They say that timing is an essential factor that determines the success of new ventures. When the right combination of ideation, incubation, and execution is actualized, the gong of success is hit. If an entrepreneur peak too early or too late, having misjudged the timing when the product reveals itself to the market, he or she may end up paying a price too high. The intention here is that entrepreneurs must ensure that they have the necessary foundation in place to capitalize on the opportunity and also must have an idea and a business model that would create opportunities in case they are finding it difficult to get the venture going. “Strike when the iron is hot,” they say. Well, this is a mantra a new business venture should breathe. Another analogy would be that entrepreneurs must be ready with the fishing rods and the baits when they go fishing and if the river, sea, or lake is saturated, they must fish in waters that are “blue oceans” meaning that they must create new markets for themselves.
Another reason why businesses may fail is related to the financials or the managing of the cash flows which have been mentioned earlier. This aspect has to do with the fact that most entrepreneurs fail to anticipate the cash crunch which arises from the imbalance between accounts payable and the accounts receivables. After certain due diligence by himself/herself, there comes a time when investors and financial advisors get involved to turn a profit. The following are important terms that one should be aware of for the funding required to kickstart their ventures from off the ground- bootstrapping, external financing, angel investors, venture capitalists, and buyouts.
An entrepreneur is a leader who needs to have the right skills to manage people the right way, in consideration of vibing well with consumers and funders as well as the bond, stability, and incentives for employees. This means that the entrepreneur should handhold the business especially in the formative years to ensure that there is no slip between the cup and the lip where the translation of ideas into the running of the business is concerned.
All being said and done, with all the moments of self-doubt and potential reasons to quit, a strong mind and a can-do attitude are crucial to ‘make it’. Failure isn’t easy. Someone who has experienced it would know all to well the urge to give in and give up. Yet, a true entrepreneur holds tighter, the word being synonymous to the fighter, he/she fights for their dream. The number of failures or success stories, of course, isn’t light but an article on entrepreneurship isn’t complete without a few honorable mentions.
Mark Cuban is easily one of the most well-known entrepreneurs of the 21st century. He became a household name for owning the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and being one of the original sharks on the hit show Shark Tank. Mark’s wealth is estimated to be $3.3 billion, but it took him a lot of trial and error to become the outspoken, wealthy tech investor he is now. His first failed business venture? Powered milk. And, despite his belief that the business would be a hit, his parents were his only customers. Vera Wang is one of the most famous fashion designers on the planet — but it wasn’t always that way. Wang actually started her professional career as a figure skater hoping to make it to the Olympics. However, she failed to make team USA and her professional skating aspirations were crushed. Having moved on from figure skating, she worked at Vogue. But she was turned down for the position of editor-in-chief, as she wasn’t believed to be a good fit for the role. That didn’t stop her either. Wang stayed in the fashion industry, but she went on to create one of the most well-known bridal brands in history. This list would not be complete without Steve Jobs. Given his success during the latter part of his life, it’s easy to forget he was fired from Apple in 1985. Ironically enough, he credited some of his biggest wins to that experience:
“I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”