When I launched my venture about a couple of years ago, so many well wishers and friends told me that “age” is not on my side and this wasn’t the best time in my life to start something of my own. There have been times in this journey when I wanted to believe that as well but I am glad I didn’t. My journey as an entrepreneur has been quite exciting & has taught me many lessons. Today as I expand the geographic reach of my business I look back at the journey and i know its not been easy and its far from being over. I still have a long way to go.What differentiates a successful entrepreneur from a failed one? Few things which I have learned in this journey. But we always wonder what sets apart a successful entrepreneur from a unsuccessful one. Is there some formula which we can apply to ensure success. Some of the insights which I have learned from my entrepreneurial journey

  1. It’s never too late to pursue what you believe in– Life experiences bring depth that the the young might not be able to see. As they say experience is the best teacher and it can be used to your advantage. So don’t let age and life stage be an excuse to pursue your dreams
  2. Take baby steps – Take small risks, its easier to absorb losses when you have taken smaller risks. Also this helps you plan and execute strategies better. I started with a very small area and investment before I went out to increase my geographic reach.
  3. Love what you do – If you are passionate about what you are doing, persistence will follow. It’s very important to believe and love what you are doing. I think its my passion to make the venture succeed which has lead me where I am today. There have been times in past years when I wanted to shut it down but my passion in the idea and belief that it would work kept me going.
  4. Your attitude matters– Your attitude will set a tone for your business. If you are negative and lazy, it will flow down to the team. Make sure you are all that you want your team to be.
  5. Be ready to dirty your hands– To make any business successful you need to be willing to do anything that it requires. I have been a delivery boy, tagging expert and even personally washed clothes. The more you dirty your hands the more insight you gain into your business. You cannot be a good boss unless you know how to do it yourself.
  6. Listen to your customers– Its very important to keep in constant touch with customers and understand what they want. After all your bread and butter comes from them. So its important to keep listening to customers even when you are growing larger in size.
  7. Be flexible and adaptable– I started as a online laundry but eventually realized that customers preferred retail outlets to pure online presence. I changed myself to a omni- channel player and it worked well for me. Evolving strategies as you go along is very crucial to business success.
  8. Look out for opportunities– As a small business owner I keep looking for opportunities to collaborate with other businesses, low cost marketing opportunities. You will be amazed at what all opportunities can come your way if you are open to looking out for them.
  9.  Business is about making money– As many as customers you might acquire its important to make money on every transaction that you do. So right from the beginning keep that as a primary business goal. With VC’s funding businesses its easy to lose track of this primary business goal
  10. Be ready to accept failure and exit– Knowing when to call quits is very important for any business. Not everything you try will be successful and knowing when to let go will ensure that you cut your losses short.
  11. Listen to you gut– Sometimes you will have the facts and figures pointing in one direction but your instinct might be telling you something else. Trust your instinct. Sometimes spreadsheets are based on certain assumptions and hypothesis and might not be entirely accurate. So learn to listen to your gut.

 

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