Entrepreneurs are crazy people.
I wanted to be one for as long as I can remember. It was even before I knew what the word entrepreneur meant.
Here are some lessons for entrepreneurs that I learnt along the way.
100.Time is precious. Earlier you realize better it is.
99. It takes time to succeed. Do not add to that time by being lazy. Tweet this
98. Starting and taking action everyday is more important than winning or reaching your destination.
97. Ideas are important but are nothing without action. Good if you are an action taker. If not then find somebody who can take action on your idea. In most of the cases you need to be the idea and action person both.
Hint: If you need ideas for starting up, read – 17 businesses you can start with little or no money – as a starting point.
96. The longer to wait and sit on an idea, the chances that you will ever start with it becomes bleak.
95. Thinking about an idea and not taking action makes your fearful and nervous; taking action makes you courageous and helps you move ahead.
94. It is important to find your groove. Different people have different ways to get in the groove. For someone it may be music, talking to people, going out and making a sale; for others it may be sitting silent, talking to a loved one, or a shot of coffee. Some people get in the groove by reading something inspiring and uplifting. Find how your and do it every day.
93. Entrepreneurship is about showing up – day after day.
92. Once you have started on the path – not giving it your best shot – is not sensible. Give your best shot with the time on your hands; because life is too short to waste at making half-hearted attempts. You may fail and I totally understand that but do not work to fail. Work to make it work. Chances are that you will make it work and avoid the failure.
91. You need to believe in yourself before others start believing in you.
90. Times have changed and you live only once – so choose a parallel path and get started on it as soon as you can.
89. Being laid back is neither good for body or for business. It kills both. You become fat by being lazy and a business without revenues is as good as dead.
88. You do not get time for your life’s work, you find it. It is hidden in your TV time, the time you day dream for weeks, the time you spend gossiping. Whatever you do, be wise and make the best use of your time. Cut all time suckers from your life.
87. You fitness is more important than you think. It is the vehicle that takes you in the direction of your dreams. So take time every day to nourish your body and mind.
86. You need to pay yourself first. It means doing your core work before your mobile phone, email and other time suckers take your attention away from it.
85. Once you have done your time as an entrepreneur, you will find new partners and collaborators. Do not forget your old friends at such times.
84. People, who you trust to deliver good work, are an asset. Keep them close. Click to Tweet
83. Writing helps in more than one ways. It helps your organize thoughts. If you are publishing online and giving value, people will take note and you will find more opportunities to serve or build businesses.
82. If you wish to succeed then do not let media and statistics drive your action. We tend to read a lot of statistics that lots of start-ups fail (more than 90%) within 1st starting year of starting up. Do not focus too much on such stories. Aim to be within 10% or so who do not fail.
81. It helps to be true to your passion while building a business. Of course there will be challenges and hard work. But running it should make a part of your soul happy. Otherwise you will not be able to spend the time that it required.
80. It is important to be happy and spread happiness as much as you can.
Read the happiness formula for more ideas.
79. You need to fire customers who pull your down. This is really hard but needs to be done to keep you sane. It will be easy when you have lots of customers. So go wide fast. Acquire as many customers as soon as you can.
78. At times If you are feeling not inspired enough – it may be because lack of rest. Sleep in late on such days, take rest and call friends or people whose advice you trust; do it while still in bed.
77. When angry just take a brisk walk or wash your face with cold water. Do not call the person who is the reason for anger. Wait for couple for hours or a day. Talk to family or close friends only at such times.
76. If helps to communicate. Write to people in industry or somebody who you want to do business with. Write to them what you think can be useful for them.
75. Focus on making money from day 1 or even before you start. Tweet it
74. You need to tell people about your ideas and work. Unless you tell them nobody will. Do not spam people or be a jerk but share with people who are willing to listen.
73. Focus on creating remarkable work – you may not do it first time but you will do it eventually.
72. Do not be afraid to make a start, you may fall but you will learn valuable lessons that will stay with you for life and when you make your next attempt. It will give you stories that you will be able to tell your grandchildren, when you get old; or be stories for your memoir.
71. You do not know from where an opportunity will come and so keep your eyes and ears open.
70. In the beginning say YES a lot and then learn to say NO. Click to Tweet
69. Do everything to keep a client – when that client is the only one that you have.
68. Learn to solve big problems early.
67. In the digital world and 21st century you need not think small – world is your oyster. Make stuff that world can use.
66. Do not be afraid to share your plans with people.
65. Do not be afraid to sell, even if you come like a jerk initially or seem pushy. It is an art and you will take time to feel at ease.
64. Focus is very important. Build one business at a time – until you score your first success.
63. Make lists – not really long one likes this – focus on a single task and go through your activities fast.
62. It takes time. You need to be in it for the long haul. Give yourself 18 months minimum and them some more. Give yourself 5-10 years minimum if you are focussed on building a big success – to create a billion dollar company.
61. It takes energy. So eat well and exercise on a regular basis.
60. Business building time needs to more than community building, unless community is your business (If you run a conference business or community driven portal). But do spend some time within community.
59. It is important to be able to ask right questions. It gets you right answers.
58. Help people as and when you can.
57. Give and you will get.
56. Learn to ask for help.
55. Speaking in public, writing, selling are skills that every entrepreneur should work on. You are better with these than without.
54. Do not die building your business. Live your life to the fullest. This is the time to be excited, not to be down.
53. It is not as easy as it is sounds.
52. You need to stay excited, and motivated to give your best shot every single day or every weekday if you are a weekday entrepreneur.
51. No need to worry about missed opportunities. Richard Branson once said, “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”
50. Disciple in one part of life shows in other parts of life.
49. Persistence pays.
48. There is always a smarter way to do a task or handle a situation.
47. If you made a mistake learn from it and move ahead. Do not be scared of making a mistake again though.
46. There is no perfect start.
45. Every human being, every entrepreneur that you call a success – came over some inner demon or some challenges. Ask anybody you like that and they will tell you.
44. Hours you need to spend building a billion dollar company is same as a million dollar company so once you have tasted some success and have money in the bank – then go for the billion. (Read: Create billions through disruption).
43. It is not about money, it is about impact.
42. School is the best place to build a start-up. See – how to build a start-up as a student?
41. Do not focus on pleasing the world.
40. Few strong bonds are more important than having 4999 facebook friends.
39. Bootstrap your 1st start-up; take investment if required for subsequent attempts. Why? Because, taking investment at the right time can boost your speed and success rate enormously. So bootstrap your first start-up, learn the basics and then take money as much as you possibly can.
38. It is good to get customer paying for a real products – before your approach VCs or angels for investment.
37. Do not worry about people agreeing to you first. Follow your heart. They will come back at last and what if they do not.
36. Do not worry about people not caring enough – they have their own problems to solve. How much do you care for others? Ask yourself. If you care too much then you are a rarity. But if you are one, then do not change. World needs more people like you.
35. Do not under price. Premium pricing has its benefits. Deliver massive value for that price – so that the customers think (at least) that premium pricing is worth it or (great if she thinks) that you should have charged more.
34. Focus on being happy. When you are happy then you will be able to spread joy around and build a better business.
33. Entrepreneurship is about fighting resistance.
32. It is about being resourceful.
31. It is to do what needs to be done.
30. It is about re-inventing yourself.
29. It is taking decisions and putting all you got behind those decisions.
28. It is about making connections by being nice, thought provoking and insanely helpful.
27. You have to find your reason – is it a burning desire for you, means to make money, create a name for yourself, a vent for your creative energy or is it something that you have been dying to for years?
26. It is about managing, time, money, employees and people both inside and outside. More than anything else, it is about managing yourself.
25. It is about vision and thinking about scale.
24. Packaging is more important than you think. Whether you call yourself a product company or service company a web design company or an interactive agency has a ton of difference in how people (customers) perceive you.
23. It is learning that you cannot do everything yourself and need to reach out for help – personal and professional. You never do it alone. You need help, faith, trust and (also distrust—it also drives you sometimes).
22. It does not matter where you start (in your bedroom or a family garage) – it matters where you end up – a failure, a darling of media, listed on a stock exchange or in hearts of people.
21. It helps to have a work sanctuary where you have your tools handy and where there is minimal distraction – when you are working from home.
20. It is more important if what you are doing satisfies your soul.
19. Internet is full or opportunities and if you do not use these it is to your own peril.
18. Never underestimate what market can offer you but before that understand what you can give to the market.
17. Be generous with your ideas.
16. Know what you don’t know and tell people what you do not know.
15. You learn every day.
14. Never underestimate anybody.
13. Test people with problems and hire as interns or freelancers before hiring them full-time.
12. Learn to ask – for the sale or anything you want. Reading books by Zig Ziglar and Frank Bettger helped me learn a great deal about it.
11. Pricing is not about the cost of creating the product + profits. It is about cost of selling [time you spend selling + cost of creation + cost of customer maintenance (your time on phone + travelling + reporting + customer service etc.) + profits]. Account for each one of these and more as soon as you can. Because once you get a customer you cannot tell them to increase the cost at once.
10. Start outsourcing as soon as you can. Delegate tasks which are not core as soon as you can. Focus your time on enriching yourself. Thinking about ways to grow, meet and touch base with (potential) clients. Spend time putting oil in the wheels of your business.
9. People can write you off but that does not mean that you are a failure.
8. Do not see the world from somebody else’s eyes.
7. Search engines are your friends, take time to learn about them.
6. Deadlines are also your friends. They push your to deliver. Set them for yourself. Hurry and wait when faced with deadline. This means finish the work as soon as you get it with thinking of making it perfect and then sleep over it to come back and make it even better.
5. You need not be the most knowledgeable person about something in the world, to make a success. Of course you need some smarts and luck – but nothing out of this world. The world is full of good, smart people you need an eye to see them. And, until you are sure about their goodness keep on believing that they are good.
4. Moral policing does not help. Just focus on yourself. Live and let live. As Mahatma Gandhi once said,“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
3. All human beings are not created equal. Find those who are in sync with you and stick with them.
2. You need not step on somebody’s head to build a business. The world is big enough to accommodate all of us.
1. A good start is fine. But do not let challenges, setbacks, roadblocks; failures deter you from moving ahead. As Sean Parker (young billionaire, co-founder of Napster, Plaxo and founding president of Facebook) told Vanity Fair magazine in an October 2010 feature, ……... The road, he points out, has been rocky. “It hasn’t been some kind of fairy tale for me. All of my success has been born of failure. Your childhood dreams are always tales of glory; reality is a lot messier and more dramatic.”
What are your experiences? What do you want to add to the points above?
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