Entrepreneurs are generally perceived as insane risk-takers; a surreal combination of Wolverine and Batman; aggressive yet calm, intuitive yet rational and reckless yet brave. Entrepreneurs are generally perceived as those riding lions: fast-paced and those diving off an airplane without a parachute: courageous. But the question is, if only five per cent entrepreneurs end up working on their original idea, only two per cent end up providing value, and only 0.5% end up having monetary success; how should this dream be pursued?
Jump without a rope!
In ‘The Dark Knight Rises’, Batman learns that you can go into full throttle only when there is no back up. Entrepreneurship teaches you to put all your eggs, fruits, hair-dryer, mobile-phone and everything else in one basket. If you have a backup, it’s you who have failed and not your startup. In any case, unless you took unreasonable risks while pursuing your startup, dealing with its failure will be an unpleasant and a ridiculously boring affair. It’s more like a step along the journey.
It’s about the journey and not the destination
As a startup, people will ask you, “Where do you see yourself after five years from now?” while you are still figuring out which client will be paying for your next lunch. In a startup, you learn. You learn to react to insulting situations, uncomforting questions and demeaning feedbacks. In a startup, you build, modify, test, rinse and repeat. It’s an incremental and an agile perspective towards life. You will never want it to end. It’s certainly addictive.
The outcome is not binary
Chances are that you might not become a billionaire but also, chances are that you might not end up on the street begging. There are millions of shades of grey between black and white, there are infinite rational numbers between 0 and 1 and there are millions of outcomes possible when you have a startup. It’s scary, yes! But it’s even more exciting. That fear of uncertainty, that feeling of not knowing the outcome, that thought-process when you are not in control of everything; there are very few things which can trigger such emotions. They are so rare, the English dictionary has no words for it!
Businesses die, entrepreneurs don’t
A misleading element in the perception of success rate is that you only have one shot at it, so you better make it. Startups never sink or swim. They give you a swing of directions. You give up your corporate job, you put in all the savings, your company fails and you can’t get back to your original career. There, you have another direction all together. And mind well, if a startup fails, a negligible amount of people can go back to their jobs. You are addicted; ruined. You will flock with the most like-minded, risk taking, lean, suave and convincing SOBs around. And you will start another one! Entrepreneurship is a career. So long as you don’t hit yourself in the face with the bat, you can keep taking swing after swing after swing.
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About the guest author
Yash Shah is co-founder of Ahmedabad-based Gridle, a visual cloud-based collaboration platform for small and medium businesses. Prior to starting Gridle, Shah founded blogging platform Blogtard. As a student, before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship, Shah’s hobby was to participate in business plan contests whenever he got the opportunity. He’s participated in 13 contests till date and has stood in top 3 in 9 of them. He has also published 1 paper on gesture interfacing devices and filed 1 patent on Front Adaptive Lighting System.