[Friday Learning] Creative discipline - A responsible entrepreneur is a doer

By Sanjay Mehta|7th Sep 2013
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Entrepreneurs in the current digital generation need to excel in moral, mental behaviour through discipline. We will try and learn in the article that creative discipline helps startups place vision as the first priority before the individual’s own needs.

A responsible entrepreneur is a doer, hence he will be a self-disciplined personality. Discipline is all about willpower and self-control. But asking to develop a culture of discipline many times is considered a punishment within young startup teams. Identify and retain individuals who are obedient and follow rules, process in startups. They are valuable assets. To train, inspire and bring the culture of discipline is also part of the job of founders. Every startup works for a singular goal to make the idea successful. Disciplined collaboration is important, if tasks need to be completed to achieve that desired goal. Hence entrepreneurs should be able to articulate the value, meaning and purpose of discipline in relation to success. Start-ups are the challengers to disrupt the well-established models of the existing market. They will always be low on resources hence being disciplined is prime.

Discipline is very synonymous with military and school. This is because they follow a time table which is sacrosanct. Entrepreneurs should imbibe a drill culture in their outlook to all functions of business. When in customer service function with discipline it can ensure a predictable response. With financial discipline they can control the cash flows better. Non compromising discipline attitude brings out the best quality products.  Positive training with rigorous education develops harmony of discipline in teams. Well knit teams are productive teams with high esteem. Ethical conduct is instinctive once instilled in the startup team, and they will act respectfully with integrity under all conditions.

The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will, said Vince Lombardi


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Self-discipline is most important for self-development. Perfection comes with practice hence startups need to define their area where they are seeking perfection. Let’s take the example of sales reporting of their calls & numbers. If all of your sales team were to report in different formats, at different intervals without harmony then it will be difficult to predict & analyse sales pipeline. So there is need for intense practice for perfecting sales reporting. When you repeat a task in training, you execute it very well in actual. Entrepreneurs are leaders & leaders are the role model for rest of the team. Entrepreneurs need to start setting up example of discipline themselves. It will help others to imitate, realize & implement in their routines. Periodically rationale value behind the discipline drill needs to be reemphasized in team & not make them blindly follow.

An entrepreneur who is hardworking, persistent will be considered as disciplined to an extent. Define your schedule & stick to it. Do not look out for instant gratification. Initially it will be difficult to make understand others including yourself while sticking to the schedule. Eventually all will fall in line if you stick to schedule religiously. All startups have a future vision for a complex problem to solve. Hence compromising with a short cut on discipline will surely lead to anarchy of inconsistency in future.  Assess where all areas there is a problem to be addressed. Once identified, implement a sensible process, regulation to overcome the problem. Once there is clarity about what one wants, what one is doing then he will love being disciplined. He knows he is making a big impact.

Self-discipline is like knowledge. The more self-disciplined, the more powerful the entrepreneur. The less self-disciplined, the less valuable the entrepreneur becomes. The degree of knowledge varies from entrepreneur to entrepreneur. Similarly self-discipline quotient is different for everyone. But it can be developed over a period. Start small with simple discipline of greetings & courtesies like good morning which sets the tone of the day. Do that for a month consistently you will start experiencing the control on will power. Use progressive discipline by putting regime to your valuable business chores one by one. More self-control will make you predictable to overcome challenges which seemed difficult in past. Do not try & copy others but build a self-discipline identity of own. In real life successful leaders are the ones who learnt, applied the value of discipline & not the irresponsible hackers. Research says that disciplined person is 45% more productive due to focused undistracted adherence to schedule. Personal productivity of leaders is highest because they are disciplined & think of end results.

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. – Jesse Owens

Willpower is instant adrenalin rush to do the right thing but it is momentary. It leans in to self-discipline to create a sustained momentum.  Willpower gives you the focused bundle of energy to initialize the process of bringing in the discipline in the startup. For example if you want to rein in erratic office timing of employees. It’s the entrepreneur’s willpower that can put a reasonable system in process and make all adhere to it. Startups may put up a paper HR policy but entrepreneurs resolve only can make the policy implement. One more factor is investing time with discipline. Take charge, do not avoid or resist. For example every month if there is heap of magazines to be read, piled up posts to be opened. Then one can dump in a wasted bin all of it & be done. Right way will be to take necessary time out in a creative but disciplined way. Prioritize & read the important ones by creating a daily end of day routine. Persistence is the trait where leaders keep performing even in adverse situation. We have seen great sports personalities sweat persistently in their daily drill of hard training for that one moment of medal glory. We would not have seen the science technology reach where it is today, if scientist would have given up their diligent research persuasions. There is a wrong notion or glamorous quotient to be undisciplined character attributed to creative personalities. Most successful creative artists have been stubbornly disciplined on their path with unwavering vision to try reaching their goal. Even the sage & hermit’s live life full of rules & discipline.

Starting a start-up is very easy, fashionable to young entrepreneurs. But scaling the start-up in a business that lasts is a disciplined play. Build enough disciplined endurance to enjoy the journey of entrepreneurship. Systematic disciplined methods can produce character to make the idea intention in a successful manifest.

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