Being a young entrepreneur has its own perils and advantages. A young entrepreneur myself, I believe the advantages outweigh the disadvantages by a mile. Someone once asked me why I decided to leave a steady paycheck to start a life that has no certainty, I told them that us as entrepreneurs don’t find comfort in certainty it’s the rush of creating something what we run after. We embrace the uncertainty.
I started interning for an insurance company when I was in college, and soon I realised I wanted to start my own company. I always felt I could do things better. As I continued with college I joined a few entrepreneurship clubs, where I became certain this was the path for me. Upon graduating, I was drawn in to the corporate rat race, however, it didn’t feel right. I took the leap on a whim and it has been one of the best decisions of my life.
I’ve learnt a lot since the time I left my job in the USA and returned to India (opposite of what people usually do) to become an entrepreneur. Here are some of my learnings:
Make mistakes: I remember being pretty skeptical before moving back and leaving the comforts of a steady paycheck. I was hesitant of making mistakes. When I started my company, I made a lot of mistakes and still do. I soon realised that the most important thing about mistakes is what you learn from them. So instead of fearing them, we should learn to embrace them. The only advantage for a young blood to commit such teething mistakes is that they dodge it in time if it ever arises again.
Take risks: With the risk of sounding clichéd, Take Risks (you see what I did there?). As young entrepreneurs, we have a lot of runway to implement new strategies, innovative ideas, and challenge the status quo. A lot of times these strategies might not work out but if they do, one homerun is all it takes to take you from zero to one.
Network/meet new people: This is something I try to follow and am becoming better at. Try and meet three new people every week and stay in touch with them. Not with the intention of gaining, but learning from them and their experiences. Chances are that you don’t know everything. An added advantage of connecting with new people is their network becomes a part of your network and you never know, one person’s contact can impact your venture in a big way.
Welcome feedback: Feedback is like medicine. It tastes bad but it if you use it, it cures. I say this because when you give your day and night to something it’s hard to hear anything negative about it. In your pursuit for perfection, it’s important to get and implement feedback from a fresh pair of eyes. You are not building this business just for yourself.
Don’t care: Don’t care if some aunty or uncle thinks you should be working in a multi–national company. The only person’s support you need is yourself and your family. People who don’t want to will never understand your vision. We live in a world where other people’s opinions matter but if you are true to yourself and your vision, the same people are going to show off their connection to you.
Don’t become complacent: My father warned me when I started my entrepreneurial journey, “No successful entrepreneur became successful by being complacent.” Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and jump on opportunities. Explore different ways you can spread awareness about your product. Chances are this won’t be your last rodeo, if you fail this time you would have come out smarter and better than you did before going in.
Don’t be impatient: In this age of instant gratification, we often forget that nothing great was made in a day. It took someone endless hours of labor, endless sleepless nights, and endless rejection to make their product amazing. Most of the times you won’t get it right in the first go, most of the times your genius strategy won’t garner the attention you expect, but hang in there and keep learning and becoming better.
Don’t get obsessed about launching a perfect product, be obsessed about building the right product. A lot of entrepreneurs keep reiterating about the product because they might not be satisfied with the design, usability, etc. But if you think about it that’s the reason we are entrepreneurs, we are never satisfied. It’s important to look past that and launch before it becomes too late. You can still pursue perfection but this time it will be with the feedback of 100 people who know you and your product.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)