What does it take to be an entrepreneur at 19?Aafreen Ansari
People often ask me how I ended up being an entrepreneur and my journey from a college student to an owner of a company.
The answer to this lies in a lot of little contributing factors that make me who I am today. It includes experiences, downfalls, mistakes, lessons and, most importantly, the will to keep moving ahead. A lot of people are confused about when to start and want to make sure if they are headed in the right direction. The solution is you have to keep trying till you hit the bull’s eye. Not everyone is successful in their first attempt. Thus, one should not get disheartened on their first defeat. The journey as an entrepreneur is not easy. Firstly, you will have to step aside from the usual 9 to 5 job. Secondly, it involves a lot of planning to convert your idea into something tangible. The most important factor is to believe in what you wish to do as an entrepreneur. For that, just ask yourself these couple of questions to know whether or not you’re good to start – Is your idea solving a problem? If yes, how big of a problem that is? If not, what real life difference is your startup going to make?
Talking to family:
You will need to make your family understand that you’re about to do something different and that you’re passionate about whatever you’ve decided to do. Don’t expect them to understand and accept this decision of yours. They will take some time to wrap their minds around the fact that their little one is about to step into a different line of work. Give them their time and clear out their doubts with patience and calm because your family will always have your back in tough times. However, if your parents and relatives are too stubborn to let you start up, take some time yourself, complete your graduation degree, and in the meanwhile, prepare yourself thoroughly with your idea. Many parents wish that you get a degree before starting up. There is nothing wrong in what they are saying because their generation is conditioned to feeling secure with a graduation degree. While you want your parents to understand your perspective, you will have to understand that they too have their insecurities and they just want you to have a safe and secure future.
Taking a concrete decision and moving ahead:
If you have a business idea while you’re in college, don’t impulsively think that you have to drop out. Dropping out of college is a major step, so think wisely about what is the urgency of your idea and how will dropping out add up to the value? While a degree is not needed to be an entrepreneur, it is essential to have a great sense of responsibility and maturity.
Starting up and understanding the importance of decision making
In the entrepreneurial journey, you will need to take a lot of important decisions, which will decide the course of your journey ahead. A lot of people will say that it is okay to make mistakes, but I would say that while it is okay to make mistakes, it is also important that you think everything through instead of taking things lightly. The first six months are the most crucial months for your startup. You will need to decide how many people you will need to take your idea forward, how will you build a sustainable product, how will you manage the finances, whether you wish to be a funded or bootstrapped, etc. You might, in a frenzy, choose the wrong people or take decisions in an impulse, which might trouble you in future. So the easiest and fool proof way to try and avoid such situations is to reason everything with logic.
Knowing the risks and precautions to be taken
Understand why a person wants to be associated with you and how will it benefit them. In this industry, no matter how good a person is, everybody thinks of adding value to their work in one way or the other. Always ask yourself what value is your decision about anything going to add in your business. Also, always consider all the risks that are attached to any decision, because more often than not, it’s the little things that bring about a difference, good or bad. But, do not panic and overthink any situation. As said earlier, reason everything with logics because logics eliminate your emotional involvement.
Recent change in the industry
I would personally regard the notion of ‘corporate is a man’s world’ as a taboo as I have seen the recent shift in the number of female entrepreneurs and have experienced so myself. This industry is mainly about creativity and how big of a dent your idea can make. Therefore, don’t think that since you’re a women you cannot start your own business. Be confident about what you are passionate about and believe in your instincts. Nothing or nobody else except you can stop you from being an entrepreneur.