The hitchhiker’s guide to entrepreneurship
Let’s continue down the ever-overlapping road of entrepreneurship and hitchhiking. For, sometimes, the road can teach a lesson one can use in a board meeting.
A simple Google search will tell you that the hitchhiking means to travel by getting free lifts in passing vehicles. But it is just so much more than that. For the uninitiated, the road to hitchhiking can be long, and ever winding. Thus, it can be a scary notion and can be overwhelming to someone who hasn’t hitchhiked much before. One can lose sight of the bigger picture; which is to enjoy the journey, have a song on lips, a smile on your face and create new experiences that will stay in some nook of your brain; and also on our social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook. For these reasons alone, it’s mighty important for the hitchhiker to focus on one mile at a time and take things one day and one task at a time.
When I hitchhike, I primarily focus on getting a lift from a car passing by. I make sure drivers can see the whites and blacks of my eyes.
I also remove sunglasses if I have them on and have a positive smile on my face. By this, I establish rapport with the person who might give me a lift without even having a conversation. Being an experienced hitchhiker myself, whenever someone asks me for a lift without an eye contact or enthusiasm, it gives me a fair idea that they might just not be fully interested in getting a lift. It tells me that they are not fully invested in the journey which irks me to the core and also is an indication to me to not waste my time.
Another important life arc to hitchhiking introduced me was to not just focus, but knowing where and when to shift focus. From getting the lift, to establishing a rapport with the person who offered me that lift; from getting a lay of the land on reaching the destination, to interacting with the fellow hitchhikers, it’s not only important to keep shifting focus, but also makes the journey simpler and puts less stress on me.
One of the dangers of newly discovered entrepreneurial enthusiasm is a willingness to be all things to all people, trying to capitalise on every potential opportunity and doing everything all at once. The problem with that is that one can suffer from a lack of focus, and end up burning the fuel of their enthusiasm quicker than they imagine and intend to. Focus is a tough beast to tackle. There is a dangerous temptation to do and offer whatever it takes to get business in the door. What a budding entrepreneur needs here is not one more thing to focus on, but the humble admission that they can focus on only one thing at a time. The benefits of being focused are that your entrepreneurial energy is efficiently exerted and exuded, as opposed to madly running off in all directions. An entrepreneur should always dream big but focus small when it comes to his startup.
Neeru Sharma, the Co-founder of Infibeam also cautions entrepreneurs, “To take up more than one can chew, to not delegate, is a sure-shot formula for burnout.”
From pitching an idea to an angel investor, to going to the first client meeting; from crunching the numbers to leading the first IPO meeting, the road to creating a profitable and enriching business can be overwhelming. But when an entrepreneur takes one challenge at a time, takes one sales call at a time, and makes one pitch at a time with complete focus, it can make the journey ten folds easy and more fulfilling than he ever imagined.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)