“Why do we fall, sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” Michael Caine/Alfred Pennyworth’s quote from the 2005 movie Batman Begins is one of the most defining lines of the Dark Knight trilogy, as well as one of the finest motivational quotes ever spoken on-screen. In your moments of greatest despair, when all hope seems lost and you’re wondering why you even bothered to work so hard in the first place, it is important to remember that failure is not the end. Using the lessons taught by the failure to come back stronger is not only the best way to improve, it is also incredibly satisfying.
We all have our own daily bouts with our personal demons, and the biggest one of them is losing inspiration when the going gets tough, or even worse – quitting. Feeling hapless or an overpowering sense of disillusionment while chasing the entrepreneurial dream is part-and-parcel of the journey. It would be surprising if you didn’t have that feeling every now and then. Perhaps, these pangs can be associated with a need to introspect rather than giving up on your aspirations. So if you are caught up in a similar situation, then words of advice from these entrepreneurs are probably just the positive reinforcement you need to hopefully set you back on track.
Keep your passion alive
There are several instances where individuals precariously step into the world of entrepreneurship without realising if they are truly driven by passion or just allured by stories of success. Then there are others who have some initial bouts of passion which soon burn out; if they fail to realise it, they get caught in the same old cycle of mindless drone-work. So it is always a safe bet to take time and understand if your passion is still intact; if not, what can you do to prevent the work seeming like any other menial task?
“Work is something that excites. I don’t mind working on weekends since I never feel that work is a punishment. I am lucky that every morning I wake up looking forward to the day ahead and that’s my biggest driving factor.” – Sujal Kini, Partner, Bell Paints
“It’s phenomenal if you’re blessed that what you love and what you’re passionate about, which could easily have been your hobby, is also your profession! And that doesn’t come to everybody. So you need to be lucky about that.” – Ronnie Screwvala, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
“If you don’t fall in love with the problem, then chances are that you won’t find the best solutions.” – Nikhil Rungta, Intuit
Chase your dream till you live it
Dreams are great, but basking away in their make-belief magnificence without achieving them is pure delirium. If you have your mind set on certain goals, then you need to take measures to not just pursue, but to attain them as well.
“Dreams do come true if you believe in them and go all out to pursue them.” – Durgesh Khandelwal, Founder, Wassup Flea
“The universe falls in love with a stubborn heart! What you wish for always comes true if you work hard for it.” – Major (Retd) Vandana Sharma, Founder, StartupPeopleConsulting
“If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution.” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon
“It can be fairly lonely being an entrepreneur, but it is the focus and grit that keeps you going.” – Madhurima Agarwal, Senior Manager, NetApp Excellerator
“Believe in your ability to make your dreams come true.” – Pamela Malhotra, Co-chairperson and Secretary, Sai Sanctuary Trust
Never fear to lock horn with your challenges
The pursuit of success or achieving your dreams is replete with numerous challenges. The scars of these battles are proof of your tenacity and fearlessness to meet and overcome any challenge. Facing up to your challenges and defeating them is the true test of your character, and you should not shy away from it – embrace it instead.
“Every day starts with a new challenge. Every sunset gives a new achievement.” – Dr Ranjana Bansal, Ashok Auto
“Being an entrepreneur is always challenging. The ability to multitask, prioritise, and keep re-prioritising without losing the big picture is a crucial skill for any entrepreneur. It’s also very lonely sometimes, but who said it was going to be easy?” – Sanjay Swamy, Prime Venture Partners
“Find a new way to change the status quo. Be sure you are willing to commit to entrepreneurship and make the sacrifices needed to be one – remember the quote – no one said entrepreneurship is easy but only that it will be worth it.” – K Ganesh, GrowthStory
Success needs grit and vision
Tough times will test you, investors will question you, and the market might be unaccepting of you. These are very real and probable scenarios that any and every entrepreneur meets. What differentiates greatness from mediocrity is the grit to stay on-course and the vision to see beyond the horizon, what many are incapable of.
“The ones who can see the vision when no one else can, and work on it like there is no tomorrow, will succeed. The rest will follow.” – Ajay Naik, Co-founder and CEO, Letcetra Agritech
“Entrepreneurs are different from ‘inventors’ – dreaming is a necessary but not a sufficient virtue.” – Sanjay Nath, Blume Ventures
Taking failure in stride
The taste of victory is even sweeter once you’ve tasted the bitterness of defeat. Don’t let our failures get you down; each time you stumble, just use it as a learning experience to come back even stronger and wiser.
“Failure is a comma, not a full stop...Failure is inevitable. Embrace failure.” – Ronnie Screwvala, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
“Startups must accept failure and learn not to look at it as a negative.” – Rachna Aggarwal, Indus League
Your team is the wind in your sail
No matter how versatile or great you are as an entrepreneur, you won’t go far without the backing of a strong team. Ensure that the people you have on board recognise your vision, and work not just for payslips but for the realisation of the greater goal.
“We are building a team and not employees, and that is a distinction you need to keep in mind.” – Naiyya Saggi, CEO and Founder, BabyChakra
“Great people working together can achieve great things.” – Ambareesh Murty, CEO, PepperFry
“Everybody can influence the culture of a team, but it is started by the leader.” – TN Hari, HR Head, BigBasket
“When you get one good employee and offer him a chance at growth, you automatically enhance your brand in the eyes of other employees.” – Sagar Daryani, Wow! Momo
“There should be a balance between transparency and diplomacy in a founder.” – Amitabh Mishra, Founder and CEO, GoFro.com
“We need bias-free organisations with diverse and inclusive cultures to create happier workplaces.” – Viji Hari, KelpHR
So, put your mind over matter and ensure you stay determined on this path that you have chosen for yourself, ’cause only you know what this journey means to you. Although sometimes the dream might seem to fade away, believe it is always within reach. Just ensure that when you reach out, you stake claim to it with your doggedness and uncompromisable vigour.