5 learnings from my journey as an entrepreneur in the social commerce space
It’s been more than two years since I decided to quit my job at Microsoft to become an entrepreneur. The social commerce space has grown and expanded extensively in the past years, more so with the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry is dynamic and fast-moving, which poses many challenges on the way, but the brighter side of the success and opportunities is what kept me going. During my initial years as a woman entrepreneur in tech, I learned a lot of things that helped me during the process and has helped me reach where I am today. If you’re an entrepreneur looking to enter this space, here are five learnings from my journey, that might help you streamline yours.
No excuse to hard work
The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to be on your A-game always. There are no alternatives to hard work. It is true that your everyday hustle will eventually speak for you. Setting the bar high for yourself is important, and it is also equally important that you remind yourself of that each day.
Seek help whenever you need it
Entrepreneurship is a journey that is filled with challenges and ups and downs. There are one too many hurdles that are going to block your way and at times you may catch yourself in a situation where the possible next step is unknown. This is where you should always seek help. Oprah Winfrey once said,” You get in life what you have the courage to ask for”. Building a business is a collective effort and requires a lot of help from external sources as well. There is no one person who can build an empire alone, you always need an army to go to combat. Your mentors are also equally important to your business. During crucial times, mentors come to your rescue to guide you, give you advice and get you out of trouble. If you find yourself some seasoned mentors, they’ll prove to be an important asset to the company. A true mentor will also give you honest feedback about your operations and the company’s functioning.
Be okay and open to making and learning from mistakes
Believe it or not, making mistakes is one of the most important parts of a business. Your mistakes will give you the learning far greater than your successes. To learn about “what does not work for the company” than to learn about “what works for the company” is more important according to me. When you are aware of your weaknesses and shortcomings, there is an area of improvement for you to thrive upon. It is also important to be aware of the challenges fellow entrepreneurs might have made, give you a direction and help you know what may not work can prove to make a phenomenal difference in the growth of your brand. This way you’ll be able to avoid a lot of hurdles that the other entrepreneurs might have tripped on during their journey in the past.
Breathe the ecosystem
You should always be aware of what’s happening in your industry. Your ecosystem is what affects your business directly. Being the founder, you must have the minute-to-minute update of the industry. I have found that always having an ear on the ground helped me to be prepared in advance for any crisis that might come our way. Ecosystem awareness also helps you build your product and make changes as the trend changes in the market.
Believe in what you can do
Believe in your idea. Having self-belief is both an essential step and a challenge one must keep at. During the initial phase of setting up your company, there will be many such downfalls that would make you doubt yourself, in those times, it is crucial to trust your vision. There must be thousands of successful entrepreneurs rising every year in the world, but there are millions of those who lose trust in their vision and stop believing in it. Diane Hendricks once said, “Any plans or strategies are only useful when you believe in yourself, and your effort turns dreams into realities”.
While it might be challenging, it is a journey I most cherish in my life. If you dare to walk this path, do it with full faith and clear vision, you will find your calling.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)
Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan