Founding a start-up or joining a young team of start-ups had been the in-thing for the last couple of years. It paid people well and looked damn cool to flaunt on their professional profile. Being associated with a start-up had become a culture of sorts.
The picture is changing now. For the past few weeks, we have been hearing about consolidations, shut downs, lower valuations, team lay-offs and more. Many start-ups have frozen fresh hiring and are refraining from doing anything new.
This has created some sort of fear in the minds of the people. Those who are a part of a start-up are feeling circumspect about their future while the outsiders are thinking twice before joining one. I'm sure Economic Times too would have started thinking about whether or not to continue its "Startups and Disruptions" section.
Funding and Investment industries have dried up and the growth of the startup eco-system has slowed down. Even our role model start-ups, Flipkart and Snapdeal, have shown "Hold On" signals on starting a new venture. With their top-lines and bottom-lines not matching up to their pushed up Gross Market Value (GMV), many start-ups hitherto performing well are in for a harsh reality check. The family of entrepreneurship is passing through a tough time, coming to terms with where they stand vis-à-vis what they aspired for.
However, we, the entrepreneurs, are born fighters and cannot kill our passion so easily. We will certainly make a way out to success as we defined it. You might have heard a statement from your father and elder people, "Jyada tezz bhagoge, toh daant tut jayenge" (You'll break your teeth if you run very fast). I somehow feel there are a lot of things to learn from statements like these.
I was once explaining the business model of my startup to my grandfather. It was the hardest time of my life; it was even tougher than explaining the model to an investor. After 50 minutes of explanation, I was termed as a “travel agent” by my grandfather. And that was a gross feeling. I attempted the explanation a few more times with better preparation. I was unsuccessful every single time.
One day I changed my pitch completely and thought of explaining the model the simple, the “desi” way. I realized my communication was “bang on”. Through its sheer simplicity, the model instantly became understandable to my grandfather and the whole world. Finally, he appreciated the idea.
Here’s a piece of advice to my fellow entrepreneurs and investors - try explaining your idea to your grandfather, and you will have a free primary validation of it. The exercise will also help you design the right communication of your idea to the world.
Do you've an interesting idea or a passion? Do keep it alive and never stop yourself from innovating. While amidst the slowdown of start-up ecosystem, we as entrepreneurs should find a mid-way. We should consider joining a spree of micro-entrepreneurship along with a stable job. The experiences market that drives this spree is huge. Some companies that have started using experiences are Accenture, Infosys, Adobe, Microsoft, Ola, Furlenco and Snapdeal.
As a micro-entrepreneur, you need to partner with an entity that is a global market-player of experiences. You need to host your passion and let the world consume it. You are an artist; you can host art experiences. You are a dancer; you can host dance forms. You are a city guide, you can host countryside tour. You are a therapist; you can host rejuvenation experiences. You are a local; you can host walking tour of the city. You are a cook; you can host authentic meals. You own a farmhouse; you can host an outlook experience. You are a farmer; you can host an agri-tour experience. You are a professional; you can host a coaching experience. You are a government body or its partner; you can host visits to heritage sites, museums, parks etc. You feel inspired by a culture; you can host experiences of that culture. You are a community; you can host meetups, their ticketing and much more.
Work on your ideas and passion during weekends and free time. Make your venture grow big steadily and eventually. But do keep the entrepreneurship alive and work towards laying its bricks one by one by one.
Don't Kill the Entrepreneurship Inside You! Try Micro-Entrepreneurship!