Calling the first months of entrepreneurship a roller coaster is an understatement. It’s so much more. You not just learn many things about yourself, but you also need to unlearn the many things you’ve learnt so far. Sharing three significant insights I find myself discussing with friends and fellow entrepreneurs about what entrepreneurship taught me.
Choosing the right mentor:
Today, some people almost find it fashionable to update their LinkedIn or Facebook profiles as self-proclaimed” Startup Mentors” – The biggest conundrum is to discern a genuine mentor from a misleading one. When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I came across a plethora of mentors who often offered conflicting suggestions. At that point, I first took a step back, paused and assessed what my business needs were. Next, I evaluated which mentors gave me logical suggestions to fulfil my business needs and thereafter continued seeking advice from them and closing myself to the rest. It helped.
Often many of us decide to become entrepreneurs after having had stellar career profiles. Where once we never bothered about administrative tasks like booking a flight ticket or dinner reservations for clients etc, entrepreneurship brings us to do all this. Being an entrepreneur means learning to even empty the trash cans ourselves some days.
We cannot harp about our experience and expect the current colleagues / co-founders to take into our vanity. Remember, our background might get us introductions or open doors but our current persona shall define us. The humble ones are always better liked, right?
As easy as it may sound, it’s the hardest thing to do. As entrepreneurs, we are more likely to scrutinize actions and processes minutely because we have the highest stakes involved. Or worse, we feel that the employees do-not understand the passion for the product or service as much as we do. We tend to micromanage tasks assigned and this hampers the employee’s individual creativity and out of the box thinking.
Initially, sometimes its unnerving when a task assigned is executed in some other way than we expected. This leads to stress and in some cases -friction. Allowing employees to decide their own paths after you’ve guided them and given them a goal is key.
Often, the solutions employees come up with are much better or smarter than our own. We also need to be humble about assessing our own capabilities. We must be willing to admit and embrace that employees can be smarter than us and have other styles of working.
There it is. My favorite three learning and insights from my early entrepreneurial days which I still hold on to. Well, I wouldn’t call this a huge list but yes, these stand out in my mind and have got me a fair bit of success. I’d love to know from you what your learnings have been?