Every book on entrepreneurship seems to follow the same template.
- Research your market
- Do some Excel modelling
- Raise some money
- Start the business
These are no longer relevant to the current environment, at least not relevant if you are looking to start a small business or a startup.
A better book (or video, or a course) would be along these lines:
- How to get a business idea. The power of observation and second-order thinking.
- Building an MVP. MVP is not limited to technology, it is something that lets you test your business idea in the real world.
- How to sell. The difference between success and failure of a business is the ability to reach your customer and sell to them.
- How to market. Marketing is the fuel that runs a sales machine. The ability to create a message that resonates with your ideal customer and to be able to deliver it to them is an art as much as it is science.
- How to scale. When you have validated that the market is interested in your idea, the ability to scale the production, logistics, sales, and marketing as well as formalizing the operations – finance, accounting, customer service, partner management, and others.
- How to grow. The strategies around growing the business beyond the original idea, and finding related business opportunities ensure business growth and continuity.
- How to exit. Like starting a business, it is important to prepare your business for an exit.
What have I missed?
Recently, I was invited to share my experiences with my alma-mater. I chose to talk about how fresh graduates can maximize their career success.
While several people will ascribe their success or success of others to luck; it is also silently agreed that success is much more than luck. Therefore I prefer Roman philosopher Seneca’s definition of luck.
Luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation.Seneca
Therefore I focused on how one can increase their luck by working on creating opportunities and being prepared.
The luck factory
Networking that matters is helping people achieve their goals.Seth Godin
- Create a strong network though out your academic life and career.
- Be aware of the strength of every individual.
- Help out others. It improves the strength of the connections.
- It is easy to help others, if you know them, their strengths and interests.
- Never burn bridges.
You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.Roy T. Bennett
- The most dangerous place to be in is the comfort zone. It kills luck.
- You can’t sit under a tree and wait for an apple to fall in your hands while others will be already selling apples from those same trees.
- When you find yourself in a comfort zone, consciously come out of it. Talk to your manager, ask for a different challenge.
- Or seek out. Not for money but to break out of a comfort zone.
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.Winston Churchill
- Life happens, industries get disrupted. A pandemic like COVID-19 shuts down everything.
- But opportunities always arrive in disguise.
- Some companies and individual fare better than others. Because they are better prepared, and are open to change; to suggestions; to challenges.
- The are open to move out of the comfort zone and do something new
- Finally, never say or think ‘not my job’.
Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.Tony Robbins
- Give back, help your network; like you will expect them to help you.
- Recommend. Refer. Connect. Share.
- And give back to the community, society, nation.
- The world is acknowledging good karma and talking about pay it forward
When you kill time, you kill your opportunities for success.Denis Waitley
- Have time; be disciplined with it.
- If you don’t have time, you’ll not be able to capitalize on an opportunity.
- Everything has an opportunity cost – doing something mean not doing something else. So be selective on what you do.
Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.– Thomas A. Edison
- Work hard
- Take pride in your work
- Always give your best
- You’ll be known for these things
I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.Stephen Leacock
- You will develop skills with opportunities
- And you’ll get opportunities based on your skills
- Remember to say no to comfort zone and be open to challenges and learning
- And then apply / demonstrate your skills
- Remember that you have limited time and measure the opportunity cost.
- Be strategic on the things your work on, however not at the risk of being closed to new ideas and challenges.
- Be decisive. Once you have decided to do something, give it your 100%.
- It’s not about hyping yourself
- But also not in dark, you need to be noticed.
- What do you want to be known for? Build a narrative.
- Communicate consistent with the narrative.
- Use the social media properly to build your personal brand
Does a company, be it a start-up or not, need to make their employee sign bonds that state that the employee has to serve the company for at least for a period of X years or will be penalized $Y?
I find them to be neither ethical nor legal or even enforceable in a country like India.
At INSORCE we have replaced the stick with a carrot and it is working great for us. So instead of saying you pay us $Y, we say, we pay you $Y as retention bonus. That, in my opinion, is a more positive way to start a relationship. This makes the person feel that the relationship is a business relationship among equals, and not a mai-baap relationship.
What’s your opinion on the same? Whether as a employer or an employee.
INSORCE is built on a combination of technologies that are considered safe by bank’s for their data center, yet cutting edge to deliver performance that is superior to a desktop application.
We are building on Microsoft stack for 2 reasons
- Banks find it easy to deploy and manage
- Availability of competent professionals
The key parts of INSORCE are:
Apart from this, it is a mix of:
Admin + Vendor Management + Accounts + Sys Admin + Customer Support + HR + Trainer + Product Manager + Project Manager + Architect + Full Stack Developer
= Full Stack CTO