If you are an entrepreneur

You will not be reaching out to people and programs to find out if you are one. You will simply begin acting on opportunities. Once you realise you need to grind your axe, you will then find the right people and programs to support you.

The one who searches for programs to attempt becoming one will probably never become one. The one who becomes will naturally gravitate towards the right people he or she needs to become even more successful.

Entrepreneurship education must look at contributing at all levels:

  • Providing inspiration
  • Providing tools and techniques to start
  • Providing methods to sustain
  • Providing approaches to scale

Entrepreneurship research is growing leaps and bounds. Sadly, much of this research remains hidden from entrepreneurs. This I believe is due to the entrepreneurship educators who do not soak themselves in the literature before delivering their classes.

If you are an entrepreneur and wish to hone your entrepreneurial skills, then search for the right program and constantly evaluate the value of your skills – are you improving and in effect, is your enterprise growing? If yes, continue, else quit and find the next person or program.

Good Luck with your entrepreneuring!

This is my interest, but?

It is not uncommon to hear from ambitious people (which is almost everyone) that they are interested in something or the other. Everyone seems to have an increasing list of interests. But what is the use of interests? Almost always the interests simply create a list of unfinished desires. They always remain in the “to be done” list. The best excuse people give themselves on why their interests have to wait a little longer is – “but i have responsibilities, dues, debts, etc” to be finished now. They are quite certain that once they get done with what is on their hand now, they will do the stuff that interests them the most. Isn’t it an irony?

“This is my interest” BUT I can’t do anything about it now BECAUSE

Have you heard people saying that? I am sure you must have! Have you said it yourself? I am almost sure you will agree in private. Please try to see why this statement occurs again and again in life, till we give up on our interests. Most old people regret that the time to begin their pet projects simply never came. They were sure that they waited to complete only what was on hand to get started, but somehow the things on hand never seemed to finish!

One of the big reasons why people don’t begin their pet projects is the possibility that they could ‘fail’. Because it is their pet projects, they don’t want it to fail at all. Hence they fool themselves into believing that they are preparing as they wait to get started. They want to be very sure that they are starting with everything set! Do you even think such a day will ever arrive?

If the answer is ‘no’, then get started today. Pick one of your pet projects, and give it 30 minutes a day. Work on it with all your heart. Speak about it with all your heart. Build the product, book or service or art with all your heart. Show it to people with all your heart. Don’t worry if you hear criticism or suggestions to stop. Continue, give voice and shape to your interests. They will be the ones that will bring you happiness and fulfilment!

Think about it!

Entrepreneurship Beyond Enterprise

Entrepreneurship today means start-ups, enterprise creation, capital backed venture, growth etc.what-is-entrepreneurial-vision While all this is entrepreneurship, the very fact that a person decided to turn entrepreneurial seems almost forgotten. Any activity arising out of one becoming entrepreneurial should be termed as entrepreneurship. But when we restrict entrepreneurial activities, research and thinking only to venture creation, we may be doing a great disservice to the inherent potential and benefits that being entrepreneurial can deliver.

So while we teach entrepreneurship in a variety of courses and make it more widely accessible as a subject, one thing that we need to encourage and instill in students is the ability to become entrepreneurial in their thinking and action. This will truly create a more vibrant society and make life more enjoyable and successful.

Small is the Next Big

I  was recently invited to lead a few sessions on “Internationalization strategies” hosted by Asia david-and-goliath-sumos22Pacific Incubation Network (APIN). The workshop had participants from around ten countries from the ASPAC region. Through my interactions with this group over two days, I noticed few differences between the entrepreneurs from India and those from smaller economies, like Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia etc

  • Most of the Indian start-ups had interesting technologies but lacked scale. Most of the start-ups from the nations mentioned above had equally interesting products (in some cases less technical), but had achieved much larger scale.
  • The presentations made by the various entrepreneurs from the other countries seem to have much higher levels of energy and enthusiasm when compared to our domestic entrepreneurs

Are the above two seemingly disparate observations connected? When I left the conference I had these questions that just refused to go away:

  1. Is energy and enthusiasm of the entrepreneur a reflection of success? Or a reason for it?
  2. Why is it that these start-ups from much smaller economies manage to scale faster and bigger in their domestic market in comparison to India?
  3. While the whole world claims India to be a great market – why is it that entrepreneurs who scale in India are far and few?
  4. Are our entrepreneurs too protective with respect to failure that they don’t allow themselves the risk of success?

I was excited that I got to meet so many energetic and enthusiastic entrepreneurs from so many Asian countries. I am sure this is the beginning of my active interaction with the entrepreneurs as well as the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Asia Pacific region. Isn’t being entrepreneurial the whole reason for being in entrepreneurship?