When I ask, “Why do you want to be an entrepreneur?” I have most commonly heard the following from many wantrepreneurs:
- “I’d like to be my own boss“
- “I hate working late hours at the office and being told what to do, I wish I had a startup so I could follow my own rules“
- “I have this great idea, I am sure it will change the way people do <every startup idea ever>
(Among various others)
However, from my personal experience of being an entrepreneur for close to 5 years – a first-generation entrepreneur in particular – isn’t as fashionable as it sounds in the dream-dimension.
- You aren’t ever a boss, you are always…everything – the Marketing-Sales-HR-FInance-Legal-Counseling-and-everything the startup wants you to be…Like what Gotham expects of the Batman.
- You cannot hate working late hours. In fact, you have to ask “what does late even mean”? Forget late, forget the concept of time, you have to be ready to be active and on full-charge round the clock.
- Having a great idea is never enough. In fact, there is no such thing as a great idea. Sure there is an idea, but there should also be a market, the time should be right and well, YOU have to make it great.
So, what does being an entrepreneur really mean?
The answer might differ from one entrepreneur to another, but to me, it means:
- Having a ridiculous amount of BELIEF in one’s idea
- Being RESTLESS in pursuit of the goal
- Being comfortable with UNCERTAINTY
- Being comfortable to WALK ALONE. no matter the adversity, the roadblocks or disappointments
To me, Entrepreneurs are much like the Explorers of the 14th century.
They all had a ridiculous idea of finding new lands, setting sail into unknown waters, knowing well that there are sharks and dangers unknown right below, knowing well that the ocean is never the same, never calm, never truly predictable, knowing that all those who set sail don’t make it all the way, but still, setting sail in pursuit of the goal. Relentless.
However, as to the “WHY” part – was the exploration of new lands (the goal) in pursuit of wealth and glory? Was the expedition to stop when “a” land was reached? Or was it going to continue? Always in want of more? I am not quite sure.
However, taking cues from the oft said one-word answer by Mr. Sudhanva Dhananjaya – “Curiosity” is the wind under the wings of any being, and hence most certainly of an entrepreneur too.