This article is based on the case study of the failure of my first business which helped me in my second business.
When I started my first business, it failed after two years. I realized that I was completely unaware of the basics of entrepreneurship and had made thousands of mistakes. I was a bit overconfident too and did not have any mentor who could keep me grounded. But later, the world’s most powerful teacher agreed to be my mentor and taught me a lot of unique thing in the most interesting ways. Today I feel obliged to share the same knowledge and his teachings with you all.
Keep Clearing Your Vision
Let me take the example of a “Car Drive” to explain this point properly. Whenever we go for a drive, especially a long drive, we always check few things before leaving the house. Like- there should be air in the tires, the car should not be dirty and most importantly, clarity of the front mirror. But during the dusty days, the foggy days and the rainy days, do we only clear our front mirror once before we start driving, or do we clear that mirror on a regular interval during the journey? Yes, we have the answer, we clear the front mirror as soon as the vision gets unclear, for a perfect vision.
But Entrepreneurship is a much bigger journey. We face disheartenment, failure, humiliation, fights, disputes and a lot more which always blurs our vision just like what the dust does to the mirror. But that’s not a big problem. We just need a paper, a towel and wipers to clean the front view mirror. Similarly, in this case, you just need to rethink why did you start your journey. Ask yourself, “What was the reason when you started?” Just read your business plan once again and you will be perfect to rock again.
It is About Value
It’s neither about the quality nor about the uniqueness, it’s just about the value of your product in client’s eyes.
Every day I get emails from wantrepreneurs and entrepreneurs about their products. Each of them remains very excited while discussing their products with me. And most of the times they even amaze me with their uniqueness and innocence. But in 90% of the cases, this excitement just gets ruined when I ask about the value addition in clients’ life.
So, every entrepreneur needs to understand that they don’t have to buy their own products, it’s the client who has to buy. So it’s not about what you like, it is completely about what the client likes. If you have added extra cheese to your pizza to make it more delicious but your clients are struggling with obesity, there is no use of that extra cheese. You have lost the track of that value addition.
Become the King of Sales instead of Hype
In this world, everything comes with a cost and everything has its own pros and cons. Most of the time budding entrepreneurs get influenced by the so called glamorous life of millionaires and billionaires as presented by the media. Due to which budding entrepreneurs also try to remain in the news whenever possible and thus inculcate a bad habit of sharing even the smallest achievement on media. Taking the media attention is not wrong but as I said everything has its own pros and cons, similarly, media attention starts boosting your ego and also starts consuming your time.
Thus it results in less creation of value added products and it eventually leads to a struggling entrepreneurial life, which also gets shared into the news to make it worse.
On the contrary side instead of running behind the hype, you should run behind customers to close their deals and your bank balance will automatically force the media to write about you. Some anonymous speaker once said a line which fits here,
Work in silence. Let your Lamborghini make the noise.
People can even Buy Shit if Wrapped Properly
You need not be perfect from the first day. And this is the biggest mistake which many aspiring entrepreneurs and wantrepreneurs make, they keep waiting for their final product to get ready. You need to understand that an aspiring entrepreneur can never build a final product on his own. It requires a big corporation, lots of money and a lot of experimentation to prepare a final product. If we compare LinkedIn, Facebook and Apple with what they are today vs what they were at the launching time, we can see these companies were started by some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs still their 1st phase was highly poor.
So, it is advisable to start with a small prototype and sell it in the market. Trust me, there are people who can buy shit also, you just need to wrap it properly. And these people are enough in the quantity that you can make your initial revenue and on top of that, you can make your product best suited for the market.
You might have observed on railway stations and bus stands, people generally buy shitty food at an expensive rate. Similarly, you just need to find the trigger point of your customers for doing so.
Remaining Calm is better than Remaining Motivated
A majority of times motivation brings anxiety with it. In anxiety we can work for more hours, we can work without sleeping but we cannot create anything valuable, we cannot take good decisions. These things can only be done properly when we are calm from within. And the best part is we never need any external thing to remain calm. We just need patience and our mindset to be clear.
Also, motivation cannot last for a longer period of time while calmness can remain for months and for a lifetime if practiced well.
It is Normal to Remain Scared
If the achievements of your competitors scare you, if the thoughts of failure scare you or if your sales figures scare you over future growth then don’t panic, it’s perfectly fine. Getting scared is a normal emotion which a human feels. Either a robot or a person who is careless enough to live with failure will not get scared. Rest every ambitious entrepreneur who demands success will always be alert and scared in the tough times. So enjoy being scared and learn from it because this moment will not last long. Within a few hours or days, you will find yourself completely focused and working towards your goal again.
Your Decisions Will Draft Your Future
I always tell people that,
There is nothing right or wrong, just that everything has its consequences.
If you don’t want to pay your taxes, that’s awesome until you get caught by the government and are fined heavily. Similarly, if you don’t want to modify your product like Orkut, that’s completely understandable until Facebook replaces you.
Similarly, there are no fix rules in business, just the consequences. So you need to understand that your future will rely on your actions and your actions rely on your decisions. So if you have stepped into the journey of entrepreneurship then you should very well learn how to make decisions and don’t worry about right or wrong because consequences will surely train you about that.
Meanwhile, I would like to tell you the name of my mentor, he is Time. Yeah, that’s true I learned everything with time and consequences by making mistakes. So my advice to each wantrepreneur and entrepreneur is to keep making mistakes and keep learning from them. And I hope these pieces of advice will surely help you in life to avoid a few of your problems.