by Sanjay Sehgal, Chairman and CEO of MSys Technologies
Being a fledgling entrepreneur can be daunting, but the rewards I assure you, can be sweet!
I know what it is like to have those starting troubles; like you are the only one who does not have a plan or that you will never get your business off the ground. You might even be feeling like this is one mountain that is too difficult to take on, and so, you do not want to do anything at all.
I can share a valuable lesson that my mentor shared with me when I was midway through my first startup. It has helped me a lot through my journey.
He said, “There is only Kohinoor Diamond, but many pearls so why not built a string of Pearls instead of chasing the Diamond.”
What he meant was that it’s not always about getting a big score at once or setting that billion-dollar company in some prespecified target time. But, if you modify that vision as needed and aspire to build a value-based business, you’re likely to have more success. And you may not get the Billion Dollar valuation, but you always have the satisfaction and then follow it up with another one after that to continue building that string of pearls.
Working on building, rather than digging in the trenches has also worked for other successful entrepreneurs.
Have you heard the story of Henry Blodget? He is the perfect example of what I term as a success story using building strategies like that string of pearls.
Blodget who is now the editor and CEO of ‘The Business Insider,’ and started his career as an English tutor in Japan. He then moved to San Francisco to be a writer and supported his living by giving tennis lessons.
He was trained in corporate finance, had a lucrative career, invested in stocks, lost a lot of his money, and had to deal with a fraud complaint against him but he did not give up.
In 2007, Henry Blodget along with three of his associates started ‘Insider,’ with a view to focus on technology, specifically facts on New York Technology.
Then something interesting happened.
“We were going to focus on New York technology. What happened was the first day half the traffic came from California. We immediately noticed that the Apple story was much better read than the story about the local New York start up. We said, “Why are we focusing just on New York? Let’s focus on technology.” I had a background in that. Obviously, it was easy for me to do.
We did that. We broadened.”
– Henry Blodget
In the following years, Blodget and his team came up with several such ideas, and you can see the result now. Business Insider is now a trusted name in the business world.
“Never expect that a good time is going to continue forever. Be ready for a downturn. Have an idea of how you’re going to get through it.”
– Henry Blodget
If you love to create and design things but are still struggling with getting your entrepreneurial journey off the ground, then there is one major thing that is holding you back: the fear of entrepreneurship. It is not just a fear of failure; it is likely also the difficulty in balancing your aspirations with “real life.”
To help you here are five things I wish someone had told me when I was starting out:
1. Mind Management.
Failure is a part of the process, and your ability to learn from failure will determine whether you succeed or not.
The biggest takeaway from failure is the lesson on managing your mind.
Today we spend our days being bombarded with information on all the tragedies, pandemics, war, natural disaster, poverty, and corruption in the world. It’s little wonder most of us are plagued by anxiety.
The whole essence of the Bhagavad Gita revolves around lessons on managing the mind. A significant takeaway from this immortal book of wisdom is – if you can manage the mind in a war-like scenario, then you can manage any other situation too. It is a skill in action.
Being an entrepreneur requires you to imbibe this skill in action and adopt tools to acquire this skill and the wisdom thereof. It is the wisdom that transforms your attitude from arrogance to self-confidence; from meekness to humility; from shouldering the burden of dependence, to realizing the power of teamwork and interdependence.
2. The Power of Interdependence.
A chaotic atmosphere is not conducive to creativity. Peace and Prosperity walk together. So, before even thinking of starting an entrepreneurial journey, first, be wise to realize and accept that you cannot do it all, and that the first ingredient to your success is teamwork.
Even if you started it all by yourself, you need people to help keep your business afloat. Respect and learn from your team; be open to feedback and work hard alongside them. Teamwork is the way to humility and lasting respect.
3. A lion-hearted courage.
It takes a huge pile of courage to be entrepreneurial, especially in the world in which we live.
It takes guts to have an unshakable faith and belief in yourself and in your idea/product/service.
However, courage does not only mean making things happen, it also means having the courage to give up things when required. Passion and dispassion are complementary. When you have a plan, you should have the accompanying passion to build it. But if you see a strategy not working out, have the courage to accept and drop it. That is where dispassion comes in.
When you do not crave abundance, that is when it comes to you.
4. Beyond Raking in the Moolah.
If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, then nurture a cultivating spirit.
I am currently running my fourth venture. All through the process of starting, building, and then getting to a point of successful exit, money has never been the motivating factor. In fact, I think if money had been my motivation, I would have reached a point of feverishness.
Instead, I see myself as a farmer – the farmer who cultivates for growth.
It’s not just about the yield. Focus on growth, learn about fertilizer and soil; and learn about the seasons of growth. And just like the farmer who has nurtured his crop, be secure that you have brought the best product you can, to the market.
Maintain that faith, and it will keep you going. This has worked for me, when coming up with new businesses and new ideas, and has helped in the long run.
The greater your ambition, and the more responsibilities you have, the stronger your need to meditate.
It is the best way to rejuvenate your energy.
Meditation not only provides relief from stress and strain, but it also enhances abilities, strengthens the nervous system, and helps in releasing the harmful toxins from your body. You can run towards your goals only when you feel strong in both mind and body.
The body’s material needs are fulfilled with food, water, sleep etc., but our spirit can only be nourished through spiritual means. So, Meditate!
I hope these five tips will help you on your way to entrepreneurship, even when you may feel like it is not in the cards for you.
Many people are too quick to give up on their mind management skills, and they often find themselves caught in the vicious cycle of negative self-talk, or crises of faith in themselves, which in turn can negatively affect their success as an entrepreneur.
If you feel you too are going through something similar, revise the tips above, such as the power of interdependence or having the courage of a lion. You might also find inspiration by reading about entrepreneurs who were confronted with similar challenges as you, but managed to turn things around with tools like meditation which can make you realize all other tips in your journey.
Sanjay Sehgal has been the Chairman, and CEO of the MSys Group, MSys Technologies since 2007. MSys Technologies is one of the most consistent and trusted companies for its product engineering services, and digital transformation projects for its ISV and Enterprise clientele. Get to know him at Sehgalnotes.