It has been a year since I went solo. Fifteen years into my career and I would rate this past year as the most satisfying and fulfilling year of my life. Hard work has been a common theme through all the years but nothing beats the satisfaction levels and the thrills of trying out something of your own and nurturing it to growth. However, entrepreneurship is not all fun and joy. There are ups and downs, small victories and big fails and we need a special mind-set and support system to ensure that we are not bouncing like a yo-yo along with our venture. Keeping the balance is absolutely essential.
I have written about the mind-shifts that I had to make within myself a few months after I plunged in an earlier post. For this annual event, I asked a very special woman, an amazing mother and a successful entrepreneur – Devina Mahapatra – who has been there, done that – to share with my readers and me on what helped her survive and thrive on her entrepreneurship journey. What are the essentials that we need to have in place to succeed? And here is her take:
A few years back, I found myself taking time off from the corporate world to dedicate to raising our kids. My goal: be home till the younger one is two. At this time, I was only expecting my first. While the joys of mommyhood is incomparable to anything else I had experienced, I got restless very quickly because there’s only so much you can fuss over an infant. By the time my first-born was a year old, I had started a business. And before I knew it, my husband had quit his high-profile IT position in a leading upcoming biotechnology firm to join the business. We quickly were living the entrepreneur lifestyle – very different from the regular 9-5 positions we had both held in the past. The accolades as well as the trials were rewarding. After seven years, our first business was sold, and my husband went on to start on his second, thereby entering the coveted group of serial entrepreneurs. Once you have a taste of being a business owner, it’s virtually impossible to turn back. However, I believe that without a few ground rules and work ethics, we would have burnt out before giving success a true chance.
Here’s my list of 5 must-have’s before venturing into the entrepreneur lifestyle:
Essentials #1: Have unconditional support of your significant other - By support, I mean holistic support – be it mental (challenging business strategy), emotional (provide encouragement when things are slow), physical (waking up to care for the kids at night) or public relations (keeping a calm composure and positive outlook when you just lost your biggest client). Confide in and communicate with your significant other – Err on the side of more than less. No one’s a mind reader. By unconditional, I mean in great times and terrible ones…alike.
Essentials #2: Don’t be a stranger to the facts - Do research, and then some more. Know your competition. Know your product/service. Know the demand. Interview other business owners. Set a timeline target that’s realistic. Research goes a long way in saving you time and money.
Essentials #3: Know yourself - Know your personality type. Running a business needs constant self-motivation in good days and bad. It takes an enormous amount of self driven discipline. Ask yourself if the business is enough motivation to get you out of bed every morning – for times to come. If yes, you’re a natural. If not, keep a motivation plan ready. Be accountable to yourself.
Essentials #4: Surround yourself with positive thinkers - The easiest thing for people to say is no. Surround yourself with positive thinkers who emit positive energy. You will need it. Don’t hesitate to distance yourself from nay-sayers, mindless gossip and anything that doesn’t add value.
Essentials #5: Meditate Daily - If you don’t meditate already, start anyway. Running a business will just get the universe as close to your soul as you allow. Meditation enables that. Practicing the art of maintaining peace and calm within yourself will pay off big time.
Are you thinking of going solo, starting a company or just taking a break to think about a career change? How are you preparing for this big shift in your life? What are the other essentials before taking the plunge into entrepreneurship? Devina and I would love to hear back and learn from you.
Guest Post author : Devina Mahapatra
Pic Courtesy : Sukanya Rath