Startup eSeries:The A-Z of Entrepreneurship - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Startup eSeries:The A-Z of Entrepreneurship

Jan 10, 2015


The journey of an entrepreneur is often a long and arduous one. Some ventures may be flops and some may be hits. There are days when you wish you can get back into the workforce and there are days when a call from a client gives you a ray of hope once again.

You fall and rise and fall and rise, and you may never be able to say with certainty what works and what doesn't. Every day is a crisis but every day is also a surprise. Therein lies the beauty.

And through it all you keep learning. You gain insights on people, processes, price points, products and promotions. You learn the 7Ps and more. But more importantly, you gain wisdom of the infinite possibilities that await you as an entrepreneur.

Source: Yeko Photo Studio / Shutterstock

From my many interactions with entrepreneurs and my own experiences as one, I developed a glossary of what it takes to survive the journey as an entrepreneur and make it a successful one too.

  1. Make your Ask: The 'ask' is about what you need as an entrepreneur, from a pitch to angel investors or venture capitalists to your requirements for human resources or technical expertise, make your ask at every suitable opportunity and platform you get.

  2. Have a Business plan: A business plan is essentially a roadmap for your business. It tells you what you need, which markets you will tap and how fast you will grow as a company. It's really the first step in entrepreneurship and gives immense clarity in an otherwise uncertain space.

  3. Customer is king: There is no statement truer than this one. Take care of your every customer need. They are the reason for your enterprise's existence. So pay heed to customer suggestions, incorporate feedback and make the customer a part of your creative process and growth.

  4. Go Digital: From small things like having your own website to automating email responses and using cloud services, the sooner you go digital, the faster will you reach your goals and also reduce your expenses. Use technology to simplify processes.

  5. Create an Elevator Pitch: An elevator pitch is a description of what your company does in one line. It is your walking-talking mission statement that can be told to anyone who needs to know more about your company's services and their benefits... getting it right is half the battle won.

  6. Have Fun: The reason you're probably an entrepreneur is because you wanted to do something different, on your own terms and have fun as well. The boring office job was not your cup of tea. Don't sweat the small stuff, first and foremost, enjoy what you do.

  7. Focus on Growth: A growth mindset sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest. It's one that relies on constant experimentation, learning, building of your knowledge base, talent pool and expanding your horizons and markets... it's really about thinking big and doing big.

  8. Hire a talented team: The key is to find a talented team that is driven and proactive. Not a team that is top-notch in terms of salary and attitude but a team that is top-notch in its spirit to grow and learn and fail and succeed together with you.

  9. Make Innovation a cornerstone: Innovation is redefining businesses and entrepreneurship in particular. It is essentially about giving new products and services to the world; showing people how to live and work in new ways and more importantly, it's about thinking differently.

  10. Juggle time and resources: Time management and resource management is key for entrepreneurs, simply because they are both in short supply. So outsource if needed, stretch yourself, acquire new skills, regroup teams, do what it takes to keep your venture afloat.

  11. Know your customers: Understand and anticipate your customers' needs, figure out their pain points and how you can reduce them. Thus, always stay connected with your customers, keep communication channels open, keep them sufficiently updated and stay accessible at all times.

  12. Lead by example: The culture of a company that you create reflects the person you are. So set examples that you would like to see in those you work with. From punctuality to transparency to integrity, only you will be able to determine what your venture stands for.

  13. Understand your Markets: Markets are diverse. They can be locally-driven or globally-driven, digital, retail or wholesale; identify which market fits your product best, understand its dynamics and cater to its needs accordingly.

  14. Network your way around: Be it offline or online, networking is important for any entrepreneur. It helps you build more connections and talk about your work. Attend forums and conferences, participate in events or fairs, and spread the word on every platform available.

  15. Don't overlook any Opportunity: Opportunity, like is often said, comes in many guises. You never know which client puts you on to another or which assignment puts you under the radar of something important. So don't refuse anything until you are absolutely sure it's not for you.

  16. Profit is key for success: A business is a business and not a hobby. At the end of the day, the bottom line is to improve sales and revenue. So no matter how much passion you bring into your enterprise, if it doesn't translate into profit, you will have to rethink and reinvent.

  17. Have a Quest for knowledge: Your biggest strength as an entrepreneur is to be able to continually seek out new ideas, new thoughts, new practices, new business models, new markets etc. The tools for acquiring knowledge are plenty, just keep your mind open.

  18. Manage Relationships: From vendors to funders to customers and to your talent pool, managing a business is about managing relationships. The trick is to put on your best smile and put forward a helping hand... what goes around comes around.

  19. Do away with Stress: As an entrepreneur you must have spent hours burning the midnight oil. But it's important to get enough nourishment, to keep fixed hours for working and to do away with any extra stress. A stressful person can rarely make good decisions.

  20. Tell a story: A good entrepreneur is also a good story-teller. He talks about his product, his journey, his impact on customers and markets. Keeping people engaged is the first step for a buy-in. Don't forget any important anecdotes and narrate them when needed.

  21. Undo previous learnings: Nothing that you've done in the past will ever prepare you for entrepreneurship. It's a completely unknown territory that comes with its own set of learnings. Thus offloading some of your previous notions is an important part of being an entrepreneur.

  22. Have a clear Vision: A vision is a compass. It directs you correctly when you feel lost. It will keep bringing you back to your core, it will give you a laser-sharp focus and help you avoid any frivolity. Developing a clear vision will also bring everyone you work with on the same page.

  23. Work really hard: There's no escaping the drill. You have to start from the shop floor and work your way up. An entrepreneur starts out being everything and anything. And all this requires a lot of hard work. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to get your hands dirty.

  24. EXpect the unexpected: Yes, there is no certainty here. The plan will keep changing, there will be iterations and then some more. You will not know the reward till you see it, and then again you may not see the reward for a long time. As an entrepreneur, get ready to live in ambiguity.

  25. The buck stops at You: To move forward or to stay put, to do or not to do. Unfortunately or fortunately all the decision-making as an entrepreneur is yours completely. You can consult and debate with others, but the final call is always yours... Brave yourself for bouquets and brickbats.

  26. Always have Zest: The more energy and passion you put into your venture, the more satisfaction you will derive from it. The millions you wish to make will then become inconsequential. Tap into your unlimited reserves of motivation and always keep your spirits up.


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10 Responses to "Startup eSeries:The A-Z of Entrepreneurship"


13 Aug, 2015

Well written. These are basic facts.

Anuradha kasim

18 Jan, 2015

We are a family of entrepreneurs, both our sons are young budding enterprising entrepreneurs, this article is so informative n useful, they have most of these qualities and on right track. A very good insight into what qualities make an entrepreneur.

Like (1)

dinesh kamath

15 Jan, 2015

Very well written . Highly motivational and very useful to start up ,Entrepreneur and also to working people . Good job . Regards.

Vivek S. Gupta

13 Jan, 2015

Dear Madam, All the points are absolutely correct and if implemented they would definately help in growth. Thanks.


11 Jan, 2015

Excellant, very good message. Thanks

Abhishek Dhumal

11 Jan, 2015

Yes I'm in. Send me details about Mark Fords visit.


11 Jan, 2015

Very well witten. Extremely useful not only for the enreprenurs but for all in different professions. I wish, i had this guidance when startng my career. Even as a retired scientist, i can gain a lot following A-Z.


11 Jan, 2015

Hi Ritika This is another fantastic article on being an entrepreneur. As an author entrepreneur (which is what I call myself), I can truly relate to your article. I think the most important part of being an entrepreneur is to have a positive mindset, not worry too much about sales and keep learning! Just one suggestion. Your url is very long which makes it difficult to share on social media. Regards, Prasenjeet


11 Jan, 2015

Dear Ritika Bajaj, It was interesting reading of your A-Z of entrepreneurship.It reminds a prospective entrepreneur what to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing your thought! Regards Brajesh Sinha


11 Jan, 2015

Hi, There is nothing special to become famous if we are honest and hard working , Things starts to fly on its own. so for life is not defined by any one because everybody has their own way of living . Still many leaving their job and joining social causes. people do what they want to do because they have belief in that. if you ask young boy to forget his lover , he can not at any cost. For a moment we may divert his attention but he gets back to his business as usual. Entrepreneurship too has its own way. Not all Top MBA have become eneterprenuer , rather small business persons also doing good with their skill and experience. Yes , it is good to meet and listen to successful people to find secretes behind their success.

Like (2)

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