Automatic Entrepreneurship: Leading With Your Heart - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Automatic Entrepreneurship: Leading With Your Heart

Jul 22, 2014


It all started when he brought home a cow.

All he had wanted was to provide fresh milk for his family. He had some space, and some experience with the dairy farm from his work in Ayurvedic medicine.

So naturally, one of our readers, Asif*, brought home a cow.

But soon, neighbours were knocking on his doors asking for fresh milk. He couldn't disappoint, so he had to get more cows! Before he knew it, in addition to milk, he was selling home-churned butter and ghee.

And so, without even noticing it was happening, Asif became an entrepreneur.

When I congratulated him on an incredible beginning to his entrepreneurial venture, he was reluctant.

"Is that really entrepreneurship? I never planned to start a business. I bought that first cow because I just felt like having a cow at home... Things fell in place... A few neighbors liked buying fresh milk from home.

Soon lots more people started asking for milk. I had no option but to buy one more cow.... this went on and now I have 14 cows at home ☺"

'Yes', I say to him, 'this is the best kind of entrepreneurship'.

An entrepreneur is a person who sees opportunity where no one else does. Who can spot what people want or need, and does what it takes to bring it to them. Someone who finds a passion within himself, and chases it till it becomes a part of his life... a purpose... and eventually a living.

When Asif saw that he had something people wanted - access to fresh milk, he simply had to share. He didn't say 'Nahin bhai, I only have so much milk.' He said 'I only have so much milk - so I better get more.' And in the process of giving people what they wanted - he became an entrepreneur.

To be an entrepreneur you don't necessarily need to come armed with 12-page business plans, PowerPoint Presentations, business degrees, and huge amounts of funding. There is another way ... automatic entrepreneurship.

Anyone can become an automatic entrepreneur... here's all you need:

To identify an opportunity and gauge whether it can become successful you need to be able to trust your instinct.

When neighbours came knocking on his door to buy fresh milk, Asif wanted to do whatever he could to provide for their needs. He wasn't trying to force upon them a product or service that they didn't need. He wasn't hard-selling fresh milk to a group of lactose-intolerant people, or thinking about USPs (unique selling propositions).

First came the need then came the business.

This is called the ground-up approach, versus the traditional top-down.

Both are valid approaches. The ground-up approach is used by companies such as FMCG and pharma - headaches are a common occurrence so let's create a painkiller to deal with that.

An example of a top-down approach is the fashion industry, where the industry decides what is 'in fashion' and then generates a need to sell what they have created.

For the genius visionary the top down approach is the way to go - if they can see what people want before people know it - inventers, artists, designers. People like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs who create something that never existed before use the top down approach.

For the regular guy, a ground-up approach is a more viable option. You look around you, see what's missing, what people are asking for, what people are complaining about ... then you come up with a solution to fix it.

When Sanjeev Bikchandani decided he was going to start his own business, he would just note and put away all the needs he saw. Because he was job-hunting, he noticed that there was a lack of any database where people could search for and apply to viable jobs. When the Internet arrived in India - he grabbed the opportunity to offer a solution to this problem - and thus came

Asif was merely fulfilling a need - he was not thinking about a business, or entrepreneurship, or turning a profit. His concern was for providing for his family, and then for those around him who needed what he had.

It was this need that led him ambling down the entrepreneurial path - not 'the numbers look good', not the 'forecast makes sense'...just the fact that 'it is needed'

If your motivation is money, small obstacles will knock you off track. The fear of losing money is a significant inhibitor. But if your motivation is something greater - duty, desire, passion, idealism... then even great obstacles won't be able to stop you.

Success never comes easy. But if you care enough, it will come eventually.

Starting a venture is intimidating. It will challenge everything about you - it can be physically and mentally exhausting. You have to do a lot of gadha mazoori running around doing everything yourself at first. There is no chhota kaam-bada kaam... all kaam is your kaam and until you make enough to hire someone, you have no choice but to do it. What's more, you probably won't even be paying yourself a salary.

It can also be incredibly lonely - no colleagues, no one who understands what you're going through. Main, meri tanhaai aur mera venture.

So you absolutely have to love what you're doing. You have to enjoy doing the chhota kaam, because you know that it is for a bada purpose. Keep your eye on the long-term goal and the small obstacles will not stop you.

Having a clear vision of tomorrow will keep you on track no matter what today throws at you.

Your entrepreneurial journey is unique - your challenges are yours alone, but so are your rewards.

Remember the rewards - and I don't mean the profit, though that certainly is rewarding. I mean the sense of achievement, the satisfaction of creating something, of fulfilling your purpose and providing for a need.

As an entrepreneur you can leave the world a better place than you found it. That is your true reward.

So don't worry if you don't fit into the 'entrepreneur' mold. Be an automatic entrepreneur - let your heart, for once, lead you to success, and let your brain play the supporting role.

Asif is a Common Sense Living reader who sent me his story. If you have a story please share it with us also.

*Name changed to protect privacy


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9 Responses to "Automatic Entrepreneurship: Leading With Your Heart"

mahendrapal chauhan

07 Jun, 2015

Thanks Anisa ji, Indeed experience of Mr Asif and others in your articles are very educative, motivational, inspiring and recharging. I must request to continue with such a great work to the community. Thanks

Ravi Ramesh

30 Nov, 2014

MANAGE YOUR LIFE PEACEFULLY AND SATISFACTORILY I am retired from reputed company in the cadre of secretarial. Inspite of retiring, I am not getting any pension or not expecting any financial gain from anyone. I am still working to fulfill my needs. I reduced my activities due to financial crunch and rather utilized that time 1. in devotion 2. spending online chatting, bloging on twitter 3. writing inspirational articles which can satisfy one's life. In my opinion, earning too much may lead to tiredsome, stress in life and may develop physical imbalance. one can earn money to lead his life satisfactorily and remaining time they should utilize for the development of their own persons, society etc. In case, one may get better opportunity for more earnings, he should think whether he really need to fulfill his basic necessities, whether he deserve and whether such opportunity would not make him restless. One may understand the purpose of human birth, lead his life in the best manner and understand others' feeling about him. In this way, he will definitely be in a good gesture.


28 Jul, 2014

Thanks Ms. Anisa Virji for presenting my story in such a pleasant manner. Your articles are always a delight to read. I need to thank each of you who has congratulated me and wished me good. Mr. Franklin, your suggestions about Goats & Chicken are good. But space constraints at home keeps me from pursuing these ideas. Mr. Deepak, its good to know about your venture. Wish that your endeavor would grow and find more success as days pass by. Mr. Jaishankar, pray that you will surely find your niche in entrepreneurship and prosper. Asif

Dinesh Kumar

24 Jul, 2014

It’s really inspiring; many of us wait for a big start and loose time, with the time the size of big increases in multiple of 1000s or even more, whereas our capacity remains more or less same. Early start is always better, otherwise it will be much beyond our capacity….those who grab early becomes big early. Thanks,

Franklin Antony

23 Jul, 2014

Wow. Amazing!! Kudos to Mr. Asif. Suggest to get some goats also. Goat milk seems to be more scarce these day !! And then move on to Chicken for eggs :)

deepak p chhabria

23 Jul, 2014

this story or perhaps a reality is very encouraging, even i started a tution class to help my neighbors, but today it is a full fledged commercial venture, I get satisfaction after teaching and after creating VOW from my students. u feel happy when my students climb up the ladder of success. when they become what they wanted to. this story felt like mine and i am grateful to Asif for publishing it will help many others like me for AUTOMATIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP thanks & Regards

Jaishankar Jayaraman

22 Jul, 2014

Hi Anisa The story of Asif is truly inspiring for anyone to emulate him. My hearty congratulations to Asif on beginning the entrepreneurial journey. I too want to embark on my entrepreneurial journey, hope my time will arrive sooner than later.


22 Jul, 2014

I really enjoy reading the articles on Common Sense Living. Frankly I'm not making much progress and am unable to achiev even miniscule goals but this is where your letter on Mark's amazing power-packed schedule comes in. Its very inspiring and forces me to think like a child - i.e try to do many things all at once. I try to practice what Mark says about dividing the day into 15 minute fragments. Thank you and Thank you. I have one request. I find the use of Hindi words and phrases in your articles rather alienating and puts me off. request you to remember that there are readers from all parts of the country. if the objective is to touch an emotional chord then maybe you may have achieved the opposite.

M M Amalsadvala

22 Jul, 2014

I would be very very brief. "JO KHILANEME MAZA HAI VO KHANEME NAHI." GOT. I practice this. Thank you.


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