Well, of course, everyone starts a business with the hope of earning money from it, but I don’t believe people understand the whole idea of starting a business and bringing it to that stage where you get recognized because of what you do.
There was a time when people looked up to those who dared to choose the path to becoming businessmen and entrepreneurs, but the respect is all gone today. Everywhere I go there are a bunch of people who want to be entrepreneurs. Sure, they can be one and it is a good aspiration to have, but if you think of becoming an entrepreneur over a single night and also want to get your full-scale business running in a year or two, then I am sorry to let you know my friend that it is not very realistic.
I understand from where you are getting these ideas as well. It is the social media, news, and different reality shows like Shark Tank that makes you want the same luxuries as they have. I am not saying you are not great, or you cannot do it. Maybe you can do it and also within a quick span as well, but the misconception that is blurring the vision of most of the people is that since a venture capitalist or an angel investor has decided to invest in your idea, you are going to make big bucks very soon. Yes, that happens, and the market has witnessed that with several ideas but you must also understand that firstly, it is a rare case and secondly, it is the market who will decide if your concept or business will work or not.
I always say this to people every time when someone comes up to me and tells me he or she is planning to be an entrepreneur, Good for you buddy! But do you know that 9 out of 10 people who start their own businesses don’t succeed? These are the ones you will never hear about from your social media feed unless those were some relentless entrepreneurs who they didn’t give up. Those who understand this reality will truly become an entrepreneur someday, but the ones who feel the fear of falling on their faces must definitely think twice.
Building a business is not a joke and there is a lot of investment including effort, time and money that is involved in it. If you are going nuts about the VC money and slump back into the chair to think your job is done, then you are so very wrong. Receiving funding is just like getting a helping hand to assist you to build the actual revenue generating business and not just a flimsy toy on top of the investor’s money.
The sad part in the today’s entrepreneurial world is that there are too many entrepreneurs who are concentrating on raising the next round of funding, and artificially inflating their company’s valuation by draining off their own equity. However, when they are busy doing that, they are forgetting the most important aspect – building a real sustainable business.
No one would want to have a business which is great one day and closes the shop the very next day. Focusing only on receiving funding, and not paying attention to the actual business functions is going to screw up your business. When people are trying to raise money, they think they have the most unique and the so-called disruptive and innovative idea that is going to change the market. Think of it again. Is it really that disruptive and innovative? And if it is, then why are the investors not running behind you and why must you chase them for funding.
I started my business a few years ago, and I knew I needed to work towards building a sustainable model and not run behind investors. I started the business with my own money, and it was only when I had a strong business model that I knew would continue successfully is when I got in the investors. I have had to run on thin margins and there are still few times when it occurs, but that does not mean I rush towards the first investor I meet to get their money. This is possible because I know I must be patient and understand what it really means to establish one’s business. The glory, fame, and riches all come later, but I am into business because I love the grind. Ask this to a true entrepreneur and he will tell you the same. The essence of being an entrepreneur is what drives me and should do the same for you. So, if you want to build something which is so great that it makes it “the thing” of your life, and there is no one whom you should report to for getting your paycheck, then don’t disrespect the hard work and toil that is needed to get to reach that spot.
Although this isn’t truly anyone’s fault, but I understand that since all kind of media portrays such an image of entrepreneurship in front of us which is too-good-to-be-true, most of us want it. This should never have been the case, and we should now stop defining entrepreneurship in these ridiculous ways. Entrepreneurship is about the hard work and is rarely a one stop to fame. It is true that everyone wants to be a millionaire with their businesses, but you must also understand that there are no short cuts and no secret formulas that would make your business successful overnight, because the only truth that you must know and believe in is hard work as that will make you as successful as you want to be.
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