I am an experienced digital marketing strategist & blogger.
We, humans, love the familiarity bias. We do things with a set pattern that is designated for us by the society. We live a monotonous life, set into the mold established by those before us. In turn, we educate our kids to become reputable professionals. We force them to take up jobs they might not even love but which pay “well”. Eventually they get married, walk the same line, until finally sweet slumber claims them. Of course, you cannot defy nature and live forever. But, what you can do, is to leave behind a legacy, perhaps become a legendary accidental entrepreneur that people will talk about for eons!!
Normally, when somebody hires you for a job, you strive to work wonders and carve a niche. You make sure that business processes are built efficiently and all projects are completed on time. Even your clients cannot stop raving about how happy they are to work with you. The company is evolving at an exponential rate. But, somewhere down the lane, you feel incomplete deep down. Something you cannot articulate, but without this thing that you think is lacking, life seems incomplete.
The long neglected ideas, the unheeded passions, and the skills you possessed but which you never got a chance to capitalize on. You are living the life of a slave, running around in circles, and living out your days robotically.
I can relate to this feeling!
I was earning what you would call a handsome sum. I was laboring at a software house, Coding, day in and day out. Often, I would be the first one to arrive at the office (sometimes, didn’t even go home), and more often than not, the last one to leave.
It was a rainy night. I was supposed to go home early, with a nice bouquet and a bottle of champagne to celebrate the five-year anniversary of our wedding.
My job was to fashion custom websites for our clients. That night, I was buried up to my neck, scratching my head, industriously clambering to figure out a piece of code that obstinately refused to work. Let me make one thing clear. By profession, I am a computer engineer. So, programming was in my blood. Or rather, it was the only thing I was good at.
I was frustrated because the code was not working and the flaw seemed to evade my grasp. I scribbled out my problem on a piece of paper and uploaded it on the internet. Writing, to me was fun. This was one thing I knew I would love to delve in more, sometime down the road.
Within a few minutes, I got the solution to my problem. But, not just that; I also received feedback on the way I expressed the problem. The details, the passion, and the simplicity of words rendered the problem easier for people to comprehend.
This was the first time I realized the prowess of my skills. It was not just the doodling of words that made it effective, it was the amount of emotion I would invest in writing that made all the difference.
The day after that, I posted a blog on how I was able to solve the problem with the help of internet. If I can write, I can help people solve their technical problems as well. I registered a domain and started solving the problems that other people had. To put it in a nutshell, i had turned the tables on my life and discovered an accidental entrepreneur hidden inside! After all, you will inevitably stumble across a host of developers, and you can easily find a writer these days. But, you rarely find a heady mixture of both. When you mix-up two or more skills, you automatically stand out from the competitors.
In the start, my friend and I were running the show alone, from within the confines of my messy bedroom. The earliest days of a startup are the ones that are the most memorable. You savor each moment. You burn the midnight oil. And you work with all the passion flaring in your heart.
One trait that separated me from others was my commitment to give it all to our customers. When you start a business, the first thing that comes to your mind is the amount of time you will be entailed to give in to your startup.
Since I had bid adieu to my job, I was able to focus solely on my business. However, my friend had to juggle a full term job with the hassles of our start-up. After coming home, he would drive over to my apartment, where being the website designer that he is, we would work on creating a stellar professional website. The competition was tough in the early days. We didn’t know how to get traffic to our website, so we tried all the possible ways we knew at the time.
I still remember when one day my friend unceremoniously dropped a bombshell, confiding that we were running out of cash and needed to cut down our expenses. Even though we were already teetering on the edge, nevertheless we decided to cut back a tad more. But, the problem persisted like a looming, insurmountable mountain; to raise funds to continue our venture, or be swallowed in the swamps.
I started pitching out to venture capitalists. Most listened to the idea in silence, & then dumped down a rejection on us. After dozens of failed pitches, I was able to grasp the idea of how to deliver that perfect pitch? Based on that learning, just three days after the realty dawned over, our idea was blessed with a heavy funding.
Now, came the time to hire more people, as the business was growing at an exponential rate. The hiring stage in any startup is one of the most difficult stages, as any entrepreneru can vouch for. And when it comes to hiring the right people, who can teach us better than Apple. Here is how Apple hire their employees:
After the hiring was done and dusted with, I switched my hats and put on my Entrepreneurial cap to build systems. The first area of focus was moving away from a competitor centric approach towards one centered on customer obsession. Instead of working out what the competitors were doing, we drove our sight on what our customers wanted and how we can give it, in the simplest way.
Most people are of an opinion that customer obsession is akin to just conversing with the customer. It is a far cry for that, trust us! It is about inventing on behalf of the customers. And this should be the core of every business.
Of course, my business went forth on a continuous uphill and downhill journey. But in all of that, there were some habits that helped me wake up each day with the same level of zest and enthusiasm, without losing interest in my venture.
When Zappos started their business, their theme was to provide awe-inspiring customer service to everybody who visited their website. To have a clear vision is the most important and necessary trait for the success of any business. Right after we hired a few people, we started conducting weekly meetings in which we disclosed and elucidated the grand vision of the company. Not an hour-long redundant meeting, just a 5–10-minute reminder of what we really care about, who we are, and what we need to stand for.
Another habit which helped me a lot was a commitment to our work. Not just to work, but to our customers, and my family. If you have a clear vision of where you want to go, it gets easier to stay committed to it. Just working hard is not the solution. Working smart is the modern-day approach towards solving any real-life problem.
The most workable approach I came across boiled down to doing something & giving it a break to allow some clarity to jump-in. Continuous work might paralyze your brain to think the unthinkable. Try incorporating regular breaks in your hectic schedule, and the work will turn out excellent and flawless.
The single most important trait of highly successful people is that they feel the tangles of fear, yet go ahead with what their heart desires, instead of shying away. No matter what the critics say, they just go for what their heart beats for. And then there is their passion, dedication, and perseverance to deal with the rest. It is good to feel a bit of trepidation, but never prudent to let your fears take over you. Look fear in the eyes and do it anyway. What is the worst that can happen? You will fail right? Then what, you can always dust off, get back on your feet, and try again. But this time, you will fail better. This one habit helped me overcome my qualms and turn them into opportunities.
I don’t claim to be a highly successful Entrepreneur. But yes, I made it this far. With the pains, and the success, there were some lessons which helped me learn a lot from life.
Being an Entrepreneur is not at all about earning a lot. It is about discovering the needs and pain points of your customer, and understanding their emotions. If you are able to connect with your customers emotionally and align your vision with their need, you will succeed.
Original Source of this Article: https://www.branex.ca/blog/accidental-entrepreneur/
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