There are 3 important lessons that I have learned in the last 8 years of pursuing entrepreneurship. My best friend and I started our first business while still in college. We had nothing besides Passion and PowerPoint. Then we quickly learnt how much we didn’t know and reached out for help taking advantage of the third “P-word”, People!! People know people and they know people and that’s how an idea moves from a PowerPoint to a product and then to the hands of customers. These 3 P-words are the key ingredients to starting from nothing and building something that others will beg or sometimes pay money to be a part of because of its value or net-worth.
It is like how an expert chef knows exactly how to use the ingredients in the right proportion at the perfect temperature to produce a meal that people are willing pay money for, share on social media and write reviews on Yelp!!
Let’s learn how:
No matter how gifted we are, there are always people whose help can put us on a faster track especially when we are starting with nothing. A well done PowerPoint and a short presentation by people who are clearly passionate about their idea can easily win the hearts of the audience whether a potential investor or a lawyer who might help with some pro bono consultations. Creating meaningful relationships and sustaining them becomes easy when genuine gratitude is expressed and there is a tendency or attitude of giving back no matter how humble our position is at the moment. Hugs also help a lot, seriously!! but only if you are comfortable with it. Every time I hug a person and express gratitude or a simple “Thank you”, I see a smile that is beyond compare. It almost instantly creates an emotional connection and inclines people go the extra mile to be helpful. In fact research has shown teams that have more physical contact perform much better collectively than teams that don’t whether it is business or football!!
Whether or not one believes in God, luck, fate or karma, it is pretty intelligent to accept the fact that we cannot fully control everything or anything besides at best our own thoughts, behavior, etc. We can certainly influence people or situations by being likable. It is amazing what qualities like humility, respect, tolerance, honesty, etc. can do for us. People invest in people and one of the things that make one likable is having good qualities that is expressed through words and actions. Skills and expertise can be gained over time, but no one likes to work with people they don’t like. But what if we don’t have these qualities, well then just fake it till you actually have them. But genuinely try to genuine in your behavior.
Focus on the end user:
When you share your idea with other people it is very common to receive feedback that will ask you to rethink your idea or business model and one should absolutely be open to such change. But the focus is what your ultimate vision and mission is with your company. Change is healthy given it is under the right guidance and in the right direction….in the direction towards you company’s goal/vision/values. Another point of focus is the market. The most important gift an entrepreneur can have is predicting the future of their target market. Always focus on hearing what the market has to say about your product/services and don’t waver from what your market is asking you to do. A lot of times investors tend to push entrepreneurs towards what they think might be right for the market. Learn to hear the market (it’s called market research) and stick with what your gut tells you given your knowledge of the market and you will be happy you listened to your heart.