Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Perils of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship seems exciting especially in the beginning. The thought of giving up your job to enter the world of business is exhilarating. Of course, entrepreneurship comes with numerous perks including a lot of freedom but every coin has two sides and it is vital not to forget that.
Entrepreneurship, just like every other endeavor, comes with its own set of challenges and perils, which is why many people fail to stick to it until the end. While entering the world of entrepreneurship, not many people anticipate these perils. Having to face them without being prepared hits many entrepreneurs quite hard, which is why they fail. Therefore, it is important to understand the highs and lows that you can expect so that you start your business with an informed mind. Preparation is the key to success for sure. In entrepreneurship, along with preparation, you need motivation to keep you going through the thin and thinner.

Let us identify a few common perils of entrepreneurship so that you know what to expect once you get started:

Lack of Focus
Entrepreneurship requires complete and utter focus but this is much easier said than done. The problem is that, thanks to advanced technology, we have a plethora of distractions that can keep us from focusing on our business. We have social media, text messages, calls, Internet surfing, and so many other distractions that it is easy to lose focus and waste time.
Also, there are many entrepreneurs who are lost in too many ideas. They are usually not able to set their mind on one goal or on one task because they have too many things going on. An entrepreneur should learn how to set priorities at work and within work as well. Only then will he be successful.
Business failing solely due to lack of focus are not unheard of. In fact, a majority of startups crumple in the first year itself due to this problem.

This is again a startup peril. Most founders turn into workaholics. They work day in and day out, burning the midnight oil each and everyday. There are some who don’t take breaks even on weekends. While this might seem mighty focused of them, you should realize that this degree of overworking would burn you out before you realize it. It is very important to remember that there is much more to life than your work. Focus on all aspects of life and balance them.
One more thing to know here is that business requires trust and delegation. Don’t be under the impression that you can do everything single-handedly. If you are not ready for full-time employees, you could hire freelancers during the initial stages. Delegate and trust your employees so that you reduce your burden and don’t head towards a serious burnout.
Overworking will also make work seem like ‘work’. You will stop enjoying entrepreneurship and it will become taxing. That stress can also lead to the downfall of your business.

With entrepreneurship comes the fear of failure, which is dangerous. This fear can hinder your growth, stop you from taking decisions, and can cripple your business within no time. Entrepreneurship comes with risk. The very definition of entrepreneurship includes the word ‘risk’. That doesn’t mean you get so scared that you become completely indecisive and start doubting yourself.

If you don’t make mistakes you won’t learn anything. If everything seems to blossom at every step, it is highly likely that you are actually going in the wrong direction. Challenges will come, mistakes will be committed, and you will need to take chances regardless of the risk involved. The trick is to take failure optimistically and to learn from it.
Embrace failure; don’t be afraid of it.

Expecting too Much too Soon
This is a problem that many entrepreneurs face because they start a business thinking they will taste success immediately. Well, the truth is that you have to do a lot of work before you can taste success. Success comes only after unremitting effort. Also, it is important to look behind monetary benefits and to look at the value that entrepreneurship. If you only want money and if you want it quickly, you will head towards disaster.
Be an entrepreneur because you want to be an entrepreneur, not because you want to earn a lot of money in a short span of time.

Lack of Motivation
This usually happens when you start facing challenges. A rejection, a mistake, or a complaint from a customer can be very disappointing. A couple of more such failures can really crush your faith of being successful. Some entrepreneurs are actually driven into quitting altogether.
During such times you should try staying optimistic and you should tell yourself that failure is a part and parcel of business. Only when you overcome the challenge will you smell success. When all seems to go down the dumps, you should go back to when you started and remember why you are actually doing this. Why did you start entrepreneurship? What drove you into setting up a business? What is your goal? What do you aim to achieve? The answers to these questions will immediately lighten your mood and help you see the positive side of business.

Every cloud has a silver lining. You just need to be patient and work hard even when the clouds are dark and dense.

These are the most common perils of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs face them because of their own myths and expectations from themselves as well as from their business. Overworking, losing heart, being scared of failure, and not focusing on work are among the biggest dampeners. Avoid them and you will have a fruitful, satisfactory business.

Be passionate about what you do and let it drive you on the road to success! 

Sanjay Prasad
Entrepreneur & Mentor 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Mentorship and its Advantages

We grew up under the supervision of our parents and teachers. We always had someone to teach us the difference between right and wrong, good and bad. We always had someone to turn to in times of need. Now that we have grown up, our parents and teachers have let us go. They have given us the liberty to think and make decisions on our own. We appreciate the freedom for sure but there are times even in adulthood when we need some sustenance, some encouragement, and some advice to make the right decisions.

Enter Mentors.
Definition of Mentorship
Mentorship is a positive relationship between a highly experienced person and a person who is looking to gain experience. Mentorship is about guidance, advice, and support.

Advantages of Mentorship
The mentor helps the mentee walk on the right track by providing expert counsel, tips, and assistance. A mentor, in short, can be defined as a teacher or a wise counsellor.

Ø  Guidance: Mentors have a lot of working experience, which means that they are aware of the environment into which you have just entered. Excellent mentors know what to expect, how to overcome challenges, and how to avoid mistakes. They use that experience to guide their mentees in the right direction. They say that lessons are best learnt from first-hand experience but in business today, when times are stringently tough, you can’t afford to make mistakes and then learn from them. Mentors will guide you and help you so that your inexperience does not stymie your business growth.

Ø  Support: Starting off on your own is a huge step. You know the gravity of it because you are facing the challenge. People around you may not realize that. For many people, what others do seems like a piece of cake. This is where the lack of support can bother you. Not being able to find someone who understands your position, your insecurity, and your fears of starting anew can be discouraging. Mentors will help fill that gap by providing you a shoulder. They will hear you out and offer compassion so that you know that there is someone who understands your situation.

Ø  Advice: During tough times and when you have to take decisions, you may feel pressurized because you are not sure what to do. You may feel uncertain because you don’t know whom to trust and what action to take. There are a number of aspects in business in which you will feel the need to turn to an expert and take advice so that you head in the right path. Mentors will help exactly with that. Right from setting realistic goals to executing those goals, mentors will advice you wisely at every step as and when you need it.

Ø  Life Teachings: Along with helping you on the professional front, mentors understand the person you are and help you evolve as an individual. Support and   motivation are extremely important not just professionally but also personally. You may feel the lack of motivation when things go wrong or sometimes you just want to talk to someone who understands you. During such times, you have the mentor to turn to who you trust and who is around not just to tell you where you went wrong and how to make amends, but is there to also show you all the right things that you have done, giving you a much needed encouragement and a pat at the back too!

Mentorship Programs for Employees
Just like you feel the need for guidance, direction and a word of encouragement at times, your employees may need that too. Of course, they may have peers and family to share with but unless they are in the same working field, understanding the problem is difficult. When employees are not at peace, their work gets affected. Understanding and addressing this need of your team can save a lot of hard times. And this is exactly why many businesses have started mentorship programs for employees. Workplace mentorship has been proven to boost productivity of employees through positive reinforcement.

Mentorship cannot be taught or learnt, it is a discipline that ripens only with experience. Every good mentor has loads of experience to back himself and he speaks from what life taught him over the course of many years. This doesn’t mean that one doesn’t trip and stumble with a mentor around; Mentorship more importantly helps you to learn from an experience, recover faster and move on. Every mentor-mentee relationship will be unique depending on business objectives, individual preferences and styles; but the goal is always one: to share a common vision and work towards building a success story.

Sanjay Prasad
Entrepreneur & Mentor 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Shredding Your Start Up – The Way to Emergence

In the many years that I have spent as an Entrepreneur and the years I have spent Mentoring various start up’s the one factor that I see that most hinders the emergence of a start up is “doing away with the mindset of a start up” which primarily means shredding one’s start up and moving on to becoming an Emerging Enterprise.

The fear of doing away with this mindset and coming out of one’s cocoon is something I see most Entrepreneur’s hesitant to do. For some it is fear of that bold step of leaving an incubation programme, for some to re-think and re-examine their business, for some to branch out to new markets and explore new avenues of growth, for some to completely reengineer what they felt would be the next Big Thing and for some just the fear of doing it on one’s own.

It is a common issue for many new businesses that they just cannot come out of that image and mindset of being a startup and thus the biggest hurdle for a startup to take itself to the next phase of growth is the very fact that it is a startup!

If you are a startup that has been running for six months to one year, it is high time now that you should stop calling yourself a startup and shred that start up mindset.

It is now time for you think about taking your business to its next levels. When we start up we tend to accept, with gratitude, all assignments that come our way. But reaching the next levels calls for reviewing and renewing your goals and your work style so far and adopt a more focused approach towards running your business.

Once you have shred that mindset it is a good time to review what you have done and renew the goals that you had set for yourself. Take a hard deep look at the business plan (if you had made one) that you made and compare how you fared against what you had proposed and then readjust and realign taking into account where you stand today vis-à-vis what the market wants and demands. 

So go on Shred Your Start Up & Emerge!!!

e: sprasad@mindsphereconsulting.com  

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


In my recent interactions with many a potential entrepreneur, a lot of whom have brilliant ideas, I sense at times a fear in their minds as to whether they will fail or succeed. 

I always believe that one must at least try if they wish to succeed. 

The video appended below is truly one that inspires and drives us to do more that the best that we can, to push that envelope of excellence to make the impossible possible.


To Making the Impossible Possible


Sunday, 22 July 2012

A New Beginning - Is Fear Holding You Back

As we set on a journey towards creating Minds Without Fear, I felt that what I am about to share would truly inspire those who are looking to start their journey of Entrepreneurship 

A Few Days ago My mentee Abheek sent me this amazing video about Michael Lazerow - Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder of Buddy Media (http://www.buddymedia.com) who recently sold his firm to SalesForce.com. 

It is really interesting and inspiring to see how he inspire of his several hinderance built a firm that went from startup to an amazing valuation of close to US $ 700 Million in under Five years. Kudos to Michael and his team

To New Beginnings