Go your own way...

Go your own way...

Explore life as an entrepreneur with helpful tips from Pratyush Mani Tripathi.

A person who develops and owns his/her own enterprise is known as an entrepreneur. He is a moderate risk-taker and works under uncertainty to achieve a goal. An entrepreneur is innovative and reflects a strong urge to be independent and persistently tries to do better.

It is also becoming an increasingly popular alternative career choice in the current economic slowdown.  Many have taken this route due to layoffs, frustration in the current workplace, or because of a need for greater flexibility in their personal lives.

However, it is most important to go with your own ‘internal factors’, which include passion, wanting to be independent,  to accomplish something, or build an enterprise, to enjoy freedom, because of a desire to make a profession out of a hobby and enjoy the challenges. So if you are planning to become an entrepreneur in the future, there will be plenty of company.

Positives and negatives

Entrepreneurship creates new jobs, new industries. It provides economic and social mobility. It creates equity, produces great leaders and contributes to society. An entrepreneur’s work hours are flexible.

The positives of entrepreneurship include control over your own future, having the satisfaction of making your own money and not for someone else, putting your talent to effective use and most importantly, a chance  to do something that you enjoy.

The flip side of entrepreneurship is you may have an irregular income. You have to do all the work by yourself which may result in a hard professional life.

Entrepreneurship is similar to a life partner.  The person has to be there in the job forever and may have to continue in that chosen line for a long time, and grow in the process. If there is a mismatch, you start all over again.

Considering this aspect, an entrepreneur should always be governed by three basic qualitative instincts to serve in a world of uncertainty. These are will, zeal and skill. An entrepreneur must: 

*Be prepared to withstand the hard life.
*Be determined but patient
*Exhibit a sense of leadership
*Be competitive
*Take personal responsibility
* Be oriented toward the future
*Persist in the face of adversity
*Convert a situation into an opportunity.

Competency is an underlying characteristic of a person which results in effective and superior performance in a job. The knowledge of entrepreneurial competence has been sharpened over the last three decades and the following is a list of major competencies that contribute to top-notch performance as an entrepreneur.

*Initiative: Take action that goes beyond the job requirement or of the situation. Do it before being asked or forced to by events. Act to extend the business into new areas, products, or service.

*Act on opportunity: Look for and act on opportunities. See and act on opportunities (business, educational or personal growth). Seize unusual opportunities to obtain financing equipment, land, work space, etc.

*Persistence: Take repeated action to overcome obstacles that get in the way of reaching goals.

*Seek information: Take action on your own to get information to help reach objectives or clarify problems. Do a personal research on how to provide a product or service. Consult experts for business or technical advice.

*Concern for quality work: Act to do things that meet or beat existing standards of excellence. State a desire to produce work of high quality. Compare your work or your own company’s work.

*Commitment to work contract:  Place the highest priority on getting a job completed.
Accept full responsibility for problems in completing a job for others. Pitch in with workers or work in their place to get the job done. Expresses a concern for satisfying the customer.

*Efficiency-oriented: Find ways to do things faster or with fewer resources or at a lower cost. Look for or find ways to do things faster or at a lower cost. Use information or business tools to improve efficiency.

*Systematic planning: Develop and use logical, step-by-step plans to reach goals. Plan by breaking a large task down into sub-tasks. Develop plans that anticipate obstacles. Evaluate alternatives. Take a logical and systematic approach to activities.

*Problem-solving: Identify new and potential ideas to reach goals. Switch to an alternative strategy to reach a goal. Generate new ideas or innovative solutions.

*Self-confidence: Have a strong belief in yourself and your own abilities. Express confidence to complete a task or meet a challenge. Stick to your own judgment in the face of opposition or rarely, lack of success. Learn to take risks after careful evaluation of the situation.

*Use of influence to strategise: Use a variety of strategies to influence others. Act to develop business contacts. Use influential people as agents to accomplish own objectives.  Selectively limit the information given to others.

*Monitoring: Develop or use procedures to ensure that work is completed or that work is of high quality. Personally supervise all aspects of a project.

*Concern for employee welfare: Take action to improve the welfare of employees. Take positive action in response to employee’s personal concerns. Express concern about the welfare of employees.

(The writer is the Director, Vaid’s ICS, Lucknow.)

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