The Entrepreneur Series


The Path Less Trodden

You have decided that the climb up the corporate ladder in the MNC giant isn’t for you and or maybe you started young in the entrepreneurship game. Either way, it’s good to be clear about the reasons you want to be an entrepreneur and this blog is about figuring what good and bad reasons are and how to be prepare for the plunge.

Maybe you hate the thought of being a cog in a large wheel or you fear the thought of becoming an old guy sitting in a behemoth organization looking back or around at all the exciting stuff happening or maybe you just hate your bosses. Any which way, being an entrepreneur is not for the faint hearted.

You probably already know that in your heart but sometimes we all get sucked in by all the money seemingly being thrown around at startups. At least the front pages of the business papers say so. The fact is that for every Flipkart or Ola, there are tens of other startups living (and dying) in quiet desperation. They are also run by pretty qualified, smart and passionate folks but they may never catch the imagination of the consumer or investor, despite all the technology and business sense to bring to their venture.

Sometimes it’s a mid-career crisis which brings on these thoughts – even the large corporations seem to want younger people in top jobs. Ageism is alive and well in the corporate world but then entrepreneurs have it worse. Investors also prefer 20 or 30 something to a person with eons of experience in that area. It’s apparently got to do with energy Vs experience, read young Vs old. Just because the corner office looks a million miles away, it isn’t always a good reason to turn entrepreneur either. Perhaps you can read my earlier blogs in the Endangered Middle Manager series to figure a way out without chucking up your day job in pursuit of the Holy Grail. By the way, announcing yourself as a consultant after quitting/exiting your job doesn’t quite qualify to be called entrepreneurship either!

Ah, then maybe you are a Gen-Y wunderkind who sees peers and friends all doing the cool thing and starting an app company and maybe getting some funding too. Creating a piece of software is easy these days with all the available tools and templates, and it is the business need you are meeting and the execution on the ground that makes the difference. You may actually benefit by working for any of the world leaders around in the space of your interest for some years and figure a real pain point or business need that’s crying out to be met by software before taking the plunge. Even if you get funded initially, its not nirvana as you will have investors to answer to apart from other stakeholders – employees, partners, customers, maybe family as well.

If you are still reading, either you are a masochist or you have the adventure bug for real. I will explore this further in the next blog with preparation for the plunge and more. You can reach me via Daedalus Consulting here, Twitter, G+, FB or My twitter handle is @rexraj.

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