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Celebrate Your Independence Day Today by Starting Up — I Did

By on Aug 15, 2013 in Opinion | 35 comments

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What is the “right time” to take the plunge?
When are you “ready” to turn entrepreneur?
When should you burn other bridges and start up?

If you are one of those who are plagued with these questions, you have been wasting time. The right time is right now. Get started!

Stop Waiting for a Soft Landing Into Entrepreneurship!
The problem with waiting for the right time is that it really never comes. And the reason it never comes is that it is already here!

After a Few Years of Work Experience, I Will Get Entrepreneurial — That’s a Lie!
Sure there is some value to amassing experience, contacts, and wealth. But can one really overlook the loss of time while one goes about hobnobbing with corporate-types? I would much rather that you start your entrepreneurial journey today.

In the mid to late nineties, I would conduct admission interviews of MBA aspirants. Though each interview was unique, there were some common questions I would ask. One among them was about the candidate’s career plan. Aspirants had a wide variety of responses about their first job post-MBA. But “after a few years of work experience, I will start my own business,” was a common refrain. I am still in touch with a few dozen of those students, and not even one of them has actually started their own business!

A Real Entrepreneur Is Characterized by Outrageous Optimism and Urgency
As an angel investor I am exposed to over 100 new founders each month. Like other investors I too have my prejudices about whom I reject right away. If I feel that the founder is not really an entrepreneur, I reject them without any consideration of their business plan, market, traction, and other such buzzwords. But how does one ascertain if someone is truly an entrepreneur? That is not easy, but two common characteristics of entrepreneurs are that they are always in a hurry, and they feel that they cannot lose.

The hurry works for me. The optimism is great too, as long as it does not make them indifferent to the nature of the risk that they are assuming.

I Have Decided to Follow My Own Advice
After my two decades as an entrepreneur and an investor, I often find myself amidst mentors. These gurus seem to have a magic wand: one swish and a failed venture converts to a successful one. Not really! But what I am getting at is the fact that mentors are always in the mode of, “Don’t do as I do. Just do as I say.” I am sure that I too often have been guilty of that. But not today! I have been toying with the idea of setting up my own startup-related blog. And what better day to start than the day I choose to advise my readers to jump right in.

Today is India’s independence day. Make it your independence day too. Unshackle your career, aspirations, future, self-esteem, and self-worth from some arbitrary paycheck and designation. Jump right in! Even if you do not reach your destination, the journey will be worth it.

This is the first post on my blog: StartUp Gang. On day one I am starting with quite the empty hand. Any love that you can show this blog will be deeply appreciated: tweets, shares, links, likes, +’s, comments, mentions, subscription to the newsletter, or any other form of kindness. Thanks again. Thanks for reading, and do come back.