As an Entrepreneur, motivation is one source of inspiration you need in abundance, sometimes even more than money.
A typical day would look like – you have a call with one of your potential investors who has decided not to invest in your company, and next a meeting with another investor who has decided to move to the next round of discussion with you, your technical team just communicated to you that there is a major bug in the product, a small payment from your customer lands in your bank, your auditor calls you to remind you that your Tax payments have to be paid in the next 3 days’ time…and the list can go on. All this happening in a span of 10-12 hours in a day.
Not all your days are as exciting as the one mentioned above, there will be one odd dull days to handle as well. If there was some way to measure your motivation when all this was happening, I am sure you will see major fluctuations. The effort is to keep that motivation constant & high always. Easier said than done. But that is what is expected from you as an entrepreneur.
The previous day you spent almost the entire day with your technical team which had to fix a major bug in the product, they have spent the whole day till late night to fix the bug. And they could not. Your product launch is getting delayed because all these issues. Delay means more money spent on the same set of things all over again. And funds are never enough. You are already bootstrapping. You are frustrated with the delays & at the very thought of spending more money on things which should have been fixed long ago. First of all, YOU & the team should have checked on all these much before & avoid delays. You are fighting all these battles in your head.
The team meets again the next day morning to fix the bug. You meet the team in the morning and what do you tell them??
You have to stay cool, logical & be motivated in spite of the impending product launch looming large.
Being SUPREMELY MOTIVATED is the only way to go forward.
There are many things one need to focus in Business as an Entrepreneur… But two critical things that standout…
Ignoring the Elephant in the room: We sometimes tend to ignore some major problems in Business. Perhaps we are not ready to address those complex issues. It is simply going to take too much of time to address these complex issues, taking us away from other smaller issues, which also need our attention. Advantage of resolving smaller issues are, because they are easier to solve, we can move faster and it gives us a sense of achievement & progress, However, we can’t ignore the big problem for too long. It is like Ignoring an Elephant in the Room. Just picture this in your mind, there is an elephant in the room & how can you ignore it? And for how long can you ignore it? The big problem needs your attention. As an entrepreneur you need to focus on this problem & get it resolved. You need to have that tenacity.
Pimple on the Elephant’s Ass: On the other hand, we sometimes devote a lot of time on things that may mean very little to business. We spend far too much time on resolving a problem which may not impact any major aspect of business. In the overall scheme of things, it may not mean much. One of my boss always used to say that it is like trying to cure a “a Pimple on Elephant’s Ass”. An obvious reference to the importance attached to an insignificant problem.
Entrepreneur, among many other things, needs lot of courage to make decisions. And that is one characteristic of an entrepreneur that will be challenged a lot and put to test most often. What do you need the most to make those decisions? Intelligence or Courage? While a combination of the two in right measure is undoubtedly a great asset to have, but that is not always true on a case-to-case basis.
An entrepreneur needs to make decisions on a daily basis. Should you work with this partner or not? Should you hire this person or not? Should you say no or yes to a particular investor? Should you change your business plan, because everyone you meet feels you should do? In situations like these, you have to take your own call. It is your own gut feeling. You have to make your own decision & move forward. You are not sure how these seemingly harmless decisions can turn out to be a major turning point for your business. As an entrepreneur, you should make those decisions & you should have the courage to make those decisions.
Marc Andreessen, of Andreessen Horowitz, says – “Courage without Genius, may not take you where you may want to go. But Genius without Courage will most certainly not take you anywhere”. Marc’s partner Ben Horowitz, also the author of “The Hard Thing about Hard Things” says, one of the most important attributes they look for in an entrepreneur is courage.
What do you think? What has been your own experience as an Entrepreneur?