The Startup world can get quite overwhelming for entrepreneurs as you start a business to create a difference, though being aware of all the stereotypes. And still, you aim to come out successful. There’s one breed who emphasizes on venture-backed entities curtailing elevated, high-growth entities. And then there are others who widen the definition and include the main street business, small shop businesses, and even the freelancers. So everyone out there earning their money independently is labelled as an entrepreneur. It is tough to escape the obvious stereotypes when in business, but this is how you can break them and still be a successful entrepreneur.
Breaking Gender Stereotypes
A study concluded that the chances of women leaving the industry one year later than men are 45%. Those thinking that women never make a successful entrepreneur are a rather destructive stereotype doing more harm than anything else to the startup fraternity.
An increasing diversity amongst the entrepreneurs which is an indication of how we are collectively making progress in the nullifying gender gap when it comes to entrepreneurship.
Previously, with only males around, the end result had limited potential. The new breed of women entrepreneurs come from a different socio-cultural background with a whole new perspective and ideas. It has given birth to brands like Carmesi, FreshMenu, MapMyGenome, etc.and also many instances of small scale local women entrepreneurs making it big.
You have to work 25 hours a day
Running low on fuel, long working hours and MAYBE some benefits in future – that’s how one sees a startup. Most entrepreneurs believe that time and resources spent during the early stages are something that one can trade-off for future gain. This is taken as an opportunity to get into projects that can change the world. But you must not forget that the startup world is itself involves a lot of disruption. But what happens when the startup world itself is disrupted?
For your startup to survive, you will have to survive as well, and that too – with all mental and physical fitness. That is why researchers indicate that if you want your startup to survive, that means you have to, as well. Ensure taking personal care and spending more time with family and friends. Also, consider taking some time out for physical exercises and prioritizing yourself over anything. If a client asks to get the work done on the weekend, protect yourself and the team to stay away from weekend work. A true genuine client will always respect your priorities outside working hours.
There is no such thing as 25 hours workday. No matter how much you apply yourself, it will happen only when it is done with a proper plan. Make sure that you and your teamwork efficiently in working hours with a planned workflow in hand. Follow scrum to ensure that project deadline is met with each sprint moving the project near completion. Being an entrepreneur, you have the power to dictate your own schedule and even that of the team. So take control of your life and startup to work smartly, efficiently, and not labourously. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons what lured to startup – to take back control of life.
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Your startup cannot function without the external fundings
Aspiring entrepreneurs are often tempted by thinking that there will be no boss and start a business. Wait till you meet the investors then. You will find out that investors are more demanding bosses. You will find yourself fighting for equity as well when the company starts scaling.
This is why entrepreneurs who really want to run their startup independently will keep the business low and small during its early stages. This is because the flaws in any startup plans are often masked by money which can be murderous. As an entrepreneur, you will need to address them in a jiffy and pivot it if the need be. You can certainly function well enough to get started and even run the business effectively by pivoting even more than once.
And if there is some large amount of money you have as an investment, it sort of provides your startup with a runway for a year or more. And this may lead your business to shift focus from revenue generation. Start with injecting a small amount of cash Instead that comes directly from your savings and plan according to the budget. Hire freelancers and project-based consultant to get the task rolling. Also, the sheer thrill of doing business while risking a lot will certainly pump you up for generating more revenue.
Reinventing the wheel is the only way out.
Are you in the business to get press coverage? Or raise the opportunity for fundings? Or you just want to create disruption in the market? In the name of disruption, many startups pressurize themselves to come out with something unimaginable. If they can pull it off, media is not shy to make them the heroes. But, as an entrepreneur, you need to understand that the entire buzz around disruption is not synonymous to success all the time.
n fact, try to solve a complex problem in the simplest possible manner. You can have an inventive approach and develop the MVP that creates an impact in the market, but if it does not have the target buyers ready to explore it then you may have a bigger problem to address. Try solving the problem by leveraging technology and available funding. For any existing market solution, you may not alter the functions but can rather add elements to it that enhances the user experience or adds value.
In fact, the phrase “Don’t Reinvent the Wheel” must be put to use as a call to arms that will require you to acknowledge all the existing solutions. Not to be looked at it as the bludgeoning tool to challenge those who have all the right reasons to build a better product but to further improve on what already available. A smart entrepreneur will require understanding the challenge and coming out with an analysis to involve best practices in the startup that overcome the challenge.
What stereotypes are you breaking this year?
While there are stereotypes everywhere in any industry, I’d still like to know if you can fit yourself anywhere. Do you associate yourself with any startup stereotypes? If so, how do you plan to break those and come out on top?