The life of an entrepreneur is really interesting and very challenging. It is interesting because they are trying radical ideas and something which has possibly been never tried before. Challenging because they are walking along unchartered territories and there is joy, disappointment, surprise, shock, failure and success lurking around every corner. It really tests your persistence, patience and steadfastness as you keep discovering your path amidst this uncertainty.
The question is – what keeps him/her going? What is that single most important trait which gives strength to the individual to beat all odds and deliver something which is valued manifolds as time progresses?
I think that the single most important talent is to use every challenge he faces to his advantage, by resolving to fix it for the betterment of the product, team and overall venture.
Now contrast this to the corporate world. When majority of the employees in a corporate run into a problem which they couldn’t foresee or have no clue about, they usually resort to one of these standard options (i) find an excuse which can convince their manager (ii) present data or polish a ppt in a manner that the problem is under wraps (iii) find a scapegoat to take the blame. In the end, when faced with a challenge which has disrupted all their planning, the recourse is to save their skin one way or the other. Nothing wrong here; as this is the inane tendency of all living beings!
The entrepreneurs also do exactly that, i.e. save their skin in the startup game. It’s just that they know that the only way to do this is to get a handle on the problem and find a fix or a workaround so that the venture can still make progress. Actually, they have no other option. There is no boss to think of a convincing excuse, no scapegoats to take the blame and any data-dressing to swipe the problem under the carpet will tantamount to fooling no one else but themselves!
So, the entrepreneur does what they must – take the bull by his horns! Roll-up their sleeves and get down to fixing the problem. What could it be – is it because the customer does not understand the true value proposition of the offering? Is the UI confusing and not good enough? Are people gaming the system? Or is he targeting the wrong segment altogether. Could it be that their go-to-market is not really helping him to reach their target group? This analysis starts and one by one, every single proposition is ruled out with the data available at hand; and accordingly the solutions are deciphered. By the time they have fixed the problem, either the product has improved or the go-to-market strategy has become more laser-focused. Whatever the case may be, the venture has moved one step closer to success!!
But then the dawn of the very next day brings with it new challenges and the entrepreneur gets into this never ending problem-solving mode. With every fix you rise, create a new set of challenges and fail a little, solve them and then rise again. The cycle just keeps going…