Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For the Entrepreneurs-in-hiding in my circle

I have always wanted to be my own boss, and over the past year or so have transformed my life from a regular office worker to a Serial Entrepreneur - with one venture RunWalkIndia off the starting block, and another - in the Trading & Risk Management Software area - in the works. I wonder how many in my circle are having ambitions of starting an own business but are not doing anything about it.

The thought was sparked by the following paragraph I read in Seth Godin's The Bootstrapper's Bible:
In the face of uncertainty, it seems to me that the very worst thing you can do is fail to try. I went to business school at Standord, which prides itself on being very entrepreneurial. Of the 300 people in my class, at least half publicly proclaimed that they were going to start their own businesses sooner or later. Now, 20 years later, only about 30 of us have actually done it. The rest are still waiting for the right time or the right idea or the right backing. They're waiting for an engraved invitation and some guarantee of success.
I am sure quite a few of friends and classmates as well are in the same boat and waiting for something. I myself was in similar situation till early last year, and have tread a different path in the last few months to be where I am now.

This post is for those Entrepreneurs-in-hiding in my circle (MBA class mates, Engineering classmates, Colleagues from various organizations I have worked with, my family,....), and in this post I aim to give a bullet-point list to help them move towards Entrepreneurship.

So here goes the list:

  1. Participate in The Landmark Forum : Landmark Education's flagship program The Landmark Forum is rated #2 on the list of Top 100 Adventures at the Top 100 Expo web-site. This program jump-started my entrepreneurial adventures when I attended the Forum in June 2007, having been driven to it by pain and anguish caused by a personal tragedy. Some Independent research, Case Studies, and Surveys have highlighted the value Landmark Forum brings into the life of each of the participants. Personally, I got the courage to take control of my career after attending the Forum, and subsequently have achieved immense breakthroughs in many aspects of my life through my continued association with Landmark Education. My advice to anyone who wants to do something and feel stuck or not ready : "Attend the Landmark Forum!! You will start seeing the world in a whole new light!
  2. Read Ben Casnocha's book My Start-up Life and his blog : I came across Ben's book shortly after participating in the Landmark Forum, and when I was searching - with perfect clarity - for some book to help me start up my own business. I doubt if I could have picked up a better book this this one : Written by a guy who started a business when he was 13 years old!! And that too in the similar space I was considering a new business in. Ben is very articulate and provides an engaging and informational story of how he came about starting a company at such a young age. Ben's Blog too is a treasure trove of valuable advice for entrepreneurs as well. And if you need advice about something, write to Ben - he gets back to you with a valued answer with a very quick turn-around!
  3. Read up Rajesh Setty's Blog; the blog post titled Blast from the Past - Entrepreneur Pack is a gem.
  4. View Guy Kawasaki's The Art of the Start video; then buy a copy of Guy Kawasaki's The Art of the Start and keep it by your bed-side, and read it up from end to end a few times! Read up Guy Kawasaki's funny and insightful blog entries regularly.
  5. Read up anything written by Seth Godin that you can get your hands on. Seth's Blog constantly send me "Wow, why didn't I think of it" or "Sooooo Simple!!". All of Seth Godin's books are a must for anyone starting an own business. The now out-of-print The Bootstrapper's Bible is another mandatory bed-side book for a budding entrepreneur, what with a byline which goes How to Start and Build a Business with a Great Idea and (Almost) No Money.
After reading some of the above, you are ready to go!

Go out and start your own business and have a ball of a time while doing it!

A parting note about the value of Entrepreneurship in the Global economy (excerpted from a blog post by Ben Casnocha):
Economic growth is desirable for all countries because it improves the material standard of living and spawns moral benefits, i.e. it “fosters greater opportunity, tolerance of diversity, social mobility, commitment to fairness, and dedication to democracy.” Of the various causes of economic growth, I believe one value is paramount: entrepreneurship.

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