BE A VISIONARY
I deliberately placed this point right after Data Driven. This is crucial for entrepreneurship
An entrepreneur that sees a future world coming together in his space, not constrained by what the facts/people currently tell him, BUT YET anchored by data (what the market tells him) as he executes and journeys there = A very powerful combination
To be an effective visionary, you do need the following:
1. Think Big
2. Think Different (Steve Jobs famously ran his iconic 1997 Apple campaign using this title)
3. Be very clear and focused on your vision (this will guide the data you seek, and the steps you take to get to your vision, and the verticals/products/services you expand into subsequently to support your core vision)
4. Inspiring your audience (Unfortunately, this is something we cannot run away from – at the very least, you need to be able to explain your vision clearly to your team. Even better if what you say and do inspire your audience, customers and turn them into supporters)
5. Standing firm to naysayers (do not be easily swayed – enough said)
6. But yet – listens to a small group of trusted advisors whose opinion you value in key areas (Even the famously stubborn Steve Jobs who believed he was always right, had a small trusted inner circle. Key is SMALL. Too big, and you end up being confused!)
As with all the previous points, “Be a Visionary” and the 6 sub-points above will be expanded in subsequent posts
MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT
One crucial question you should be asking as you scope your vision is: “What is the positive impact I am making in this industry, in this space, in this country, in the world (choose which one is relevant in your start-up)”
I am telling you – Unless you believe that what you are doing is going to change lives, make the industry/country/world a better place, it is extremely tough to persevere when things go wrong, you run into a severe headwind, finances are running out etc. When things start to hit you personally (mentally, financially etc), you need to rise above yourself to keep going.
And a key way to do so is to remind yourself: Why are you fighting this battle? And if you do completely give up on your idea (this is not financially giving up – you can always work and start up again later with the same idea, different iteration), at the very least, you are clear on why it is time to do so (positive impact not coming through as expected after X years of struggling, personal/family sacrifice getting too great in getting to that desired impact etc).
Some people use the word “being passionate” – to me, I had to narrow the scope further, and ultimately, I believe that for all individuals, what will keep them going and being passionate about their start-ups is when they are making a clear, tangible positive impact to lives, to industry, to country and to the world.
More points in the coming posts