Entrepreneurship Lessons

In many societies, especially Asian ones, there is a typical norm when one looks at what a route to success is. It may look like this:

Study hard  -> Get into a good University -> Get a good job in a multi national company (or a good job in government) -> Work hard and become the head of the organization one day.

What would happen if you hit an obstacle in the way? What if you could not get into the  university of your choice or cannot secure a great high paying job in the beginning? Then what? Is that the end of the story?

NO! Not at all, that is not the end of the story. It all depends on how you think about it. You can see it as the end of your journey before you started or you can see it as an opportunity to start a new  exciting journey. . In situations like this it is the time to think out of the box and to find another path to your goal. I have always seen such a situation as not a dead end but an opportunity to start with a new goal. Let me share some examples.

  • Jim Ziemer the retired CEO of Harley Davidson, started off as an elevator operator (the person who would press the lift button when you entered).
  • Jim Skinner, Vice Chairman and CEO of McDonalds, started off as a Restaurant Trainee,
  • You can read about more CEOs HERE

As entrepreneurs every small obstacle in our way should not discourage us in reaching our goals. We have to look beyond the obstacle and peek outside  the box and we will see  that there are many paths to reach our goals, and if one path does not work, we should get up and take another one. There is no such thing as a dead end if you are confident of yourself and of your idea.

If you encounter a failure or an obstacle, begin by revaluating your path and the direction you took and in the worst case if you keep failing, make a major change by first relooking at your goals, mission and vision. Study to see the feasibility of what you original identified and see if things are still aligned to the current situation and environment and if you are still passionate and have reconfirmed that you can still do it, move forward confidently with a redefined plan.

Sometimes a failure may be crippling and it may be difficult to get up. But keep your believe that it can be done. Sometimes you may have to restart small and keep costs low and then even if you fail again, it should not cripple you.

Once you get restarted, keep looking for ways to get to your goal. If you always wanted to be a film director, but could not make it to film school, then buy a video camera and start making films. Learn from the community and be an apprentice with someone. Start posting your work on the Internet and sending it to production houses. If you are good and work hard at improving your craft and keep marketing your work and yourself, you will sure to be picked up sooner or later.

If you are deeply passionate and sure about what you want to do, then you will find that there are many ways to reach your destination. If you fall along the way, you just have to get up, brush the sand off and continue on with your journey. In the end it is all up to you.

Inderjit Singh

July 1, 2012
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