Another year has come. We have fresh ideas, new and old plans we have been shelving for years sometimes. Is this the year when we will finally choose the path to go on our own – or is it?
Going on your own
For some, whatever their career might be, the road must end at going on your own. Nothing offers the kind of exhilarating high than entrepreneurship one to one. Yes there will always be those who are content in a career working for someone else and that’s fine too; not everyone will find the end goal of working for yourself rewarding. Yet, if you are the kind who’s always spurred on when you come across those who have made it into entrepreneurship, then 2015 maybe the year you can seriously look at doing the same.
Globally, we see people making it on their own all the time. With technology empowering them to be everywhere at the same time, successful entrepreneurs are born sometimes on ideas that others may have passed up or ignored. Take the case of Jack Ma, the legendary Chinese founder of Alibaba.com. Ma is the first mainland Chinese to be featured on the Forbes cover, a man recognized as the richest i n China and the 18th richest man in the world. His ticket to success was a singular idea that launched one of the world’s hugely successful online trading sites.
It is said t hat Ma first started building websites for Chinese companies with the help of American friends. He threw a party the day he got an Internet connection – he interacted with a computer for the first time at age 33. Yet, he understood and related to the vast possibilities the Internet offered entrepreneurs.
In 2013, Ma retired from his post as CEO. In 2014, Alibaba traded on the New York Stock Exchange and raised US $ 25 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable tech companies.
Getting focus right
If Jack Ma, who came from a sleepy Chinese province, could achieve global status with determination and hard work, so could anyone else. What it took for Ma was a firm objective that inspired him. He understood early on the unlimited possibilities technology offered and he knew what he wanted to do, where he wanted to go.
More than ever, starting on your own calls for firm but buildable plans. The trick is not to get caught up in too many fanciful stuff that does not last long; either others will climb on with easy to emulate competition or sustaining business will be a tough act to follow.
As much as I have admired seeing many ladies start up their own catering companies, I believe there’s much scope for them to get their focus right. Making delicious cakes and confectionaries is right now very trendy and you see so many start-ups in the field but how many will survive the competition? Have you thought of the business surviving not just today and tomorrow but next year and five years after that? How many are turning the current need for healthier food options into entrepreneurial opportunities?
Yet, t here are others who are good at different things – some may even be exceptionally gifted. Now although turning that talent into a business is certainly desirable, how far have you thought of building a business in the long term? Building a business and having a talent to turn things out are two different planets. Unless and until you learn to merge the two in a way that makes sense, there will not be much potential to turn the talent into a successful business in the long run.
Once we know we have the capacity and the capability for a start-up venture, we typically look around for venture investment and financial backing. But what we also need to remember is to do our marketing plans right – what is the potential for my start-up venture out there? Are there others engaged in the same or similar ventures and how successful are they? Two years down the road, will they exist and will my business exist? Those are tough questions but until and unless you have honest answers to those questions, the entrepreneurship road is going nowhere.
Tech ventures right now are very i n and it is not uncommon to see young people inspired by it all, choosing t he path of the much travelled. Yet, the success of t hese ventures depends upon being competitive, timely and able to deliver not just once but again and again. Are you able to do all this and more – how are you capacity wise?
As we welcome 2015, more than ever, people are excited about the vast possibilities entrepreneurship offers. Outsourcing is today a global reality – from house cleaning to cooking, washing up and managing of office space, there are opportunities at every step of the way, for tech-savvy entrepreneurs who have the knack to identify opportunities when they see one.
If you truly believe that 2015 is your year to go on your own, sit down first and put a plan together, covering all possible areas you can think of. Pause and think again – will each element be the same five years from now on?