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Idea To IPO

The art of business

I was at a summit on “The Art of Entrepreneurship”  which was attended by over 100s of budding entrepreneurs, startups and SME Business owners. I learned and shared the following:

1. As an entrepreneur you must invent failure else failure will invent you.

2. Don’t invest in business where the entrepreneur has plan B. Also don’t invest in CV.

3. What’s the lovemark that would attract your customers and stakeholders towards your business.

4. For 5 years nourish the business, for 5 -10 years care and control, for 10 to 25 years empower your business and after 25 free it from your clutch and control.

5. Unless you find a woman’s customer taking away her wallet with a smile for your product don’t start.

6. As Monalisa cannot be created in the lab so is the business- you must go out and get going unless you discover your pearl.

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Do you have ownership of every moments of your business

Secretary, “Sir, prior to joining you as your secretary, I always dreamt of becoming Morgan. Now, after working with you even dreaming about becoming Morgan is like a horrible thing.”
Morgan, “Why? What is the problem? What makes you think this way?”
Secretary, “In your office peon comes at 9.30am, managers come at 10.30am, directors come at 12noon. They all leave office by 6pm. I feel being a peon in your company is more enjoyable than being the owner. You come at 7am and leave office only by 7pm. I don’t know why you are doing it?”
Morgan, ” Oh! You won’t understand the pleasure of being an owner. The pleasure of walking into the office as a owner can’t be compared to come at 930am and work as a peon. Because you’ve not lived this ownership life, you won’t know the pleasure either. The ownership is a kind of enjoyment that only owners can relish.”

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Work works, hard work definitely

“You have the right to work only but never to its fruits.

Let not the fruits of action be your motive, nor let your attachment be to inaction. ” Bhagavad Gita 2.47

Have you ever noticed the level of involvement of any child when they play with the doll? You’d feel amazed seeing their focus, commitment and joy.

Your life is a sum total of the focus you give to what you think, feel, and do, what you love. To thrive, you need a strict ritual to plan your day, your plan should include all tasks, projects and goals which you have decided to achieve. Your every day should be planned for the result:

1) You have planned the tasks you trust for its completion
2) You assure yourself that your tasks are in front of you and you keep it striking out as they get done
3) And, you have an evening ritual to review your work to reflect on the incomplete stuff.

Success is territory, exclusively preserved to be ruled by you when you do hard work with complete focus and devotion.

Write down:
1) How do you define hard work?
2) How are you going to start working hard in 2018?
3) How are you going to make yourself accountable for the hard work?
4) What will change when you really work hard?

Gift yourself a treat today. Now you’ve made a system for hard work.

God Krishna says, “Drop everything and come to me.” That’s the kind of devotion you need to achieve your goals with your hard work.

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SMART questioning leads to S.M.A.R.T. Goal

A specific goal will usually answer the five “W” questions:
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of achieving goals.
Who: Who is involved?
Where: Identify a location.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
How much?
How many?
How will I know when I have achieved my goals?
Indicators should be quantifiable

An attainable goal will usually answer the question:
How: How can the goal be accomplished?

A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match our other efforts/needs?
Are you the right person?
Is it applicable in the current socio- economic- technical environment?

A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
What can I do six months from now?
What can I do six weeks from now?
What can I do today?

So, the secret of success lies in being SMART and to become SMART you need to first question and answer yourself to you first.
Begin it today and now, if not already…

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If you are a driver, you must have the right passengers too

An entrepreneur sent a message to me, “I am like a train engine who will continue to carry the business. I believe my employees and partners are like passengers, they will board at the specific station (situation) and alight when they arrive at their destination (purpose fulfilled). I am dutiful to keep the train in good health so that it keeps running.”

I responded, “You must have utmost focus for the right passengers to board your train at the right station and alight at the right destination. Otherwise, you cannot run an empty train whatever good its health might be.”

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If you wish to build a billion-dollar company

No one, absolutely no one throws away a billion dollars at someone because the person wants it, craves for it, deserves it, works hard for it, or passionately pushes his envelope for it.

People take out their wallets only if the product provides a value greater than that of customer desire through a strong value proposition and enduring experience. They pay for the craft. The connection. The emotion. The promise. The essence. The soul. The voice. They pay for what your product does to and for them.

When I interact with entrepreneurs, I find them with lots of preconceived notions about what customers want. I ask them to explain the permanence of their pain that aroused their desire for the product and why someone will pay for it. And most of them lack it. Simply lack it.

Lots of people can give you lots of advice on what to build that will get you ready for a billion-dollar run. My simplest advice would be that you set up the boot, talk to your customer, and ask him, “How do you feel about my idea?”

“It’s nice.” Look at his facial expression more than the words.

You ask again, “Would you use my product when it’s ready?”

“Sure.” “Mmmmm. I can give it a try.” Look at their facial expression.

Your last question, “What would make you take your wallet out and pay for it?”

Just look at the facial expression and you should get your answer.

And until you find the facial expression that supports your conviction, keep trying. Keep doing your bit. Keep searching for the business model on which you can build your billion-dollar dream.

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It’s Love That Makes Everyone happy

A very angry and rude young man began insulting Buddha. “You have no right teaching others, You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake.”

Buddha asked the young man “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

The man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

“When you hate others, you yourself become unhappy. But when you love others, everyone is happy.”

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Life stage a business goes through

Businesses, like human life stages, go through the three phases: Infancy, Adolescence, and Maturity.
Infancy: Like an infant child the business is entirely dependent on you. As a child cannot live without their parent, without you there would be no business. Your every day is deep in the business to get things done. Without you, the business will fall behind. However, you begin to allocate some works to your coworker as business starts stabilizing and growing.

Adolescence: It comes up when you cannot handle it all alone, and you decide to get help. It’s a bit difficult situation; as you hand over tasks to your employees, you start getting a bit jittery thinking no one cares about your business as you do. As an entrepreneur, you need to start believing in people whom you hired for the business and instead of being a doer yourself, begin supervising the work only to see that your employees do not drop the ball.

Maturity: A mature business knows a different kind of understanding and mindset to manage it. It’s like your parent hand you over to your spouse for helping you with companionship to thrive in your life.

Maturity is not an inevitable result of the first two phases. Mature companies started out that way! The people who started them had an entirely different perspective about what a business is and why it works.
Asks the question: “How must the business work?” Starts with a picture of a well-defined future, and then comes back to the present with the intention of changing it to match the vision. Your role shifts to become a custodian of rules and principles practicing which people working for your business realises the vision and the goal that you have set to achieve.

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