Date archives "April 2010"

Taking a Shot

Life as we know it, is short. Standing on the sidelines waiting for the ideal time to step into the playing field to take your shot, often results in being left behind. Wondering what could have been, is not a position you want to find yourself in. This does not apply only to starting your own business, I do believe it should be applied to life as a whole. Playing it safe may save you from the bruises and scars of falling down, but it will certainly not teach you how to stand up again when you do fall.

I got an email from a reader today asking me “Is this the right time to start my business?” My answer to this question is always, if you think you have found something that you can be committed to for the next 3-5 years, then, there will never be a better time! Personally I believe that, passion and commitment to your venture are the only two forces that will help you keep your spirits high when, often enough, all seems to be lost. When you take this path, you have to do so understanding and  accepting that…. “I might fail”. To add another favorite quote “You miss 100% of the shots that you do not take.”

We need to make a habit of stepping out of our comfort zones. We need to embrace the feeling of vulnerability that comes whenever we do so. If you are not living the life you truly want to live, this may just be the best time to start pursuing the path you always wanted to.

Can You See Around Corners?

Successful entrepreneurs are those who have the ability to see rising trends and develop business models to take advantage of emerging  opportunities. It is certainly true that some people have a gift of being able to see trend lines before others, as well as spot opportunities where others believe none exist. I do however feel that most anyone can see such trend lines if they seriously keep their eyes open and their ears to the ground. With the emergence of platforms such as twitter, global news sites and private communities, all of us today have the tools we need to take advantage of these exciting new opportunities.

Some of my favorite reading spots for new trends are:

1. Twitter: Following venture capitalists such as @Fredwilson, @brad & @cdixon provide deep insights into the businesses that are getting funding and why. Other sources like @TechCrunch, @SCOBLEIZER & @Mashable provide great content on the latest happenings in the startup and business world. Whatever your passion may be, there are a host of authority figures on twitter who write about the space that you are interested in. It is then up to you to find out who they are and interact with them.

2. SpringWise: The entire concept of finding new trend spotters from all over the world and aggregating all that data onto one website is very neat. This website helps to stretch the imagination and gives a lot of food for thought for your newest invention, product or service idea. Chances are that if you are thinking about something, someone, somewhere around the world, is not only thinking about it as well, but even building it.

3. Mixergy: Andrew Warners podcasts are absolutely brilliant. He speaks to successful entrepreneurs from all around the world and asks them to elucidate their insights on their route to success as well as their insights on current trends. This not only gives entrepreneurs blueprints for success, it also give them a deep understanding into how leading entrepreneurs think and where they think trends lines are emerging.

Apart from these sources, keep abreast with the latest books, blogs and articles in your area of interest. I know this is a lot to digest, but if you integrate them into your daily routine it becomes a lot easier to manage with time and slowly you will find yourself at the forefront of the latest happenings and trend lines in areas you are most passionate about.

Entrepreneurship and Time

It has been an absolutely crazy first quarter. With an unending series of ups and downs, my days have been merging one into another at break neck speed. Whilst reviewing my blog history I discovered that a post such as this is repeated at least once a year when I cannot believe how quickly time is flying by. I am so very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way and all the individuals who have supported me during this time to make it all a reality. Entrepreneurship is definitely not the easiest path to choose in life but it certainly brings in an enormous amount of satisfaction on a daily basis. Everything in life is a direct result of the actions we take on a daily basis. If we do not like what is happening around us, then the only person to blame is ourself.

This probably explains why so many entrepreneurs who have this very strong inherent competitive streak operate the way they do. We treat almost everything as a race , this is not necessarily a healthy streak, but,  it is what makes us tick and work 20 hours a day for months at a stretch. It is this very streak that very often makes us lose all  track of time and things that are happening all around us. I was asked a question today,  it was , once I achieve certain milestones or goals I have set for myself, what would I do next?  My almost immediate and spontaneous reaction was that I really would not want to do anything other than what I do today! Working with startups and small businesses, helping them grow from the ground up and often creating a laudable entity provides an immense sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

I digress. Apologies for not being able to update the blog regularly. I should be returning to a normal posting schedule in May and will be introducing many of the projects that I am currently working on to get your feedback and suggestions. I want to thank all my loyal readers  and hope to connect personally with a lot more of you and, be of assistance or find ways to work together.

p.s I am also looking for entrepreneurs who want to guest post on this blog. Please do get in touch with me at blog (at) if you are interested. Thank you!

What do you want to be?

Two of my most popular blog posts are on “Do what you love” and “Find your true calling“. I think the reason for this is the fact that many of us are still searching for what we want to do in life. Some of us have an idea about what we want to do, but often we are not really sure. Others are completely lost and try to make sense of the seemingly endless choices at hand. In the posts linked above I do propose some frameworks to help make the decision easier, but this still requires considerable self introspection since many people do not really know what they were born to do. So here is a quick list of what I believe should be the first couple of steps in this direction:

1. An individual must be motivated to find this answer. There are individuals who fantasize about finding the ideal passion to pursue, and then there are those who actively follow a path to assist them in assessing the path they think they want to take. Without this sense of self motivation, and a determined search for this elusive answer, it is best not to go to step number 2. If it were that simple and easy to find, and do, what you love, there would not be the inordinate number of unhappily employed people in the world today. Finding this answer is essential….it also takes effort, time and commitment.

2. Take a personality based assessment such as the MBTi. I  recommend taking the test from a reliable source, as many of the free versions are not very accurate or reliable. (If you are curious  why some tests are not reliable, read my post on psychometrics assessments)

3. Once you have taken this test, you will be grouped in one of 16 categories, which help identify your strengths and weaknesses. This should be the starting point of your personal assessment. Review these, and based on them, come up with a first list of options that you may be interested in pursuing.

4. Next, take clues from your daily life. If you do something where time just seems to fly by, and you have a great time doing it,  mark those events. Identify tasks you are able to complete with a higher degree of productivity and efficiency than other people that you know. Look around your room/house for things that you have collected or saved over the years. Connecting the dots at this level helps to activate the sub conscious, and directs us to a path with a greater level of interest.

5. Look for individuals within your circle who want to pursue similar paths, and band together with them in exploring options in greater detail. Also look for individuals with experience who have already become what you aim to be one day. This is a source of invaluable information, and provides you with first hand experience about what to expect, and what not to.

As mentioned earlier in my post, it is far easier to settle for doing something that helps pay the bills. Often when you pursue a less well trodden path you have to make sacrifices, and commit yourself to actively progressing along the path. If you do decide to follow this path you need to persevere and face the challenges that will surely come your way.  When you do succeed however, it will be well worth all the effort!

If anyone reading this wants some information on getting started down the entrepreneurship path, please do get in touch with me,  I will do my best to be of  assistance.