Entrepreneurship
Google, Apple, Hewlet Packard and Amazon – what do these businesses have in common? Sure, they are ruling their respective industries, possess the highest market shares and are multi-billion dollar corporations but what else? A little known common fact about these business giants is that they all started in the back of a garage. Yes! Shocking isn’t it.

With the right execution, a small business that begins in the back of the garage has the capability to transform the living style of an entire generation. We millennials, belonging to the online generation of Google and Amazon, are a living proof of it. So if you have an idea and you are unsure about it because everyone around you jokes that it is way too crazy or unrealistic, well then maybe it is, but who is to decide that crazy is not good. Let me tell you, it is the decisions you make along the way. Below I have compiled a list of things that you should avoid to transform your crazy business idea into a great one.

Here are a few tips I wish someone had told me when I was starting my own business.

Sometimes those who wander are lost
For any business to work it is absolutely imperative to have a concrete business plan. You should make sure that you set small targets for yourself to ultimately achieve the big goal. You have to have an idea about where you are headed, what your target audience is and which market are you attempting to operate in. Having a road map makes it easier for you to reach your destination and you achieve your end goal faster.

Don’t be overly-positive about any outcome
It is good to be positive and optimistic about your business idea but don’t forget to look at the things critically in the process. Be wary of your flaws before someone else points them out for you. Try to opt for an active approach rather than a reactive one.

Don’t stick to a mistake just because you spent a long time making it
This advice is not only for new entrepreneurs, it can be applicable regardless of the scalability for your business. If something is not working out, as you had planned, stop wasting more time and resources over it and move on.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Even the best businesses out there require a team so why are you exhausting yourself by doing everything on your own? Don’t be ashamed or afraid to ask for help. Even if you have limited resources you can always depend on family and friends.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
Lastly the most important thing you should know is that no one can avoid failure completely. Yes you can learn from others’ mistakes and try and do things differently and this is why I have compiled this list for you. But you learn from your experiences, so don’t be afraid to dive in and give your 100 percent.

Good Luck! Now go and start working on that dream project of yours.
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Entrepreneurship

“Never start a business just to make money, start a business to make difference” (Marie Forleo, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist)



Social entrepreneurship is on the rise because people have become increasingly careful about the impact of the money they spend. They now prefer purchasing brands that are working towards sustainability or any other social cause. Below there is a list of inspiring TED Talks give by prominent social entrepreneurs to inspire you to create a sustainable and socially benefitting business model.

1. Founder: Jacqueline Novogratz
Project: Acumen Funds
Sector: Finance

Jacqueline Novogratz is the founder of Acumen Funds, a project that provide low income consumers with access to facilities such as healthcare, housing and early business investments. The business model of Acumen funds work on the concept of saving on mortgage payments. Throughout her career, Novogratz has passionately worked for eradicating poverty from the world. In this particular talk, she discusses about her trip to a slum town in Nairobi, Africa and how a local encounter inspired her to develop a social business model for Acumen Funds. She says, “When systems are broken, like the one we are seeing around the world, it’s an opportunity for invention and innovation. It is an opportunity to truly build a world where we can extend services and products to all human being, so that they can make choices and decisions for themselves”. You can listen to the talk here.

2. Founder: Muhammad Yunus
Project: Grameen Bank
Sector: Banking and Microfinance

In this TED Talk, Muhammad Yunus explains about his journey of founding Garmeen Bank, with a humble start of only $27. He talks about the reasons behind the huge success of Garmeen Bank. He discusses how he defied all the conventional and traditional rules of a banking system and financed those who had no collateral to offer. In doing so, he provided an opportunity, to people with limited resources, to have a chance at life by building their own businesses. He adds that, “We are not interested by the apst of our borrowers; we are only interested in their future”. You can listen to Muhammad Yunus’ Ted Talk over here.

3. Founder: Salman Khan
Project: Khan Academy
Sector: Education

Khan Academy is a social startup that produces educational videos and began as a personal project in 2006. In this video, Khan discusses how the idea of Khan Academy was born, when he first started to make videos for his cousins in New Orleans from his home in Boston. And since then his venture has reinvented the concept of remote learning. His social business model has helped kids with autism and enabled them to learn at their own pace, from the comfort of their own homes. You can listen to the full version of Khan’s talk over here.

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Entrepreneurship

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

This question practically changed my outlook on life and helped me in making the toughest decisions, in the most crucial times.

Ask yourself, how many times you have lost valuable opportunities just because you were afraid? The feeling or realization is not pleasant, but if you are reading this, it means that you have accepted your weakness and you are looking for ways to overcome it.

Entrepreneurship is a journey and the end destination depends on the routes you take along the way. This instills a fear of unknown in many entrepreneurs. Here are 5 fears that you have to overcome to be a successful entrepreneur.

Fear of taking the first step

To begin a journey, you have to be brave enough to take the first step that puts you out on the path. Often, the decision of taking the first step is the hardest part about the whole process. The fear of starting can be a result of over-thinking and over-analyzing every little detail. I have heard people giving excuses like, ‘Oh you know, I am trying to perfect all the details before starting, I am a perfectionist.’ But let’s face the hard truth, you are not a perfectionist, you are just afraid of starting. Either that or you are confused about where to start from.

As an entrepreneur, you should understand that, setting up a business is not a onetime thing, it’s an ongoing process. You learn through your experiences and you evolve along the way. So you should stop trying to perfect the details and focus more on executing them.


Fear of taking the risk

One of the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur is that they are not afraid to take the risks. When you are employed and working for someone else, they have to take the hard decisions about the future of the business. You just have to follow the orders to reach that goal. But while you are running your own business, it is you who have to make the call. You have to take the risks, in order to get the returns.

The fear or taking the risk arises because of the uncertainty of the outcome. While you cannot omit 100% uncertainty, with careful speculations you can predict the outcome to certain accuracy. And that assurance is enough to overcome your fear of taking the risk.


Fear of failure

You should understand it from the first step, that failure is inevitable. So don’t let the fear of failure cripple you and crush your spirits. When you were a kid, you didn’t learn how to walk the first time you decided to do it, but you did it anyway, you learnt it over a period of years. Apply the same philosophy to your career. Give it your 100%, hope for the best outcome but be prepared for the worst to happen.

So the next time, you fail at something, look at situation critically and ask yourself what you learned from it. It will change your perspective and transform the way you do your business.

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Entrepreneurship
So you have finally finished your MBA program successfully and are now exploring your options in the job market. Probably one of the reasons you are reading this currently is because you stumbled upon this post while looking for places to apply for job.

Wait! Just pause your job search for a while and hear us out. Well if you really wanted to try your luck at job market, why didn’t you do it after Bachelors? Or maybe even if you did why didn’t you stick to it? Why investing two years of your life in attending classes and paying a handsome amount to an institution when you could very well be cashing your Bachelors degree?

I know what you’re going to say, that it is difficult to land a good job by just doing Bachelors. Good and reputable companies want a person with diversified and skills set and prefer MBA’s over BBA’s.

Take a step back and analyze. Who gave companies that option of hiring over qualified employees for under qualified positions? It is all about the demand and supply. I am sure all of us have read about that during the course of our MBA programs.
The supply of over qualified MBA professionals looking for job increased and why would companies not hire someone with advanced skills set anyways? It is a complete win-win situation for them. But is it a winning situation for us? Not so sure.

Here are some of the reasons why taking up a job after completing MBA is a bad move.

1. You will be living someone else’s dream
You use your skills set and experience to build dreams of your employers. And the worst part is that you feel accomplished doing that. You take up a job thinking that it is a temporary refuge but soon it becomes your comfort zone that you are too scared to leave.

2. It kills innovation
When you decide to pursue a graduate studies program you already have basic theoretical knowledge about the subject through your undergraduate studies. You build up on existing foundations and explore the previously unexplored academic domains. This practice of critical thinking generally transforms into an innovator. When you decide to take a regular job after MBA you basically kill the innovative spirit by taking on the mundane tasks.

3. It is an era of entrepreneurship
There is a significant chance of humans loosing the current jobs to machines because of the rapid digitalization. People have developed complex algorithms for carrying out manual tasks and human expertise are no longer needed in those domains.
The only way to combat the predicted dreaded scenario is by human playing an active role in creative fields. If you still want to be employed in the next decade, utilize your MBA degree, put your creative entrepreneurial hat on and produce something that robots cannot.
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Entrepreneurship, Leadership

‘Failure’ is a term badly misunderstood; most people terribly fail to grasp its true meaning. In its literal sense, the word is the exact opposite of success. In reality, however, it is one of the most crucial elements of success itself. And we have thousands of actual success stories to back it up. Therefore, dealing with failure is one of the most important ability one needs in order to achieve success.

Unfortunately, failure in an entrepreneurial life doesn’t always mean low sales for a season or a marketing campaign that backfires. Things can get worse as soon as they start to look great. You can even get fired from a company you founded. The good news is, latest polls conducted by Ipsos reveal one amazing fact about entrepreneurs in general – they tend to have thicker skin. It is indeed a trait one needs in order to overcome failure. Not all of them are born with it, it is something they develop through sheer determination. Here are some of the most effective ways entrepreneurs learn to successfully deal with failure.

Meet Failure as an Old Friend

Old as in someone with experience and wisdom – someone you can learn from. Failures can teach you more than success. Failing a hundred times means learning one hundred ways that don’t work, and eventually discovering the one that would. It is important to reflect back on how you reached the negative outcome and try to discover and identify what actually went wrong. More often than not, it is one small move that turns the whole thing upside down.

Accept that Results and Responsibilities

What keeps entrepreneurs back is the habit of denial. Whether you are denying the fact that you have failed or the responsibility of that failure, it won’t play out in your favor. Accepting failure as it occurs save you from investing more efforts and resources on a lost cause; it will save you from exhaustion and frustration. Denying the responsibility will limit your ability to learn and improve. Consequently, you will find yourself stuck in the same spot or simply running around it in circles.

Overall, it is all about changing the way you perceive failure in order to deal with it. Don’t think of failure as a dead end, take it as a clear sign to make a turn. With each turn, you get closer and closer to your destination.

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Entrepreneurship

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Most people end up failing at it. The reason that so many people fail isn’t necessarily because their idea was bad, they fail because they didn’t avoid the many traps that entrepreneurs face. If you want to succeed not just at starting a company but also at running a company whose success can be sustained, you need to be on the lookout for these pitfalls.

The Money Trap

There are many great entrepreneurs who never got the funding for their idea. There are also many companies started by entrepreneurs that were hurt not by a lack of money, but by an abundance of it. This trap is simple yet too many companies fall into it. When the company gets its first round of financing everyone is happy and in a celebratory mood. Entrepreneurs start spending money to spruce up the office. Suddenly the company has a chef, has an artist painting murals on the walls, and is hiring highly talented people at exorbitant salaries. Your first round of financing should be for small and smart investments. Do not end up spending and investing so much that you cannot sustain the business when the funding runs out.

The Innovation Trap

The innovation trap is when the entrepreneur is so convinced that their idea is innovative that they start ignoring signs of danger. It might seem stupid but this has happened in a lot of companies. Whole companies were shutdown and when the employees were interviewed they all say that they saw the end coming. The entrepreneur is so focused on their idea and its innovation that they think it cannot fail. Giving pitches after pitches makes them believe too much in their own words and it can be their own downfall.

The Entrepreneur Trap

Entrepreneurs have almost become legendary figures in the world of business. New entrepreneurs think they are great as well. This isn’t wrong; you need to have some ego and pride in order to compete in the world of business. The problem is that they begin thinking that they are the only people who know how the business should be run. We read all the time about successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Richard Branson, and many more. What we do not read about are the hundreds of people these entrepreneurs trust to vet their idea. These people only take decisions on the basis of business intelligence. You need to do the same.

The Small Innovation Trap

The most common type of innovation is a small modification in an existing product. The only problem is that if you try to base your business around a small innovation it is very easy for bigger companies to eat you up. If you think up an idea for a toothbrush that is better than the ones being created right now, you need to come out swinging. If you start as a small company you will not be able to compete with the billion dollar behemoths in the dental care industry. They will simply change their products to be similar to yours and win. Another big reason is their low cost. Due to marginal costing the more product you make, the lesser it costs per product. The billion dollar companies will be making toothbrushes at such a low rate that they will be able to price you out.

There are many other things you need to look out for. Being a successful entrepreneur means that you need to be able to see where things are headed. You need to be realistic with your vision and choose a path that is actually viable.

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