There is a popular Swami quote for those who are about to embark on a journey: “Start early, drive slowly, and reach safely.”
However, Naveen Lakkur, an author and serial entrepreneur, as well as Co-Director of the Bangalore Founder Institute, feels that this saying applies equally well with those venturing into the world of entrepreneurship, albeit with a few adjustments: “Start early, drive smartly, and reach successfully.”
Naveen states that the entrepreneurial journey is ultimately a creative journey, one that is divided into three parts - the Start, the Drive, and the Finish - which are essential for success when building a company. Within those parts are eight tasks encapsulated in four distinct phases.
Phase 1: Challenge
Task 1: Establish the goal or purpose
Identifying and understanding the problem are the first steps to liberating yourself from it. Doing this will give you a goal to aspire to.
The journey really starts not with an idea, but with identification of a problem or a need in the market."
Task 2: Assess the Risks
A willingness to take risks is essential for entrepreneurs. Not only should entrepreneurs determine how much they are willing to invest in their idea, but they must evaluate how risk-worthy their idea is. Remember, your investment should convey your belief in your idea.
If you are not convinced of your own idea and don't believe in it, then it is difficult to get others to believe in it."
Phase 2: Focus
Task 3: Tap Into Character
Life is not easy for entrepreneurs, as it requires an abundance of perseverance, persistence, and passion to succeed. Luckily, these are qualities everyone has; it is only a matter of tapping into our talents and employing them.
If your focus is on the goal or the objective of what you really want to achieve and contribute, even the speed breakers become the guiding path."
Task 4: Analyze and Prioritize the Issues
“Analysis paralysis” refers to the process of overthinking a situation to the point of stagnation; a state no entrepreneur wants to be in. However, “analysis paralysis” can have a completely different, and encouraging, meaning: analyzing problems to paralyze them.
Phase 3: Solutions
Task 5: Generate Creative Solutions
When brainstorming potential solutions for problems, don’t restrain yourself with reality; consider all ideas regardless of their scope, cost, or practicality. Thinking outside the box can lead to new ideas.
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind."
Task 6: Develop and Decide on a Solution
An innovative idea will not flourish without proper goals, so be sure to establish definitive goals early on. When deciding on possible solutions, learn as much as possible about the target audience of your solution, and determine ways to generate revenue from this solution.
Phase 4: Completion
Task 7: Implement the Solution
The gap between an idea and a scaleable solution can be bridged with two necessities: the right people and sufficient funds. When embarking on business ventures, surround yourself with others who share the same passions and visions as you. Before funding your idea, determine how much you are willing to invest yourself, and identify other monetary sources to tap.
Task 8: Celebrate the Results
In the entrepreneurial world, the journey you take is worth more than the destination. Celebrate any result, no how matter how big or small the success or failure, no matter how negative or positive the outcome.
For an entrepreneur, the journey never ends, and celebration is what keeps you going."