THINGS INDIAN WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD KEEP IN MIND IN 2019
Author: Krupa Shah
I’m a big believer in entrepreneurship. It’s an abiding passion of mine to encourage other women to take the plunge and start their own businesses; the benefits are myriad, giving you more control over your financial future and more social capital than almost anything else in modern times. Empowering women is my number-one mission, and women’s entrepreneurship is the best route to self-empowerment and social change that I know of, giving women the ability to excel on their own terms instead of being trapped in the limbo of a toxic and prohibitive work environment. Thats why thought of sharing few points on Indian women entrepreneurs..
But starting a business isn’t easy, and requires buckets of hard work and preparation. There’s no easy path, no get-rich-quick scheme that will make your business thrive other than you. And while lots of people are going to give you practical advice for starting a business – how you want to incorporate, building your business plan, finding your niche – I want to say something to all the women out there that’s a little different: what do you, as a person, need to have in order to start a thriving business?
A Responsible Fear
It may sound counterintuitive; getting your confidence up is always a big part of any package of advice for people starting businesses. There are lessons on how to “fake it till you make it,” because confidence in you inspires confidence on the part of investors and clients. However, the fear of failure is an important motivator; as is the fear of irrelevance, or of simply not fulfilling your dreams. These are healthy fears that encourage both responsibility and risk-taking, keeping you perpetually on your toes instead of getting complacent or resting on your laurels. The right kind (and amount) of fear can motivate you to locate new opportunities, seek out new strategies and dig deep for that extra bit of energy needed to continually strive for more and raise the bar.
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The vital importance of a vision that aligns with reality can’t be overstated; while overnight, runaway sensations do happen – your Ubers, your Twitters – in most cases, a successful business takes time to grow, and will occupy most of your time (what you don’t see in overnight success stories is the years of hard work it actually took to get there). You probably won’t hit a million in revenue in your first year. You probably will spend some nights sleeping on your office floor. Your team probably won’t gel as well as you expect it to, and you’ll have unexpected competition. There are a million different wrinkles you could encounter, and having a realistic idea of what your first five years are going to be like can and will both help you be more productive and avoid burnout. Burnout can ruin you, but having a realistic set of expectations can help you avoid it by showing you that you’re on the right path to meeting your goals.
Short and Long-term Goals
Speaking of goals, realistic performance expectations are one thing, but let’s not forget that you didn’t start this business because you had realistic expectations; you started it because you wanted it to become wildly successful. Far too often, entrepreneurs fail to connect the dots between their dreams and their business model, letting their long-term ambitions drive their decisions without any sense of a middle ground. It’s the error of mistaking your reach for your grasp and overextending yourself.
A Support Network
Starting a business might feel like the hard part, but that’s because you haven’t experienced the day-to-day slog of it yet. Running your own company means nonstop stress: managing your finances, managing your employees, keeping your clients happy, ensuring quality of work, healthily maintaining and growing the company’s value, intelligently investing in the company’s future, worrying where your next client is going to come from – it can be a lot, and it’s not something you can simply leave at the office. For this exact reason, depression is the great unspoken affliction of entrepreneurs.
You can help avoid or manage stress overload by making sure you have a network of friends, loved ones, and (importantly) colleagues you can connect with and lean on when things get difficult. We all know that confidence is the name of the game when you’re running the show, which means it can feel impossible to let your guard down and show vulnerability; this is especially true for women, who may feel the need to overcompensate in response to sexist assumptions. But the thing is that vulnerability is not the same thing as weakness, and having people with whom you can take off your armor and from whom you can both seek and receive comfort is a vital part of keeping your head above the water rather than sinking below it. This will be especially true in those first five years, which will constantly challenge and ask more of you.
Today, government and private institutions have made gaining financial help for starting a business simpler. There are numerous initiatives taken by the government for helping budding entrepreneurs, regardless of their gender. The only factor that matters here is the capabilities and determination to succeed.
Don’t give up if you face any misogynistic comments. Treat them like a stone on your way to success and kick it, don’t stumble upon it.
Technology to the rescue
In the digital era, technology has advanced to a level where everything you need can be done in just a few clicks. Use this very element to the fullest. They say technology and women never go together. Let’s prove them wrong, for I’ve seen many tech-savvy women who are out there to dominate the tech world!
These days, women are making their mark in almost every field. Due to the digital development all around us, you can start using your home as your first office and save up on the office space cost. Once you’ve made enough funds, that is when you can invest in a commercial space and accelerate your growth!
By making sure these areas are filled, you’re filling your toolbox with the right equipment to help your business succeed. Keep your eyes forward, but never lose sight of what’s right at your feet. Going into a new venture mentally prepared and thoroughly thought through with a healthy understanding of what it will take is probably the biggest key toward reaching your goals; after that, it’s all follow-through.
Here’s wishing all the budding and successful women entrepreneurs a very happy women’s day!
About the author :
Krupa Shah, an acclaimed virtuoso Indian artist. Krupa, has done some admirable work in the field of contemporary and abstract art.
From Maharashtra CM’s clarion call for helping the drought affected farmers in Maharashtra, to fighting for the justice for Asifa – Krupa through her paintings has raised funds and contributed generously for a lot of social causes.
She has been an active member of FICCI, All Ladies League and Women Economic Forum. With commendable on-ground work and relentless contribution to the field of art – Krupa has earned both, rewards and awards.