Have you been thinking of forming a startup but not sure if your DNA has the right characteristics to be a dogged entrepreneur? The good news is, every person has the skills lying dormant deep in their genes – You just have to know how to manifest them with deliberate conscious effort. Here are the 5 major characteristics for you to explore to awaken in you the spirit of innovation and help you slide smoothly into the journey.
1. Questioning: What made you want to be an entrepreneur in the first place? What kind of thoughts popped up in your head? Every discovery starts with a question. Like a small child with infinite curiosity – as an entrepreneur, you should ask yourself such questions relentlessly. It is the first step towards innovation and invention, both of the product as well as of your own character. The most prominent questions maybe, Why choose this idea? What makes this idea particularly worthwhile? What will happen next? Is it sufficiently unique to upset the competition and leave a mark in the market? These lead to an in-depth understanding of the problems associated with the particular idea and allows you to clearly formulate a solid strategy before getting your hands dirty. So don’t waste time with idle thoughts, keep questioning.
2. Observing: Observation is the first step towards learning, so keep your eyes open! Peek in through every peephole you can get and keep yourself constantly updated! Entrepreneurship doesn’t work with just a wild idea with no scope. You need to have a perspective, so that you do not shoot arrows in the dark. For that a simple observation is the most effective thing. Observe the changes happening around you. Is your idea contextual? Observe social media; Snoop around the individual and business pages. Widen your telescope for a wide array of customers and their respective demands. Observe what is mushrooming recently and what is different. Do not be scared to explore with eyes wide open. Hypothetically see if you can bring your innovations into the mainstream and how it would affect the existing market.
3. Experimenting: Experimentation is another crucial component in the entrepreneurial journey that cannot be ignored. Without testing your idea – you will never know what works and what doesn’t. No matter how much you may know in theory, real life is always slightly out of sync and you have to accommodate for that. Remember the Wright Brothers? The inventors of the airplane didn’t get their flight right on the very first try. They experimented with cycle parts, machines, and various gears. Based entirely on trial-and-error, they laboured on and finally it happened! They made history by flying the first plane in the world for 12 seconds, covering a distance of 120 feet. Any physics professor can tell you how lift works due to the difference in air pressure, but you can bet none of them have actually succeeded in making an object truly fly. That is the difference between just thinking and experimenting. So start experimenting with your ideas from its most basic level. Adapt to the changing results and refine your product constantly in an unending feedback loop. It’s like sharpening a knife. Eventually, it will be so sharp, it will cut through competition in one swift slice.
4. Networking: To sell your innovation you need to shift public perception and convince them that your product/service is worth consuming. For that, you need to get out of your comfort zone and start connecting with people. You shouldn’t hesitate to meet new people and plunge into the web of connections. Get in touch with the people however you can, be it online or offline, for business or for socializing, and make them familiar with who you are and what your product/service is all about. It’s all about trust. Try to earn that, which can be painfully slow at first, but if done correctly, your connections will eventually bear fruit, and your business will start to take off in high gear. Constantly meet new people, gain new insights, be inspired and learn from their experiences. Even if the network may not be in your area of interest, it can end up being useful to you in unexpected ways! It is even easier to connect in the digital world, so be proactive at weaving together threads from sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and always keep your contacts updated at the convenience of your fingertips.
5. Associating: The final straw of the DNA! You have questioned yourself- analyzed your idea. You used the kaleidoscope and saw what you want and what would stand out well. You tried your tests with ideas and scope- you know what you have to amend and fix. You connected with people. Now what?
Well, it’s time to weave together these 4 strands and discover links that had not been knotted before. You try to tackle the problems and create opportunities. You have to try and create a landscape portraying your innovations and ideas for you to bring into reality. If you are able to build in an association between the 4 characteristics, you are finally ready to proceed in the journey of entrepreneurship with confidence and calculated optimism.