Thursday, November 16, 2023

Startup Lessons: The Unvarnished Truth

Starting and growing a business is a journey filled with invaluable lessons (Business Lessons: Linkedln), often learned the hard way. In my 1 3/4 years of entrepreneurship, I've encountered a multitude of these lessons (Challengers Faced By Indian Woman Entrepreneur). None were anticipated, and all taking me by surprise. The true significance of these "hard-knock" lessons is that they don't hit you all at once but rather over time, gradually instilling wisdom (Social Entrepreneurship: Pull Factors) I'll begin by sharing insights on friends and family.

It's natural to expect support from those you've bonded with over the years, but sadly, that isn't always the case. Many of my so-called friends, people who preached about standing through thick and thin in friendship? Even during a year of running free yoga fitness sessions, their disinterest was evident. Basically, they were reluctant. 

In reality, they seemed more inclined to dine out with you, some when it’s free meal, apart from speaking for hours on the phone. However, when you try to engage them in your business, you may find their enthusiasm sorely lacking. The moral here is that, in many cases, it's better not to divulge your business endeavors to friends. A significant number of them might become envious and secretly hope for your failure.

Family, unfortunately, can teach you even more disheartening lessons. Their motives are often rooted in jealousy, envy, and a desire for you not to outshine them. They want to be the successful ones within the family, even if their achievements are modest. 

The worst part is when they unite to undermine you through gossip, hurtful comments behind your back, and sometimes outright insults in your presence. Others will subtly attempt to hold you back. Similar to friends, the lesson here is to exercise caution when discussing your business with family.

Surprisingly, the business world is filled with strangers who are rooting for your success. These individuals often transform into loyal clients, providing the support your business needs. A curious thing you'll discover is the number of people who are simply lonely and will use the pretext of business inquiries as an excuse to connect with you. 

While some may genuinely inquire about your business, others will exploit your phone number for forwarding various messages on WhatsApp. You might even find individuals promoting their own businesses or looking for free conversation. They view your phone number as a source of companionship.

The valuable takeaway is that you should never give up on your business. As you capture your market share and witness growth, these same individuals will gravitate toward you seeking favors. The reality of business is a complex interplay of lessons, and by staying vigilant, you'll emerge wiser from the outset of your entrepreneurial journey. 

While I had to navigate these lessons alone, remember that every challenge is an opportunity for growth, making you stronger and more resilient in your business. Embrace the journey with open eyes and a determined spirit.

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