I Hate Entrepreneurship
The following post is from Akhil Suresh Nair MBA’18, founder of Fluxcon Management Consulting. Fluxcon is a management consulting firm for mid-size businesses, start-ups and non-profit companies who gain valuable knowledge through our extensive market research, problem solving and strategic consulting services.
This blog was originally posted on LinkedIn. Access here >>
‘I hate entrepreneurship’ – is what something my close friend (and one of the most enterprising & successful entrepreneur I know) said the first time I met him. I did not understand this at first – I thought he was just another failed entrepreneur who likes to complain and relieve his frustration out in the world. I thought he hated the uncertainty, the thought that one wrong move and all your years of hard work and sleepless nights would come tumbling to the ground. The fear of where the next dollar would come from. The anxiety of asking a friend or someone from family for some money to pay the rent and not starve. The stress of whether your client will leave you for good because he did not like the color of your last ppt. Entrepreneurship is definitely a roller coaster ride, but just like an actual roller coaster, the upward climb is slow and tedious, and the downward slide is quick and blinding.
I am fortunate enough to be a part of one of the best schools for entrepreneurship in the world. Babson College has given me tremendous support in terms of putting my venture through the Butler Launch Pad through the Blank Center for Entrepreneurship. They have given me office space, frequent networking events, access to the best academicians and entrepreneurs in the country and constant emotional support through one on one meetings. Mine is a management consulting startup – a services company – thriving solely on relationship with clients and credibility built through months of undertaking projects in various sectors. While it is certainly incredulous to think that a bunch of young MBA grads can actually start a management consulting firm and actually acquire 8 clients over the period of just 4 months is certainly quite a stretch – but it did happen and I have been fortunate enough to have experienced this spurt of growth and positivity all around.
There about a million things while starting a business that one experiences that are not taught or talked about in an academic setting – mainly soft skills and how to interact and behave with clients and other stakeholders. No one tells you how to approach someone who doesn’t care about what you do and is unwilling to even give you one second of their time. No one tells you how to share your vision and passion effectively so that it rubs into everyone in the organization. No one tells you what to look out for while interviewing people for the first time in your life and trying to figure out if that individual will make the company into a multi-billion dollar valuation or will he drag the whole organization to the ground due to his lethargy or lack of passion.
I believe that once you work for your own start up for a period of time, you start to live, breathe, eat and dream only about it. You start talking about it to everyone you know constantly and take every tiny setback personally and get emotional about anything anyone says detrimental to your start up – it becomes your baby. You would die before you let anything bad happen to it, especially in the early stages and you forgo months of sleep so that your baby is not harmed or its development stunted. You portray your baby to be the best and cutest baby in the whole wide world and try your best to show the world that your baby could sing and dance just like an adult given the right time and resources and search for partners whom you think would be equally passionate about your baby and help you grow your baby. Maybe this is what a parent feels like.
True entrepreneurs I think would make the best parents. They would never give up on their baby no matter what and have many many sleepless nights deciding what you could possibly do to make your baby the best baby in the world. You don’t want the baby to suffer because of any lack of God given resources to you and would even beg others on your knees before you let anything happen to your baby. You are proud when someone compliments or admires your baby. You would want to see it grow, and reach a stage where it no more requires your constant support. Giving up at any stage is similar to a great personal loss.
My friend who claimed to hate entrepreneurship continues to be one, despite all. And that, I think, is the true spirit of entrepreneurship – a true mix of resilience and passion. He will certainly succeed, and his baby will become a fully grown functional and admirable man, it is just a matter of time.