In recent times, a good number of people are taking entrepreneurship as their preferred career path. A great future awaits for those who actually will succeed in this journey, without any doubt. With a bright dream of ‘doing something of my own’ and ‘building my own empire’, these people embark on this journey. They choose a line of work, communicate with their near and dear ones on their network, and start asking for works/ projects. Some people actually put trust on the newcomers on their abilities and assign works. This is the standard way of an entrepreneurial start.
A good number of entrepreneurs fail to become successful due to different reason. However, they do so upon giving their best efforts being aware of the high risk scenarios. Nonetheless, as unfortunate as it may sound, quite a few them actually drop off at an early stage. At the early levels of entrepreneurial stress, they quit their endeavor; and in the process, quite often, jeopardize the project(s) in hand and creating much trouble and headache for the ones who entrusted them with their important tasks.
No matter how much justification there may be, these untimely quits actually do a lot of harm to the relationships (because the early works come through relationships) with their customers, create good dents in future credibility and trustworthiness of the entrepreneur, and makes the path of future entrepreneurs more difficult as these history prevents others from assigning task to new entrepreneurs.
Me being an entrepreneur for the last 3.5 years, I also try to help other entrepreneurs by making them my value chain partners and service providers. However, unfortunately, I have come across a few such failed entrepreneurs who have created some good headache for me and have done significant loss for my business.
For example, this ex-colleague of mine (I used to work for a mobile telecom company for approx. 10 years before quitting the job and start my entrepreneurial journey) approached us after quitting his job and offered his services. We assigned him a task as an outsourced service provider trusting on his capabilities for a two month long project. However one fine morning, we heard that he has joined another salaried job. Initially he showed positive energy that no matter what he will deliver our project; however that two month long project has crossed six months and we are yet to complete even 50% of the project. This delay has caused significant monetary and opportunity loss for my own company. I also have vowed not to become the ‘supporting hand’ for any more new entrepreneurs/ startups!
This and a few more incidents actually made me think on why some entrepreneurial journeys are so short lived. Certainly no one wants to fail, yet decides to take a detour and get back to their previous path very easily. After giving a good thought I have come to conclude on the following traits of early quitting entrepreneurs, which should help others measure their own capabilities of succeeding in entrepreneurial field before actually embarking on this path of uncertainty and risk:
1.You put a lot of weight on ‘stability’: entrepreneurship is all about high risk – high gain scenario. There might be scenarios when lucky entrepreneurs get return with their hands full in no time; yet there are several records of long term hard toils before actually getting positive return at all. If you do not have the appetite for such risks, and rock your stable boat that is maintained by your salary; think ten times before you choose to try to be entrepreneur.
2.You place personal interest and well-being way above your commitment to others: everyone understands their own interest, and there is no harm in it. However, to become successful, you need to be the type of person who performs their commitment at any cost. If you are good at justifying your ‘failure to deliver’ by your own standard, better not take entrepreneurship path as you will lose your trustworthiness for the lifetime.
3.‘Patience’ is not the virtue you have: Entrepreneurs must be patient with so many unforeseen hurdles, difficulties, and risks. If you are the kind of person who panics quite easily and quickly tries to draw a conclusion through an alternative path; then better not take the path of entrepreneurship as it certainly will result quite a good amount of sleepless nights and high BP!
4.You sway between your decisions: Many people juggle between decisions and take forever to approach one. If you are one such person, then better not try to become an entrepreneur as this path will ask for quick, firm, and sometimes instinctive decision that might fail! Why go for such tension?
5.You always keep alternative options open: when you decide to become an entrepreneur, you should become one with full heart and commit yourself for at least a minimum reasonable period. However, if the thought of getting back to a job is always on, then it is highly likely that you will snap at the first exposure to major difficulty and actively start searching for a job and switching to one. So, why risk losing your reputation then?
6.Failure is not an option for you: Entrepreneurship is all about learning from previous failures, getting up from ashes, and start journey again. If you are in such a position where you cannot accept a failure, think many times before you decide to start your romantic entrepreneurial journey.
7. Entrepreneurial success is a 'good to have' for you: Many of us (including me) failed at their first attempt to achieve success as an entrepreneur just because the success in it was a 'good to have' for us, while we depend on other sources for 'real success' (e.g. your current job). The entrepreneurship always falls behind when the time comes for some real prioritization, resulting in an early quit from the endeavor.
8. You are not Desperate enough: For most of the people, success does not come easily. You need to desperately search for it. When you are not desperate, it means that you are casual about it and (most probably) have other means of living your life. So, again when the time comes, you will choose that 'other way' (most probably your existing job, or the job offer you have in your hand) over your entrepreneurial venture to thrive.
9. Your stomach is full: I believe in one notion, and that is 'you cannot be a successful entrepreneur with a full stomach'. You need to be hungry... really hungry! If you are not in dire need of success (be it financial, social, spiritual or in any other form), it is highly unlikely that you will be able to pass the bumpy tests to withstand long term toil, if required. You have to have that insatiable appetite for success in your venture, which will drive you to move ahead breaking all brick walls and see it till the end.
10. You do not have a clear dream: The fruits of successful entrepreneurship is great; yet usually do not come easy and requires years to dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. It is absolutely not possible to cross these hurdles if you do not have a dream large and clear enough to make these toils look like peanuts!
There are obviously many scientific researches to dissect a successful entrepreneurs’ minds. However, I believe, this topic can also be a matter of scientific research for finding specific traits of early quitting entrepreneurs. A reasonable person will think of both positives and negatives that may arise before actually taking this path.
May 29, 2019
I earnestly hope to see no more early quitting entrepreneurs in future!