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5 Habits Aspiring Entrepreneurs Should Develop

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“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” 

— Jim Rohn. 

The world’s most successful entrepreneurs are where they are because of a certain set of habits they developed over a period of time.  These habits help them navigate through all the ups and downs of life. You may have an amazing goal in your life, but if you do not have the discipline to wake up everyday and pursue that goal, then the goal is of no use.  Here we bring you a list of a few habits, which if developed, can get you started on your journey to success.

 

1) Early bird gets the worm

Successful entrepreneurs are early risers.  They know waking up early gives them an edge to outperform others.  They set goals for themselves the night before and wake up before anyone else to work on those goals without any interruptions.  Early in the morning, the environment is calm and does not have disturbances. This is the time most entrepreneurs choose to get their important tasks done.  

In fact, Elon Musk is one such entrepreneur who wakes up as early as 6 A.M., and schedules his most important tasks for the initial hours of the day. 

 

2) Exercise

A strong body fosters a strong mind.  Most of the successful entrepreneurs in the world swear by some sort of exercise, be it running, swimming, boxing or weight lifting.  Exercise not only tones your muscles, but it also empowers your brain. Studies prove, exercise can help relieve stress and increase productivity.  A good workout session before you start off the day can help you approach your work with a calmer mindset.  

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, is a fitness buff.  He sets a yearly fitness goal for himself and ends up achieving it by mid year.  In a Facebook Q & A session, Zuckerberg once said, “Staying in shape is very important. Doing anything well requires energy, and you just have a lot more energy when you’re fit.”

 

3) Organising is key

If you take a close look at the work patterns of the world’s richest, you will see they are all extremely organized.  Organizing your daily activities improves effectiveness and productivity. Scheduling tasks for each part of the day gives you a clear understanding of what you are set to achieve for the day and how much time you can spend on each task.  Setting daily business goals for yourself and making to do lists can help organize your day. Planning your day the night before can make it easier to finish all the tasks.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk organizes his busy schedule in 5 minute slots.

 

4) Reading is fundamental

Books are invaluable sources of knowledge and one thing successful people do more than others is read.  For almost any problem you face in your life, books seem to have a solution. If you are an entrepreneur, then reading a variety of books from personality development and finance to autobiographies can put you ahead in competition. The right kinds of books have the power to change your life and make you a more productive and effective person.

Warren Buffett is an avid reader.  He was known for reading all the investment books available at the local library by the age of 11.  Buffett once said, “Read 500 pages everyday. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up like compound interest.”

 

5) Relax when you can

Entrepreneurship is a tiring job and the last thing you want is to burn out.  Most successful entrepreneurs deliberately take time off their busy schedules to unwind and relax.  Never neglect yourself in the process of wanting to do more. One way to stay effective for a long time is to set aside some time in your day to relax.  Use this time to spend time with your loved ones or yourself. Working continuously will take a toll on your health and affect your overall productiveness.  

Microsoft founder Bill Gates has a very unique way of unwinding.  Gates once told Reddit in an interview, he likes washing dishes at the end of the day and this helps him unwind.  Apart from this, he also likes playing Bridge with his kids on weekends.

 

Success cannot be achieved without consistency in life and developing some effective habits can help you stay consistent in life and at work.  

Comment below and let us know if we missed out on any habits.

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Reasons Why Your Startup Needs An Incubator

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Business incubators have been gaining huge popularity in recent times because of the number of benefits they provide for startups.  From providing idea valuation and mentorship to finance, a business incubator can do it all to ensure your startup reaches its goal.  Keep reading to find out why your startup needs the hand of an incubator.

 

Reasons why your startup needs an incubator

 

1) An ideal environment

Business incubators provide you the perfect environment for work.  Being in the midst of other entrepreneurs and highly ambitious people will boost your morale and get you ready for work.  Here, you are away from all the distractions you may have if you work from home or other less professional environments. Sharing your ideas with other entrepreneurs and interacting with them on a daily basis could prove to be extremely rewarding for your startup.

 

2) Professional office space

An office space is something you will need but may not have in the initial stages of your startup.  Renting out a space for your office could be considered, but it is expensive. Business incubators provide you a professional office space with all the necessary office supplies for a far less amount.  This office space could be extremely useful for meetings with clients, investors, partners, or for interviewing people.  

 

3) Mentorship and networking

Having a mentor is extremely important for an aspiring entrepreneur.  Mentors themselves are successful entrepreneurs who have already been on the journey you are about to experience.  They can help you with several aspects of setting up a business. Finding an ideal mentor is a challenging task and an incubator can help you with just that.  An incubator is a medium through which mentors and mentees can meet. Apart from mentors, you also get to network with a plethora of other people like investors and capitalists, who can eventually form your professional network. 

 

4) Professional services

To launch your business successfully, you will need a variety of professional services.  From marketing experts, engineers, designers and accountants to professional coders—you may need them all.  A good business incubator will give you access to all these experts, who can ensure your business has a successful launch. 

 

5) Financial help

Lastly, an incubator can open doors to various funding opportunities for your startup.  Investors are usually keen to invest in incubated businesses. Incubators have partnerships with various angel investors, venture capitalists and banks.  Sometimes, an incubator itself can provide you seed funds to set up your business.  

 

When you get help and advice from business experts and professionals, the chances of you making mistakes reduces.  Studies show, 75 to 87 % of incubated businesses cross the 5 year mark. This means the success rate of incubated businesses is higher than others.  

Will you consider enrolling with an incubator?  Comment below and let us know.

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How To Raise Capital For Your Startup

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Most of us often think a revolutionary idea is all you need to set up a business.  Yes, a great idea is definitely the heart of your business, but funds are its backbone.  Most startups fail within months after their inception due to lack of proper funds. Raising capital to build your business is a huge challenge, especially if you are a first timer.  We are here to help you with just that. Keep reading to find out some ways in which you can fund your business.

 

How to raise capital for your startup

 

1) Self funding

This is the most obvious way to fund your business.  If you are a first time entrepreneur, you may have a tough time trying to find potential investors.  Therefore, you can consider funding your business from your own savings or ask your friends and family to contribute.  This process of funding your own business is called bootstrapping. Bootstrapping should always be considered as the first option for funding your business.  However, this is suitable only if the initial requirement is small.

 

2) Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a millennial way to fund your startup.  How does crowdfunding work? An aspiring entrepreneur puts up a complete description of his/her business, like the business plan, the vision, what he aims to achieve and how much funding he needs, on a crowdfunding platform.  Users of this platform will read about the business and pledge an amount of their choice, if they like the idea. Here, anyone can contribute to your business. Apart from providing financial help, a crowdfunding platform can also help in marketing your products or services.  Kickstarter, Patreon, GoFundMe, RocketHub and CircleUp are some of the most popular crowdfunding platforms in the world.  In India, Faircent, Ketto and Wishberry are some of the most famous ones. 

 

3) Venture capitalists

Venture capitalists (VCs) are professionals who invest in startups and companies which have huge potential.  VCs usually invest in a business against equity, which is the difference between the value of assets and the value of liabilities.  They exit the business when there is an acquisition or an IPO (Initial Public Offering.) Venture capitalists are not easy to impress, especially if you are new to entrepreneurship.  They even come with their fair share of disadvantages. Though a VC invests in your business, they often expect a recovery within 3 to 5 years. This is suitable for businesses which have crossed the startup stage and are already bringing in revenue.  Some popular venture capitalists in India are Blume Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.  Index Ventures and Accel Ventures are venture capitalists which made their mark across the globe. 

 

4) Angel investors

Angel investors are people who have a huge amount of cash and a keen interest to invest in a potential business.  Sometimes, a group of investors come together to scrutinize and invest in a potential business. Apart from finance, angel investors can also provide advice as mentors.  They are even willing to take higher risks for better returns. Angel investors are the people responsible for the establishment of several big names in the world, including Google and Alibaba.  One drawback of angel investors is, they give far less capital compared to venture capitalists.

 

5) Participate in competitions

In recent times, several competitions are being held, where the winner gets capital for his/her business.  All you have to do is present your business idea or module to a jury and if you win, you get the required capital to start your business.  This, however, is not easy as the competition is going to be very high and your idea has to really stand out from the rest to be able to attract investors. 

 

6) Get help from business incubators and accelerators

Business incubators and accelerators have become immensely popular recently and they are found in almost every major city across the globe.  Business incubators produce several successful entrepreneurs every year. They usually have a program for 4-12 months, during which, they nurture, train, evaluate and fund your business idea.  Accelerators, on the other hand, help an already established business grow or take a huge leap. StartupVillage, T-Hub, TechnoPark TBI and GSF Accelerator are some examples of business incubators and accelerators. 

 

7) Bank loans 

A bank is probably the most convenient place to get funds for your business.  Almost every bank in India provides business loans against some sort of security.  Bank loans for businesses are of two types—working capital loans and funding. Working capital loans are designed to traverse one full cycle of revenue generation.  Funding, on the other hand, is the process of sharing your business plan and your business valuation to get the required funds. 

An added advantage with bank loans is, you will not have the pressure of an investor depending on your business.

 

8) Government schemes

Governments these days are keen on encouraging entrepreneurs.  There are several plans and schemes which are made available by the Government to fund your business.  In India, the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and the Startup India Scheme are some initiatives. The Startup India Scheme, which was started in 2016, is known to have created thousands of entrepreneurs in India. 

 

These are some of the several ways in which you can fund your business.  Before approaching any investor, it is suggested you do full fledged research about each of these options and also get an idea about various market scenarios.  After that, choose a plan which is suitable for you and your business type. If you have a professional network, which we recommend you do, discuss the various options with them and then take a decision. 

Do you know of any other ways to fund a startup?  Comment below and let us know.

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Entrepreneurship vs The 9 To 5 Grind

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You deserve a career which satisfies you, one which can support, protect and nourish you and your loved ones.  To achieve a career like this, you need to choose a path which aligns with your passion and personality. Whether you are self employed or work for someone else, at the end of the day, your career should be able to keep you happy.  While there are some bravehearts out there who like to go down the path of entrepreneurship, others are happy with the 9 to 5 grind. If you are unable to choose which path is better for you, we are here to help you with just that. 

 

Entrepreneurship: Pros and cons

Entrepreneurship comes with its fair share of ups and downs.  Before you choose a path for yourself, it is extremely important to understand the field into which you are venturing.  Here are a few pros and cons of entrepreneurship. 

Pros

1) Freedom

The most obvious advantage of entrepreneurship is freedom.  You get the freedom to make your own decisions, design things the way you want them to be, choose your working hours and the list goes on.  In simple words, you are your own boss.

 

2) Money

There is no denying the fact, some entrepreneurs, in a day, earn much more than a regular employee earns in an entire month.  Unlike the 9 to 5 format, your money is directly dependent on the amount of effort you put in and the profitability of your business’s idea.  Entrepreneurship gives you unlimited income potential as you can venture into multiple fields. Moreover, all the profits come directly into your pocket.  

 

3) Every day is different 

 

Another advantage of entrepreneurship is, your life does not become monotonous.  Every day in your life as an entrepreneur is going to be completely different. There are new challenges and new risks every day.  Most importantly, as you face these new challenges and risks, you grow and become a better version of yourself with every passing day.  In simple words, your life is not stagnant. 

 

4) Early retirement options

Entrepreneurship gives you an amazing option of early retirement.  If successful, entrepreneurship gives you enough bank balance to quit working early and do something else you love.  For instance, an entrepreneur like Mark Zuckerberg, who is just 35 years, can retire now and still have enough money to sustain him for the rest of his life. 

Apart from this, you will also have an option to change industries or expand your market if you ever feel unsatisfied with where you are.

 

Having said this, here are a few cons of entrepreneurship of which you must be aware, before you make the dive.

 

Cons

1) Risk

You may have already heard this enough, but entrepreneurship is an extremely risky process.  The chances of failure, especially if you are a first timer, are much higher than the chances of success.  You will need an iron will to emerge successful as an entrepreneur. What is more? There are high chances your startup might fail within a few years of its inception and you may end being bankrupt altogether.  You will be surprised to know, 20 % of the startups fail even before a year and 50 % before reaching the 5 year mark. 

 

2) Workload

If you think the workload is too much in a regular job, wait till you become an entrepreneur.  It may come as a shock to you, some entrepreneurs work almost 80-90 hours a week and Elon Musk is one of them.  There are no specified timings for entrepreneurs. While this work can be exciting, it is also extremely exhausting.

 

3) No guaranteed income

Yes, the money again.  Another obvious disadvantage of entrepreneurship is, there is no guaranteed income.  As mentioned earlier, how much you earn as an entrepreneur is directly dependent on your efforts.  There is no regular income that will come on the first of every month. While sometimes your business may be extremely profitable, there may also be times when you hardly earn a penny.  

 

Now onto the big question. 

Is entrepreneurship better than the corporate 9 to 5 grind?

This answer might differ from person to person, but according to us, the pros of entrepreneurship definitely outdo the cons.  Apart from letting you be your own boss and getting you unlimited income, entrepreneurship helps you create something new for the world around you.  There is no better feeling than making a difference in others’ lives with your products and services. If you can get over the initial struggle, entrepreneurship is the most satisfying, rewarding and fulfilling career option one can pick. 

Having said this, a regular job also has its share of advantages.  It gives you a stable income, job security, limited workload and most of all, a less risky environment.  You don’t always have to be an entrepreneur to be successful. You can be successful even by contributing your best to the company for which you are working.  Your success depends on how you perceive it.  

5 Best Career Options To Earn More 

 

How do you know if entrepreneurship is the right option for you?

The answer is simple.  Get a clear understanding about your own personality. Entrepreneurship may be the best career path for many people, but if it is not something you enjoy, then you will definitely be unhappy.  Who are you as a person? Do you like taking risks? What are your financial goals? Are you happy with a routine? Can you be okay with a variable income?  Most importantly, do you have a passion?  A problem which you are determined to solve?  A revolutionary idea maybe? Ask yourself these questions before taking the leap.  If you are not driven by passion and start a business only for its benefits, you are most likely to fail. 

One thing you should always keep in mind is, be it entrepreneurship or a regular job, do something that makes you happy, something which makes you want to go to work every morning and something which keeps you fulfilled. 

 

Which is the ideal option for you?  Entrepreneurship, or the stability of a regular 9 to 5 job?  Comment below and let us know. 

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