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So you want to be an entrepreneur….er…Congratulations?!!

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Its been almost 3 weeks since I bid adieu to corporate life and dove deep into the world of entrepreneurship.  And here we are -with a fresh new website, a growing fan following and a lot of ideas on products we want to add next.

When I first told my friends and colleagues that I wanted to quit a successful career and give up a good steady salary, I expected rational responses like “What’s wrong with you?” and serious attempts to convince me to give up this foolishness.  Instead I was met with a very positive reaction followed by the word “Congratulations”.

Yes…“Congratulations [kuhn-grach-uhley-shuh: noun] = an expression of joy in the success or good fortune of another.”  An unexpected reaction since we hadn’t achieved anything yet…or had we?

We had achieved the first big step – taking action.  It takes some level of recklessness to want to become an entrepreneur.  It’s an action that brings financial risk hand in hand with the dream of creating ones own destiny.  I had the good fortune of speaking with Jim Koch (founder of The Boston Beer Co) about Redpatang and he wisely said “The risk isn’t as big as you think it is.  The only risk is not doing it”!

So before I say “Congratulations” to other would-be entrepreneurs, here are some things I have already learnt:

My supportive someone

You need an amazing and supportive someone …(could be your business partner – in my case it turned out to be my husband/best friend) who can dream with you and cheer you on.

You aren’t the first one to do it….ask the trail blazers for advice.  I have been fortunate to find so many amazing new friends and colleagues in the form of suppliers/bloggers/designers in this short time and they have become my teachers and guides.

In good company

You need some company (even if said company curls up on your feet and snores all day).  Leaving a buzzing corporate environment can get lonely till you have your own peeps.   I try to reach out to human company for face-to-face contact every week even if it’s just for a simple cup of tea.

Your customer needs to be treated like you would want to be.  Before I make any decision I try to ask myself, , “Would I buy this?”, “Would I pay this price?”, “How fast would I want my shipment to arrive?”.

You need to stay positive all the time.  There’s enough in the world to try to shake you. You don’t need to add self – doubt to the list.  And finally but most importantly…

You need to learn to have fun along the way.  It’s a long road and you could either spend it worrying, worrying and biting your nails or worrying only some of the time (don’t forget to lean on that supportive someone we talked about earlier when you do worry) and enjoying the rest of the journey!

Feel free to comment if you have anything to add – we’d love to hear from you.

-Swapna and the rest of the Redpatang team (including company that sleeps at my feet)

Written by Redpatang

March 16, 2011 at 5:33 am

Posted in Red Patang

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