A curious question from most of my work friends in a casual coffee chat is “I want to become an entrepreneur someday. Do you have tips from that part of your life?”
First, determine if entrepreneurship is for you. The rosy picture painted about entrepreneurship is not entirely true. When you pick a stick, you pick both ends. Usually we talk about one and not about the other.
Check if entrepreneurship is for you using a side hustle and then make it full time. If you don’t enjoy as a side hustle you may not enjoy as a main one.
Once you are super clear then determine what kind of entrepreneur you want to be. Not all entrepreneurial journeys are the same. I classify them as 3 types.
- SME Entrepreneurs: Folks who like a subject (Eg : user experience) and they want to do it for the rest of their lives. They develop mastery in the subject and they become the authority and thought leaders. This kind of entrepreneurship is boutique. Usually the team size is small in this type. Sometimes less than 5.
- Business Entrepreneurs: Folks who like to build businesses and make money. they don’t mind building a business in any domain. They have the mastery to build any business using the first principles. They hire the best and make things happen for the business. This kind of entrepreneurship scales well.
- Capital Entrepreneurs: Folks who like to fund profitable businesses. They don’t care about the domain. There are niche players in this but usually it is domain agnostic. Capital leverage is the game. Great network is just a side effect. VCs Angels and even traders fall in this category. Their mastery is to pick stocks or businesses that do well.
Stick to the type of entrepreneur you are for the long term. The rookie mistake made by first gen entrepreneurs is to spread thin. Don’t. It is frustrating.
Don’t try to be all. Usually it fails because the skills and capabilities needed for different types of entrepreneurship is different and it takes a long time to master.
Knowing it in the head and experiencing it deeply are two difffent things.
Whatever you choose, I guarantee you the taste of autonomy and freedom.