Back in the day when I used to work for a startup accelerator, I used to meet many “entrepreneurs”.
They had grand visions, incredibly complex business ideas, 20 year business plans and most importantly, a degree from IIM/IIT or any Top Tier business schools.
I never went to B-school so I don’t understand lot of thier jargons and language.
Many of their ventures got funded and some even got acquired.
There was one guy who was an “Entrepreneur In Residence” working at the accelerator and during my last days there, I started chit chatting with him.
His ID card had the title “Entrepreneur In Residence” and I told him, “Wow, that’s a fancy title.”
He said, “Thanks”.
I asked him out of curiosity, “What does an entrepreneur do”?
He said, “Entrepreneurs are business creators, we understand complex problems, build solutions, raise funding, hire employees, manage investors, ensure hockey stick growth and handle PR.”
“We have to wear many hats in a single day and work round the clock to make it work.”
“Wow”, I said.
With a smirk, he asked me what do you do?
I replied, I’m trying to solve my life problems.
“What kind of problems?” he asked me.
Rent, Food, Cloths, Money for my mother and some leisure.
“Okaaayyyyy”, he responded and went on his way.
Clearly, he was not impressed with my problem statements.
I find the glorification of Entrepreneurship very confusing.
A lot of today’s entrepreneurs are after funding, PR, fast money and exits.
While all of this is great, wannabe entrepreneurs are forgetting one thing- entrepreneurship needs to be about problem solving.
First you solve your problems, then maybe you can solve your loved ones problems, then maybe you can solve society’s problems.
Now, your problems don’t necessarily mean that you have some problem in a grandiose way.
It could be as simple as paying off debt.
It could be doing something to express yourself creatively.
It could be something to help your friends in need.
After raising $2 million in Pre-Series A funding, I got kicked out of the company that I had started.
Fours years of being underpaid, sleepless nights and working my ass off resulted in nothing more than leaving the company in disgust.
Now when I look back, I guess it was for the best.
While I was working, I developed a problem with lack of attention.
I was trying to juggle so many problems that my mind was not able to concentrate on any single task at hand.
Now, Im able to sleep better, I don’t have to think about marketing budgets, I don’t need to care about my customer acquisition cost optimization, are we improving our performance numbers week on week.
I don’t need to look at any of this, and my mind seems lot clearer.
I was also an “Entrepreneur” by definition trying to solve problems that didn’t exist.
Now, I want to become an Entrepreneur just for myself.
In between all of this, I’m considering whether I should take a day job and keep this website alive just for my creative itch.
I don’t want to raise VC funding, PR & exit at large valuation.
This website makes zero money as of now.
If I can make $3000 in a month–I’ll be more than happy.
Funny how my definition of Entrepreneurship has changed.
What’s the problem you are trying to solve? I’d love to hear!