The success stories of renowned female entrepreneurs such as Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Falguni Nayar, Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah Winfrey have always been a great inspiration for me. After doing things that matter in life for 6 years, in 2015 the entrepreneurial dream enchanted me. As a co-founder of RING, I had the opportunity to build a fintech startup from scratch. However, being an entrepreneur has been a tedious and challenging journey.
I want to share some things I learned during my entrepreneurial journey that helped me to cope with different situations:
It’s okay to start small
When I started my career, I never imagined becoming an entrepreneur. In a way, I was fortunate to meet like-minded people (other RING founders). Although I was a bit skeptical at first, I knew that taking small steps at a time would be the best strategy in my entrepreneurial journey rather than taking a headless leap. Eventually my gut instinct proved right as I grew as an entrepreneur.
Work-life balance plays a big role
Being an entrepreneur is a great experience, but like any profession, it comes with some challenges. Developing the skills to meet these challenges, including establishing an appropriate work-life balance, is key to running and growing a successful business. No matter how busy my schedule is, I take time off every day to go for long walks with my father.
I remember coming back to work just 7 days after my twins were born, life was hard here too! Although my family members and other founders were very supportive, I somehow felt that I lacked the action in life and couldn’t help but jump right back into it. I consider myself more of an entrepreneur than an entrepreneur and I firmly believe that passion is more important than gender in entrepreneurship.
It is not necessary to know everything when you start
Coming from analytics, when I joined RING I didn’t know a lot about how products are built or how technology works. However, my eagerness to learn different aspects of the business helped me a lot in donning several hats as I acquired the necessary skills over time.
Don’t doubt yourself
When we start something new, sometimes we tend to doubt ourselves. Especially when you join a league of experienced entrepreneurs. However, there is absolutely no reason for it. It is important to understand that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. If you are confident in your abilities, you can easily compare yourself to the experience of others.
Mistakes are part of the learning process
I’m sure you may have heard the golden adage: “He who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”. Well, that’s 100% true when it comes to entrepreneurship. During my entrepreneurial journey, some mistakes were inevitable. However, I took it positively as a learning experience and used it as a springboard to achieve better results.
Invest in human capital
I firmly believe that human capital is an organization’s greatest asset. In my personal experience, I have seen that when you give your employees better opportunities to develop their skills or spend quality time with them, the benefit to your organization in terms of employee engagement and morale is immense. As they say, “Life is an echo. What you send out always comes back multiple times.”
In summary, entrepreneurship sounds like a dream, but there are many ups and downs. There is no standard recipe for success and every entrepreneurial journey is different. I sincerely hope that my above experiences can be helpful to budding entrepreneurs who want to take the big leap.