You know they say, being an entrepreneur is cool, that everyone should be one. Be like Jobs, like Gates, hell, be like Richard Branson! The thing no one talks, teaches or tells you about, is how? It is easy to say that you are an entrepreneur – you have an idea, you quit your job, you select a fancy name and poof!
The power is not in initiating, but in surviving and gaining knowledge through experiences and interactions. You learn to run a business by observing, examining and more importantly experiencing it.
I too, had an idea, but didn’t think I was completely ready or equipped to take the leap.
I wanted to start a brand that deals in gifting. Quirky and unique gifts that stand out and can be cherished. Gifts that make people happy. So I started bigsmall.in, initially based out of my home, but I soon realized I needed something a bit more, err…equipped and 91springboard seemed perfect on paper. It was a 24X7 coworking space with full-time power backup and other essential facilities like conference rooms, printers, scanners which I didn’t have!
However, once I got there, I realized there’s so much more going on and it’s just the kind of environment I’ve been looking for. I decided to apply and got a job as a Community Manager at 91springboard and managed to continue looking after bigsmall.in as well!
But how could I run a start-up, in a company I already work at? Though not probable, it was made possible. Infact, they facilitated my transition from an employee to a full fledged entrepreneur by encouraging me to work on both my job and my startup dream.
And the power of 91springboard is not the fact that you get a place to work…. the sheen lies in the community.
When you work in an environment where there are scores of other businesses being run right next to yours, you realize that you are not alone and that there are others with similar kinds of problems, some with useful solutions, some with needs that you can fulfill or tips that seem life changing!
You meet a lawyer over lunch, and learn all the legalities involved in setting up a business. Over the foosball table, you meet some web designers who can fix your website. And just someday, you might bump into someone who will soon become your business partner. More importantly, for a product-based company like mine, a considerable share of my clientèle soon became my coworkers! They needed unique gifts and I had them.
Another thing that helped me a lot were the events hosted at 91springboard. Like brushing your teeth or shaving, it is assumed that running a business is to be learnt automatically. And while optimism is a virtue, it takes concrete skills to make a business bigger. Good news, these skills can be learnt!
The talks, workshops, and one-on-one mentor sessions helped me develop strategies, identify solutions and more importantly helped me acquire skills that go beyond the professional realms. This mentoring also makes you realize that you haven’t just been given a desk to work at, but instead, that you have been absorbed into a community of people, with both diverse and shared – experiences, goals, and skill sets. You can learn, you can teach, and when you need help, there are people to reach out to.
Man is a social animal, he interacts with others of his kind and grows. But when you start a business, it seems like you’re all alone. It seems you are condemned to be isolated for the fulfillment of your vision. The thing is, it is not meant to be that way. You don’t even have to lose your job! There aren’t many firms I know who are so supportive and open minded, but I’m glad the one I worked for, was!
Companies grow, individuals grow. But it’s rare when they grow together! Now as I move out of here, it feels like I am leaving my cocoon. It was so warm and comfy!
Once you come to 91springboard you realize that you are not a special snowflake! You realize that there are some who can help and some who need help, all under one roof. These interactions are what makes you evolve as a businessman. This experience is what makes you an entrepreneur.
I thought I was an entrepreneur the moment I had a vision, but now when I look back I realize, it was working with 91springboard and learning under their wing that taught me what entrepreneurship is all about.
This post is written by Yatin Hans, Founder, bigsmall.in
We’re always on the look out for talent to add to our ever-growing team. So, if you think you’ve got what it takes and would like to come be a part of our community, get in touch with us here.