Entrepreneurship is like driving a Car

by Shejal Malpani on Friday 24 August 2012, 10:02 PM | Category: Entrepreneurship| View: 1621 views

Entrepreneurship in its many ways and forms can be related to a lot many things. Some say entrepreneurs are riders of storm, others equate it with dreamers, believers, non conformists, visionaries and people with a good vocabulary unlike me can add a few hundred more adjectives to entrepreneurship. This article is going to encapsulate similes' to my entrepreneurial journey and provide an abstract analogy for an entrepreneur in the making.

Imagine driving down a lane with scenic beauty on the sides and your windows rolled down, cold air brushing through your hair, on a pleasant Saturday evening... OK, snap out of your reverie. Before you start mapping out the route to the nearest coast, you just might want a car to go there!
Car here resembles the business –venture – Idea – concept; Scenic Beauty resembles the journey. The journey is not always that beautiful and smooth, but the desire to reach the goal makes it easy to traverse.
You need to know what you wish for; to buy a new car or to buy a used car or to share it or to borrow it. But once you know what you are looking for, you know the place to find it and the way to go there.
Before you start thinking about fun thing­s like whether you want a convertible or a sports car, you need to do some self-examination. First and foremost, you need to examine your budget. You should set a reasonable price range for the car and begin to eliminate cars that are out of that price range, or find the right people to finance it. If it's a second hand 1990's Maruti 800 model that you are purchasing, you may probably finance it yourself. If you are after a Honda Accord, you may want to check up on the 3 F's (friends, family, fools) for financing it. And if you are behind an Aston Martin, well you'll have to have some serious people to convince for getting you this powerhouse.
Assuming you've played your cards well and finally got yourself a car, you will need to know the basics of driving it. Unless you already have some experience with driving your friend's car, or a car that you owned before, you will need to take driving lessons. Some people like me bribe the driving instructor into a 3 times a day, 7 days a week crash course where you end up absorbing things at a much faster rate than you normally would. If that isn't enough, you'd involve some friends into it too for whatever its worth. When I had got my car, I wanted to drive it at a 120 kmph as soon as I could, and so I shamelessly harassed every person I could. It had its own repercussions, and though I cannot drive it at a 120kmph all the time, I know if I had to I could!
When u buy a used car the good thing is, you know everything about the history of the car, like:
  • the number of previous owners
  • if the car was ever involved in an accident
  • any previous mechanical problems
  • the maintenance history of the car
But it just doesn't mean it is easy and safe to buy a used car. If it was easy to run it, why would the previous owner let you have it ? Every day is not a Sunday morning, so business will have ups and downs. An entrepreneur needs to know how to drive fast yet safe on a clear road and how to parallel park.
The entrepreneur is the main person behind a firm or organization, he or she can demonstrate his or her quality as a leader by choosing the right managers for the firm; like a man behind the steering, needs to know if it is raining and the ground is wet, he should not make any sharp turns or apply brakes sharply. He must refrain from trying to look cool by just using one hand on the wheel. He needs to know he will not look cool if he crashes the car, he needs to ensure his safety and that of his fellow drivers (co-workers, investors) on the road. An entrepreneur is willing to take upon himself a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome. Driving is an art that needs to be developed with a sense of responsibility.
When you have a good idea of what kind of car you are riding, you can begin your research on embellishing it, like the colour of the car (how people perceive it), the seat cover (how can you add value for people), GPS navigation system (how you can find the right people to work for you) etc.
Sometimes the engine surge while driving, and this is not only dangerous for the driver but also other vehicles on the road. There can be many reasons big or small for the breakdown. Just the same way an enterprise can come to a stand-still because of the shareholders not working properly or there can be many more external reasons. Someday when you are having a good drive with a loved one at your side and suddenly meet with an accident! What do you do? Sit there and wonder what went wrong? A good driver will think about the policies, call police etc. Like a smart driver, the entrepreneur must also put his brain in work and not wonder what went wrong.
It's not much fun to have a car if you can't afford to go places in it. We all know it is impossible to steer a car that's not moving. If and when this happens, you either need to go to a service station or let go of the vehicle. Same is the case with any business, you either let go or improvise to let it survive. And the business cycle continues !!
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