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5 steps for entrepreneurial success
Krishna Kumar
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July 17, 2008

Entrepreneurship has come of age. There is a lot of interest among career professionals to start their own enterprise sooner or later, but a majority of them stay back mainly because of the upfront investment involved and the risk of the venture not meeting its intended goal.

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Of course there is risk involved, but not working towards the goal of starting your own enterprise some day is a bigger dissatisfaction for many. Here are some simple steps that most professionals can take, which would work out to be a stepping stone for your future start-ups.

Identify your areas of interest
Entrepreneurship is not only about building a large enterprise and making millions of dollars. It
's a great deal about doing some thing that really interests you and as a result the whole journey of making an enterprise becomes an enjoyable experience.

Imagine a gaming freak developing an unique gaming portal, not only do the chances of the portal being successful increase manifold, the team actually enjoys the whole process of developing the product.

Identifying one's broad areas of interest is the first concrete step towards entrepreneurship.

Identify your dream role
A great team makes a great company. A great team means the founding team with complimentary skill sets. Even though entrepreneurs should have good exposure to all the different functions of running an enterprise, identifying a particular business function that gives one the maximum satisfaction is quiet important.

So, if you are naturally bent towards technology, you can look at being the chief technology guy of your future start-up. While you keep honing your technical skills, it's important that you have a wider perspective of your broad area of interest.

Look at existing start-ups
There are start-ups being formed on a daily basis and there is a good chance that you can identify a list of start-ups in your broad area of interest and shortlist the ones that really excite you. You can also negotiate the role of your choice to a large extent.
Start-ups do provide such kind of flexibility.

So by joining one such start-up, you not only get a chance to work in your chosen area of interest and get a role that prepares you for your dream role, you actually get to experience the start-up experience from close quarters and what's more, you get paid for it as well!

There can't be a better way to check whether building an organisation is in your DNA than working for a start-up! Last but not the least, you also have the possibility of meeting the other founding members of your future start-up!

Equity vs cash
Any start-up, either backed by a venture fund or self funded by an entrepreneur, always has cash flow pressure. There are a number of avenues to spend money and they need to do the prioritisation, where as equity is one thing that every founding team would like to share with deserving candidates.

So, if you are quite bullish on your area of interest and you also get your desired role in a start-up, go ahead and agree on a remuneration package that is equity heavy. This would not only give you great returns in the event of the start-up becoming successful, you also create a good impression in the eyes of the founders, resulting in greater responsibilities being assigned to you! Needless to say that greater responsibilities means being more prepared for your own future start-up.

Being on your own
If you happen to have gone through the above steps yourself, there is every chance that you do not need to go through articles like this one. You would have seen start-ups from close quarters and would be in touch with so many other entrepreneurs / aspiring entrepreneurs that either you would be working in some start-up or other at a much higher responsibility or attracting future entrepreneurs to work for you in your very own start-up.

Krishna Kumar is CEO of his own website, a career portal which has been designed to meet all the work-related needs of everyday professionals.

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