My husband and I are currently interviewing with schools for our kid’s admission, and in one of these interactions today, a panel of educators on the other end couldn’t stop praising the work I was doing at FlexiBees. On any given day, we speak with folks like ourselves or with folks paid to interact with the likes of us, and so appreciation isn’t so forthcoming.
Of course there are the occasional testimonials, that come from our clients and more heart-warmingly our talent, and we do take pause and savor those. Or at least try to (take pause, that is).
But today, when a group of completely unalike people went into raptures at what I did for a living, and with my husband having just spoken about his shining career in financial services that they consumed with nary a reaction, I felt proud.
And so for my future self, and perhaps for others like me, I decided to create and keep at hand a buzzfeed style list for the purpose of shooting yourself in the arm with a dose of confidence when you most need it. Read on you intrepid adventurers!
7 reasons why every entrepreneur should be proud of themselves
They manifest something out of thin air
I always find this the most fascinating aspect of entrepreneurship. That what exists now, only does so because you made it. Everyday as part of multiple entrepreneur groups, I see scores of brands and offerings lovingly created, from product to packaging to experience, none of which existed till you arrived on the scene. In most established companies, one mostly does only incremental building, and even innovation is inherited for the large part. But founders start from ground up, armed with knowledge and at times not even that but only the passion to make something better.
Which brings me to my next point -
They create jobs
In the quest to make things better and make better things, founders end up creating ecosystems, with employees, consultants, agencies, freelancers, gig workers who help them conceptualise and execute their vision. We don’t often think about the deeper repercussions of hiring new people to our teams, but it is immense. Founders provide people livelihoods and the ability to lead a better life along with the opportunity to lead a more productive and fulfilled life.
Even if it is for a small set of people, for them it’s the world.
They do all this and more without salaries
Now this is crazy right? Most founders don’t have salaries when they start out. And this could continue for some time. Most founders are also driven by purpose. Founders buck the economic principles we have been trained to believe all our lives, with a shrug. Money is a motivator and rightly so, but rarely the primary one or the end goal of entrepreneurship.
They eat rejection for breakfast
All founders get rejected, even the famous ones. One may enter the world of entrepreneurship thinking they are going to change the world, but first, the world is going to change them. They are going to have to develop a tougher hide and the hardy ability to spring back. And if they are paying attention, they use this rejection to make their product better. But damn, it does hurt.
So full marks to every founder who goes to bed hearing “no”s in assorted timbers and inflections, and nevertheless wakes up the next day raring to go. The world didn’t break you, it made you stronger.
They carry the responsibility of..EVERYTHING!
With us, the buck has found its resting place. Whether it be building product or company culture, dealing with competitive pressure or talent churn, who’s going to do it but the founders. The revelation here is not that the founders will lead these important things for the company; I mean, that’s obvious. But what many people don’t get is that all these things and more have to be done in the first place.
A company is like a human, each organ, each cell performs a function. Being a founder is like constructing the human body organ by organ, with nothing but your bare hands and ingenuity.
We then have every right to feel pride when this company of ours totters on its own two feet and walks a few steps. Even if it hasn’t yet learned to run, we know how far it has come, and how far it will go.
They quite simply, defy gravity!!
Yes, starting up looks very different from gambling. It’s certainly not pure luck; skills, timing, funding, partners, all these play significant roles. But that doesn’t mean that the odds of building a successful company are not low; building a successful company from scratch is that beautiful miracle where multiple things have to go right, where the founders need to have guts of steel, and where luck, nevertheless, does play a role. Numerous studies have shown that more than 90% of start-ups fail.
But we founders are unique, aren’t we? We tend to be a little delusional, just the slightest bit illogical. And that’s invaluable. Those who look the longest, never leap. Founders look and leap, hoping against all hope that they shall win this battle against gravity. And you know what, sometimes they do.
Entrepreneurs get others to believe in their vision
Not only do they themselves defy gravity, they create their own gravity fields. They make others believe in their vision; they are beacons for change and a better world, pulling people towards them. They are electric and extraordinary.
Yes you. You are electric and extraordinary. You took the leap few do, and made something of it. Made something great of it, actually: a living breathing company that wouldn’t have been there without your vision, hard work, persistence and talent.
So once in a while, let yourself feel the pride.