Having been an entrepreneur myself and with 20 years of experience behind me in running my own design and technical consultancy firm, I have found certain aspects of entrepreneurship most attractive to me.
Freedom, with accountability
Being an entrepreneur means primarily to have my freedom of choice and be accountable to that choice. To the extent possible, subject to certain inevitable circumstantial limitations, I exercise this freedom in
accepting or declining a task (an Order), based on my own likes and dislikes of doing it, to the level of profitability I would like to have on it (be it low or high), and the extent of challenge or the risk I would like to take on it.
executing the task at my own pace (if possible), to the extent of perfection to which I can polish the work.
appropriating my earnings according to my preference — to pump in a major chunk of it in the development of the business or siphon it off into the family, on payouts to employees or on extravaganza, on office building or on image-building.
- setting the targets — be it turnover, profitability, annual growth or future expansion plans — based on my personal preferences rather than based on the ambitions of a corporate entity or on any “generic market trends”.
Nurturing values and principles
By being an entrepreneur, I am able to enforce my principles and ethics that I personally value in my business.
Before starting my venture, I was in employment as a sales professional. I was particularly loath to dealing with orders from Government organizations where some customers were corrupt; the conduct of some customers in huge private organizations was anathema to my personal value system. I was always finding myself in very awkward position, as I was duty-bound to serve my customers with respect.
When I started my own show, I was free enough to enforce my choice of whom to entertain as my customer and whom to shy away from, if their expectations clash with my personal values.
My time and my priorities under my control
By being an entrepreneur, I am able to allocate my time at my will into my profession, into my family and into my hobbies or into my spiritual pursuits. My time is not at the beg and call of my boss. My time is not meant to be whiled away in unproductive office meetings and conferences or in travels that I loathe to undertake.
Even if I waste my time now in any unworthy pursuits, it is after all my decision and I am willing to bear any unpleasant consequences out of it.
However, it can not be denied that our prime accountability in entrepreneurship shifts to the customer from the boss; consequently and rightfully, the customer demands the maximum attention and allocation of our time. But still, I retain the freedom even to deny my time to the needs of my customer, should I wish to divert it to some other activity I value more, provided I am prepared to digest the consequences.
Being an entrepreneur means I am accountable personally to my customers, to my employees, to my family and to the society in general. This accountability brings in a sense of responsibility intrinsically coupled to freedom of choice. That is the primary charm in entrepreneurship.