The mindset of an entrepreneur
My name is Humayun and I am the Co-Founder of Digital Bucket Company, with my business partner, Kwame, we set up a Big Data company - against all odds. In Part 1 of this ‘Black & Asian Entrepreneur’ blog series, I discussed our vision for the company and it came about. Part 2 focuses on the setting up of the company and the importance of the right mindset that made the business a reality.
I think it’s realistic to say, everything can’t be added to a single blog. So this blog focuses on the mindset part:
The mindset to build something is incomprehensible and it really isn’t emphasised enough to entrepreneurs. When I say mindset, I mean how you think, feel, and make decisions about something. In my experience, I have found there are three typical mindsets that I have come across whilst building Digital Bucket Company.
The office goer…
The office goer, the person who is happy to go to work at 9 am and finish at 5 pm, they have a specific role in the business and are happy to take instructions. I’m sorry to say but if you want this structured lifestyle stick to a job. I think for the first 3 months of starting the business, I slept less than 4 hours a night — the number of things that you need to do before starting a business is endless. Things like registering a business with Companies House, finding an accountant and registering with the tax office, building a website, business cards, logos, branding, staffing, and the list goes on.
2. But be realistic…
The idea, all of the above can be done in 8 hours in a day, perhaps for some, but this depends on what kind of startup business you want.
I remember when we discussed Digital Bucket Company, we knew we wanted to be a global player, we had a vision that we were determined to shape and make real. That mindset is what has shaped us in the business. Every day we wake up and do what is necessary to make that real. That is the second mindset, being realistic about the journey ahead and what you want to achieve.
I think both me and Kwame knew from the start unless we had enough compassion for the business and conviction for what we wanted to achieve the journey would have ended after the first month.
The other part of being realistic is to know you know nothing. Don’t imagine what it will be like setting up a startup because the truth is, there's nothing like the real thing. I expected to win clients left, right, and centre, in addition to getting funding from investors all within a year. Guess what? I was wrong.
One thing is certain though, every day there will be challenges and there will be highs and lows. Being able to control those emotions during those highs and lows, and training your emotions to keep a level head is the key to building a mindset that will keep you moving forward.
3. I got family & friends for support…
I think one of the hardest lessons I learnt when setting starting out as an entrepreneur is not everyone is out there to help. This is especially true when you find yourself in a difficult or tricky situation. It’s therefore important to understand from the beginning that you shouldn’t expect anything from anyone. Saying that obviously there are exceptions and I have seen many businesses being supported by family and friends. It’s great to have any support from those close and dear to you. But sometimes you can’t expect them to support you on your journey, or indeed understand your own journey.