Of the many definitions i have come across on entrepreneurship, i found the one conceived by Harvard professor Howard Stevenson to be the most apt
“Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled”
The beauty of this definition lies in its simplicity, relevance and its impact.
There are two key parts to his definition, and this post talks about the first one.
This post is not meant to dissect and explain this definition but more to highlight the two key elements from my own experience.
The first part is called “THE PURSUIT OF THE IMPOSSYBLE”. (Title inspired from the movie of course.)
We always talk about return on investments. Investments in Bank account yield us low returns as compared to equities or real estate. However what i always admired about entrepreneurship is the fact that here the returns on initial investment is disproportionate higher t than any other class of investments.
In fact no other investment can yield as high returns as entrepreneurship. Besides unlike equities in which returns are not truly under your direct control, returns from entrepreneurship has more direct correlation to your efforts, decision making and persistence. Besides entrepreneurship has the power to make you realize your true inner power.
The thing about entrepreneurship is its ability to achieve what is normally considered difficult to near impossible. In that sense Entrepreneurship make you stretch to a point where limit is set only by you
In fact during my entrepreneurial journey i realized the most important aspect is to set an audacious target. How big you dream more often than not determines how big you achieve
And the beauty of entrepreneurship is the target you set does not necessarily have to correlate with the resources you currently have or control. Because it’s this very target which make you look and do things differently. And you work your way within the limited resources to achieve what would be seemingly impossible at the beginning.
How else would you explain numerous businesses that started with nil to few thousands of initial capital and then went on to achieve hundred to thousands of crores in revenue in a matter of few years. It’s the sheer determination of those entrepreneurs to make it big which made this happen.
In fact in our own small way we too experienced this in our first year of business which really prompted me to write this blog. We started our first financial year with a target for x revenue. 5 month down the line when we sat to review the business in one of the discussion we asked ourselves why don’t we aim higher and gun for 1.5x sales. It looked impossible then because we were only .4x sales then with 6 months to go. So we were not even on track for our earlier target, but we felt we should aim big cause we had a team to back us.
Once we internalized that target we all gunned for it. We realized that the earlier strategies won’t work, we need to do something different. We added new products to our portfolio and from pure offline play we looked at online/internet as a revenue generation stream. And the result. We reached 1.5 x sales with 2 months to spare.
Of course some may argue our goal setting process itself was flawed. But that’s not the point what I am trying to make.
Had we not set a seemingly impossible goal for ourselves we would never have started online sales of our product so soon and expanded our portfolio which now is a regular revenue stream. So its the target that made us think differently and benefited us in the long run. So this year we took another big target : 3.5x the first year sales.
And it’s been wonderful to work with an audacious goal it as it makes one come out of their comfort zone and challenge every constraining factor. Cause I strongly believe it’s in such situation that one has the potential to develop a disruptive offering for one’s business, which can take it to a new level.
And therefore it is this Pursuit of the Impossyble which makes the journey of entrepreneurship so magical as it has the power to unlock your true potential. What you were really meant to be.