Anyone has an idea. Only differentiation between an entrepreneur and the rest is being able to act on his/her idea. The entrepreneur thinks idea is achievable and doable against all odds once he/she settles on the idea even if it requires to tread on the road less-travelled!
In retrospection, I find that I’ve faced numerous fatal challenges on which I’ve failed to act and lagged behind to contributing towards the overall failure in my first business venture- and that too in dairy farming. I endured for more almost two years so much in despair, confusion, and hopelessness during the whole cowboy days.
The first was, I did not have an indispensable set of entrepreneurial skills and know-hows. I was not really able to convey the overall objective and purpose of the initiative to my team and villagers with whom I wanted to make it successful. On the second-hand I was not able to build a team. Rather I landed up solely working (i.e., it was a one-man army battle) on the farm which inhibited me in exploring and expanding the business. Therefore, I have not been able to strike a genuine relationship with the all the important but inevitable stakeholders, so my idea remained only in my head!
Another factor was that I really didn’t have and did not know the technical know-how of operating a dairy farm though I had a little and vague knowledge of dairy subject. I did not even know to milk, proper farm management aspects such as basic health and hygiene practices to feed and pastureland development etc.
The third reason was I was too naïve in my approach in financial management in which I literally lost or wasted the project finance in lending to my relatives out of sheer pity and need to help them out. I was deeply hurt because I trusted and reciprocated the same need and help from them. On a hindsight, I learnt to say ‘no’, differentiate between a professional and personal relationships, and to keep aside my emotions while I make important decisions with regards to an establishment of business and its operations. Because I’ve lent the project money, the whole setting up of the business was jeopardized which affected its planned operations and I envisioned out to be.
The most fatal issue was not having an adequate water supply and land for pastureland development. It was purely my fault in not having done comprehensive feasibility study, which I not given an importance before setting up the farm. That contributed towards huge operational cost in wasting undue lots of time and resources just to meet the water and fodder shortages.
Looking back, I’m very grateful to my mother and sister who have believed and stood by me in all times.
To be an entrepreneur requires an enormous effort both mentally and physically. The entrepreneurial journey demands self-discipline, commitment, pro-activeness, endurance, perseverance, judgement and esprit de corps- all pointing towards a personal leadership and management acumen skills.