Seven Commandments of Entrepreneurship

Like Reid Hoffman rightly said, “Running a startup is like jumping off a cliff and building a plane on the way down”

The journey is invariably one hell of a ride but ask those who have undertaken it and they will say that it was worth every bit of the efforts, pain, excitement and what not.

In this blog, I will try and put forward seven commandments for Entrepreneurship, compiled based on my knowledge, experience and insights so far.

    1. Never start with the cushion of an ongoing PlanB. This will come in the way of giving it your best. Have faith in your abilities, take the plunge. Make a plan which will give you a one year runway at the least. You can always get back to jobs in case what you set out for does not work. 
    2. Choose the charter of the Venture aligned to your strengths. Your best chances of making it successful will be when you are venturing into a combination of stuff that you are good at, stuff that you love to do and stuff that someone will be willing to pay for.
    3. Focus is extremely critical to the success of any venture. I have seen so many startups struggle with running a product and services offering strategy in parallel or running two products in early stages. It rarely works. The best approach is to Spot a market arbitrage and then focus and pivot the offerings around that. Steve Jobs was famous for staying laser-focused on things that he wanted to accomplish and saying no to distractions.
      1. For product ventures, finding anchor customers is so critical during your early stages. There will be some give and take in terms of fine-tuning the features towards suiting this customer but it is well worth it given the leverage it will have in the product journey.
      2. It takes 10000 hrs of deliberate practice to become world-class in any field. While this originates from the theory of mastering any skill, this is 100% true for startups as well. There are no shortcuts in entrepreneurship. Sanjay Mehta of 100X.vc has written an excellent article on 1000-day-survival-guide-startups.
      3. Run a tight ship. Stay Lean, Mean, Frugal. This is so critical as it provides you with the leeway to invest in growth.
      4. A company is only as good as the people it keeps. In a brain-based economy, people are your best assets. Only by attracting the best people will you achieve great deeds. Trading equity for adding exceptional talent to your team is always a good option. Look at lesson #8 from Gen Colin Powell’s leadership primer which I so admire.

      I hope all the budding entrepreneurs find this useful….eager to learn more about your thoughts and comments….

      In future posts, I will be elaborating on some of these areas with examples….

      Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.

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8 thoughts on “Seven Commandments of Entrepreneurship”

  1. Hi Sandeep ,
    This was a very useful reading where one has to be reminded of the basics while working on a entrepreneur journey.The concept of 1000 days consistently working on a thing to be kept alive is so crutial and that’s not known to most of the young entrepreneurs.They feel that success is like a magic pill.Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Sandeep Chawda

      Thanks Aniruddh ! No shortcuts to the 10000 hrs.
      There have been some rare instances where startups have been able to beat this theory but those are rare exceptions…..

  2. Very interesting read.. great to learn on the realistic expectations to have when one begins their entrepreneurial journey.. loved the referenced articles as well.

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