There are two things to aim at in life; first, to achieve what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. – Logan Pearsall Smith.
How can one ensure that entrepreneurship is fun and not a stressful activity? Follow Mr Richard Branson of Virgin or Vijay Mallya of Kingfisher to learn the joys of risk and enterprise.
Business can be fun, if you enjoy what you do, but easier said than done. If you can, take one of your hobbies and make it the way you make a living. Passionately loving what you do is such a joy. Working with others who share your passion for similar reasons is also vital. But beware, making your hobby into a career can be stressful at times because one tends to loose the balance when one is passionate.
Starting a new business is like giving birth to a baby. One must work hard in the initial years of business, go through the labor pains (pangs of birth or teething troubles), nurture it with sacrifice like a baby and then we can reap the rewards once the business has bloomed into a success. Until then, entrepreneurship remains a rocking stress boat. But if the focus is on learning something new every day and the passion is the driving force, one is bound to overcome the teething troubles successfully.
Nigel Clayton, Entrepreneurship Coach believes in turning entrepreneurs into Ultrapreneurs. He says, “There are many things you can do to make it fun and not a stressful activity. One thing you can do is divide the tasks you do into three categories, those you are bad at, good at, and love to do. If you don’t know the difference, become aware of how your energy is when you are doing each task.”
We need to differentiate between things we are good at and things we love to do. Things we are good at still drain us whereas things that we love to do reenergize us. When you are only doing the tasks you love to do, each day will have an element of fun and other tasks can be delegated, wherever possible. As a budding entrepreneur one is always cutting cots and one may be forced to do tasks which one does not love to do, but as we cross the break even point and have extra resources at our disposal, we can always look for people to whom we can delegate avoidable work.
Initially what one starts as a hobby, grows into a full-fledged business requiring more managerial tasks and consequently less time is left for the hobby. Often entrepreneurs complain, “I like what I do, but it has been a long time since I actually did that task on a day to day level. Now I spend my time taking care of the business and people instead of doing the original task that caused me to start the business.”
Theoretically it is good to have fun and remain stress free, but practically hard to do. When cash flow and staff’s next month salary is at stake, it’s not fun. When 10% of workforce is about to be fired, then it’s not fun. Entrepreneurship cannot be 24 x7 fun of course. One therefore needs to be mentally prepared for the good, bad and the ugly at times.Entrepreneurship can be stressful when you have survival issues, high overheads, no innovations or ideas to offer to your customers or business partners. Entrepreneurship is fun when you make money, you connect with your customers, keep developing great products/ services, empower all people around you to think and work like one towards your goals.
To conclude, if one has the right attitude and some back up to fall upon during the bad times, business can be an enjoyable process. It is also good to have a few NGO clients, if possible. Though profits may be low, but NGO clients tend to be less competitive and more positive and enjoy watching others succeed immensely.
All said and done, business can be so much fun.