Thursday, December 20, 2007

when should one become an entrepreneur?

ashok, this one is for you! there is no such thing as a right age or right time to become an entrepreneur. i have heard from students that the best time is when you finish college. the logic here is that you are young, you do not have familial responsibilities, and you can direct all your energies to setting up and growing the biz.

it is good logic and i know many entrepreneurs who have been successful when they ventured on their own, under thirty.

the downside of this argument is that you have zero corporate experience and all your learning will come out of the mistakes you are bound to make in your company. some of these mistakes may prove to be too costly, or may slow down the traction of your business or may even dishearten you to such an extent that you may want to exit it.

the other argument is: work in good organizations for 5-8 years, gain invaluable experience, understand the way organizations work, markets behave, monies move, teams evolve, build your network, save some money and then become an entrepreneur.

good logic again, but the only downside is that you have become too calsified in your comfort zone, in your trappings of executive earnings and perks, in your life-style and in this whole persona that you have created of yourself as a successful, high-flying executive in an MNC. Giving up on all that, and starting from scratch, more often than not, becomes the show-stopper.

so my recommendation is dont worry about right age or right time, the moment an idea grabs your imagination enough for you to think that you can build a biz around it, quit and start. you could be 25, you could be fifty. what matters is the strength of your idea and the intensity of your passion to make it work.

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