In the early days of a venture, the only asset the entrepreneur has is passion. The entrepreneur has a vision of tomorrow’s world, and this must be transmitted to others in meetings. “Infectious enthusiasm” is the entrepreneur’s greatest ally for getting the first employees and customers.
When I started IndiaWorld in late 1994 it was after a series of failed ventures over a two-and-a-half year period. At times, I doubted myself – would I ever be able to do anything right to succeed. But when I went out for meetings, I was a different person – high on my passion for what the Internet could. I had to make others see the way I saw the future. And it worked. I had no track record, no connections, and no mentors. But I had an inner drive – I had an idea of what the Internet could do, and I shared it with high energy in meetings. I knew that it was “do-or-die” and I had been through enough ‘deaths’ in the previous years!
The one thing that has always stayed with me through my entrepreneurial career is my passion. I have failed many times through this period. But I take up every new idea with a zealous fervour. Even now, as I have been working from home, I am making daily presentations over Zoom to CMOs on how Velvet Rope Marketing is the key to unlocking a new world of profitable growth. It is harder to show one’s passion over a video conference in a small window on someone else’s screen, but I use my voice and hand gestures to convey my enthusiasm.
In the early days of a venture, there is no product – just a dream. Passion will pull in people, who will chart the path to profits. The entrepreneur has to inspire through tough times that will inevitably be the norm in the startup period. People follow leaders, and for every leader, the starting point of the proficorn journey is passion.
Tomorrow: My Proficorn Way (Part 8)