What Jai learned from 140 Entrepreneurs in one year...

Today we welcome Elevator Awards 2016 winner of the Entrepreneurial Supporter of the Year Award, Jai Aenugu. 

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Jai runs a Podcast for entrepreneurs, and real life networking events called Entrepreneurs Scotland and Entrepreneurs India. 

He looks at trends and life lessons learned from all of the amazing entrepreneurs he has met in the last year and shares these with us today...

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I have interviewed close to 140 entrepreneurs over last 12 months, some based in India and some in Scotland. So What did I learn from speaking to these successful Entrepreneurs?

I learned a lot, I mean A LOT. I could talk about it for weeks, but... here are some of the top highlights and lessons learned that come to my mind.

  No one is smarter than you. You might have a better idea for doing your thing but if you only have the idea and someone else is actually executing it: that’s the difference and that's what counts. 

You are smart... so what? You might have thought about inventing the iPod, but did you execute it? 

  People who start businesses don't have special powers. They just take risks and some pay off, some don't.

  Entrepreneurs take action, simple as that. How many times have you had a brilliant idea and done nothing about it? countless. These guys just take action and often they don't give a damn about what others think. 

  They have the fear of failure just like the people who don't start a business. They just embrace it. People who are successful and are going big; fear of failure keeps them going. They just don’t give up.

  They START. What I have established is that the most important part of any journey is to actually start it. If you don't know what you want to do in life, just start trying few things and see what sticks.

  Money is still the motivator for many. Then what about passion? You do something, you become successful, then you do more of it, more success, then the cycle repeats and that IS the passion for many. This makes me wonder: How many people are running failing businesses because they are passionate about what they do?

  Most entrepreneurs don't suffer fools. If they gave you their time and you talk BS (bogus stuff), they will go out of their way to avoid you next time. Show your respect and be honest.

  People running their own business like to surround themselves with a similar group of people or be surrounded by people that inspire them. Entrepreneurs form a good support network they can reach out to when they are in trouble or stuck.

  You and I might think we have a million dollar idea and reality is no one really cares. It's not the idea that makes money. It's what you do with it! Let me give you an example: When I first bought/used an iPhone at the end of 2008 I had an idea where car owners could turn into taxi drivers. Others should get a ride by clicking a button on their phone. What did I do? nothing.. absolutely nothing! My thinking was matched by Travis Kalanick (Founder of UBER) who DID do something about it. Look at him now...

  It's not easy to turn an idea into a business but it's worth the ride in the end. Of course, the ride never ends. Again, where is the fun in ‘easy'?

  It doesn't matter if your business idea has competitors - you just need to do it better than everyone else in your marketplace. 

  Like all of us, Entrepreneurs suffer from focus issues but unlike us they just get better at managing it (while we are watching Netflix or browsing that one extra video on Facebook).

  Some startups start just to raise funding. They think that's the success. They might be right. I am not sure! everyone has their own meaning of success. Don’t forget your goal, and what success means for you. 

  Don't hesitate to ask for help when needed. Entrepreneurs who don’t ask for help will eventually come to a halt.

  There's no work/life balance when you are at an early stage. The life of an entrepreneur is one of a crazy amount of hours absorbed by the business. 

  They say that the single biggest deciding factor of whether you will make it or not is: people. Yes, the people you chose to work with. I learned this hard way.

These are just a few things that jumped at me from my interviews with amazing entrepreneurs, I hope they help you on your entrepreneurial journey. 

One more thing, wherever you are, in India or Scotland one thing is for sure that is both countries have a great support network for startups. Use it wisely. I live in Scotland and I think Scottish people are great at helping others. Especially they go out of their way to help somebody who is putting in an effort. So ask for help if you think you need it.

If you are thinking about starting up or doing your own thing or whatever, There is no better time than to do it now.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –  Chinese Proverb

You might ask, 'What about you, Jai?' Great question, You will hear from me soon, my friend! Things are cooking...

You can listen to Jai's podcasts and read more about his events at www.askjai.com 

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