This world is abounding with opportunities and this is the reason that every time a new idea or product is introduced, it receives an overwhelming response from people and pundits alike. Markets around the world have always offered this opportunity and will remain susceptible to innovative ideas and approaches. It depends upon us how we want to capitalize this opportunity. Success is largely dependent upon our entrepreneurial quality, vision and capacity to take risk and execute the dream with strategic planning.
Sir Winston Churchill, former prime minister of UK quoted that "Success is not final and failure is not fatal". Every failure teaches us to correct and improve ourselves and then take the right step towards success. Hence, having failed once or twice should not dilute the entrepreneurial quality within us. Learning from our mistakes is the best way to understand the intricacies of the business and that helps us in moving steps further in the direction of success. Every failure makes us more resolute in achieving our goals.
I am a great admirer of Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who founded the second largest fast food restaurant in the world called KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) in the year 1952. Before that he tried several businesses. He went to over 1,000 places trying to sell his chicken recipe before he found a buyer interested in his 11 herbs and spices after 7 years of trying. Ultimately at the age of 75 he sold his fried chicken company for a whopping $15 million. Therefore before diluting our entrepreneurial spirit, we should ask ourselves "Have we tried 1001 times sincerely to become successful OR have we failed 1000 times to achieve our goals?". If not! Then we have a lot to do and plenty of times to succeed.
If people have the entrepreneurial spirit, then failure does not matter to them. In this case every failure is a lesson and should double the spirit of trying next time for becoming successful. The true entrepreneurial spirit is very contagious and lightens and enthuse everybody within its periphery. It is like a balloon, the more you try to push it under water, the greater the intensity of its upward bounce. The way the balloon cannot remain under water for long, the same way an entrepreneur cannot let the spirit of trying die, due to failures. We should always remember that some people find difficulties in opportunities but entrepreneurial spirits find an opportunity in difficulties.
Having several years of life experience, I too can co-relate my experience with Colonel Sanders. In my long career, I have also experienced failures and successes but never became tired of trying; neither did I give up the hope for a brighter tomorrow. Every time I failed, I was more resolute in my optimism towards success. If failing is a part of destiny then to my mind even destiny has its limitations and it has to succumb one day before the formidable desire of humans and their prowess.
Interestingly my failed story includes establishment of a dairy farm in my home town, marketing of treated rubber wood in the commercial capital of India, export of paper and plastics out of USA, import of garments into New York City and packaged tea in the Canadian market. They all put me in serious financial crisis, not one time but several times but could never put my enthusiasm down.
My success story includes managing an Export house and successfully exporting diamonds, textiles and engineering products and importing a wide range of chemicals in Mumbai, India. I was also the first person in the country to introduce the export of cotton bags to the former West Germany. In addition, I successfully headed a Russian company in Moscow by importing and marketing different products in the Russian Federation and CIS countries, thereby increasing the turnover from zero to millions of dollars. I also took an advantage of trading foreign currencies in hundreds of millions of dollars. My success story further expands to USA, where I headed a Canadian company in expanding their products in the tri-state area of New York (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut), Pennsylvania and Massachusetts and now I have become a successful management consultant in sharing my entrepreneurial experience and knowledge to small and medium sized companies. My success and failures have made me a better consultant in understanding the woes of small and medium size businesses and providing them strategic directions and comfort.
My experiences have also taught me that only ideas, optimism and determination is not going to work unless we make a strategic plan and prepare a road map for the business to succeed with milestones, and monitor our actions and outcomes on a regular basis.
Therefore, opportunities are abound and we should know how to grab them under the guidance of experienced mentors who have gone through the trials and tribulations of life. They are better equipped and capable of forecasting results thereby steering us towards the path of success.
Suman S. Sinha, CMC