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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Making the right choice is less important than making choice right

In the toughest field of business, where uncertainty at its peak, Ratan Tata is more concerned about making the 'decisions right' instead of focusing on the taking the right decisions. On the other hand, managing the uncertainty of the decisions make the individuals so nervous that they spend huge money and effort in taking 'right choices'. 

For instance, students of 10th class in India spend huge money on aptitude tests, counselors, websites of industries.  But, as we have found, aptitude tests are useless in identifying the 'hidden talent'.  But instead of spending time on choosing right college of graduation, using right learning strategies and developing the right traits,  they spend time with Counselors on getting information on jobs and industries. 

Uncertainty of facing the consequences of choice makes a person so nervous, that it is estimated that more than 35% use horoscopes to make big decisions. Most of the decisions are supposed to be in the arena of relationships. Astrology, subset of pyschic industry, is a big business. Market size of psychic industry is estimated to be about 2 billion US$. Individuals spend so much money on 'forecasting' because they want to feel in control of their future.

What do entrepreneurs have to learn from the choice-making conundrum? 

Individuals are over-occupied with making right choices because they want to be in control. But one can control 'uncertainty' only by making the decision right. For an entrepreneur, this is a very crucial learning.

Once an entrepreneur decides on running his own business, he has to find ways to make his 'decision' right, without getting his ego or emotions in the way.  If he spends time in taking a decision, it is only to 'assess' his own capability to commit to the decision.

An entrepreneur's success or failure is measured by the amount of energy and time he puts in making his decision of 'business model' work. I have often seen young entrepreneurs lose their track because they change their 'business models' midway just when the business is 'becoming ready to payback'. They often fail to 'understand their business model' and take actions which is not aligned with their chosen business model. For instead, they refuse to partner with someone to ensure that the right capability is brought on the table. Or they are worried about losing control on the company to get more funds which their business model demands. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Entrepreneurs often misdirect their efforts on building their abilities and traits

I met Lara last month. She is a second generation entrepreneur. She manages a unit started by her father. Whenever i talk to her, i find that she is attending one or other 'Positive psychology' seminars which have titles like " Discover your freedom", " Ask the Universe what you want", " Believe in yourself" and so on. She believes that she can do anything in her company, only if she can 'remove' all her bottlenecks, She belongs to a large joint family ( uncles, cousins) where most of the members are in the business. Surprisingly, all of them are attending one or other of such programs either to discover their true self, or 'manage his time well' or 'learn the art to delegate'. Later i discovered, that most of the attendees of such 'Positive psychology' programs are entrepreneurs, free lancers like consultants or doctors, or lone performers like actors who put all their efforts on developing their 'abilities' or honing their skills.

I asked Lara last month, " Will this fisherman catch more fish, if he fishes for more time?' Or ' Will he catch more fish, if he fishes with longer rod, or better fishing equipments?'. Lara was very quick in replying to me "That is ridiculous'. In fishing, the number of fishes you catch do not depend on how much time you fish, or with what equipments you fish. It depends on the 'surveying the terrain of fishing, assessing the nature of fishes available, and then getting the appropriate equipments and then putting on the right 'time and effort' to hook the fishes. Input abilities have to be aligned with the output 'requirements' to succeed in achieving one's goals.

If you understand the 'Enlight framework of Career Success', you will realise the futility of such misdirected efforts. Inputs or abilities are just one of the elements of success. Entrepreneurs will achieve their goals far more easily if they focus their efforts on producing the ' right outputs' instead of bettering their 'inputs' (abilities). Only when they determine their ' right outputs', they can focus on mobilising the 'abilities' that are required to produce the desired effort. If you read any story of a successful entrepreneur like Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos, you will find that their efforts are mainly directed on 'determining the output' they want to produce. 

On the other hand, most of the entrepreneurs are like Milind, who believe 24 by 7 effort will automatically produce desired result. It is like man trying to fish by constantly splashing the rod in the water and hoping that some fish will take the bait now or later. So why do entrepreneurs focus on 'abilities' instead of 'output'? I guess there are four reasons: 

1. Entrepreneurs believe that some action is more important than no action: When i told Lara about the importance of  determining the right output in her company, she said that 'it will take lot of desk-time to work it out'. Lara, like many entrepreneurs, is action-oriented individual. She believes that concerted action ( right or wrong), consistently taken over long period of time, will produce some result. Lara also had a word to justify her action-orientation. She believes that ' Analysis causes paralysis'. Due to this belief, she does not want to spend time on 'what to do'. 

2. Entrepreneurs wrongly believe that extraordinary abilities ( traits and skills) can automatically help them produce extraordinary results: If you have read biographies of any successful person who has produced bigger and huge outputs, you will realise the fallacy of this belief. For instance, if you read these stories of Narayan Murthy and Manmohan Singh,  you will realise that they produced huge outputs despite their weaknesses. Despite the evidence that perfect traits and skills do not produce extraordinary results, many entrepreneurs continue to strive in developing their abilities. 

3. Entrepreneurs are not aware of their 'key input ability', because they are not aware of the input framework. Input framework of success proposes that we need 3 key abilities to achieve our goals. Unable to assess the key inputs required to achieve desired goals, entrepreneurs cannot focus on important but invisible ability like conative trait and miss the opportunity to leverage their efforts.

4. Entrepreneurs lack the skill and patience of determining the right output: Everyone knows that pushing the right levers can result in big benefit. In a closed system, it is easier to identify these levers because correlation of one element with another element can be easily seen. For instance, 'Wrong material' leads to 'defects' in a production of an item. However, in an 'open industry system of competitors and suppliers' (system with more transparent boundaries) , it is very difficult to decipher cause-effect correlation. In an open system, it takes patience to set up experiments to understand the influence of identified 'variables'. It requires data to justify one's hypothesis. It requires 'ego-less' state to accept that one's hypothesis was wrong. Most of the entrepreneurs make the mistake of Rohit Sharma. Because they cannot figure out the 'right output' they prefer to take any action instead of finding the right action.

If you are a smart entrepreneur, do not spend your effort and time barking on wrong tree. Instead spend time on determining the right output.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How entrepreneurs are misguided due to lack of Output framework

See this case of an entrepreneur, Milind.

Milind is a computer science graduate. He worked in a software industry for about 5 years. He was earning a pretty decent salary and had a job where he was moving in different countries. He was successful but unhappy with the job because he felt that there are too many 'constraints' in the job. 

So he resigned from the job to start his own unit in education. He started teaching maths and science to HSC students. That did not work. After one year, he found another idea: teaching engineering students to undertake difficult projects. This idea worked, but the idea was not sustainable because getting the job done was the primary responsibility of college professors. So colleges did not encourage outsiders to help their students. The idea was sound but did not possess easy marketing channel. Second year finished. His debts had increased over a period of 2 years. 

So he moved to selling workshops to schools after 2 years. He started working with schools on training of scientific concepts through workshops. This worked well. But he met another problem: he needed investment to make the new business model work. Debts had increased now. Milind himself is unsure of the returns of new investment. He does not know what to do. 

What would you advice Milind now?

Seeing through the lens of Enlight output framework

To succeed in life, we have to produce outputs. In an existing organisation, as we saw in the earlier case of Adi, the output system is designed by the organisation. When we work in an organisation, we have to 'fit' in the existing output system and ensure that we produce the desired performance within the 'constraints' of the system. Unable to negotiate these constraints, many individuals are tempted to think, "What if I design my own output system so that i do not face any constraints." Many entrepreneur stories are born with this desire.

As human beings, we dislike the constraints of an output system. Our dislike is understandable, but we are also ignorant of the knowledge of designing an output system. Infact, most of the budding entrepreneurs are not even aware of the concept of 'output system'. They think like Milind. They believe if they do x, y will get produced. And if y can be sold at a price higher than cost, they will earn profit. For them producing output is a very sequential process of tasks and activities.

Unfortunately, in the output system the efforts and its consequences are circular. For instance, if i teach a student better, i get new students because he talks to other students. Then new students help me to teach better. Consequences becomes the new cause in a circular system. But these relations also have time lag. If i teach a student this year in a class, i will get new students next year. Plus system is moving with irreversible time arrow. This means, that time is flowing in one direction. Until I get a new student next year, i have to 'sustain my efforts and investments' during that intervening time, so that i can take advantage of the new students next year. If Milind cannot sustain, he cannot benefit of the time cycle.

And more importantly, every system also has 'constraints'. The constraints of Milind's output systems are infact more 'deeper' and difficult to negotiate than Adi's organisational output system. For instance, Milind will find it more difficult to convince his customer than convincing his Boss. Now, if he sits back, he will appreciate that negotiating the constraints of his organisational output system was much easier than negotiating an entrepreneurial output system !

Output may not get converted to outcome - Big lesson of framework

Look at the Enlight framework diagram again. You will find that output and outcome is produced in two different systems. In an organisation, because salary is fixed, one will at least fetch some money (i.e. gain some outcome) whether one contributes reasonably to the 'output' in that month or not. But, for an entrepreneur, outcome is clearly delinked from output. Even when Milind delivers his training well to his students ( i.e he produces desired output), he may not earn enough 'money' until he finds enough number of students. Outcome is not guaranteed even after producing desired output

Until the entrepreneur aligns customer acquisition flow with delivery flow, he cannot earn money (produce outcome) from the business. This is called alignment of business model. Please check this example to understand why alignment is required to produce income. After three years of entrepreneurship, Milind is now realising that effort is not directly related with outcome. That is why he is unsure about making the new investment. Three years back, he would have invested money without blinking his eye.

Every output system has its own constraints - Another lesson of framework 

I hope you will now appreciate the art of designing output system. I hope you will also appreciate that every output system has its own constraints. You will also appreciate that an 'open system' of an entrepreneur has more constraints than a 'bounded system' in an organisation. Although starting your own unit may give you a feeling of 'constraint-free' work ( work without a boss), you are infact going into a system where constraints are even more powerful and deeper. So when a professional is leaving an organisation to start his own entrepreneurial unit, i coach him to negotiate ' larger number of constraints' !!

Infact the entrepreneur must learn the basic rule of an output system : If the constraints are more in the output system, the probability of earning money from that system increases, because systems with more constraints have less competitors. You will appreciate this only if you understand Second law of Success, which is Enlight framework.

An entrepreneur, in other words, must understand and use the Output framework even better than a corporate professional has.

If you want to become an entrepreneur, are you ready to understand the Output framework of Enlight? 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Some entrepreneurs learn the art of entrepreneurship just through experience

Here is the video of an entrepreneur, Ryland Goldman, who is just 7 years old. He gets up early and bakes foods like biscotti, muffins and brownies. He buys coffee and juices from other sources, sets everything out on a folding table near the sidewalk in front of his school. On some days, he earns more than $100. He donates 50% of his net revenue to his school technology fund.

Last week, i visited a fund, which gives money to young entrepreneurs from small towns. One of the entrepreneur was making Chapatis for school and college canteen with his mother and family, and had approached the fund for financing roti making machine. Another entrepreneur,who was granted funds earlier, was making wax candles in a house in a tribal village. Another was making hats for Hotel Chefs in Mumbai's chawls. Another was making masalas and spices and selling it under his own brand. Another woman was making sweet packs of paper. The variety of entrepreneurship is astounding

In short entrepreneurship is flourishing. In India, as they say, the single biggest pool of employed women and men are these self-made entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs have learnt the art of entrepreneurship by 'jumping in the water' without learing to swim. They seem to grasp the business model automatically. 

For instance the revenue part of business model. Like Rylan, they automatically sense where their customers are, what do they want, how much are they willing to pay. It was the same with that Chapati making entrepreneur. He knows his customers are company canteens, college canteens, and even hotels who want chapatis not for serving, but for feeding their staff. They also learn to align the delivery model. For instance, the chapati making entrepreneur exactly knew the cost of making the chapati to the individual elements: how much chapatis he makes from 1 kg of wheat, how much gas he needs to make 100 chapatis, how much oil he requires to keep the chapatis soft and so on. So when we talked about using a roti making machine, we knew what is the additional cost of making the roti and how much will he have to sell if he still has to earn money.

On the other hand, i also teach a short course of 'entrepreneurship' to ITI students ( 12 session course of 1 and half hour) who pass their ITI from the trade of plumbing, electrician, AC mechanic, or Four wheeler servicing. They have the right mindset of the entrepreneur, also gather the skill set of the trade, but lack the principles of entrepreneurship. They typically gain this understanding by working with someone and start their own self-owned enterprises. Some succeed and some fail. I meet many such entrepreneurs during the course of my coaching. 

I either coach some of these hard working enthusiastic individuals to think like an entrepreneur, or i hone the skills some of these entrepreneurs by helping them articulate the learnt principles. In both the cases, i gain, because i take over some part of their energy, enthusiasm and hope which is contagious

Saturday, November 2, 2013

True entrepreneurs are similar to Artists

Artists don't make paintings. Authors don't write books. Designers don't design logos. They extract meaning from something  that is banal. They bring a new view and make us see something meaningful in our ordinary acts. They make meaningful experiences happen. @

Entrepreneurs do not manufacture products. Entrepreneurs do not run their companies to make money. Entrepreneurs do not solve problems of human mankind. Entrepreneurs add value where there is none. Entrepreneurs find a new meaning in an obscure product or business and lend their own meaning converting ordinary products and businesses into extra-ordinary, like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Narayan Murthy.  

If entrepreneurs were only doing business to make money, they would be working in jobs. Why would they risk anything more? They run their own companies because they are like artists, lending their own meaning to life. We may not agree with their meaning, or may not even like the commercialisation of some value they bring, but their unique contribution to our lives is their ability to show a ' meaningful view' that we cannot see on our own. 

We see business as a commercially driven activity where money, customers and market rule. But even amidst this commercial activity, these entrepreneurs bring in something  that we cherish and value in life. Observe these entrepreneurs bringing in completely different set of meaning to their business ventures. Steve Jobs brought in design, Narayan Murthy brought in values in business while Ricardo Semler brought in a new way of 'democratizing business without managers' in the most difficult economy of Brazil.

After they do it , we wonder how we missed it. When Richard Sears made his chain of retail stores, no one knew that it could spawn a new way of shopping. Or when Ray Kroc, at the age of 52, started Mcdonalds, we thought it is so simple to do it.  Or when Larry Page & Sergie Brin started Google with no revenue model for their technically excellent 'search engine', we thought that business cannot be done with technical excellence alone.

For every famous entrepreneur we hear, we also know many others who are doing the same at a smaller scale and size. We do not hear about them in newspapers, but i meet plenty of them in the towns and small cities. Whatever their scale or size, every entrepreneur, if he is true to his being, brings this meaning to an otherwise mundane activity of business. Like Mumbai based dabbawallas helping normal man eat their home food at a rate that was not affordable. Like an entrepreneur who teaches a graduate class to pass the toughest civil services exam with a success rate of 80%. Or a tyre puncture repairer, who repairs a tyre and gives a guarantee after his repair. Or an entrepreneur who manages websites of schools on build and operate basis. Or a corporate trainer who synthesises spirituality with business activities and lends them different meaning. 

Salute to this rare breed of human beings, who like artists, are rare. Like artists, they flow against the current. And follow their convictions even when the society around them tells that they are mistaken. Salute to true entrepreneurs.

Both entrepreneurs and artists learn from each other

If one sees the similarity between entrepreneurs and artists, Jeffrey Davis suggests that both entrepreneurs and artists can learn a lot from each other. 

Business people can learn from artists and authors how to think differently about what they make and how to experience the meaning of life. While artists can learn from entrepreneurs how to 'sell' their work and make money from their work without deriding everything 'commercial'. 

@ Jeffry Davis in his article: Pivot your creative process and business. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Give me a long enough lever, and I can move the entire world

Archimedes in writing to King Heiro, made the above statement.

If an entrepreneur were to ask for such a lever, what would be that lever? The lever would be called Conative traits. These traits enable us to find our passion, discover purpose of our life or find meaning of life that enables us to connect with our work differently. Why is this important for an entrepreneur in today's century? To answer this question, we will have to understand the second law of career success

First law of career success on inputs states that
      Developing Talent = Using A
  • A stands for using a single ability or skill or even trait like passion or willpower. This list of abilities and traits will differ depending on which book you are reading 
Second law of success on Inputs states that
     Developing minimum Talent = Using 'CA + CAT + COT' .( these are minimum abilities required to ensure that you will not fail. It does not ensure success)
  •  CA Stands for Cognitive abilities, CAT stands for character traits like self regulation and creativity, and COT stands for conative traits like purpose and passion. All three are required to find and nurture minimum your talent. And synergising these three qualities is more important. Not just making them 1+1+1 =3, but making it 1+1+1 = 5.
Please see the earlier blog to understand why all three qualities are required  to excel in your life.

Why conative traits act like a lever for an entrepreneur? 

As we have seen in this blog, conative traits are important for a corporate professional mainly to take quick work-related decisions. But for an entrepreneur, conative traits act like a lever by which they can change the entire world.

Conative traits enable an entrepreneur to go beyond 'money' and 'profits'. By finding the meaning of 'work' in his life, an entrepreneur can express his desire to contribute to the lives of others, either by introducing something new that improves the quality of their lives or by showing people that something thought to be impossible is in fact possible. Steve Job did by using his passion of design. Narayan Murthy did this by finding different meaning of 'capitalism'.

Anthony Tjan trying to find the common qualities of billionaires believes that it is their purpose that defines them. He believes that "purpose is neither something soft nor something overly lofty. Instead, purpose is the bigger why of a business". He has categorised purpose into three categories: a>Making the world more beautiful. b> Making the world more fun and c> Making the world more efficient and smart. Please read the above link to see his examples of entrepreneurs and how they are using these three different type of purposes.

Worse still, if entrepreneurs fail to develop conative traits, they fall in the money trap. Money, instead of becoming means, becomes an end. Money, instead of enabling experimentation and exploration, ties them to tested and obsolete ways of doing business. All the joy is sucked out of the work, and entrepreneur starts seeing work as drudgery. The very purpose of entrepreneurship is put at question.

Conative traits, on the other hand, help you see beyond money and make your choices without thinking of money. There are various possibilities. For instance, you will do something what Vinay did. Vinay focused on nurturing his passion. This enabled him to take several counterintuitive decisions like partnering with others to share work, without worrying about sharing the profits of his innovative product development. Or, like Kanpreet, you will be able to mix and match your abilities in the way that suits your development of talent.


Finding meaning or purpose of life is therefore not an empty exercise of discussions for an entrepreneur. For him, it is way of increasing his options and growing himself and his enterprise to unthinkable heights. If you are entrepreneur, you will need to learn the tricks of developing your conative traits. Please use some of the tricks that were mentioned in this blog. See movies. Read interesting literature. There is no need to read serious books in philosophy, ethics or aesthetics. Read biographies. Read the journey of other individuals like Bill Watterson. Engage with people who know more than you on this subject. And most importantly; find a mentor or coach who can show you the path. Because, with conative traits, you can make a big difference to the world. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How can you learn from experience of other entrepreneurs?

Today, we are going to understand the Experience rule of Second law of success. It states : To excel in life, we must learn faster than our own experience alone can teach. If we are forced to learn from our own experience, then we are doing catch-up all the time. We have to wait for failures to happen, because we are poor at learning from our own successes. We therefore have to find a way to learn from other's experience. 

How can we learn from others experience? It requires a mind of a detective who is trying to find the keys to unlock the power of excellence. Because an entrepreneur has to unlock the key of entrepreneurial excellence, he has to learn from the experience of other entrepreneurs. To learn from experiences of other entrepreneurs, he must go through these four steps: Adopt an angle or a view, dig deeper in understanding the specific path of someone else's experience from that viewpoint, find what he can adapt (instead of adopt), and then dig further to find how to adapt.

Let us see understand these steps in more details by observing work-life path of Pradeep Lokhande, a successful entrepreneur who converted a business idea into an interesting company, Rural Relations. For more information, see this background of his venture in this article by Dileep Padgaonkar. From this article and his website, you will perhaps observe the following data:

Pradeep Lokhande (PL) has come from a small town, Wai, near Pune. He did his graduation and then MBA in Pune. He worked for Johnson and Johnson as a sales representative for just two years. And then he decided to use his 'rural connection' to tap rural market for FMCG companies. His journey of identifying the right villages - population of 2000 to 10000 - has been described. Wiith his innovative marketing techniques — such as providing height charts to schools and posters listing tips on health and hygiene to panchayat offices — and by recruiting young boys and girls from the village itself to reach out to potential customers, he found a business model that helped him generate a sustainable revenue.

What can you learn from this PL's story of an entrepreneur? 

You will learn that PL has innovatively used his rural connections to lead FMCG companies to sell their products in this untapped rural market. You may realise for the first time, that 'rural market' can be tapped. This is just data. No useful learning happens unless you take an angle.

Angle of  'how to discover a business model' for a new business idea 

Angle in a camera is like clicking a 'hill' from a specific view. Only when one takes an angle, one can learn. In this case, when you can take an angle " What steps did PL take to convert his idea in a business model?", you are ready to learn.

However, to answer this question, you will need far more information from PL than what is available above. Here i can help you. I had listened to PL's interview in a program in Nashik. For instance, after listening to his interview, i could observe five distinct steps in his journey of converting his idea into a business proposition: 
  • Step 1: PL left J&J business in 2 years. But he did not start this RURAL RELATIONS immediately. Instead he started his C&F agency with a friend which he ran for 3/4 years. In other words his idea of tapping the rural market must have come in this 3/4 years, while doing 'field work' of going to retailers and understanding the problems of selling it in rural areas, as a C&F distributor. 
  • Step 2. When PL decided to tap the rural market, he wrote many self-paid postcards asking people in villages ( like sarpanch and others) to send details like number of shops or brands sold in the village. This took him several failed attempts and consumed his 2 years or so. 
  • Step 3.  With his initial data on some 100 villages in Pune district ( or it could be some other districts also), PL approached a FMCG company, which he perhaps knew from his role of C&F distributor. That company gave him some work ( i am not aware if that work was paid or unpaid !) 
  • Step 4. With the feedback from step 3, PL built a business proposition and approached a big FMCG company, HUL( Hindustan Unilever). He promised HUL that he will place HUL's  product promotional material ( product hampers and cutouts etc)  in his select list of identified villages. With this promotion, the sale of HUL products will increase. His value offering to HUL was ' By investing in placing your promotional material in the right village and place, your sales will increase'
  • Step 5: This generated 'good enough revenue' increase for HUL which enabled PL to justify the cost he may be charging to deliver the promised value. PL found his business model that will deliver the promised value
Until you know the challenges involved from step 2 to step 5 in PL's experience, you cannot use PL's experience to launch your own business idea. But , after understanding these steps, you are ready to ask some more questions to PL to fill the details. Only when full picture is available, you are ready to adapt PL's steps to convert an idea into a business model. Without any understanding of challenges involved in the steps and the duration, many entrepreneurs just jump with a new product idea with 'unrealistic' expectations and falter. You can avoid this failure, if you take the effort to fill the gaps in PL's experience, and learn.  

On the other hand, if a would-be entrepreneur is meeting PL for an interview, his angle may be 'How do i get a business idea'. He will find his answer in Step 1. He will ask more questions to PL on step 1 to find out how PL got his idea from his customers, vendors and competitors in those 3 years. He will understand why PL spend 3/4 years in understanding the market, before entering the market. He will avoid jumping in a new venture without understanding the market, and learn from PL's experience.


When you want to learn from others experiences, you must therefore act like a detective who is meticulously finding needle in the haystack in step by step manner:
  • Determine the angle of learning- In the above example, we explored only one angle of a existing entrepreneur: the angle of 'discovering a business model' for a new idea.
  • Find questions that will be useful to ask;  This is the most important step that is ignored. Thomas Edison used to say that ' Half the problem is solved when you ask the right question'. For an entrepreneur, who wants to ask questions to PL on 'finding a business model', he must first read on internet the typical questions entrepreneurs face, weigh them visavis his experience, and decide on the 'questions' that must be asked. 
  • Find the right person to ask the question : We often ask our questions to the 'available' person, not the right person. Sometimes you are asking the right question to a wrong entrepreneur, or asking a wrong question to a right entrepreneur. 
  • Find what you can adapt from the answers, and dig deeper until you find the right answers of how to adapt. 
Now you will  understand and appreciate the mechanics of learning from others experiences. If you do not understand these four steps from learning from others experience, your learnings ( Work hard, or set a goal) are so superficial and generic they are practically useless. When you fail to learn anything useful, you stop asking questions to another entrepreneur. You think that it is of no use. And once you stop asking questions, you learning completely stops. You have set yourself for 'eventual' failure !


Learning happens only when a clear angle is taken, because angle enables one to generate the right questions to ask. If, as an entrepreneur, you are trying to understand, how to delegate, that angle will help you generate the right questions ( from your quick research) to ask another entrepreneur and become 'better at delegating'. If you are trying to find ways to increase your business size, you will generate the right questions to ask PL on how he increased his market from 1 state to 8 states. If you are trying to attract good employees in your company, you will generate the right questions to ask PL on how he attracted the right talent to work in the village ( which is perhaps most difficult !) and learn from his experience.

Once the right question is framed, the second important bottleneck in learning is finding the right person to ask that question. Right person is the person who has gone through that experience and is willing to talk. More often, that not, entrepreneurs are action-oriented individuals. They are unable to 'articulate' their thoughts.These entrepreneurs, although rich with experience, cannot sometimes transfer their knowledge. On the other hand, business consultants are the right persons to articulate, but do not have the rich experience of an entrepreneur. Learning from other's experience therefore also involves finding the right person or persons to ask the questions !