How do I cope with being viewed as ignorant as an entrepreneur?
As a first time entrepreneur, how do I cope with people's first reaction that I am 'ignorant' when discussing my plans to start my own venture.
Pradeep, perhaps you are not speaking to the right people. Those who criticize have their own issues one of which is not having your best interest in mind.
If you are speaking with the right people, you may need to shift to a better class of people who truly understand what it takes to build a business from idea to viable business.
First, recognize everyone has value. Discuss your plans with people who can offer real insight and guidance because they sincerely want you to succeed.
Second, evaluate everything. Do your due diligence research and begin the process of putting your idea into a commercially viable form.
Third: Go for it. Speak about your business, not in sales pitch, but in an education format of marketing. Build excitement and enthusiasm for what you do and what you offer.
Critics? We all have them. Thank them for their contribution then move on and be about the business of growing your business.
Know this: YOU are not ignorant. If you were, you would not be smart enough to ask your question here. :)
Every success to you, Pradeep. Hope this helps.
Great answers I've seen here. I'd like to chime in with a few things.
1. Basics of Finance. While this may seem obvious, over half of the entrepreneurs we work with have no idea how to read financials. Assuming it doesn't matter and you have people for that...is ridiculous. Learn about cash flow and balance sheets, at least.
2. Basics of Project and Personnel Management. Another obvious one, learn the basics of managing people. See what expectations are there, what others are doing, and craft your own style and approach. Also, learn how projects are managed.
3. Basics of Marketing. Marketing is more than renting a billboard. Learn the basics. Whatever industry you're in, at least know the vernacular and basic tenets of marketing techniques. This is how you broadcast your brand and create an opportunity for sales.
4. Basics of Life. People are inclined to poo-poo ideas to begin with. Don't get too caught up in the career desk jockey's advice to ask for a raise and be happy where you are. Most entrepreneurs rise above that criticism and doubt at some point and learn socially acceptable ways to deflect criticism.
Many people who have experience can hear the voice of inexperience in a beginner. Don't acknowledge it as them thinking you're ignorant although you might be. When we're younger things look differently then when we're older and with experience. Play your cards close to your chest and don't feel the need to convince others of your plans and ideas. Many times it's best to keep these things from yourself at least for the sake of someone taking your ideas.
Also, experienced business owners don't talk about their dreams and may be less likely to do business with someone who is in the stage of starting their own business for lack of longevity and experience in that field.
Always portray yourself with the knowledge you have and with humility. No one needs to be convinced of anything but that you're honest about what you know.
You are asking the wrong question. Your focus should be on "How can I be a successful entrepreneur - on my first time out?" And that starts with clarity of your own vision, mission and purpose. That starts with a clear and well-thought out business plan. Focus on the steps required to start a successful business - and everything else will work itself out. Place your attention and energy where it will do the most good.
score.org is a free resource for start-ups. They offer How-to Resources, Tools, Templates and even Mentors to help your small business succeed.
Why would you worry so much about what people think? Unless you're trying to secure a loan or make them into clients, there's no point trying to convince people of your vision.
The only known cure for ignorance is knowledge.
Each new project starts with certain assumptions. As you work thru your business idea, you are on a journey to determine the truth (if any) to those assumptions. Once you find what the "truth" is, you'll no longer be guessing/ignorant, you will be able to back up your assumptions with facts.
Find a business model for your idea that is based upon facts. Get the assistance you need to execute your idea and find customers who'll pay you for what you offer.
With these, you'll go from being called ignorant to being envied.
Starting a business is an enormous undertaking, and is best done by consulting an expert on start-ups. If you do your research, and find the best people to help you put your plan in place, you can simply state that while you understand that many people who start a business fail, you have done the work to get the right systems in place to achieve sustainable growth.
Here is a resource on creating a better business plan: http://www.marketingholt.com/business-plan/
Behaviour is something you always should control of your own. It means you have to be concious about your vision and the environment you would like to act. And that is the main point: acting. Not in a theatrical manner, but as an enterpreneur. As an actor it is adviced that you downsample your amplitude to the proper level other characters involved or targeted are using on a daily basis. Simplified: you should talk and act always as an open minded adaptive character. Your goals and efforts should rise to the surface in a cleverly filtered way, which also should fit your personality, to obtain your own real entity. I hope i was clear :)
Remove the ego as much as possible. Approach this as a learning experience, that is how all or most of the successful entrepreneurs found their way. In my view I make it a goal to remain humble through the process and grateful for the lesson whether negative or positive (hard to do at times). Ask questions, surround yourself with others that have expertise in the product/service niche you are developing and be sure to keep your ego in check and your mind tuned into learning as you experience everything that comes with calling yourself and performing as an entrepreneur.
First you must understand the reasoning behind such a reaction. Many judge things that they come across by how they see, feel or think about them and never how someone else would see, feel or think. Because of that any idea that they did not come up with or feel passionate about will feel as exciting as it does to you. Know that others sometimes are lacking creativity and when they see how passionate you are about a new idea, some only thought is to talk you down from it to re-construct and create it themselves. Take from someone who has had hundreds of ideas but only ended up seeing someone else's name on it especially someone that you thought you could trust with the inside details. Know that the only person who can make you feel and be inferior is yourself, don't hate them because of their lack of creativity and don't hate them for their reaction, understand why they did it and then, if you must, offer them a chance to share with you the ideas that they had which was shot down the very same way by someone whose opinion they trusted.
By putting together a business plan as soon as you can about your new venture so that you will have gone through and analyzed the totality of the process involved in starting and managing a business for profit. After you have done that and the results of your research of all that needs to be considered in terms of time and money, including a break-even analysis for the first year of operations, is positive in terms of generating a profit - then you will be in a position to explain your plans for starting your venture to anyone. Without developing the business plan and the break-even analysis for the first year of operations, you will be dreaming and unable to confidently answer questions.
First, establish yourself as an expert by thoroughly knowing your industry. If you have that knowledge, start blogging and posting useful industry specific information on social media or in trade magazines. In other words, share your knowledge. More important, Never let anyone measure you by their yardstick! You have a vision of becoming an entrepreneur, do not lose sight of that. You see yourself as an entrepreneur so don't let anyone else's opinion change that. Study other successful entrepreneurs, interview one if possible to understand the entrepreneurial mindset. Finally, surround yourself with positive people who believe in your vision. You.may find that you lose some friends who do not share your vision, but that's okay.
You aren't alone. Most new entrepreneurs are ignorant. We ALL had to learn. If you're worried about what people THINK of you, stop. You're wasting good brain time on things you can't change and don't matter. If you must face a banker or someone who is actually going to potentially contribute to your venture, then take time to learn what you need to know before you share your ideas and plans with them. There are many books, online forums and even other entrepreneurs you can learn from. But if the person is just a friend, family member or stranger who is looking at you with contempt? IGNORE THEM. Focus on your dreams, goals and plans. Do not cast your pearls before swine.
Having an open mind and being aware that we don't know is actually much more beneficial than acting as if we know the answers.
People who fund generally understand that entrepreneurs dont know all the answers. The rest don't matter. Just have to develop a thick skin and ignore as best as you can.
There's nothing wrong with being ignorant to something, especially when you can admit to it. It's being too prideful and not being able to admit when you need help that shows weakness. That's why we must surround ourselves with people who cover our blind spots and weaknesses. Hope this helps!
Do not be disheartened by the comments from "people". It is easy to be an employee but it takes great responsibility and ownership to be a business owner. Maybe you don't want to be "mixing" with these people. Stay focused, have a strategic plan, short and long term goals for your business. Get clarity on yourself, on your business, on your customers and of course your competitors. This will enable you to breakdown the big business idea into smaller actionable and achievable tasks. Good luck!
An entrepreneur by definition intends to create something that doesn't yet exist. We are all ignorant of what your dream will be.
Be humanistic in your path. Humbly and bravely embrace any ignorance as an opportunity to learn. Ask those who criticize to help.
By "viewed," are you referring to how others view you, or how you view yourself? Be careful regarding how much credence you place in the views of others--don't be ruled by them. Their Perception need not be your Reality.
In virtually any undertaking, only rarely do starters not originate as rookies. Embrace being one. Acknowledging the lack of field experience is the problem you have identified, for which you seek solutions. In an Holistic Career Tool Kit are more items than the field experience--use these other tools to grow your business and develop your aforementioned low level of experience.
You have going for you academic experience, energy, and novelty. The first provides theoretical/hypothetical knowledge, at least some of which will factor into your building your business.
The others are part of your potential energy that needs to be set in motion--customer database/lead generation, implementation of processes to accommodate your organization, network development/sustenance, etc.
Remember that discussions are (at minimum) a two-way communication. As a seeker of experience, absorb the communications of others involved. And use the discussions as learning moments. Questions toward others involved in communications should result in answers that increase your knowledge (and subsequently, experience).
Maybe you don't care, depending on who reacts that way. If it is business prospects, you have a marketing and branding problem. If it is friends, colleagues, and/or relatives, I would ignore them and prove them wrong.
The truth of the matter is that 95% of business owners are weak in at least one key area of business ownership. The only true ignorant entrepreneur business owners are the ones who THINK they know it all. It has been proven that one of the biggest reasons for business failure is that either the owner did not recognize they had weaknesses, or they knew they did but didn't do anything about it.
You got fantastic responses, and I loved what Ellen Harris told you...you are talking to the wrong people or when you're talking you are wasting your time with them. Those who has never started a business have no idea of what an entrepreneur mind has, embrace and is passionate about. Reach the right people, and you really have to find those people, connect and network with an intention - the main one to keep yourself enthusiastic. When you are not making any money yet it's hard to prove somehow. That's clear...but so make it use of what youi can really take advantage of. Be humble and absorb as much as you can, share with other what you learned because most of the time professional respect follows.