A million bosses now
Sep 10 2012, 12:20 | By Entrepreneur
By Shruti Kohli
In the winter of 2009, I was visiting Delhi, my hometown. That was the first time I was meeting relatives after launching my venture in Mumbai. Being a first-generation entrepreneur in a big family, I was bombarded with queries. The common question everybody asked: "Does it feel liberating to be your own boss?"
Of course, like any other new entrepreneur, for the first few weeks after quitting my job, I had enjoyed that "liberated feeling". I had felt that finally, there were no creatures of Frankenstein manifestation waiting in the bushes to bash me up everyday for not doing things their way. Now, don't take that statement too personally. Some bosses may be good. And you may just happen to be one of them.
However, two years down the line, I feel there was never a time when I didn't have a boss. In fact, I have a million bosses now: my target audience. They hold the power to render me out of business if I don't perform.
Let me give you an example. Not long back, I used to shop at a particular departmental store. When the owner migrated to Australia, he sold the store to a friend.
After the first few weeks, I felt the difference. I had to return disappointed quite a few times due to non-availability of things that I went to buy. They were running short of things as basic as diet biscuits and cornflakes. One day I enquired about the problem with one of their old employees and discovered that the store was now functioning as a 'made-to-order' shop.
So, when my brand of biscuits was not available, the manager jotted it down and asked me to come back after two days. But my need was immediate, so I landed up at the grocery store next door and bought a week's stock of biscuits.
After a fortnight when I returned to the departmental store, the biscuits were still not available. I was told that the previous stock was over and I should have come back when they told me to. That day, they lost a customer. I hardly go there anymore. They must have lost many customers in a similar way.
Parent a passion
The store owner may have enjoyed his brief boss status over his four employees. But he criminally overlooked the wise, ancient adage: Customer is God. Most entrepreneurs may have realized this by now. But for all those who haven't, I would say this: be prepared for a million bosses as you switch roles.
Don't take refuge in entrepreneurship as a fugitive running away from a nagging boss. Rather, be an entrepreneur to parent a passion.
© Entrepreneur India August 2012
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