10 Things every Entrepreneur must learn from Nelson Mandela…

Source | LinkedIn : By Harihar T S

For an entrepreneur, Nelson Mandela may not exactly be a regular name to be inspired by. Of course, the man’s struggle against Apartheid, discrimination and injustice surely places him in the highest pantheon of great global leaders. But for someone like me who has spent a long time reading Mandela’s works; his thoughts, ideas and quotations can be a tremendous reality check for budding as well as established entrepreneurs. I have been an entrepreneur for over 2 years and have used Mandela’s ideas to inspire and motivate myself along the entrepreneurship path.

I have selected 10 such quotes of Mandela that have inspired me as an entrepreneur, although some of the quotes have been slightly condensed to fit them better into my article.

1. It almost seems impossible until it’s done…

This is something most entrepreneurs have faced during our stints. There is a deadline that almost seems impossible to achieve. Your client gives you a mandate that is steep but the client really does not care how you will achieve it. Obviously, he has a choice and you are just one of them. It is easy to give up and move on, but that will hardly take you too far as an entrepreneur. For an entrepreneur failure can never be an option. You will be surprised how much you can actually achieve once you actually get out to doing the task. At the end of the day, you may not achieve all that you set out to do but your clients are still going to be mighty impressed. Your battle, at least, is half one!

2. After climbing a great hill, you will find more hills to climb…

This is basic rule for entrepreneurs. You thank you have mastered the product then marketing will be a big challenge. You think you have found the marketing formula then tastes and paradigms may change suddenly throwing you back to the drawing board. Entrepreneurship constantly throws a plethora of challenges at you ranging from product to customer to finance to human resources. You can never really let your guard down and relax. Few could have made this point better than Mandela.

3. People respond based on how you relate to them…

The job of an entrepreneur involves interaction with multiple parties at a personal level. The above rule applies irrespective of whether you are interacting with large clients, retail customers, colleagues and institutions. Aggression breeds aggression, decency breeds decency and empathy breeds empathy. This has two key implications. You will have to expect the same reaction from them as you feed into them. Secondly, look at your business from their perspective and the answers to the most complex problems will be a lot simpler. Believe me; your results will be outstanding!



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