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What makes a successful entrepreneur? 7 tips from a CEO who raised $6.5M for his startup

Entrepreneurship is one of the riskiest jobs in the world, and very few achieve the success they desire. So what makes a successful entrepreneur? Well, it’s a question which can be answered by an entrepreneur, who has been through the thick and thin of life and achieved success. And the most suitable person for this job is Mr Ashwin Ramesh, co-founder and CEO of Synup, a company with a software which provides local businesses tools for automated marketing and insights of the local market.

Mr Ashwin’s story may seem like a fairy tale, from being dropout to getting features on Forbes 30 under 30 Asia List and from struggling to keep a steady cash flow to raising $6.5 million funding. But unlike fairy tales, he had to go through failures, hard times, and dark phases to achieve success as an entrepreneur.

So here are seven tips from Mr Ashwin to answer the question, ‘what makes a successful entrepreneur?’:

1. Do a detail market research

It is a default that you should know about a market or a domain before you start a venture. I would go on to say that understanding a market is actually a required condition and not an optional condition if you’re hoping to become an entrepreneur because it’s better to stop at the beginning, than working hard in building a product or service which has no demand.

2. Follow your gut in your early days

When you’re just starting out and don’t have enough data to validate your decisions, it’s all about gut. As you start scaling, validating with data over ‘just going with gut-feel’ starts taking precedence. Even if you fail after following your gut, you can make changes easily in the early stages, But, as soon as your ventures start growing, taking a decision on the basis of data becomes a mandatory process.

3. Delight your customers

This is a function of understanding your customer really well:

a. Empathize with the customer’s issue

b. Know who’s your boss. Your customer is your boss, and it’s your job to ensure that they’re getting what they paid for

c. Go beyond what they’d expect from a regular vendor

d. Treat them not just as customers, but as friends; building a personal bond with your customers will go a long way

e. Never discriminate your customer on the basis of their caste, race, and appearance. That’s the worst thing that you can do for your business.

4. Don’t fear failures

Being an entrepreneur, it’s all about facing rejection every single day. You need to be mentally prepared to get rejected, get up and go to your next meeting. Rejections are actually learning opportunities. The most successful entrepreneurs have faced rejection a lot more than any normal person.

5. Persistence is the most important characteristics of a successful entrepreneur

Companies don’t die, but founders give up. There’s always a way to make things work. Even the most seasoned entrepreneurs “give up” sometimes. It’s important to remember that tomorrow is always going to be better.

6. Age is just a number

I believe that age is just a number as far as being an entrepreneur is concerned. I did my first startup when I was just 14, and there are others who start late into their fifties. It’s all about how passionate you are and if you’re willing to be in it for the long haul and make sacrifices.

7. Nobody wants to work with a pessimist boss

As an entrepreneur, you need to always be outwardly positive even if you are contemplating the worst case scenarios in your head. Nobody wants to work with a pessimist boss. Also, negative thinking kills your creativity and hinders your logical thinking. Thus, it’s necessary to understand the reason behind your negativity and making changes accordingly, instead of feeling stress and getting carried away with these thoughts.

So what do you think? What makes a successful entrepreneur? Do comment below.


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