Along with my co-founder Ankit, I have been running the show at WebEngage for 2 years now. We have seen a lot in these two years – lack of capital, lack of people, lack of processes, lack of goodwill, lack of PR … the list is endless. But you know what, one thing has remained constant – our resolve to grow. As we continue to evolve, things have changed drastically. This post is for my fellow entrepreneurs and their teams, based on my learnings of how we manage to keep our growth engine intact despite limited resources at our disposal.
Growth is a mindset
I met a few founders recently at an event where I was speaking on “virtues of being shameless“. Most of these were running companies for over 4/5 years. Some pivoted, some tweaked their business model, some acquired a few marquee customers and some were even profitable businesses. But, everyone I met had one thing in common – they ceased to grow. And in most cases, the entrepreneur wasn’t aware of it. The realization to grow has to happen before actual growth, its a mindset – and NOT a hack. Growth comes in much later, the conviction to grow comes way before that.
Growth is about pushing the envelope further. Everyday
When we raised our tiny angel round, we just had one goal – build out a product that we envision. When we raised our follow on seed round, we had another goal – to run this business profitably. Now that both these objectives have been met, I have a choice – sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Being human, it comes naturally to us. Who wants to slog his/her ass when the going is good? Companies that have outgrown are different. They grew because they didn’t stop setting bigger goals for themselves. They grew because they didn’t get complacent upon seeing early signs of success. They grew because they pushed themselves to the limit.
Growth is the resolve to grow, tirelessly
Growth is painful – it needs people, processes, investment and resources – things that you won’t have most of the times. But all these are just means to grow. Companies like Atlassian or Github could grow to insane scale without any external capital. Each company and its team has a different DNA. Those who grew, had one thing in common – the resolve to create a BIG impact. It shows in every aspect of the business – your product, your communication, your sales methodology/process, your general outlook and vision. Growth comes by doing things, a lot of things – some rational and most irrational. To grow, just keep at it.
Growth is knowing when you are not growing
In case you didn’t know, WebEngage is our second product. We earlier tried and failed with a product called Webklipper. We shelved that idea in 9 months flat. Why? Because I didn’t want to hear from anybody else that we stopped growing. I wanted me and my team to be the first one’s to realize that. And when you do, there’s no point in being emotionally attached to an idea or a dream. It is important to understand that as entrepreneurs, our goal is to create value for customers and wealth for stakeholders in the business. If you are not doing both of these simultaneously, you are not growing.
As this year comes to a close and we are about to embrace the new, I wish my team, and yours, a growth mindset. Go, grow. Grow like a weed. Also, accept my heartfelt wishes for a wonderful 2014 – for yourself, your family and your loved ones.