IT Managers Have an Edge as Entrepreneurs

Given the rapid changes, complexities and choices faced by IT managers, they are capable of starting out on their own

At some point in life, each of us is bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and we cling to the strong desire to carve out a niche for ourselves in society. Being an entrepreneur or even the journey towards making it big is akin to hang gliding where you are ready to jump off the cliff with nothing but a flimsy glider holding you up. However, the desire doesnt die.

So where does the entrepreneurial journey begin? It begins the day you tell your boss that you are quitting to start out on your own. Once the words are out, there is no going back, except for a fervent hope held by the rational part of your brain that the boss convinces you to stay back. In fact, I have been in such a situation thrice in my life! The starting point of the journey is the gut-wrenching decision to leave a comfortable job.

IT Managers Have an Edge
Given the rapid changes, the complexities and the choices faced by IT managers on a daily basis, I think they have an edge when it comes to starting up their own ventures, since unlike core technologists, the job requires a broader understanding of the environment. Technology is only a small part of decision-making: the business, customers and vendors and the internal customers, all have to be understood and factored in.

What Makes an Entrepreneur
It is critical that you believe that the change you want to make, if achieved, is worth the effort and that it fulfils your passion, which finally is the end goal. Ask yourself: will this passion last the long journey of entrepreneurship or is it just a passing fancy? Am I qualified enough to chase the goal? Do I have the leadership skills to be a good manager? Your core skills must inspire and draw due respect and admiration from your team. Without them, perhaps you could become a leader in a corporate scenario. But in a start-up, without core skills you will be left with no team to lead.

The next important question is: Can I pull together a team that is needed to achieve the goal? You do not need an army, just a few core team members that will take the ride with you and are as passionate and committed about the cause as you are. You should also have a Plan B if Plan A does not work, but never give up, as it will only enable you to change course and head towards a better path.

Consider the Risk Factors
The biggest danger of starting your own company is that you get emotionally attached to it and cannot exit at the right time; either [you have to] shut it down because the business is no longer viable or you are forced to sell it even if you do not have the right buyer at the right price. It is critical to have your financial security planning worked out, with savings and lifestyle changes that will help in your success.

- Swami Manohar is a founder and MD of LimberLink Technologies, where he has embarked on a mission to re-engineer engineering education with the JED-I (Joy of Engineering, Design, and Innovation) program. Prior to this, he was a co-founder and CEO of PicoPeta Simputers.


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