In God We Trust
by Aniruddha Atul Bhagwat, Director
Entrepreneurs cannot be atheists. Young businesses go through so many business cycles, and looking back a dip in business a few years ago may seem easy as every curve, positive and negative, in the cycle exaggerates itself with every passing year. It is a series of challenges, and as soon as you overcome one challenge, the next one starts to presents itself. The most difficult part about entrepreneurship is the ability of many things, outside of the entrepreneur’s control, which affect the solution to each presented challenge. And to think, the entrepreneur took the dive into starting a business to be in control of his or her own destiny.
Completely counter-intuitive of the known definition of entrepreneurship is having the ability to give up control. As businesses grow, it becomes increasingly important for the founding team to reinstate their control of the company, and while it is important to ensure you have the business by the reigns, it also means controlling a series of constituents which one has no control of such as the clients, economies, political instability, reforms and taxation, etc. The list, which the entrepreneur does not have control over, far outweighs the aspects of control by manifold. For a young business, which has been through multiple business cycles, the founding team starts to understand that the team can only do what is in their hands, and leave the rest to fate. Sometimes in business, there is no choice but to keep you head down and work hard without having complete confidence of the end outcome. This is what makes it exciting. Exciting maybe, but what keeps the entrepreneur sane in this insane environment?
After meeting many successful entrepreneurs, there is an under-riding sense of optimism no matter what state there business is in. They laugh in the face of challenges, know that the end outcome cannot be controlled, but still go out there everyday with the confidence that if the business sticks to its core, works hard and keeps focus, it will ‘all work out’. This is the same message that we tell ourselves even in our personal trials and tribulations; starting with our parents telling us the same when we were kids to us, as entrepreneurs, reminding ourselves of the same when things just don’t seem to move. It’s a faith in our idea, our co-founders, teams and the business that keeps us going in the face unrelenting, immobile, and rigid challenges the business throws at us.
Entrepreneurship is not possible without faith. It’s just not possible to be in control of a situation of uncontrollable elements, and still be confident in your ability to control it without a belief in a power outside of yourself. It does not necessarily have to be faith in God, but it is a faith in something that keeps entrepreneurs going. And if you put ten entrepreneurs in a room to discuss miracles in their business; things that happened in the face of failure, which were completely unexpected, one story will follow another, and the number of stories will be unending. How can this be possible without some force outside of the one in the realm of control ensuring that things ‘work out’?
Again, the faith doesn’t need to be in God, but it needs to be in something. It’s just not possible to face such a situation for any human being without having a crazy, unrealistic faith and optimism that the business will survive, grow and prosper. If money is the central score board of any business underneath all the passion, culture, and aspirations, then it makes sense that the world’s largest economy, at least currently, inscribes the words ‘In God We Trust’ on its currency. As the business grows, one can start connecting these dots, breadcrumbs left by our entrepreneurial predecessors, giving more hope and optimism to not just think, but know. Know that it will all work out in the end.