Printed on The Economic Times, Op-Ed page.
Serial entrepreneurship is looking at companies like the way one would look at a product. Just the way one launches a product, builds attractive features and attributes in the product, invests in creating value, makes it appealing, prices it correctly and manages it through the product life cycle stages, one needs to follow a similar strategy with ventures.
So, a serial entrepreneur while being passionate about the business and being deeply committed to the idea, does not lose sight of the fact that this needs to be nurtured and managed to create value.
Else, most businesses will eventually become irrelevant or will only be moderate successes. "This scientific and clinical approach to value creation and monetisation is what you will pass on to the next generation," says K Ganesh, founder of TutorVista, an e-learning company.
A serial entrepreneur has the pleasure of being able to enjoy the joys and thrills of creating something. This is like an adventurer discovering new land or climbing new peaks. Each venture brings in a new excitement and fresh success, feels a serial entrepreneur. It is like conquering new peaks and moving on to the next adventure. No matter how good the last success has been, it is done and over with.
"How are you going to satisfy a curious and adventurous mind with past glories?" A serial entrepreneur is usually more adventurous from an entrepreneur who sticks with his project. Once a serial entrepreneur tastes success in one venture, the urge to try his hand at another one is very strong.
"The regular entrepreneur is probably the kind of guy who is happy with his achievements from his project and gets into a comfort zone, thereby reducing his urge to experiment with something new," says Sushil Wadhwa, founder, Platinum Incentives & Events.
The biggest advantage of being a serial entrepreneur is the knowledge that he gains from the various ventures, not to mention the financial benefits that come out it. He is also more 'hands on' than a regular entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is all about passion—you cannot be having two businesses where you are committed to. You can be an investor, board member or a mentor, but where you are going to be spending your total passion, entrepreneurial bandwidth, most of waking-up time as well as dreaming time has to be in just one venture, adds Ganesh. So, if you can get to do that in your current venture, then you need not sell.
But, if you dream about something else all day, you should move on, say experts. Whether you sell your current business or maintain it depends on a lot of factors — what is your need for capital, whether the current business will do equally well without you spending time, what is the value you are getting if you were to sell, what do you see the future value of the business likely to be and what are the risks in continuing the current business.