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Leaving behind a successful career and jumping into the unknown world of startups is never easy. For some it’s the comfort of the monthly paycheck, for others the lure of big, year-end bonuses. While some simply enjoy their day jobs– or do they.
As the founder of souKare, a healthcare tech startup based in Dubai, I believe most people never take the leap due to the fear of jumping outside their comfort zone, rather than for the love of what they do. In today’s world, our busy, digitally overloaded lifestyles mean that looking after ourselves often comes secondary. souKare, however, aims to change this, by making healthcare truly convenient.
I left behind a successful career spanning over 13 years and four continents, most of it as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. I did so for something I truly believe in– to bring healthcare to people’s doorsteps. For those in the corporate world who are still on the fence, here’s has three points of advice:
Do it, if you love it, and if you love it, give it all you’ve got! Building a successful business, means living it. If it doesn’t keep you up at night, it most likely won’t succeed. For people who intend to start a business as a side hobby, do it by all means but don’t expect it to become a great enterprise. Great firms are tough enough to build. Trying to build one in your spare time makes the task exponentially harder.
It’s all about people. The single most important factor to build a successful business and probably the hardest to get right: people! Whether it be your team, your customers, your investors, or your suppliers, focusing on the right people and understanding their needs will singly be the most critical element in determining the fate of your company. They would define your strengths, your constraints, and shape your strategy.
Think big, think smart Many startups with successful beginnings tend to hit a brick wall before they can grow into bigger, greater firms. Very often, the reason is simply the failure to scale up driven either by the limited scope of the initial idea or the resulting exponential operational complexity that was never thought through. Having a clear end goal with core initiatives to get there, is therefore key to avoiding this.
But just having a big scalable idea is not enough. It has to be tailored thoroughly based on the needs of the target audience, in the context of the internal and external constraints. If you understand your people well, you’re way more likely to get this right.