I find it extremely hard to empathise with founders who want to “maintain” a certain lifestyle with a large team and a swanky office to “feel” like an entrepreneur. Founding a start-up is a messy and dirty affair and there is no amount of sugar coating that can change that fact.
Founders who find motivation in the fluff of being an entrepreneur; a fancy office, a ton of employees and a flashy lifestyle have got it all wrong. Very few businesses start out that way and in fact very few ever reach that size. For every OYO out there, there are millions of no-name companies that are providing a respectable living to the business owner but aren’t making the 30 under 30 Forbes Asia list. In fact, the concept of OYO came to Ritesh because his business (Oravel) could only afford to put him up in shoddy two-star hotels. Today, he heads the world’s largest chain of single brand hotels. Similarly, the founding team of Wow Momos started out by selling momos at a roadside stall. Even I started my career living at $20/night hotels and knocking on people’s doors. And trust me, it wasn’t glamorous at all.
Therefore, individuals that are willing to put their salary as the last pay-out i.e. paying themselves after the salaries of their entire staff; those willing to reduce their lifestyle choices to adopt the ones their businesses can afford; and those who will make a Re 1 business expenditure work like a Rs 5 one, are the ones who should take the plunge into entrepreneurship. The rest can wait!