If you ask someone if they want to be an entrepreneur, chances are that the person would give a favourable reply. Everyone has a latent desire to be their own boss, more often than not, in a field which they are passionate for. Unfortunately, in the absence of right opportunities in life, people often fail to give wings to these desires and end up charting a routine career, just to survive in life and look after the family. Though the situation wasn’t much different for ace entrepreneur-accountant Syed Ali Naqvi, he was still able to take his dream and employ his innovative spirit to make it a reality.
In fact Syed, who was born and brought up in Pakistan and did his higher studies in the UK, is such a positive spirit that he believes anybody and everybody can be an entrepreneur. However, he emphasises that it is our personal choices and commitment that determines whether we can or cannot become an entrepreneur. Therefore, it makes sense to ask this generous entrepreneur what does it take to become your own boss –
Q. Who would make a good entrepreneur?
A. What one should do, you might ask, in order to reach where one can create an entity for oneself. I would say entrepreneurs are those who dare to create teams, step out of their comfort zone, and push through the obstacles in order to achieve great things in life. It is only this belief that would help one become one’s own boss.
Q. How was your entrepreneurial journey?
A. I was born without a silver spoon in my mouth. I have faced internal as well as external obstacles, most impactful of which was having no support of any kind – neither financial nor emotional. As a result, no one took me seriously and I had just my own clear vision of the future to carry me through every challenge. However, looking at it positively! I would say that because I had no one else to depend upon and that meant I had no one else but myself to blame for everything that went wrong on this journey; But I took it positively and decided that I had no room for mistakes. It also inspired me to put in preparation, research, planning, and proper execution before going down the chosen path. Since I had to prove myself, I had no choice but to make wise and informed choices.
Q. Which entrepreneurs have inspired you?
A. I look upto 4 entrepreneurs who’re recognized at a global level. These are Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve looked upto the lives and works of these four corporate honchos. I study their decisions, read about their lives and try to emulate their entrepreneurial decisions.
Q. What inspired you to pursue life as an entrepreneur?
A. The most important incentive in my life has been financial stability. I wanted to work on my own terms and be my own boss. Moreover, I wasn’t too keen to work 9-5. The lifestyle that I had envisioned for myself could only become possible if I would work for myself and not for another boss. That doesn’t mean I didn’t try working as an employee. I did, but never came across that job satisfaction. Therefore, despite being well aware of the difficulties that I was going to face down this path, I chose entrepreneurship, which requires a high level of self-motivation, discipline, perseverance and hard work. I am happy to say I was proven right and have had a great run so far as an entrepreneur.
Q. Are you afraid of failure?
A. I recognize failure as a really important part of growth, both professional and personal. I believe that if you are not making mistakes, you are either not doing it right or playing it safe. In my company, I am a huge advocate of monthly review meetings with my teams because this is the only way to grow and learn quickly. Having a clear understanding of our company’s finances was also a long and learning process; But eventually, we overcame such routine obstacles and created something that is making money today. So, I would say, though I do not look forward to failure, I am not afraid of it because, otherwise, I won’t learn.
Q. How do you see wealth?
A. For starters, I don’t take my wealth for granted at all. I sincerely believe in the adage, having more wealth means we must raise our standard of giving. I am deeply committed to helping those less fortunate and needy. Since I came from nothing, I am lucky to have all that I have today. After all, money isn’t everything in life; But yes, for those who have nothing in life, my little help could mean the world. That is what I am after, when I think of wealth.
Syed believes in being passionate, but passion alone is not enough to achieve your dreams. So, his advice is to mix passion with discipline, focus, drive and work ethics. It is this strong belief that has brought him to his current position of success in life. Well, that is what he also advises to anybody who wants to become an entrepreneur in life.