5th birthday

by Protima Sharma

It’s February 1st, 2016. PeopleWiz Consulting turned 5 today. Though I don’t remember exactly what I did on the first day the firm was born, I distinctly remember the feeling that I carried most of the day. It was a cocktail of emotions ranging from exhilaration of being in charge to a tingling nervousness knowing that now there is no turning back.

If I could speak to myself 5 years back and give a few tips for preparing for the time ahead, these would come at the top.

1)   Keep your feet firmly on the ground

Like the beginning of a romance, launching your own firm will create the notion of being on a noble endeavor. When you inform the world about it, your friends will tell you how you are living their dream. Don’t get carried away. Even a corporate job is secure as long as you perform.  You have taken a difficult decision today. Now spend every waking moment in making this decision right.

 2)   Have your own definition of success

It is tempting to apply the definition of success for a large corporate to a startup like growth in turnover, profit margin etc. Shake that feeling off. You need your own measures of success.

When your first client renews his contract, celebrate it. It’s a huge achievement.

When your team member turns down a recruitment consultant’s call, pat yourself on the back.

When you decide to take a few days off to be spend time with your parents for no reason, tell yourself well done.

3)   Don’t just make money, build an organization

Patience and persistence are not just virtues; they will be your best friends in the time to come.  Don’t be in a hurry to rent that posh office or buy that SUV. By all means, focus on maintaining a positive cash flow but also devote your time on establishing organizational processes, building quality consciousness and carving interesting career paths for your team. Commit yourself to excellence in whatever you do. Money will follow.

4)   Get to know yourself better

There will be times when projects will slow down and getting new work will be difficult. Every business experiences this.  How you behave in a tough time defines you as an employer.  Your firm’s culture will be an extension of your own personality. Check your weaknesses as a leader. Take feedback from the people you respect and create mechanisms to ensure that your strengths percolate down to your firm.

5)   Hiring is your most important decision.

As you continue to grow and build a reputation, more and more people would be interested in joining you. It’s a great feeling when someone shows keen interest in being on your side, but that cannot be the only criteria for hiring. When it comes to selecting the right candidate, allow yourself to be ruthless. You will never regret it.

These were my tips on getting a good start. If I ever did meet myself 5 years ago, I would also smile and say “Don’t worry , it only gets better!!”

About the author

 Protima Sharma is the managing Partner of PeopleWiz Consulting, a Pune based firm working in the area of Organization Design and HR process Management with clientele  ranging from startups to large corporates.