Yet one sees a whole bunch of of these “forced entrepreneurs” flourish, learn better than most “choice” entrepreneurs about managing cash flows, hiring, marketing, CRM, and even scaling. Sure – its not usually about 10x scale (though a few do turn out that way) but thats a very VC driven attribute, and entrepreneurship is defined by so much else.
A plumber whose service my wife employs for certain rainwater harvesting and water management projects they undertake is one example I’ve seen. The guy now has a bunch of other guys he’s trained, manages, finds work for, supervises. He takes bottomline responsibility for the team, has printed business cards and invested into a van for transporting his team and material more efficiently. He’s been known to go ahead and market the idea amongst potential customers. He’s managed growth – both of his business and of his role. Sure, he was probably forced into this – but that has hardly stopped him from embracing entrepreneurship.
There’s a couple of legendary tales of paan-wallahs who’ve built business empires from their vantage points, while continuing to humbly assemble the daily dose for customers. There are small grocers who’ve adopted the aisle format and setup chains without losing their USPs of delivery, cash on delivery and the personal touch they had when operating a single small store. They’ve obviously managed hiring very closely since that was key to the whole experience.
Darshinis which grew into large catering businesses. Tailors who now own brands. Local courier companies which now manage logistics for corporates across the country – there’s just tons of examples.
In some sense, aren’t techies who’re “forced” into entrepreneurship because of circumstances – perhaps a stream of bad bosses and workplaces, or the peer pressure of everyone else around them striking out on their own – also “forced” into entrepreneurship ?
The point of this huge rant ? Its not important how you got there. What you did, learned and what you managed to make of it afterwards is. So next time you use “forced entrepreneur” dismissively, think again if there are lessons there that you could instead gain from.