As entrepreneurs it is easy to miss or even gloss over lessons that other entrepreneurs have learnt and more importantly shared! It is human nature I suspect to avoid or deny things that we don’t want to face! I suspect i won’t be th last one to have thought “Oh, I’d never do or feel that way” or “Not going to happen! These are different times or circumstances!”
Umang Gupta, founder of Gupta Technologies recently passed away. As someone who lived in the Bay Area through the mid-80s and 90s, I knew him as one of the many pioneering Indian-American entrepreneurs who paved the way for all the others who’ve followed.
His obituary in the Wall Street Journal recounted his journey as an entrepreneur and brought to fore many nuggets, one of which I resonated with me. It was advice given by my Umang’s father—much like my own did often.
Oracle considered acquiring Mr. Gupta’s company in 1994, but he couldn’t bear the idea of selling what he called his baby—a decision he later regretted. In 1996, he resigned as chief executive and left the company.
“My dad once told me, ‘No victory is final, and no defeat is fatal,’” he said. “I hadn’t paid attention.”James r. hagerty wall street journal
Mr. Gupta went on to speak about the lessons he took away from this.
“I started to think of all the things I should have done to make the company outlast me,” he said.
One of his conclusions was that he should have hired people willing to challenge his ideas. “Decisions can’t be based just on what the founder knows or his gut feels,” he said.
This has been my experience too. Having good people around you, who can question or challenge you and hold you to account make all the difference between achievable success and avoidable failure!
Ask yourself who around you, whether a business partner, colleague, mentor or a spouse can hold you to account! Better and cultivate that ecosystem starting today!
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