Every since Shark Tank India launched, I get an email almost every week from an early stage startup asking for advice on whether they should Apply for Shark Tank Season #2.
There have been a few cases, where I've strongly made the recommendation. But in majority of the situations, I've asked them to wait - and just keep their head down, and go through the initial grind of getting their startup off the ground.
Being an entrepreneur (or for that matter, chasing any big impact project), 90% of the fight is in the head. The mental fortitude required to keep going (and know when to quit) is pretty much the battle.
You do not want hormones playing havoc in the middle.
There is a thing that I have noticed with artists who "peek early". Thanks to shows like Super Singers and such, parents (with all the right intentions) put their kids through all these shows, seeking fame and fortune - and some of them even do quite well. Question to ask is, what happens to some of these young proteges 10 - 20 years down the line.
Most folks who taste success very early, spend the rest of their lives chasing the dopamine high that they experienced, and will probably never ever find it.
So there is a fair bit of mental preparation one needs that while you are soaking in all that attention, you are focused on the goal and it does very little to your psyche - but honestly, that is easier said than done. When the whole world tells you that you are a star, sometimes you start believing it too.
Secondly, it is a case of preparedness in terms of the business. Sure, you are going to get all that attention, but have you validated the product, are your processes in place and ready for scale that when lightning strikes, you can land it in a bottle?
If after all that exposure, if there is attention (and it is only then you start working and ask people to wait etc.), the opportunity passes. And very very very rarely will that moment ever come again.
So it honestly comes down to preparedness - personally, and as a business. If you do have that, go for it. Some entrepreneurs and startups have it. Most don't.
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