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Starting and growing a business takes many things - a great product, a great market, a great team, capital, strategy, and so much more. Despite your best attempt, success is rarely guaranteed. One ingredient, however, that predicts success far more accurately than anything else in the world of venture building is: hustle.
Relentless hustling is a highly valuable skill in the world of entrepreneurship. Building a business is hard. One common hurdle: you will get tons of rejections. Your fundraising efforts will fail. Your sales drive will produce little results. Your team-building effort will fall apart. Mustering the courage and motivation to keep going in the face of all these challenges is not easy and this is where the ability to hustle relentlessly comes handy.
If you can muster courage and motivation to keep going despite the hiccups and challenges, your chance of coming out a winner grows far greater. Here are five interviews of five Bangladeshi entrepreneurs that illustrate journeys of great hustling skills.
“Things got worse in 2003 when we lost one of our Australian clients, which was our biggest revenue source at that time. Consequently, we did not have much earning for the next 4-5 months, which led to other difficult challenges. Some of our best people left us at that time because we could not afford them anymore. We could not pay our rent on time. It sounds interesting, even inspiring today but when you go through it, it is not a pleasant experience. You start with a big dream and then you stumble and even could not pay your office rent. Your best people are leaving you. You are struggling to pay the bill. People are saying bad things about you. And despite your best effort, you could not manage. It is hard to endure. I would say that almost every entrepreneur goes through this phase and these challenges. This is when most founders give up, most ventures die and entrepreneurs decide to pursue something else. This phase is critical. If you could endure this phase, nothing would scare you anymore in life.” - Link
“Of all things that I lacked, I had an abundance of courage. I had no fear of rejection. If you want to be an entrepreneur you can’t have the fear of rejection, you have to try on. I went to every place where I could manage an entry and where I got an opportunity I gave a presentation and gave my offer. And something clicked. Some of the people I pitched to, believed in me and gave me ads and some people did not.” - Link
“On January 5, 2009, we got our registration certificate. By February 2009, I was zero. I had run out of whatever little savings that I had. I was working from a small room in my father’s apartment.” - Link
“When we started, I and Sumit Saha, we had two other people from BUET with us. We did not have an office. We used a shared office space. We also used my father’s office after daily office hours or we even worked out of BUET dormitory many nights. Today, we have a 3-floor office in Dhaka. We have operations in Singapore and Myanmar. We have partner offices in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.” - Link
“The first is that if you are into building anything, either it is business or something else, you have to develop a passion for it because the journey is so demanding that you would give up. Business is like raising a family with lots of good days, bad days, ups and downs. If you are doing business just to make money then there is a high chance that you will not survive long.” - Link
“I am from the 60s. Born in 1961. My father was a banker. Posted at Karachi in the then West Pakistan with the Central Bank. I spent my early childhood in Karachi. We were repatriated to Bangladesh in October 1973. I was about 11 years old at that time. My life has been essentially about transitions. Guess the repatriation was my first transition. The second was the day my father passed away. He died in February 1975 and I was only 13 at that time. Life was not easy those days.” - Link