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Why Entrepreneurs Are Unemployable



Entrepreneurship is on the rise and everyone’s aspiring to be their own boss. Research from Mason University says that, “humans are entrepreneurial by nature. We desire to improve our material well-being, which drives us to innovate, often through new business creation.” , it comes as a natural need within us. But a lot is being asked of an individual on what qualities they would be needing to make it as an entrepreneur. The list is endless, with traits that link to eventually having a successful business.

One would think that if you are able to start a business and make it flourish, then you would be attractive to any part of the corporate world. However, once someone enters the entrepreneur world and most especially do so successfully, they become far too useful and productive to go back to the employment pool. Hence, the 8 reasons why’some entrepreneurs are considered to be ‘unemployable’:

1. Entrepreneurs think differently than the common employee.

Most employees are like corporate drones who just do what is asked of them. An entrepreneur on the other hand will question and challenge the tasks and see how it can be improved. This will cause some strife with your employers as most will just prefer if you get the job done, no questions asked.

More than just a suspicion, a research article from the Harvard Business Review confirms that entrepreneurs’ brains are really wired differently. Each experiment they conducted resulted into more positive results towards entrepreneurs’ minds.

2. Entrepreneurs can’t be pigeonholed 

There’s nothing like owning your own business to collect and develop your skills quickly. Many entrepreneurs, especially if they start off on their own, will have acquired skills on areas such as know how marketing affects sales, operations, finance, etc. Once they’ve started employing people, they then also become managers and learn how to manage not only the people but also their stock, cash flow, deliveries, online strategy and sales, and any other parts of the business.

Supported by a panel study by Bat Batjargal for the Davis Center for Russian studies in Harvard University and the Guanghua School of Management in Peking University, entrepreneurial versatility has positive impacts on a firm’s performance. Because of an entrepreneur’s exposure to different departments, they have “the ability to anticipate and structure what types of resources are needed, how much resources are needed, and when resources are needed. Doing this leads them to better assessment and strategy making for entrepreneurial opportunities.

3. Entrepreneurs are quick to think on their feet

You need to be able to think fast and have successful decision-making skills in order to succeed in entrepreneurship. This ability may not always be welcome as an employee because you will have to run your idea by your boss, your boss’ boss, and so on and so forth. An experimental study by MIT have concluded that entrepreneurs really do think differently as their decision making lies in the timing of knowing when to shift between the two forms of thinking (creative and logical).

4. Entrepreneurs offer a fresh perspective

Bringing strangers or outsiders are often something that corporations are weary of. They’ve already built a set system and ideals of how their company works. Entrepreneurs are always keen on offering fresh perspective and this won’t always sit well with people who say “that’s not how we do things here”.

5. Entrepreneurs have an unquenchable desire

According to the studies conducted by Napoleon Hill—the Father of self-development and writer of the classic all-time bestseller, Think and Grow Rich, the wealthiest entrepreneurs who have made the biggest impact on the world have unquenchable desire. Entrepreneurs can always get things done, but the “problem” is that they will always want more. Something that won’t be addressed if they are employed.

6. Entrepreneurs have trouble listening to others

It’s not a bad thing to love to talk about themselves. Entrepreneurs are used to it because they have to describe their latest innovation, sell their services, etc. The love for gab, unfortunately, will not fly in the corporate world.

7. Entrepreneurs get easily distracted

One UK study of note found a genetic link “between a dopamine receptor gene variation associated with ADHD and the tendency to be an entrepreneur”. The constant seeking of new sensations, being a hands-on learner and the like are things that are natural to an entrepreneur. This trait works better for when you have your own business.

8. Entrepreneurs value their freedom

The Max Planck Institute of Economics in Germany and the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom has conducted a study that revealed that the transition from wage employment to self-employment boosted people’s overall life satisfaction. This is generally from the notion that individuals have more freedom when they choose the life of entrepreneurship. They can manage their own time, business, work, etc, and tailor it to their preference. This is perhaps the biggest reason why people are attracted to being an entrepreneur.

Overall, entrepreneurs are risk takers that do not take kindly to having to play by other people’s rules or molding themselves to any other corporation. Entrepreneurs are all about breaking the traditional work rules and doing a lot of things to make it in the end. The journey of every individual who takes on this difficult endeavor is filled with highs and lows. And if these traits consider them “unemployable”, then they can always continue to be their own boss.


Is International Women’s Day just another Tokenism?



Yearly on 8th March around the world, we celebrate a day for women. This year that was 2 weeks ago, before this article was published.

A Question for You:

Did we change for the better after that day? or

Did we just all go back just to Business as Usual?

And if so, why?

As a psychologist and conscious leadership coach, I work to change mindsets to do more good in the world. We all know bad habits are hard to change. Ignoring Women talent and needs is a bad habit. Calling attention to it once in a while is simply not just not enough, it also assuages leadership guilt. The guilt alone does not lead to sustainable efforts to transformation.

We all know one International Women’s Day yearly is simply not enough.

One women’s group in your company is not enough.

One women’s breakfast in the technology conference is not enough.

One Women’s March is not enough.

But it is the start.

It’s the start. We need to join forces.

Join forces with leaders who read #MeToo and ask themselves what we must do today to reduce and end such harassment. Tech Leaders who are aware of the power of money and resources lying in the hands of a few heightens potential bullying and unwanted sexual advances. Leaders who actively act to counter or stop abuses and want to create new workplace cultures. Leaders who promote women on merit, but who also look to sponsor, mentor, and support more women to the senior leadership tracks.

We need a critical mass to tip Gender Parity to become the new norm. We need to dialogue and language new ways of being and leading in the world. We need daily, weekly, monthly habits to make gender parity the daily actionable. What is your daily actionable to not just gender parity, but inclusion and diversity in all aspects of our work and life? Let’s build the momentum by increasing connections across companies, countries, and communities. This article brings insight to what we can do next and communities you can support.

On March 8th, at 1880 , a private club where one of the focuses in women’s leadership, the Salon discussion was on “Undressing Feminism”. Participants spoke frankly about unwanted sexual advances and what both men and women can do to stop work and national or religious cultures where such actions are deemed normal. One husband joked about how he told his wife he was attending the event and she told him to shut up and listen carefully. We were all listening carefully and we spoke as a group with a transparency that is rarely found in conservative Asian culture and even in rather Westernized Singapore.

Who we heard from:

Matthew Spacie at Magic Bus

He spoke of his work in the non-profit and called out the terrifying statistics that should not be hidden or ignored.

This is an average Indian girl’s gender based obstacles throughout her lifetime

There are about 600 million women in India. They have the highest rate of infanticide of girls. Women are 56 times more likely to die before the age of 5 years as compared to boys.  If a girl does get to go to school; up to 53 percent drop out and only 1 percent graduate. 40 % of the women are married off as children.  If she gets to have a job, 40% are in unregulated work which means they can be bullied, paid less, and anything else without any external regulatory bodies to assist.

Aware’s Executive Director, Corinna Lim:

If the vision is – a society where there is true gender equality – where women and men are valued as individuals free to make informed and responsible choices about their lives. Then we look towards Aware, Singapore  as a resource – for their mission is to remove all gender-based barriers so as to allow individuals in Singapore to develop their potential to the fullest and realise their personal visions and hopes.

In fact, after the #MeToo movement came out, there were 80% more calls to sexual harassment center in Singapore. And Corrina shared how one in ten women in Singapore has been physically abused by a man. Do know that AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre, the only centre that supports victims of sexual assault and harassment  can be reached at  6779 0282.

Survivor of War, Human Trafficking, and Sexual Assault, Lurata Lyon:

Forgiveness is what is needed to heal and also to take the lessons and give ourselves strength. She shared how she was molested in Singapore by a British expat and she immediately grabbed his phone to keep him there while she called the police. Her two children were with her and thankfully a local pregnant woman came and stood by her as the man tried to force her hand to let go of his phone. She reminded the audience that this could not have been the first time this man acted in this unacceptable manner, yet how many others had let his behavior slip through our silence.

Asian Feminist Role Model, Activist, and Burlesque Artist, Sukki Singapora:

“Someone has got to be brave. If it is not you, it’ll have to be someone else. So make it you.”

Sukki braved her family’s strict culture and Singapore’s public indecency laws to fully express herself in her choice of art and profession, burlesque. She left us wondering why should sensuality be repressed? What is the world so afraid of? Her choice of expression was initially considered a crime in the public decency act of Singapore. Now she is a champion and face of freedom of expression for women in socially restrictive countries.

These conversations can evoke small changes in public consensus which will bring about swift changes in the societal consensus, that’s why we have political debates during the elections.  We are part of that dialogue, debate, and actionable steps and accountability. It’s our call to not let International Women’s Day fall on deaf ears. Let’s not just have one token discussion on one day set aside, but make such discussions a daily act.

Thanking Matthew, Corinna, Lurata, Sukki, and Marc Nicholson panel moderator and co-founder, 1880 for allowing their stories to inspire and confront us all again with the unknowing discrimination and bullying we may be supporting under our own roofs.

Like this piece?

See my article on International Women’s Day

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Women on Top in Tech – Vidya Vellala, Founder and CEO of Faasthelp



(Women on Top in Tech is a series about Women Founders, CEOs, and Leaders in technology. It aims to amplify and bring to the fore diversity in leadership in technology.)

Vidya Vellala is the Founder and CEO of Faasthelp, a 24/7 (round the clock) customer support on any business application through Artificial intelligence powered products. It analyzes what the customer is asking using natural language processing, machine learning and processes that to give the accurate responses to the customers instantly. Vidya is an Entrepreneur with a passion for innovation and latest technologies, having 17 years of Technology Experience. She won the India’s Best Startup CTO by Dell EMC.

What makes you do what you do?
I believe technology can solve any problem. Innovations in technology can improve the quality of life and the quality of work people does.
I am grown with a mindset which says self-sympathy is the enemy of self and hard work consistently without expecting a result will open bigger pathways. What I am doing is the combination of all.
Being an entrepreneur is an eternal learning which I love and I enjoy playing with technology and challenges that is the reason why I am doing what I am doing today.

How did you rise in the industry you are in?
Updating myself with the latest technologies is a must. Having said that, that alone is not sufficient. Always thinking positively, fighting against the fears, perseverance, and working hard helps.
I am lucky to have a big support from my family. My sisters who are also into technology field, make my life more beautiful and meaningful, to share not only the personal but also technical matters with them.

Why did you take on this role/start this startup especially since this is perhaps a stretch or challenge for you (or viewed as one since you are not the usual leadership demographics)?
With the bigger goal of supporting the future generations, this is the beginning. It had to start somewhere. In the very long journey this is the first step that I took.
My current startup is Faasthelp. We build artificial intelligence products.

Do you have a mentor that you look up to in your industries or did you look for one or how did that work?How did you make a match if you did, and how did you end up being mentored by him?
There have been many mentors at all stages of my startup. A startup eco system has brought me too many friends and mentors who have been very helpful at every stage of my startup and I am thankful to all of them.
My primary mentors in my life are my parents. The spirit of entrepreneurship was ignited when I was a kid and my mother was managing her small industry. The strong value system, sense of service, and responsibility towards the society is instilled in me by my dad. The strong urge to do something by myself was driven by my parents. They are the role models and driving factors.

Now as a leader how do you spot, develop, keep, grow and support your talent?
I take personal interest in grooming and nurturing talent. I have established processes that identify the potential talent and to groom. I play to the best of their strengths and encourage them to take risks. My business needs also drive me to develop new skills and grow them. I value emotional intelligence and so is the strength of my team.

Do you consciously or subconsciously support diversity and why?
I consciously and subconsciously support diversity, this again I can say got from my parents, my dad always wanted all women to be empowered and my mother had more women in her work force.
I have mentored women entrepreneurs, especially in their technical initiatives as I come with a vast technical expertise. I have extended my entrepreneurial connections to other women entrepreneurs. Our organization has more women representation.

What is your take on what it takes to be a great leader in your industry and as a general rule of thumb?
To be a great leader, you have to be a good leader, for that you must be a good human being, driven by high values, honesty, and ethics with great empathy for the people around.
Motivating the team, being a good listener with persistent hard work is a general thumb rule. Now there might be several ways to implement these and depending on the industry the implementation might differ but the ground principles remain same.
Entrepreneurship is continuous learning and I encourage others to do the same. Aim high and work towards the set goals is a way to go. I believe mindset to do service is also a way to become a good leader.

Advice for others?
Always be positive and create a positive impact on everyone. Have your values defined and do not compromise on them at any cost. Each small step taken towards the big thing is important, value them and go ahead, you will succeed surely. Success is something which we define our self and it can be achieved from any field and anywhere, on the way keep helping others.
The present focus is to develop the startup which I have taken up and my next idea is to continue to innovate and create technology products which will improvise human life.

If you’d like to get in touch with Vidya Vellala, please feel free to reach out to her on LinkedIn:

To learn more about Faasthelp, please click here.

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