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Navigating Turbulent Times
Lessons from an Entrepreneur’s Journey
The path to entrepreneurial success is rarely a straight line. There are inevitable highs
and lows, especially during economic uncertainty. In this article, we'll explore the
inspirational journey of Rajesh Tedla, an immigrant who came to the US in 1989 with
only $1,724 and went on to build a successful management consultancy focused on
entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Raj's entrepreneurial aspirations were sparked when he learned how his grandfather,
once among the wealthiest men in his Indian village, lost almost all the family riches
within a generation due to mismanagement. Raj was determined not to repeat those
mistakes. After getting his degrees in the US, Raj joined GE and rose the ranks over
12+ years to a senior executive role. However, he never lost sight of his goal to start his
own business one day.
So in 2008, amidst a recession, Raj took the leap of faith and co-founded a consultancy
focused on helping small businesses. The early years were filled with challenges. His
business partner passed away unexpectedly, his father and close friend died, and the
recession deepened. Many prospective clients froze spending. For five tough years, Raj
persevered by constantly learning, pivoting his offerings, targeting new industries like
government contractors, and honing his skills in sales and communication.
Gradually, he built credibility and relationships. By 2013, his consultancy was thriving.
To date, Raj has helped clients generate over $430 million in value. Here are five key
lessons from his journey:
- Adopt a growth mindset. Opportunities exist even in recessions for those
willing to work hard and build skills. Stay confident in your abilities.
- Learn, unlearn, and relearn. Be open to acquiring new expertise while letting go
of biases from past experiences. Continuously adapt offerings to market needs.
- Build relationships. Provide free value to prospects and clients to establish
trust. Their referrals and insights reveal new possibilities.
- Embrace uncertainty. Turbulence creates opportunities for the resilient. Make
bold but prudent pivots to shape your business trajectory.
- Stay grounded. Relentlessly hone your craft. Success stems from enabling
others, not personal glory.