“Many entrepreneurs, including myself, can become obstacles in their own path, often caught up in discussions of purpose and strategy without focusing on execution.”

Sanjay Murthy, a seasoned entrepreneur and the Managing Director of ZedAlpha, shares valuable insights from his career. His journey underscores a delicate balance between embracing growth and navigating the inevitable challenges that accompany it.

Embracing Delegation and Action
Sanjay identifies a common pitfall among early-stage founders: the belief that they can and should manage every aspect of their business. He candidly shares, “I’ve learned to step aside and allow someone else to manage the day-to-day operations, recognising my limitations in this area.” This realisation wasn’t easy, as he admits, “Many entrepreneurs, including myself, can become obstacles in their own path, often caught up in discussions of purpose and strategy without focusing on execution.” Sanjay’s experiences have taught him that the complexity and information overload can easily derail straightforward business concepts. He stresses the necessity of setting the company’s strategic direction early on, whether the aim is building a lifestyle business or preparing for a significant exit, and the wisdom in valuing action over exhaustive planning, especially when considering venture capital and its influence on decision-making dynamics.

Learning from Failure: Ego, Limitations, and Collaboration
Reflecting on his previous ventures, Sanjay acknowledges a blend of successes and missteps. He recounts, “Building teams and making decisions has been a mix of hits and misses.” Sanjay discusses how some ego-driven decisions had previously resulted in the loss of valuable clients and damage to his firm’s reputation. A turning point was his decision to reduce his direct involvement in day-to-day operations, leading to greater success for his company. This move highlighted the critical lesson of acknowledging the detrimental role ego can play in a business’s growth trajectory. Sanjay further notes the importance of self-awareness, a trait he finds lacking in many, which impedes progress. He emphasises, “Understanding that you don’t know everything is vital.” He illustrates this with an observation from ‘Dragon’s Den’, where entrepreneurs often miss out on valuable partnerships by prioritising larger shares over collaborative success with a ‘dragon’. He argues that a smaller percentage of a highly successful venture, facilitated by a savvy investor, is far more valuable than a larger share of a struggling business. This, according to Sanjay, is a mindset shift essential for long-term success.

Cultivating Perseverance and Overcoming Self-Doubt
In his advice to fellow entrepreneurs, Sanjay underscores the necessity of perseverance and tackling self-doubt, which he believes is “often our biggest obstacle”. He views rejection and failure not as final verdicts but as opportunities to reassess or reaffirm one’s path. “My decisions, guided by my beliefs and what I think is best for me and my family, are what drive my life forward. If things don’t work out, it’s about picking yourself up and trying something new,” Sanjay advises. This perspective of resilience and self-reliance, distinct from arrogant ego, has been a cornerstone of his professional ethos, guiding him through various challenges.

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