5 Reasons Why an Entrepreneur Should “Daydream”

Take a step back and immerse yourself in daydreaming!

As per Wikipedia, the daydream is “a short-term detachment from one's immediate surroundings, during which a person's contact with reality is blurred and partially substituted by a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass, and experienced while awake.”

I am sure there are many medical definitions for daydreaming, but let us use the above hypothesis for our conversation. If we break the definition stated above, some of the takeaways include:
·      Vision
·      Happy
·      Hope
·      Ambition

Aren’t these some of the qualities an entrepreneur also needs to be successful? I as an author and a cartoonist, am required to come up with ideas and concept that resonates with the audience and can either get some takeaways or laughter. And you as an entrepreneur, when are trying to come up with your next big idea, next big disruption or an innovative model to increase revenue and optimize the profits, the above qualities are essential.

In my experience and opinion, daydreaming can help in achieving some of the essential quality required by an entrepreneur. Following are the top 5 reasons why an entrepreneur should daydream:

1.        Increases motivation – As per medical studies, daydreaming has a positive psychological impact on our brain. It helps in reducing stress and allows you to take a step back and comprehend various thoughts. It helps in structuring our thoughts through a visualization pattern. You can visualize your plans, models and ideated journeys & map it with the next big idea. It improves our overall ability to manage conflicts and even maintain relationships. Many studies have concluded that if daydreaming did in the right spirit helps you to structure your thoughts. It is also be referred to as organized daydreaming. Reduced stress and the therapeutic effect on the brain will help you to remain highly motivated. And it is this motivation that powers or fuels your conviction to achieve the set goals.

2.        Visualization – One of the most important qualities required for an entrepreneur is to visualize the goals and path ahead. When you are able to visualize various paths (happy path and not so happy path), you can make informed decisions. While, they are still speculative, but you have given yourself enough time to by visualizing different probabilities and options. These options and possibilities would act as guiding principles for achieving the goals. By visualizing “not so happy” paths, you are also preparing yourself to take the challenges head-on.

3.        Imagination & Creativity – An entrepreneur has to be creative & imaginative. Only with your ingenuity, you can crack the tough nut. Challenges faced by an entrepreneur are way different than what a non-entrepreneur professional would face. And to get through such difficult tests, creativity is a must. Daydreaming inculcates a high-level of creativity in you. Daydreams are the most common form of altered consciousness. It helps in relaxing your mind which induces creativity and imagination. During the daydream, brain accesses information that was dormant, allows you to get insights into unexplored areas of the brain. And as your brain becomes more active than ever, access analytical and cognitive side of it – creativity and imagination increase exponentially.

4.        Problem-solving abilities – With increased creativity, the ability to solve the problem increases drastically. Many times, some of the problems may not require a complex solution but because your brain is trained to think in one way, the simplest solution is not thought of. Daydreaming helps you to relax and grasp the situation and problem better and faster. Because your brain has opened its door to think laterally as well, you are able to come up with multiple options to solve the problem at hand. This enables you to pick the right option and then visualize the path ahead.

5.        Increased Productivity - Daydream helps you to focus on. During daydreaming, you are detached from the real world (temporarily) and this gives your brain the space to focus on one idea/problem/ model at a time. Productivity is directly linked with your ability to continue working on something with minimal or no disturbance. With clarity embedded in your brain about the path ahead, your focus levels would be high. Relax and unclutter the brain improves productivity. If you allow a few minutes in the middle of the day to daydream about your next big idea/problem that is bothering you, I am sure your brain will think of many ways to either solve a problem or conceptualize the idea.

While the above points show daydreaming in good light, there are risks associated with it too. If done in excess, it can qualify for mind wandering. And a wandering mind is exactly opposite to what an entrepreneur needs.

Hence, use this tool very carefully. It can make you forget what you are doing and distract you such that it impacts the outcome.

But, given the advantages of cognitive thinking and its ability to help you to boost your creativity, focus, problem-solving skills and imagination & visualization, it is worth practising in a conscious & controlled manner. 


5 Machine Learning Areas That Can Accelerate Your Entrepreneur Journey

Machine learning (ML) is a discipline under the broader space of Artificial Intelligence (AI). ML is one of the most talked and sorted fields in the IT space. Everyone and every organization want to take advantage of the recent advancements in this field.

ML if explained in simple words, is a set of statistical algorithms put together to create a predicting model. ML predicts the future outcome by understanding the past data. ML can be based on supervised, non-supervised or reward-based models. And outcome (prediction) can be based on classification (e.g. true or false or good or bad or ugly) or continuous (series or range base) and clustering.

There are many ML definitions available on the internet, so I am not writing all of them here.

There are many applications of ML. E.g. weather forecast, video prediction (e.g. in Netflix), shopping patterns (e.g. Amazon), marketing response, etc. The list is literally endless and hence, let us only talk about the top 5 potential problems that ML can solve which has the potential to accelerate the Entrepreneur journey. 

Predicting / Validating the:
1.    Market segment – As you get into the market with your next big idea, you would like to understand and predict how the market would react to it. You can always apply human intelligence and make a logical prediction. But depending on the idea or business you are wanting to get into, there would be many parameters that dictate the outcome. It would be a mammoth task to consider all applicable features from a huge set of historical data. But by applying the right multi-class classification algorithm(s) to create a model, you can predict whether the response from the potential market segment will be good or bad or neutral. You can also predict size (range) using continuous / regression algorithms.
2.    Target demographics - It is important to understand and anticipate who, where and what your target personas (audience) wants. Predicting the right age range, gender, their likes and dislikes, preferences, geographical locations, etc. will play a role in the success or failure of the adaptability of your next big idea. And yes, while one can apply common sense to predict, but the scientific approach applied using ML will allow you to see many more potential outcomes and will consider the historical data in fullest.
3.    Marketing campaign outcome – Marketing the service offering or your product is super important. And you may spend a substantial amount on various online or offline marketing campaigns. But you can sense the benefit or return overspend only post or during the campaigns. But wouldn’t it make more sense if you are upfront able to predict the outcome of the campaign? You can do so by applying classification algorithm-based models to sense if reach or response will be high or low. You can employ a regression-based model to predict the response range (or whether lead conversion). You can then accordingly tweak the parameters of the campaign and upfront predict whether the response or probability of lead conversion is improving or not.
4.    Customer servicing – Need of the modern hour is to be proactive than reactive when it comes to servicing the customers. And if you would like to be proactive, predicting their response or reactions is key. We can employ ML to understand based on the historical data how typically a customer would react. While every customer is different but there are many common aspects where their expectations or reactions are similar. Hence, based on the varied expectations and service factors, one can predict a customer’s reaction. This edge provides you with an option to be proactive than reactive.  
5.    Core business levers – Everyone of us will have different idea and market. Depending on the business you are into, predicting the functional outcome can be also carried out using ML. These ideas are business or problem case centric. The core problem that you are trying to solve would be core to the ML model.

One common issue you will face is around quality data availability. Not only you need enough (quantity) data to train your model, but the spread of feature values and labels should be good. If not, the model may turn out to be biased over one outcome than the other.