From Engineer to Entrepreneur


By: Ali Ashraf

From Engineer to Entrepreneur

 “Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”

 A haunting question often asked by friends, family members and relatives!

 As an engineer it’s easy for us to say that we’ll get a nice entry level 9-5 job and settle down, but that is not what we really want. We enter engineering colleges with some powerful ambitions of becoming the next Zuckerberg, creating innovative products, and putting a dent in the universe by bringing the next revolution.

But it doesn’t work that way! Engineering is a stress test, taking students through the toughest of exams, and molding them into a formally compliant shape. By the end of college, most of us can’t wait to get a steady career after those four years of extreme hardship. On the other hand, it takes real courage to create a startup and wait 3 years for it to mature and generate some good income. But again, would you give up your present for a better future? Doing what you love and making a career out of it? Executing your ideas and bring the next disruptive technology?

 Our 3 AM ideas can be brought to this world if we change our perspective and transform ourselves from engineers to entrepreneurs.

Related: 10 Things Young Entrepreneurs Need to Take Care of

From Engineer to Entrepreneur

Find “the idea”

If you think you don’t have it, you’re probably lying to yourself. If you think you don’t have the right one, keep looking. Find prevailing issues in your own society. More issues = more opportunities.

From Engineer to Entrepreneur

Find a co-founder

Find someone who believes in your idea as much as you do. Start looking from your trusted social circle.

Find the market

The idea itself is useless if it doesn’t affect anyone. Make sure that this idea caters a real life issue that people are actually experiencing.

From Engineer to Entrepreneur

Validate the market

Find your audience in 5 days, not 5 years. Create a quick survey about your product capability and float it around your circle. Make sure that the survey is objective, short and to-the-point. Try out A/B testing as well.

From Engineer to Entrepreneur

Create a prototype

Prototype is a toned-down version of a product. It helps in market validation and conveying the actual idea to your future customers and potential investors.

 Don’t marry your StartUp

Your StartUp is not you! You should separate yourself from your idea and your product. If someone tells you to change your idea, don’t take it personally.


From Engineer to Entrepreneur

Leave space for criticism and flexibility

Every criticism is a positive criticism. Your StartUp should be flexible enough to cater real-time market feedback.

 Stop worrying about investment

Investment comes in later stages. And if your StartUp is solid enough, it won’t be any issue.

 Manage your priorities

Lack of time is actually lack of priorities. Keep a good college life and an acceptable GPA.

 Monotask, not multitask

Concentrate on a single task at one time. Multitasking can severely affect the quality of your product.

From Engineer to Entrepreneur

Meet people and build a network

A new startup event comes up every next day. Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.

 Join a greenhouse or an incubation program

Growing in a community of dedicated entrepreneurs is an encouraging experience. Learn from others and don’t repeat their mistakes.

engineer to entrepreneur

Market yourself

Create a website, manage your online blog, and create a personal brand identity. Often investors invest in founders, not the ideas.

engineer to entrepreneur

Uncover your potential

As an engineer, you have a leading edge over people from other fields. An engineer can learn practical marketing and business management in no time. But people from other fields cannot learn to create great products out of the blue.

 Fix yourself

Change starts from within. Bring change in yourself, and you can bring change in the world.

 Create a business plan

Perhaps the only boring phase during entrepreneurship, but it is a necessary evil. It helps in founding stages by uncovering hidden details about ideas.

 I cannot give any false hope that it’s going to be an easy journey. But for sure, you won’t regret it!