When it comes to entrepreneurship, there are many misconceptions that people have – whether they’re on the outside or becoming an entrepreneur themselves. Where do these ideas come from? Is it experience, the media or something else entirely? Here at Startup Mindset, we’re dispelling some of these myths around entrepreneurship today:
1. You have to do everything yourself
It’s easy to fall into the trap that, as an entrepreneur, you need to do everything yourself. After all, your business is your baby and you might not feel ready to trust other people to take as good a care of it as you would. However, this can lead to burnout and ultimately could lead to the failure of your idea. Once you’re up and running, it makes sense to build the right team around you to carry out specialist tasks in their area of expertise – it isn’t physically possible to do and be an expert, in every part of your business.
2. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
Networking, and connecting with the right people, is always a good idea in business. However, it isn’t always the be all and end all when it comes to being a successful entrepreneur. As long as you have the drive and ability to make those relevant connections as you go along, it doesn’t matter who you know at the outset. Make calls, send emails and meet with the right people wherever you can – always make sure you’re prepared and ready to put the work in.
3. You can only be successful if you have significant funding behind you
Think of all the start-ups who begun in a garage or backyard, or who started off with little more than an idea. Waiting for funding to come to you might mean it doesn’t happen – work with what you’ve got and go searching for what you need to make your business a success. Approach the right people and take the right opportunities along the way to financially help your business.
4. You choose your own hours
It’s pretty likely that when you first start out you’ll be working hard and working long hours. You need to be prepared to put your all in and trade leisure time for late nights. In theory, you could choose your own hours, but without putting your business first, it’s unlikely that you’ll get it off the ground the way you want. Nobody said that being an entrepreneur was easy, but you have to work out if the sacrifice is worth the rewards for you.
5. You need to constantly take huge risks
While it’s true that the average entrepreneur (if such a thing actually exists) is usually more inclined to take risks than someone who is an employee. You’re more likely to hear about people who took huge personal risks to finance their start-up simply because it’s considered more exciting and makes a better story in the media – just because you’re not putting everything you have on the line every day, it doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong or that you’re any less of an entrepreneur than someone risking it all.
6. Entrepreneurs have it easy – they work from wherever they want, whenever they want
It’s easy to think that technology means that you can run your business from anywhere – and to some extent, that’s true. But along with the earlier point about having to work longer days and make some sacrifices, this is always easier said than done. What technology probably means for you is that it’s more difficult to totally switch off from your start-up.
No-one ever said that setting up your own business is easy but you probably can allow yourself more flexibility (different working hours, travel, setting your own hours) where possible so take that in mind when you’re debating whether or not to leave employment to pursue your entrepreneurship dream.
7. It just takes one good idea
For every idea and business that makes it, you probably don’t hear about all the others that never make it. While there are a lucky few who make it at the first attempt, it’s probably the exception rather than the norm and it’s okay to realize that.
Even seasoned entrepreneurs sometimes make poor business decisions and fail before they get going – one good idea isn’t always enough. So keep thinking, keep dreaming and give it your all to make sure you get those ideas to help you reach the top.
8. It is a way to get rich quick
Have you ever heard the saying “good things come to those who wait”? This is probably the thing to keep in mind when you’re on your entrepreneurship journey rather than seeing it as a way to get rich quickly. Entrepreneurship can be a lot of hard work (and a lot of fun!) but nobody said that it guarantees results – there’s very little that is certain in this life.
Also, being rich or making money isn’t the be all and end all. Remember why you wanted to be an entrepreneur. Did you want to solve a problem or bring a great idea to the world? Did you want to break away from a job that you hate? Maybe you just wanted to enjoy working for yourself and seeing what you can achieve? There are much easier ways to get rich than entrepreneurship if making huge amounts of money is your only goal from setting up on your own so take this into account before you dive in.
It’s easy to think about stereotypes when you’re first starting out as the likelihood is that this is all you have as your frame of reference, unless you have a fantastic mentor or connections who are already developing start-ups, but it’s equally as important to be part of dispelling those myths and paving the way for new and upcoming entrepreneurs. Make sure that you help to dispel any myths along the way by educating and supporting others.