Starting your own business can be both challenging and fulfilling. If you are to achieve your goals and be successful, you need to have a strong will and be ready both mentally and physically. Needless to say, being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart, as a business endeavor may turn into a train wreck on occasion, and you need to be able to put out fires without so much as the blink of an eye.
On top of that, before you start your journey, you need to have the proper business knowledge, expertise in the field, and a solid plan.
However, the world is full of myths about, practically, any topic, and entrepreneurship doesn’t fall short of it. If you Google it, you’ll find loads of content that provides advice, ideas, strategies, and whatnot. While it’s easy to pick an article, read it, and believe every word that the author says, you should be wary of the blogs you read. Not all writers are equipped with proper knowledge on the topic that they are writing about, and when it comes to business, it’s best to stick to reliable sources with expertise and experience.
There are lots of myths about entrepreneurship and, today, we will discuss what some of those are about and what’s the truth behind them. But first, let’s delve a bit into entrepreneurship and the qualities which define a successful entrepreneur.
What Is Entrepreneurship?
According to Investopedia, an entrepreneur is someone who comes up with a business of their own. To fit the description, one should also have a plethora of new ideas, be an innovator, and know how to successfully set up a company from scratch.
In addition, to reduce the risk of failure aspiring businesspeople should be aware of the challenges that creating a brand bears and take precautions.
Entrepreneurs play a huge part in building the economy. They are expected to anticipate the needs of the consumers, be quick to identify marketplace silos, create demand for innovations, and, ultimately, have the capacity to bring new relevant solutions to the table.
Not only that, but they should also be able to scale their businesses to generate a profit and survive in today’s severely competitive environment.
Well, nobody said it was easy, right?
Let’s talk about some entrepreneurship traits that one must possess:
- Confidence. An entrepreneur must be confident in their abilities to build a business from the ground up and grow it into a successful brand. They must believe in their own skillset (and own it) to be able to inspire their employees and other people around them.
- Passion and motivation. Without passion, entrepreneurs are doomed to fail. You must be completely in love with what you do and how you do it to reach the success that you are eyeing.
- Good leadership skills. No business is a one-man show. If your operation is to succeed you not only need to assemble a team of driven professionals and talented experts, but you need to be able to lead and inspire them. Otherwise, all of your efforts and hard work will be in vain.
- The ability to think fast. There are millions of other entrepreneurs in the world, and you must be proactive to overrun your competition. Bear an open mind and lend an ear to the people around you. Actively identify the threats that your business might encounter and think of possible solutions that you can successfully apply.
- Competitiveness. Whatever niche you are operating in, there are thousands of other businesses trying to win over the client. As an entrepreneur, to stand out, you must constantly think of ways to improve your company. Know what your target market needs and plan ahead so your competitors won’t get ahead of you.
- Creativity. The leaders in any industry possess one common thing: creativity. Think outside the box and be willing to try different things to bring excitement and anticipation into the business.
There are lots of entrepreneurship opportunities that are available for business-minded people, but only a few possess all of the qualities listed above. These skills go hand-in-hand with success, so make sure to brush up on your expertise before venturing into the business world.
What are the Most Common Myths About Entrepreneurship?
Now that we have discussed what entrepreneurship is and what abilities one must hold, let’s delve into the most common myths about entrepreneurship.
Myth # 1: You Need a Large Amount of Money to Start
Sure, starting a business requires you to shell out money, but you do not need millions of dollars to bring your dream to life. Most people think that they need a group of dedicated investors to start their own company. Fortunately, this is not always the case.
You can start a brand even with your own capital, as well as rely on business grants, funds, or even loans.
Here are some other ways to secure the money for your upcoming business venture:
- Bootstrapping. As we have mentioned, self-funding is one of the best ways to bring your business to fruition. You can use your own funds that you have worked hard for, or you can ask for your friends’ and family’s support. However, you must be careful not to spend more than you can afford, as this can lead to bigger problems in the future, such as hefty penalties and fees.
- Crowdfunding. Crowdfunders are not necessarily investors, but they are willing to spend a bit of their own money to help you start your business. These people usually fall in love with your product or service idea and are willing to contribute to bringing your visions to life. Some of the best and most trustworthy crowdfunding sites include GoFundMe, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and CircleUp.
- Business loan. It’s not entirely a bad thing to apply for a small business loan to start your company. Getting help from banks and credit unions will help you gain complete control of your business without having to worry about capital funds. However, it is crucial that you have an expense sheet, a complete business plan, and a projection of your financial expenses and reports for the years to come. Doing this will give you an estimate of how much you need to borrow from the bank and help you avoid possible losses.
However, regardless of what type of financing you use to jump-start your endeavor, make sure to create a solid business plan. It should not only outline how you see your business developing but specifically focus on the revenue. Most startups need at least 3 years to make up for the initial investment and start operating at a profit. However, during this time, your costs and expenses may change.
All in all, more often than not, when it comes to financing, whether or not a business is a success depends not so much on how the money you can secure, but on doing the proper calculations.
Myth # 2: Entrepreneurs Must Start at a Young Age
While it pays to start young, when it comes to entrepreneurship, it is never too late to start your own business. The media likes to glorify and praise young entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Matthew Mullenweg, and Catherine Cook. However, there are business owners who started later in life but are just as successful as the ones listed above:
- Martha Stewart. She was in her mid-thirties when she started her catering business, and she was almost 50 before she started developing her own magazine.
- Vera Wang. Wang came up with her own clothing line at 39. Now, her unique designs are worn by some of the most famous people in the world.
- Reid Hoffman. This business tycoon founded LinkedIn at the age of 35.
- Robert Noyce. He founded Intel when he was 41 years old.
- Liu Chuanzhi. This entrepreneur started Lenovo at age 39.
These people prove that age is just a number, especially when it comes to starting your own brand. Furthermore, real-life and professional experience, connections, and business insight are not to be underestimated.
As long as you have the passion, motivation, and capital for it, then go ahead and start building the business of your dreams!
Myth # 3: Entrepreneurs Do Not Rest
A lot of people think that entrepreneurs hustle day and night. However, most business owners will agree that one must work smarter, not harder.
Entrepreneurs are human, too, and they need time to rest and recuperate. It is never worth it to sacrifice your health and relationships for the sake of your business, and you need to have a balanced lifestyle to be able to keep your company running.
If you are planning on starting a company, you have to make sure that you will create a healthy routine. Plan your days and weeks properly and make sure that you are getting enough rest and sleep. Your nutrition and diet must be planned as well.
Lastly, remember to take breaks and do not overwork yourself. Burnout is a real danger. It can cloud your judgment, reduce your productivity, affect your decision-making ability, and, overall, jeopardize all your efforts and hard work.
Myth # 4: Entrepreneurs Are Just “Born With It”
While some people are, truly, born with what it takes to be an entrepreneur, most individuals who learn the ins and outs of the craft the hard way are just as successful.
Besides, without proper entrepreneurship knowledge, you just can’t expect to have a booming business. Unlike what most people think, it’s not something you have in your DNA. Of course, there is always that 1%, but the rest need to learn how to run a business, otherwise, they will join the majority of startups that fail within the first few years.
Running a business requires a lot of grit and passion. It’s not something that one can just decide to pursue, and it is definitely not a trend that people can just hop on. This is why there are schools and courses that teach entrepreneurship – people who are planning to enter the world of business need to learn how to do it the right way.
Myth # 5: Entrepreneurs Do It All On Their Own
As the saying goes, no man is an island. You can’t build a company from scratch and expect it to scale up all on your own. Yes, you can start a brand alone, but eventually, you would need to hire employees to help you grow your business. You need to have other heads thinking about new ideas and pitching their suggestions in. Business is collaborative, and the more people you have onboard, the better it will be for the future of your brand.
As a newbie in the entrepreneurship industry, you should seek out help from mentors that have been in the business for a long time. Additionally, you should also hire the right people for tasks such as bookkeeping/accounting, marketing, sales, and coding or building your own website.
Your customers deserve the best, and you can’t expect to do it all by yourself.
Entrepreneurship might sound like a handful, but as long as you have the right skill set and motivation, you will go a long way. Do not get sidetracked by the myths that we have discussed above and remember to do your research on your chosen industry beforehand. If you feel like your approach is not headed in the right direction, then go ahead and tweak your business plan a bit.
An entrepreneur in the making always starts from the bottom up. Keep your head up and equip yourself with the right tools and mindset, and you are on your way to scaling your business.