- Entrepreneurs are full-time developers and learners, and their time is dedicated by cash flow.
- Entrepreneurship is more about seeing things through. Ultimately, what starts out feeling risky will begin to feel normal.
- Do not be afraid to let go of ideas that do not work, make money or drive revenue.
Small businesses prove to be the backbone of any economy. More than 600,000 new businesses open each year in the U.S., according to SBA estimates. In fact, 48 percent, or almost half of the country’s total workforce, is employed by small businesses. No matter how bad the economy might get, there is always someone out there with an idea they want to share with the world.
Starting your own business is no small task. Not only do you have to factor in funding and a place to sell your products, either online or at a brick-and-mortar location, but sometimes there are negative Nancy’s out there that may discourage you from pursuing your dream. Jennifer Long, a Certified Master Coach and CEO of Management Possible, debunks some entrepreneurial myths and offers some keys to success to help give future business owners the push they need to get started:
You Are Your Own Boss
This is a common misconception. Entrepreneurs are full-time developers and learners, and their time is dedicated by cash flow. Even though you will be in charge of your own company, it does not mean you will not be accountable to anyone for your work. In fact, you will face questions and challenges more than regular employees will.
You Live On Your Own Terms
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “the customer is always right?” Well, it pertains to this statement. If entrepreneurs lived on their own terms, chances are their business plans would go nowhere. There are so many aspects of running a business that you need to compromise on, such as sales, marketing, product development, operations, and growth.
You Get to Follow Your Passion
While this may be somewhat true, it is important to remember that there will still be things you will learn to do that you may end up disliking. Going back to the points made in the second myth, you may have certain ideas of how to grow your business that your customers or clients may not like. Therefore, you have to switch up your marketing and/or product strategy in order to bring in sales.
Entrepreneurship is a Young Person’s Game
There are so many successful businesses with founders who began pursuing their dreams much later in life. It may actually work out for the best to start business plans when you are older so this way you have more time to save up money for funding and gain more experience in the field you are interested in.
You Must Go to an Elite College in Order to be Successful
While getting a school education can certainly help entrepreneurs navigate the business industry, it is not necessary. Would-be entrepreneurs can find inspiration in the successes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, the Virgin Group’s Richard Branson, TV personality and chef Rachael Ray, and many others who have made millions, even billions, without completing college (or even high school, in some cases).
You Have to be an Expert in Your Industry in Order to Make It
Going along with needing a college degree, this is also a complete myth. If you needed to be an expert in order to start any business, there would be a lot less companies out there. You can start anything with the bare minimum knowledge, and then work your way up from there. While there is always room for improvement and growth, you do not need to know absolutely everything to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs Do Not Have a Personal Life
Starting any business takes a lot of time and effort, but you can still have a personal life outside of work. This is also where you can hire employees to help manage your workload so you are not handling everything yourself. It is also helpful if you like your team or partner because you are going to spend a lot of time together, so choose wisely.
Entrepreneurship is Only About Taking Risks
Entrepreneurship is more about seeing things through. Ultimately, what starts out feeling risky will begin to feel normal. Especially when it comes to marketing and sales, you may want to keep things simple and go along with what other brands are doing since you know what works and what will appeal to consumers or clients.
Keys for Success
The above points are just some of the many myths that hopeful entrepreneurs are told to believe. The reality is that all business owners have to start somewhere. Be clear-eyed about what you are committing to learn about yourself, about business, and the market, and have a steadfast belief in your vision because you never stop selling it. According to Long, in order to make your business dream come true, entrepreneurs need:
Never let a doubter slow you down with their negativity.
- Let go of ideas that do not work.
Do not be afraid to let go of ideas that do not work, make money or drive revenue – even if you’ve worked incredibly hard to bring them to life. Just like Myth #2, successful business is all about compromise.
- A sense of purpose.
This helps to provide clarity in decision-making.
- A sense of humor.
Things will inevitably go wrong, no matter how hard you try to prepare yourself and your team. Laugh it off, pick yourself back up, and learn from this lesson.