25 Oct 10 Myths About Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneur has in some ways become a buzzword to sell franchises and pyramid schemes. But in actual fact, entrepreneurs are a hardworking, dedicated group of people looking to take risks for their slice of the proverbial pie. This is by no means an exhaustive lists so if you have encountered another myth about entrepreneurs, comment below!
- Entrepreneurs don’t have personal lives. Most people think that entrepreneurs work 24/7, 365. While it is true that to be successful entrepreneurs have to work extremely hard, we need our down time too. Part of being self-employed also means you have flexibility to work when you want to. Key to being a successful entrepreneur is time management and having a decent social life is proof of how good these skills are. Know how you work and use that to your advantage. I for one love a good to-do list with priorities in order. Focus on one thing at a time and don’t get distracted by un-related emails and phone calls.
- Entrepreneurs take lots of risks. Yes, entrepreneurs take risks by definition but they don’t necessarily take loads of risks or get into high-risk situations all the time. It comes down to calculated risks, you might have inside information that something is going to happen and so to you, it seems less risky than the rest of the world. You won’t get a very good return if you’re not takings risks; otherwise, everyone would be doing it. And learn from your mistakes, as you’re going to make some.
- Entrepreneurs are only motivated by money. Be honest, would you start a business if it wouldn’t make money? Probably not. The goals of an entrepreneur are probably more aligned with self-actualization than monetary gain. Its risky business creating something new so money can’t be the only motivator to take such a risk.
- Entrepreneurs raise money from VC. Not 100% true. Most entrepreneur’s fund they’re business with personal loans, credit, friends, and family. VC is certainly a part of funding but not always the only way money is raised. Banks, Angel Investors and VC cant always be relied on so often times Entrepreneurs take the risk on investing their own money. For proof look at our list of big companies that succeeded with little to no outside investment.
- Entrepreneurs have great ideas. You don’t need a completely original idea to start a business. There’s nothing wrong with taking someone else’s idea and doing something of your own with it. Maybe the existing offerings aren’t doing the jobs as well as you think you could. As long as you don’t infringe anyone’s copyright, intellectual property etc. its fine. Take Uber and Lyft as an example. Lyft is similar to Uber but arrived 3 years later. From the user perspective they’re identical but from a driver perspective Lyft pays (5%) more and seems to treat their drivers with a bit more respect. Uber has more power over its employees as its the industry leader. Lyft saw a monopoly in an emerging market and took a slice.
- Anyone can be an Entrepreneur. Its harsh, but most people don’t have the dedication to be entrepreneurs. Like in Myth No.3 we’re motivated by something other than money. We are risk takers through and through and we will fight for what we want to achieve. The other fact is that many don’t have the personal reassess to start their own business.
- Entrepreneurs have lots of education and formal training. The fact is you don’t need formal education to create a flourishing business. The best ideas often come from front-line workers who see an opportunity because they’re so close to the problem. While education helps with general business operation, it’s not the be all and end all. In fact, most ( ¾ ) entrepreneurs don’t have university degrees.
- Entrepreneurs are young. This is just untrue. Take a look at the GME report on senior entrepreneurship. The fact is that the number of adults that are self-employed outweighs that of young adults.
- Entrepreneurs don’t quit. While this is how most people aspire to be, the fact is that they may not be as devoted when times get tough. And it takes real confidence and determination to say ‘this isn’t going to work’ and simply move on. But this doesn’t mean the end for your business, Airbnb had to re-launch three times before it was successful.
- Entrepreneurship is genetic. This just isn’t true. Becoming an entrepreneur is about skills and knowledge, not genetics. Anyone can be an entrepreneur with dedication and persistence. Grow your knowledge and creativity by any means you can this will make you a better entrepreneur. Not to toot my own horn but even reading this right now is making you a better entrepreneur!