Written By: Mo Elhammady @the_business_lounge_ @moelhammady
Photo Credit: www.multymarketing.com
Entrepreneurship is a very rewarding endeavor. Even though it’s challenging at times, many entrepreneurs enjoy what they do. For those of you reading and would like to become entrepreneurs, there are a few myths you may have heard that you should avoid falling victim to. They may seem true, and very applicable at times, but they don’t represent entrepreneurs as a whole. There are countless of myths out there, but here are a few of the most common ones when it comes to success in entrepreneurship.
Myth #1: YOU NEED A GREAT IDEA
Everyone has a business idea in them but they never think it’s good enough. The reason they think it’s not good enough is they judge early ideas against already established businesses. However, it would be foolish to think that every or even most ventures start fully formed. Every successful idea starts small and over time can mature into greatness. Take Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group for example. Did you know they started as a small mail-ordering business? The company would take orders through the post and mail music records to customers. In those early days I highly doubt Branson knew how big his venture would become.
The reality of entrepreneurship is that an idea doesn’t have to be perfect right from the get go; nor does it have to be extraordinary. In a survey involving 100 highly revered start-ups only 12 percent of the founders attributed their success to an extraordinary or unusual idea. The other 88 percent attributed most of their success to the extraordinary execution of an ordinary idea.
Considering what I’ve just mentioned, the pressure we place on ourselves to come up with a revolutionary idea is unjustified. Few successful businesses ever start that way and many great entrepreneurs simply execute an existing idea better than everyone else has in the past. What it really comes down to is you don’t need a great idea to start a business; you just need a reasonable concept to build upon.
MYTH #2: ENTREPRENEURS LOVE RISK
Another misconception many people think is true is that entrepreneurs love risk and you have to be a big risk-taker to become an entrepreneur. However, when it comes to risk, business owners aren’t really that much different from the general public. If you asked an entrepreneur to leave their car or the front door to their house unlocked while running some errands they would view the risk of theft to be just as high as anyone else’s assessment.
In my opinion however, there’s one possible key difference: entrepreneurs are generally more confident and optimistic. When reviewing a business opportunity, they have a strong belief in their ability to profit from a venture. In contrast, other people are more likely to see threats where entrepreneurs see opportunity. If you consider this, then entrepreneurs are not risk-taking enthusiasts. They simply believe that if they work effectively they can turn risk into reward.
MYTH #3: YOU NEED LOTS OF MONEY
You don’t always need a lot of money to start. The amount of cash you will need depends on the type of business you hope to start. For instance, there are many examples of people who started an online business for less than $100 but went on to make six-figure incomes. On the other hand, a small coffee shop that seats about 20 people might cost you between $15,000 and $20,000 to set up.
Generally speaking, service companies have lower costs while product-based businesses (restaurants, manufacturers, retailers) tend to have higher costs. It’s probably worth pointing out that there’s a danger to having too much money at the start of a venture. The temptation to spend money on every problem is greater when you have that extra cash on hand. Let’s say for example, you aren’t generating enough sales. You might be inclined to spend more money on marketing even if the product is not satisfying customers, just because you have the money. Actually being short on resources instils a stricter discipline. When funding is tight you’re forced to consider the underlying issues as to why something isn’t working, instead of using the brute force of cash to attack every problem.
MYTH #4: ENTREPRENEURS ARE TIME-SENSITIVE
Obviously all of us should be aware of the way we spend the hours of our days, but there is a common myth that entrepreneurs spend their days working non-stop and do not spend their time doing anything else besides working. Its true entrepreneurs do spend a lot of time dedicated to their businesses, but many of them also master time-management.
As an entrepreneur, your schedule is up to you. Many entrepreneurs do their work during the week so they can enjoy their weekends, and this includes important business meetings. Entrepreneurs do sacrifice personal time, some times, but not as much as the myth suggests.
THE TRUTH ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP
You may not have considered entrepreneurship until now. You may still be studying for your degree, or you may have graduated. Regardless of your current position it’s never too late to start a business. The odds of success – especially if you are educated – are better than most people think. You don’t need a million-dollar idea, your age hardly matters, and it’s possible to attain the business skills necessary to become an effective entrepreneur; especially in the world we live in today.