You wake up one fine day and decide, “Hey! I want to quit my 9-5 job and become an entrepreneur”. Try breaking the news to your parents or partner. Even gather your friends around to drop the bomb.
Do you know what will happen? Well dropping such a bombshell suddenly can attract random word-bullets directed at you –
‘Think twice before you take the plunge.’
‘You need tons of dollars.’
‘Most ventures don’t survive for long, you know!’
‘Entrepreneurship is not a child’s fantasy game.’
You should be familiar with all the above statements if you had ever made such an announcement in your circle. But have you ever thought about why people have such questions? These are nothing but fears arising out of various misconceptions surrounding entrepreneurship. Misconceptions are founded upon various legends, anecdotes, movies, and who knows what else.
To debunk those misconceptions, you need to take that one leap of faith. Else, your dream of running your own business will remain a distant dream forever.
Here is a list of the most common myths you hear about entrepreneurship –
Myth #1: Entrepreneurship is a Piece of Cake
Who said being an owner of a company was a piece of cake?
Employees who quit their jobs to start their businesses face immense challenges even though they have survived the highly competitive corporate world. The transition from a regular employee to a company’s owner is not easy. The path gets more challenging for those who directly jump into the bandwagon of entrepreneurship straight out of college.
For instance, Larry Ellison, the American business magnate, didn’t start his career on a promising note.
He dropped out of two different universities and jumped from one job to another before co-founding Software Development Laboratories (later renamed Oracle Systems Corporation).
Even though the starting years of his entrepreneurship were quite profitable, Larry went into bankruptcy later due to poor business practices. But, finally, he bounced back, and today, Oracle is worth billions of dollars.
The question here is not about how difficult entrepreneurship is. Instead, what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur?
Because if you do, you will be well-prepared to overcome any challenges. But, putting your brilliant idea in the cold storage will be a sure act of foolishness.
Instead, you should at least try to find out whether the idea can be viable or not? For that, you need to take that leap of faith and get your grind on!
Myth #2: Entrepreneurs Need an Entire Bank of Money
Yes! Money is essential but not a prerequisite for every business venture.
Here, we would like to burst that bubble of thought you have about entrepreneurs. Initially, not all business owners could raise funds from angel investors, venture capitalists, or others.
Instead, they arrange funds from their bank accounts.
Bank loans, grants, and crowdfunding are other means of raising funds for businesses at their nascent stage.
On the other hand, a few business ideas do not need funds at all.
Businesses like Shopify and ShutterStock started without too much financial investment. Today, Shutterstock is worth $2 billion.
So all entrepreneurs need not go hunting for funds at the nascent stage of launching their businesses. This is one myth you can debunk immediately.
Myth #3: Entrepreneurship is Risky
It will be!
Who said life is devoid of risks? But, unfortunately, there will always be challenges, unwarranted risks, and formidable hurdles to cross. And, if you wish to try something beyond conventional or question the status quo, then risks and challenges are inevitable.
They should not deter you from taking that step. After all, such risks won’t be similar to a reckless decision you might have taken some time in your youth just for the fun of it.
Instead, such decisions are more calculated and data-driven. You will not simply go ahead and launch your company without doing your homework, right?
If you do your research correctly, then taking a calculated risk will not bankrupt you. However, there’s a possibility that you might end up losing clients and business opportunities or suffer losses in the early years. Do your homework well and the chances are that your losses and risks will be minimal.
However, if you do not take the plunge or the risk of chasing your dreams, you might regret letting go of your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
The decision is only yours to make!
Myth #4: Entrepreneurs Don’t Survive Long
According to Forbes, 90% of new ventures and startups fail. Likewise, Investopedia says, “21.5% of startups fail in the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in their 10th year”.
In the year 2019, the startup failure rate was 90%.
It is true these figures can scare you. But, before you pack your bags, why not try to understand how 10% of startups managed to see the light of the day?
They must have done something different from the 90 others, right? So even if you have to think out of the box, you have to work smarter and waaay harder.
As we mentioned before, you got to do your homework. You have to understand how the market works or how your customers behave.
You have to ask yourself questions, such as –
Whether your idea addresses customers’ problems or not?
Have you considered all the factors and worked on each one of them?
Whether you have applied the right strategies or not to accelerate the growth of your startup?
If you have these data in place, then nothing can stop your venture from reaching the pinnacle of success.
For example, Amazon 1-Click was a significant breakthrough in eCommerce. Even though PayPal created the first digital wallet to support the first central online marketplace, eBay, Amazon’s 1-Click raised the bar and changed every customer’s vision of the digital wallet’s capabilities.
What Amazon did was to identify the opportunity and give customers what they wanted.
So, the statistics mentioned above should not discourage you. Instead, you should consider why 90% of ventures fail and why 10% manage to survive?
This myth will never stop you from dreaming big and achieving bigger if you have your answers.
Myth #5: Big Connections Matter to Succeed as an Entrepreneur
“It doesn’t matter what you know; it matters who you know.”
There is enough truth in the above saying, but it cannot be a deciding factor in succeeding as an entrepreneur.
Not all celebrated entrepreneurs in the market have a star-studded safety net. Most of them relied upon their grit and sheer determination.
That’s precisely what makes an entrepreneur successful.
Connections can take you so far. However, if your business fails to garner enough traction and address common problems of the end-users, then any amount of connection cannot save your business.
For instance, Jerry Yang, the co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo was neither born with a silver spoon nor did he have strong connections to witness the unfurling of his idea, Yahoo!
But, he successfully made it to the shore, right?
So, ‘Big Connections Matter to Succeed as an Entrepreneur’ is just a myth.
Myths surrounding entrepreneurship don’t end in just 5 points; there are others too!
If you wish to see the success of your business idea, you can start by debunking all those myths. Take criticisms positively, but turn a deaf ear to self-doubt (triggered by myths and misconceptions) that might pull you down.
It is not that difficult to become the owner of your own business if you have what it takes to become the boss of your company.
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