Are you too afraid to start your own business? Is common knowledge holding you back from venturing off on your own? Are you working a job you don’t enjoy because you’re afraid of the unknown? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, then this article is for you! We need to crush some common axioms that exist about entrepreneurship.
This semester I decided to take a course that’s a part of the entrepreneurship program offered at my school. I had high hopes going in because I love reading about starting small businesses and being an entrepreneur. As I started reading the textbook (I refuse to list it by name), I realized that a lot of the information of entrepreneurship is outdated and irrelevant to our generation with this textbook being the prime example. While I still need to memorize this information if I want to do well in the course, I wanted to take the the time to squash some of the common myths about entrepreneurship that are out there that I also found in this textbook:
Myth #1: You need an amazing idea to make money.
Everyone is waiting to start the next Google or Facebook (especially with the new movie out now). We all believe in the myth of the “big idea.” What we all forget is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel to make lots of money in life. There’s only one Facebook. There’s only one Google. There are many ways to venture off on your own that don’t involve coming up with the greatest idea in the world. What are some of these options? You could improve a current process, you could join an industry with a high growth rate, or you could just fill a demand gap in your part of town.
Myth #2: You need lots of money to get started with your business.
It’s 2010 and most great business ventures have been started from just a few hundred dollars (ask anyone making thousands from blogging or selling their own digital products). The thinking that you need thousands of dollars from venture capital to get your business off the ground is extinct. This is yet another self-imposed excuse from following your dreams. I don’t believe in irresponsible advice that suggests you need to take out a line of credit or quit your job. I just think that there are many great business ideas that can come to fruition from a few bucks, hard work, a motivated attitude,, and lots of hustle.
Myth #3: You need to work 60-80 hours a week to be successful.
When I read this, I wanted to throw the book at the professor’s head. Who the heck even wants to work that many hours in a week? Most entrepreneurs these days work at their own pace. Telling someone that they will have to work 60-80 hours a week if they decide to venture off on their own will just hinder them from pursuing their goals. As an entrepreneur, you decide how many hours you want to work depending on how you want to grow your business. Being an entrepreneur does not necessarily require that you work massive amounts of hours.
Myth #4: You need to handle all of the technical aspects of your business first.
This is absolutely not true. Do you really think that some of history’s greatest entrepreneurs cared about setting up an LLC or stressed about corporate tax rates? This happened to me a long time ago. I wanted to help people kill their debt and improve their finances and knew that I wanted to start a blog to help. It took me six months to get off the ground because I kept on making excuses due to all of the technical details required. I thought to myself: how will I create a theme? How will I pay my taxes? How will I monetize the site? One day, I finally stopped worrying about these technical details and I started helping young people with their finances. Worrying about technical details will just delay you from venturing off on your own. You can worry about these things later or always outsource them to a friend or a contractor for minimal fees.
I hope that after reading this article you’ll start to challenge axioms not only with regards to entrepreneurship, but whatever your dreams might be. I especially hope that together we can crush the myths on entrepreneurship that simply don’t exist here in 2010.
(photo credit: Mini Arte)