There are a lot of misconceptions written about entrepreneurship. Theses misconceptions are responsible for giving entrepreneurs that mysterious fog around them. Entrepreneurs are not superheroes, they are a bunch of people dedicated to making things better no matter what it takes. And that idea of “no matter what it takes” is what pushes them to be creative, thus, making their approach different.
- Entrepreneurs are risk takers. You better think again. Entrepreneurs are not risk takers, they are risk “mitigators”. In fact, they wont even bet on a business with no plausible plan against risk. Those entrepreneurs who go into a risky business without plans are not risk takers, they are gamblers. If you do not believe me, try approaching an entrepreneur and tell him you have a risky business plan and see if he invests.
- You have more time for yourself. When you have a boss you work 8 hours a day. When you are an entrepreneur you work more than that. Why? Because you have to do many things at the same time. Not that I am discouraging you to become an entrepreneur, but that is just plain and simple fact. But it is all going to be worth it when harvest season comes.
- They know their business. Although it is an advantage to know what you are getting yourself into, knowing is not an assurance that your business will be successful. What you need to do is to equip yourself with lots of common sense. Knowledge brings you money; Being Street smart leads you to success. Being street smart is not taught in school, it is taught by experience and failure. If you do not know the business you want to get in to, get a partner who knows how to operate the business but do not make the fault of not learning once you are in the business.
- You need to have a formal plan. The Carney brothers, Dan and Frank were looking for an extra income to pay for their education. One day a friend told them that there is an increasing demand for pizza, so the brothers went for it. They partnered with someone who knew how to make a pizza and gave their inputs to make the taste better and then went for it. That is the story behind Pizza Hut. The business plan was not there, they knew nothing about pizza. all they know is that there is a demand and a need to make extra money for their education.
- Entrepreneurs get rich quick and easy. The only people who get rich quick are those who win the lottery. In entrepreneurship, there are no short cuts, it is either you take the rough road or get lucky. Facebook started in 2003. It took Mark Zuckerberg years of work to get to where he is now. Even in multi-level marketing where there is a promise of getting rich quick, you still need to work your ass off before you can make those pairs and get paid. Franchising also promises an easy way to money. Even if a franchise has a proven system you still need to make things work the old fashion way; make good quality products, market your business and watch those costs.
- You need plenty of money to start a venture. Entrepreneurship is not about big capital start-ups. Entrepreneurship is about creating a low cost start up with maximum profits. Look at how Microsoft started, Bill Gates started in a garage. Michael Dell in his dorm room. All it takes is a good idea and execution to make it work. Start small but think big.
- It’s purely gut feel. Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs and not fortune tellers. It is a myth that entrepreneurs have super powers and that they can predict things. Li Ka Shing, one of the world’s richest was asked about his secret in business. His answer was simple, “He wakes up earlier than the rest”. This means that he works harder than his competitors. In another interview by Alibaba.com he said that luck does not last long. Gut feel is good but you need your numbers too to measure what you manage.
- You need to have an original idea. Before iPad, there was the Palm Pilot. Before Palm Pilot, there was Newton’s apple, the first generation PDA. It is not about who comes up with the idea first, but the one who makes the idea work. Most entrepreneurial ideas are about making things better, it is very rare that you would see something new like Henry Ford’s car, but even the idea of the car came from carriage. In this world, there are really no new ideas, only an improvement of a previous one.
- An entrepreneur is a one man team. I do not think you will last long if you are the one doing everything. An entrepreneur must focus on the next stage of his business life which is innovation and growth. You can start as a one man team but sooner or later you need to learn how to delegate. By delegating, you can do other things that will lead your business towards growth.
- All about the profit. It is not all about the profit. Real entrepreneurs are motivated by the idea of seeing their innovative thoughts turn to reality. Real entrepreneurs know that profits are just a result of their ideas in action. Be in the business because you enjoy it; be in the business because it gives you a purpose. Being in the business ONLY for the money does not bring fulfillment.
Entrepreneurship is not what Hollywood shows us; The one who gets in the business and earns big in a couple of days. The one who uses all his money, bets on a business and triples his money in a week. It may happen to some but not to everyone. You must understand that entrepreneurship is a process that involves a lot of thinking and working. If you want to be successful, understand the realities of entrepreneurship and work from there.