It is commonly known that entrepreneurship is a way of life, not just a job. The concept of starting a business is getting increasingly intriguing and the list of both cautionary and success stories hits the papers almost every week. One thing is certain though - entrepreneurship requires a wide range of skills and principles ranging from people skills, financial knowledge, situational foresight and management as well as determination and perseverance. Launching a startup requires you to use all the skills you’ve acquired in your life. When you meet other startup owners, there is an unmistakable buzz of growth-oriented mindset, but it’s easy to get lost in the excitement and ignore the myths.
We’ve compiled seven myths that you can avoid.
- It’s all about the ‘Entrepreneur gene’: Over history, there are likely to have been thousands of amazing ideas that have not seen the light of day because the originator has ended the sentence with ‘But I’m not made out to own my own business’. The problem with that is there is no set mould for an entrepreneur - with the right mindset and motivation anyone can be one.
- One great idea is all it takes: Now, this we are blaming on the instant gratification culture we live in. We dream about how one idea will catapult us onto an easy road to success. The road to a successful business is, unfortunately, a lot harder and sometimes it can take a few great ideas before finding one that sticks. Moreover, it takes a detailed implementation plan to take the idea from a thought to a business. While there are exceptions, this is generally one myth you can leave in your rearview mirror.
- Success and formal education are linked: Firstly, I want to caveat this by starting off by saying education is one of the greatest investments you can make. Apart from the technical knowledge and coursework, formal education allows you to experience and develop skills for a brighter future. However, when it comes to entrepreneurship, there is only so much you can learn in a classroom setting. There are many examples of successful entrepreneurs that never attended university, some which never even finished secondary school. In some ways, entrepreneurship is a free for all, where anyone can make it. While an MBA or a business degree would most likely make the journey smoother, it is not a prerequisite.
- It’s a sprint, not just a race: Silicon Valley has embedded the idea that unless you’ve had rapid success and growth, you’re not a success. This is most definitely not the truth. It’s much better to ensure you have a long-term plan for your business than hastily launch a product. Patience is one of the principal virtues in entrepreneurship. Knowing how to scale growth are skills you need to master for continuing success.
- Once you’ve hit rapid growth you’re set: This one kind of goes hand in hand with the above point. Now don’t get us wrong, rapid growth is an interesting time in a business’ lifecycle. It’s the moment you realise all your hard work is paying off, but it does not mean your challenges are over. The biggest thing to be wary of is not letting this stage get to your head. All too often people get a taste of success and immediately start investing in new ventures, diluting the reason the company is successful in the first place.
- Money will be the best motivator: While money is the reason people wake up and go to work every day, bear in mind your employees can easily work elsewhere too. If you want your staff to be in it for the long run, create a company culture that motivates people to work at their best. If you hold the believe money is the best motivator, then sooner rather than later you’ll end up with a disengaged workforce or even worse, ones who simply don’t stick around long enough.
- People are expendable: If you are of the belief that your employees come second to profit and revenue, it will eventually come back to haunt you. While profits are important, the ‘meat grinder’ approach creates an unsustainable mindset and will cost a fortune in turnover. It also will result in top-tier talent turning away from you.
One of the greatest aspects of starting your own business is that the sky is the limit - you have a future of endless possibilities and there is no telling when the next big idea will change the way you live forever. In order to keep moving forward, the best thing we can do is to once in a while examine our successes and failures so we can put the barriers and challenges behind us. If you've decided to launch a business, keep these seven myths in mind.
Posted in Business Resources on Feb 19 2018