Becoming an entrepreneur - for those who desire something more exhilarating than the 9-5, and dream of skyrocketing their income and expanding their sense of freedom – it’s a tempting pursuit. Particularly for those born with the natural propensity to defy the status quo and make their own rules.
The rise of the entrepreneur has paved the way for the largest and most innovative companies in the world – yet with such success coming from the flashes of tenancy and inspiration of driven individuals, a dangerous myth has been born: to achieve real business success, everyone should quit their job and start up their own thing!
For those who have a mere curiosity surrounding entrepreneurship, society’s whisper provides a false warning: every day you put off an entrepreneurial journey, every day you’ll be closer to a life of regret and poverty… Yikes!
The truth, being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. And while rewarding for those are suited to the calling, it’s not the best decision for all.
There’s a lot to think about. Making the right decision for you depends on examining your exact situation and not relying on the ideals, and worrying myths, which surround starting your own business – and succeeding at it!
Let’s take a look at 8 of the most common myths leading fledgling entrepreneurs down the wrong path.
If you want to hear the biggest fabrication linked to entrepreneurship, it’s that you can’t get rich any other way! Yes, the richest people in the USA are mainly entrepreneurs (or have entrepreneurial families), and half of America’s millionaires are self-employed – but there’s another huge segment of wealthy individuals who didn’t have to start their own company. They were part of entrepreneurial success, without having to be the founders. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Intel have created hundreds of thousands of millionaire employees.
Plus, think how many entrepreneurs look successful from the outside but aren’t enjoying long-term wealth and financial security.
It’s not how you make your money which leads to great wealth, it’s how you manage it.
With clever financial management, you can benefit from finances which comfortable support your current and future lifestyles without having to commit yourself to entrepreneurship.
When you’re starting out in business, there’s a tendency to fall in love with a world of oversimplification and optimism designed to lure you into support materials and training programs. Like the myth: if you find something you love to do, you can make a living out of it, and find endless contentment. Sadly, it’s not always the case.
To make a success out of entrepreneurship, you need a market for what you do – whether it’s your lifelong passion or not. Too many giddy business starters have poured their heart into a business based on their passions or ‘a greater cause’, only to find nobody will buy; in turn, they end up broke with no other work to sustain their household needs. A scary situation to find yourself in and a sure-fire way to trigger self-doubts.
Though the chances of being successful and happy in life are increased when you spend most of your time focussing on projects you love, there are other factors to consider before you try to create a livelihood out of them. Do you have the right strategies in place to monetise that which has previously only been a hobby? Can you prove there is real interest in your product, with customers ready and waiting to buy?
If the risks are too large, there’s no reason why you can’t strive to enjoy your passions on the side of employment; using money from a steady salary to fund a lifestyle filled with interests you share with others purely for the joy of it, not for monetary return.
Despite what your current career satisfaction levels may suggest, happiness is not linked solely to employment status. You can be happy in even the most unfulfilling of corporate positions as long as you are taking steps to a future which provides more enjoyment. It’s the perceived benefits of self-employment which provide greater levels of happiness – more time, more self-expression, the ability stretch yourself further and utilise greater capabilities. But these can all be experienced without having to start your own business.
Fulfilment has little to do with business ownership unless you feel it be a pertinent direction for your life – a natural stepping stone for all that you wish to achieve. Even then, launching a business doesn’t have to be an urgent decision. If you feel the desire to lead or manage people, you’d be better off learning the ropes in another organisation before you leap out on your own.
Before you decide you’ll never be as happy as you want to be unless you become an entrepreneur, think about the areas in your life which are lacking. What is it you are hoping to secure to reach new levels of satisfaction? Can they be found in other areas of your life?
Most people find they are happier without the uncertainty, financial burdens, and risks which come with owning your own company. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
Working for yourself is probably the biggest appealing factor of becoming an entrepreneur. Setting your own hours, charging the rates you want to, taking time off whenever you like – who wouldn’t want to have this sort of flexibility? In reality, the life of an entrepreneur is filled with stresses employees never experience. Work can easily become your only focus in life. Because if you stop working your lifestyle simply won’t survive.
The work-life balance is probably one of the biggest struggles for the busy entrepreneur. If you’re used to long work days with only weekends to spare for leisure and family, it’s crucial you recognise how hard getting the work-life balance right really is when building your own brand.
There are likely to be periods where you find yourself working so hard you wish you could just go back to the office and be told what to do for a set number of hours each week. Of course, when you do get it right – it’s unbeatable.
While you may start out ‘boss-free’, the likelihood is that you will have people to answer to as your business grows. Depending on the type of company you form, and the size, you could end up having to pay attention to the demands of directors, regulators, and investors. The latter often adding huge directional pressures – after all, without their money, you would be able to do very little at all.
The strain of investors’ demands is one of the key reasons crowdfunding has gained such support over the last decade. Crowdfunding relies on the generosity of those who believe in your business, and not on the financial gain of those who put their money into your development.
Where have we got this idea that the global conglomerates are evil? That big businesses are bad, and start-ups are always honourable. Most large corporation started as someone’s small business. Take Apple and Coca-Cola. They’re just start-ups that did really, really well. Most entrepreneurs secretly (or not so secretly) dream of this sort of growth.
There’s a myth that huge corporations are not people. Yet they are run entirely by people, in the same way, smaller companies are. Each action undertaken by a multinational has been made by a real person, for real people.
Any problems which come out of huge corporations are due to poor leadership. And leadership issues can arise even in the smallest of businesses too! It’s something to watch out for whether you’re a one-man band or a CEO.
The fear that technology would take over all jobs started way back with the Industrial Revolution, and it seems there’s no slowing on the anxiety new technology causes for those in employment. It’s true that tech has removed the need for certainly staffed positions, shaping the job market dramatically – but to say that you need to go out and create your own now is simply untrue. It’s an option, but not a necessity.
After all, if tech is destroying jobs – how can you explain the fastest growing industry on the planet, technology itself?! More and more employees are needed in the tech industry. And for those who can’t secure a job, there are many factors at play. A lack of in-demand skills being one. The truth, getting the right education for a ready-made position is a much easier solution than trying to start your own business empire. Unfortunately, both education systems and parents have done a poor job of staying up to date with the changing market and what the curriculum should really cover to best support job-seekers. Thankfully, this is changing somewhat.
If you desire to be an entrepreneur (and truly know what that entails) it’s time to expel the idea you need to get started right away. Timing is a huge part of whether your business will fly or not. Not just in terms of whether your product has a market at the time of launch, but in terms of your own personal circumstances and development. Deciding to hold off on your business idea is not necessarily a poor excuse.
You should always think carefully before you give up your day job to start your own company. Start-up success takes complete dedication. It requires hours of input and the willingness to learn and grow as an individual too. Depending on your personal situation, some seasons of your life are better suited to entrepreneurial success than others.
Just as successful entrepreneurs know when to start things up (and that there’s no need to rush), successful entrepreneurs know it’s OK to quit! They realise, deciding to quit doesn’t mean deciding to fail.
The entrepreneur’s ability to quit first starts when they quit a full-time job. But it’s a skill to know when to quit next. Not every start-up succeeds (most don’t) so it’s vital to know when you’re pursuing a business idea which will never come to fruition in the way you’ve planned… There’s no shame in realising your business is weak, and always will be. Successful entrepreneurs won’t be disheartened either - or at least enough to stop them getting up and trying again! There is always something to be learnt from a business which doesn’t work out, making the likelihood of future success even greater.
Sometimes you need to quit to move on to bigger and better things.
Still feel like entrepreneurship is right for you?
The life of an entrepreneur is an exciting one. Particularly when you have a product or service which you are passionately invested in. And while it really isn’t a life path all should wander, it’s also an adventure which many high-potential dreamers never dare to embark on.
If you’re ready to take your business to the another level and keep pushing forward as an entrepreneur, crowdfunding could be the ideal next step. A successful crowdfunding campaign can open up a wealth of opportunities in many different areas of your business – including funds to develop prototypes, complete research, carry out your marketing strategies, or launch your products onto the shop floor.
Start your own crowdfunding project with us today and secure the funds you need to create the business success you dream of. Or leave us a comment now and let us know which of these 7 entrepreneurial myths you once believed in!