SIX COMMON MYTHS ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP
It’s actually funny and also quite interesting how of all the many problems faced by entrepreneurs or individuals who are about to venture into business, myths also plays a role in the decision making process. These myths always have ways of interfering with decisions and the choices entrepreneurs make. Most times, it makes things discouraging and other times, it fosters bad decisions that ultimately lead to reduced productivity or failure of the business.
Certain misconceptions and assumptions made by people is what causes the belief in myths. These assumptions go as far as restraining individuals from doing certain things because of the negativity surrounding what they’ve heard. For instance, I might have a neighbor who is an entrepreneur and also goes to work very early and returns home very late. Because he/she works like this doesn’t mean when I start mine, I’ll be like them.
Okay, not all of these myths are entirely negative. There are instances where individuals are made to believe certain things about entrepreneurship like how easy it can be and how success is totally attainable within a very short period of time. They almost literally force individuals into starting a business. Debunking all these myths and misconceptions will help future entrepreneurs know the basics and also the requirements for attaining success. I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common myths about entrepreneurship and why they are wrong.
1. ENTREPRENEURS HAVE NO PERSONAL LIFE AND TIME FOR FUN AT ALL
This of course tops the list of popular myths. It is of common belief that entrepreneurs simply have no life, they only really care about their business and spend most of the time they have with the business, hence no time for a making friends, keeping in touch with family and also doing fun things. Also, many people believe if an individual becomes entrepreneur, he/she is definitely dedicating their lives to their business and the only real thing that makes them happy is their business.
True? Hell No. There’s totally something called time management. Everyone deserves a fun time and everyone gets a fun time. Yes, the business is important and they strive hard to attain success, but it’s not just the business for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs usually have a family and keep friends and visit parks, watch movies, play games and every other thing a normal person does. Properly managing your time helps you accommodate time for your business and also time for yourself.
Try establishing an adequate working routine that helps you manage your time properly if you’re having issues with time. Set a schedule/work calendar that contains all the things you need to get done at work. Always put the hard stuff at the top of the list and move on till you get to the less important stuff. Take breaks often and work hard to make sure you follow your own routine.
2. ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS GENETIC
Yeah, hold on a bit. Entrepreneurship is not genetic. It’s not even biological. Most people believe once a person becomes too good at his/her business, then they were born to do it. At times, family businesses are passed to people and they’re expected to run the family business just like it has always been because it is in their “genes”.
There’s no way entrepreneurship is genetic. It just can’t be. It’s almost the same as saying being kind or truthful is in the gene. Certain individuals have gone through rigorous set of training and experiences to help them become better entrepreneurs. The deal with entrepreneurship is hard work and commitment. With both, an individual will make a good entrepreneur. This also debunks the assumption that entrepreneurship is for everyone. Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Some individuals don’t just have what it takes to start a business.
3. ENTREPRENEURS ALWAYS TAKE RISKS.
This is yet another popular misconception. Many people believe that entrepreneurs take too many risks in the running of the business. Some also believe that entrepreneurs are gamblers and they mostly rely on luck or trial and error concepts to run their businesses. Now, the truth is, yes entrepreneurs take risks and these risks are only for the business.
Whatever risks an entrepreneur takes relates to the business and how well it survives. And no, they’re not always taking risks. Risks are an important part of entrepreneurship and determining when to take these risks is highly important. For entrepreneurs, risks are more about balancing risks and rewards. Taking a low risk could mean a low reward or benefit and vice versa. Imagine if there were no risks, there will probably be more entrepreneurs than we have today.
4. ENTREPRENEURS ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY ONLY.
It is widely believed that when someone goes into entrepreneurship, the person is there because of the money the person expects to make and the person doesn’t care about other things. They believe that entrepreneurs are mostly being pushed into what they’re doing for love of money or fear of poverty.
Well yeah, money is quite important no doubt but it’s not the only reason why individuals venture into businesses. In fact, there are quite a number of other reasons that could make an individual want to start a business. One is fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Most successful entrepreneurs out there today are people whose businesses are connected to their passion and what they’ve really wanted to do all their life. On the other hand, some people do it as a way of giving back to the society. Others are for experience or resume purposes and lastly is for freedom. Some people feel limited to certain things when they work for organizations. Starting up their own businesses serves as a avenue for more freedom.
5. ENTREPRENEURS ALWAYS HAVE WONDERFUL IDEAS
This appears to also be a common myth. Maybe it is the tag or the name Entrepreneur, but people seem to believe once an individual is an entrepreneur, he/she automatically has an ocean of ideas in store. In truth, it can be said that great ideas are what make an entrepreneur but also, it doesn’t mean all entrepreneurs need to hustle and stress too hard to get a new or fresh intelligent idea to be able to start a business.
In recent times, we’ve seen people who have picked up an existing business and transformed it into something that fits their own plans. An existing idea can be exploited to build another business from it as long as there are no infringements or plagiarism issues. There are many examples to pick from if you look at it. People who do almost similar things but the way they implement their operations make it look totally different. Take for instance, Opay and Gokada. Also, Uber and Taxify. The list goes on. Similar ideas but vastly different implementations.
6. ENTREPRENEURS HAVE A SECRET FORMULA
Maybe this is because of the way some entrepreneurs make their success look, but people actually believe there is a particular secret formula that most successful entrepreneurs use to get results. Some individuals don’t just want to believe that hard work and commitment are key in the path to success, instead they are always willing to ask entrepreneurs what they “actually do” to attain so much success. There are simply no shortcuts.
In truth, two different people can decide to engage in the same kind of business and still, one could be more successful than the other. There is no such thing as a secret to entrepreneurship. It all comes down to the way the ideas are implemented, level of hard work put in and the dedication and commitment to work. The goal is always to work smart and that’s the thing that always stands out in the stories of successful entrepreneurs. Their ability to come up with smart ideas to help them properly run their businesses is sometimes vital. Everyone cannot run their businesses the same way, even twins, so you can’t always expect a similar result.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENTREPRENEURS
Entrepreneurs are individuals who creates a new business by bringing a creative idea into light. These individuals try to initiate a change in whatever they’re venturing into. This change could be in form of a new product which is fresh and not available in the market or rather a product that provides a solution to a certain problem in the society. In other cases, it could be by providing an alternative to already existing solutions and bringing competition which in turn brings efficiency to the market.
Being an entrepreneur however, is not just about coming up with a brilliant idea, though this point is actually a drive to the real goal but it’s only a start. There are certain skills that must be possessed by individuals to make them ready and prepared for what’s to come in the entrepreneurship scene. It takes more than just the ideas but rather some other things that work hand in hand to make the developed idea to work. It’s all a process.
There are different types of entrepreneurs and it is usually based on the personality, background, skills and community. The different types of entrepreneurs always have different ways in which they start their businesses and how they control the operations for the business. Though many things might differ in their manners of approach to their businesses, they do have some things in common which includes marketing and finance. No matter how you start your business, you’ll still need to market it and use some money to start and sustain the business.
In the next sub heads, I’ll be discussing six types of entrepreneurs, how they go about their operations and how they’re unique in their own way.
SIX DIFFERENT TYPES OF ENTREPRENEURS
1. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR
This kind of entrepreneur is one that aims at solving problems relating to social goals. All the ideas developed by these kind of entrepreneurs centers on some social problems and how they can play a role in helping to solve it. In most cases, this kind of entrepreneur most likely starts up as a non profit organization as the only thing that concerns them is the well being of the individuals in the society. Sometimes, these individuals are called change makers and they’re there to bring a unique idea that solves a very common social problem. The individual does not necessarily work for money or financial benefits but all for the social benefit of the community and world at large.
2. INNOVATIVE ENTREPRENEUR
An innovative entrepreneur is the thinking kind of entrepreneur. They are the ones that develop fresh ideas that have not even been developed before. They come up with brilliant ideas that can be implemented into something business-like. These kind of entrepreneurs are passionate about what they want to do and the main goal for them is to invent something that makes things easier and better for other individuals. They consistently come up with completely new ideas to start, operate and also make their products stand out in the market. Innovative entrepreneur are inventors of new ideas.
Example of innovative entrepreneurs include Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Page. These men are actually popular for their inventions which have in one way or another brought about a change and also helped make things easier and better for people. Bill Gates started Microsoft and brought revolution to the computer era. Steve Jobs started Apple which is till date one of the best gadget companies in the world. And Larry Page brought about Google, which is obviously one of the best innovations of all time.
Because it’s their idea and it’s a completely new one, these entrepreneurs hardly face competition especially during the first years of their business. Competition is also never a problem for them as they always have ideas to make them stand out and stay different.
For this kind of entrepreneur, hard work is everything. He/she is prepared to put in all the work in this world into making sure their business works out. They hardly give up and are prepared to do whatever it takes for the progress of their business. These entrepreneurs prefer to start their businesses small and put in constant levels of hard work to reach their goals. They are not about looking for capital and huge amounts of money to run their businesses. They believe everything can be achieved with hard work.
To entrepreneurs with the hustler mentality, their businesses and aspirations serves as motivation for them and they see failure and losses as part of the process. They are less likely to leave what they’re doing because of failures. They tend to look at the bigger picture mostly and that’s one of the reasons why they start small with the hope of growing the business. For them, it’s hard work and hard work and even more hard work. And most times, the success of the company depends on how much work they put in.
They can also be called the copycat entrepreneurs. What they do is pick up an existing business and transform it into something else that would serve either the same or a different purpose. This is one of the common forms of entrepreneurship and it mostly happens when there is just a single provider of a product. The thing that runs in the minds of imitators is how to change an existing business and make it theirs. A typical example can be seen these days. Uber and Taxify are two popular business brands. They are meant to do similar things but they are operated differently.
Imitators can also be considered innovative as they develop fresh and brilliant ideas in the process of introducing or transforming an existing business into their own. One key thing to note about them is that they always believe in themselves and learn from the mistakes made by the owners of the original idea. Though they might get to always play catch up, they take the easy path to developing a business by refining an original idea.
Just like the name implies, these kind of entrepreneur gathers enough information about the business before moving on to start. For this individual, starting a business is not something to rush into and he/she must have done all research possible about a product, market and the business generally. They don’t like taking risks and they always start if there is a high chance of succeeding. Failure is also not an option for the researcher kind of entrepreneur. They work out their strategies so well that they don’t give room for any mistakes. A plus side for this kind of entrepreneur is the fact that they always have a number of contingency plans and also thinks about the future when planning.
This entrepreneur simply doesn’t like stress or too much work. The process of coming up with brilliant ideas, putting in hard work and consistent effort and starting from scratch is beyond them. They always look to buy an already existing and promising business. They have the money so buying is not a problem for them. They worry less about coming up with innovation and smart ideas. Buyer Entrepreneurs are mostly defined by their wealth and they always look for promising businesses, make research about the business, review its viability, acquire it and in most cases, put someone in charge to run and operate the business. Also, if a business is on the brink of collapse and it is acquired by this kind of entrepreneur, it’s up to them to change the fortune of the business and try to bring it back up.
Regardless of the type of entrepreneur that an individual is, the main objective of entrepreneurship is starting a business, whether new or existing, that will initiate a change. Money might not always be the end goal, but whatever it is, entrepreneurs are ready to do what it takes to achieve the desired goal or whatever they expect from the business.