Wanting to start a business but believe that the entrepreneurial world is a magical green grass where only the extreme lucky triumph? Well you’re not alone, since it’s a road that should be paved with caution, we’re often crowded in what’s sound advice and what’s pure myth. Here are three myths that entrepreneurs should try to sidestep when embarking their journey:
- Myth: You Need An MBA To Start A Business
Reality: You Need To Know What You’re Doing
Yes, the most common misconception still remains the same old you need an MBA degree. Don’t let the business universities fool you with their tagline of “learn how to make a lot of money”, that’s a trap. Well yes, they teach you theories that are crucial but with the technology we have, why pay?
With tips, strategies, lessons on how to build a business plan all freely accessible on various internet tools such as Google Scholar, YouTube and Coursera, it makes sense why Zuckerberg dropped out, right?
But that being said a few YouTube videos won’t help you build a business online. Dive deep into your research and really know what you’re doing. Guess what, even if you don’t understand the functioning of your product, you can still have a business by becoming a non-technical founder! Check out 7 things every non-technical founder should know.
2. Myth: You Need To Put Everything Aside To Work On Your Business
Reality: You Need To Focus On Being Productive Rather Than Busy
Yes entrepreneurs have to work extra hard, most popular entrepreneurs such as Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have made that clear as they claimed they worked for 16 hours a day throughout the week initially.
But what they also ensured was that they utilised those hours efficiently, they got lucky as that worked out for them. But with most of us what that might lead to is heavy burnout, a nightmare for wellbeing, health and a flame out for business and it’s innovation.
How to avoid that?
- Identify your productive hours:
Understand if you’re an early bird, a night owl or a midday worker and stick to working then. If you’re productive in the evenings don’t push yourself to get up super early, what that’s going to do is just waste your time, energy and result in you not achieving what you otherwise could have.
- Identify your productivity style:
There is no one-size fits all response on maximizing productivity. We’re all different and have varying strengths. Productivity guru Carson Tate came up with 4 different productivity styles - planner, arranger, prioritiser and the visualiser and each has its relevant communication and decision making style and specific set of techniques to allow for success. So figure out what works best for you, take Tate’s productivity assessment here.
- Take regular breaks:
You’ve probably heard of the popular mantra all entrepreneurs swear by, i.e. focus is what drives results. To remain focused, short breaks are encouraged to allow for rejuvenation and avoid negative impacts on your well being.
That can be as simple as a quick stroll in the park, mini nap or a quick game of Jenga with your partner and kids. Now this doesn’t just restrict to shorter periods of breaks but even for getaways or like the founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls - Paige Arnof- Fenn said “Taking vacation and downtime is important and necessary to do your best work".
3. Myth: There’s No Business Without Risk
Reality: Make Educated Decisions Not Superlative Risks
The idea that you have to risk everything you own to become a successful entrepreneur is perhaps one of the most nonsensical myths out there.
Entrepreneur Mo Abedin stated, "Successful entrepreneurs are some of the most cautious people in the business world. The image of a high-flying entrepreneur throwing down poker chips and betting their life savings on a single idea is a myth."
But with entrepreneurs if they’ve decided to go through with an idea it’s often well researched, data driven and examined at all levels.
In the name of risk, no entrepreneur is advised to put all their hard work, time and investment into their business. Yes the idea is with investing in but one must also be smart and not throw their life savings into starting one. "As an entrepreneur, you still have to survive in the real world of paying for groceries and affording the costs that homeownership can bring. No business owner should ever feel that they have to risk their home and livelihood just to succeed," adds business coach Marc Galal.
In fact according to the SBA, over 50% of small businesses survive the first five years and the entrepreneurs that fail are the extreme risk takers. Successful businesses have a well thought out strategic business plan and contingency plan attached to all risks intended one business statistics source estimates.
Remember this isn’t a game of luck, follow your passion , get the right mindset and set reasonable goals keeping these above listed myths in mind. Sprinkle in doses of hard work, time and a drench of grit and voila watch your business skyrocket.