1. Entrepreneurs Are Born, Not Made
This is actually far from the truth. One can be taught to think like an entrepreneur. Many entrepreneurial skills can even be taught. However, you can hardly become an entrepreneur if you don’t have an idea for a new product or service, or if you lack the initiative to go out on your own. But if you have both, you can acquire the necessary skills. Just go out and start a company. You may fail but you will learn from your mistakes. Does that sound too bold? You can take an easier route by taking entrepreneurship courses or working for a startup. Seeking advice from an experienced entrepreneur or plugging into an Internet mentor network may also provide you with valuable tips.
Lack (v): To not have something
- This startup lacks a good marketing strategy.
2. Entrepreneurs Are Solo Players
Yes, some entrepreneurs are solo players. But often entrepreneurs rely on a partner to develop an idea or grow a company. Even Steve Jobs worked with Steve Wozniak before going on his own to form Apple. A partner — often a family member or friend — can bring in skills or experience you lack and provide moral support during a crunch time. Building the company up is even more of a social activity because it entails hiring employees, pursuing investors, and persuading customers to buy. You can do everything on your own as long as you don’t sleep. But you can be better off, and more rested, taking on a partner and dividing work and responsibilities between you and others.
Crunch time (n): An informal phrase that conveys an important or critical moment.
- Only one month left before school’s out for summer. It’s crunch time! We need to find summer jobs.
3. Entrepreneurs Are Driven Solely by Desire for Profits
Not really! A financial gain may be an ultimate goal, but it rarely is the only goal. Some entrepreneurs are driven by a passion to realize their dreams or ideas. Others are driven by determination to seize a market opportunity. The majority of U.S. small-business owners say they were motivated to start up a company by desire for independence — to do what they like, in the way they like. Elsewhere, people resort to entrepreneurship because they have limited options. For socially conscious entrepreneurs a priority is to increase the social impact of their ventures rather than profits.
Socially conscious (adj.): Being aware of problems faced by local and global communities and society.
- One socially conscious startup works with local groups in subtropical climates to produce nets that keep out mosquitoes.
- I am socially conscious.
Start up (a company) (v): To begin or to exist. In this context, the start of a company.
- The average time and cost to start up a company has fallen across the European Union in 2011.
4. Entrepreneurs Need a Lot of Money to Start a Business
Nonsense! In the United States you can start a basic business, for example a cleaning service or fruit stand, with a couple of hundred dollars. In less developed countries, the upfront cost can be much less. Creativity can help you lower this cost. For example, you can rely on guerilla marketing rather than costly ads to reach your potential customers. Using free or inexpensive resources on the Web and starting your business from home are other opportunities to go cheap.
Guerilla marketing (n): Activities to make people aware of a company’s products to encourage purchasing. The adjective “guerilla” conveys unconventional, informal or inexpensive ways.
- Guerilla marketing is the craze in San Francisco and Manhattan. Flash mobs of hip hop dancers handing out bumper stickers are helping to brand our new line of skateboard clothing on the East and West Coast.
Upfront cost (n): An expense that is associated with the beginning of a contract, project or business activity.
- There are upfront costs when starting a business. Some upfront costs include purchasing computer equipment and office furniture.
5. Real Entrepreneurs Always Succeed
Only those who never take any risks never fail. In the United States, about half of startups go down in the first four years. But real entrepreneurs have a hard time giving up on their ideas even after their first attempt ends in failure. Many look at what went wrong. They draw appropriate conclusions and bounce back to try again. Those who learn from past mistakes are most likely to succeed on the second, third or later try. So get rid of “the shame” of losing and move on. You’ll be in a good company: Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Soichiro Honda experienced failures before achieving success.