Entrepreneurship is often deemed a glamorous venture. You get to be your own boss. You get to call the shots. And best of all, your hard work is your reward and yours only. There are many misconceptions to being an entrepreneur. Perhaps this has to do with the media, advice received or what is heard through the grapevine. Here are some myths about entrepreneurship that you should read before deciding to venture out on your own.
If my product or service is good, I’ll be successful.
You know you’re great at what you do in your current role, so you should be great at doing it on your own right? The error many of us make is that being great at your job might not necessarily translate into plenty of clients as an entrepreneur.Providing a great service or product and figuring out how to market it are different animals. You can be really good at what you do, but really bad at selling this product or service. Relationships and connections can make a huge difference particularly early on when you haven’t built a brand yet and need someone to give you a break. Finding that someone to give you a break can be daunting. It’s easy to overestimate the demand for your services. There are so many variables that come into play when you finally put your service or product on the market, you cannot account for every single hiccup
Entrepreneurship will give me back complete control of my schedule.
You think that as an entrepreneur that you will now have total freedom and flexibility. This is most likely the most seductive myth. You no longer have to work a 9-5 office job but the reality is that you have to pour your blood, sweat and tears into your venture. As an entrepreneur, you are going to have to sacrifice personal time. While founders may not have to punch a time clock, they often slave away the first few years. Logging hours that easily surpass those from their “corporate jungle” days.
Although you may be passionate about what you do and don’t mind working long hours, you need to find a balance or you may burn out. Don’t be so immersed in your venture that you forget to live your life.
Never give away your product or service, it’ll dilute your brand.
Not necessarily true. Early on in an entrepreneurial venture there may indeed be strategic opportunities for providing product or service pro bono. Sometimes, the value of getting in front of your target audience to showcase your abilities or products can outweigh the opportunity cost of the missed revenue. However, you need to limit these interactions. Look at offering a “taster” of your product or service, leaving the potential client wanting more, which they inevitably will pay for.
Early on, I need to do it all myself.
Of course, when you have a limited amount of money, you may need to do a lot of work yourself. Being an entrepreneur means you are a jack of all trades. You have to wear many hats. It may however become more cost-effective to outsource certain functions that you aren’t good at. Rather use your resources to do the things that you are actually good at that will bring in the revenue.Focus your energy in areas where you have particular expertise and require your personal attention. Rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t hire you to do the work, you should probably hire someone else.
The more clients, the better.
The more clients you have, the more money you make, right? But spreading yourself too thinly will mean you aren’t delivering your best. It may be tempting to take on any client, offering different services to different clients all in an effort to capture the market. The danger is that if you don’t clearly define your products and services, you end up confusing not only yourself but the market too. The other side of the coin is that not all clients are worthwhile. Some are extremely high maintenance, unrealistic, unreliable or price hagglers. As you grow your business you are going to want to be more selective of the clients you choose. Look for quality over quantity.
Entrepreneurship is about risk taking.
This is an interesting myth. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Obviously, there is some risk-taking involved, but these are often calculated risks. Many entrepreneurs are control freaks who wouldn’t gamble on a business if the odds are stacked against them. Entrepreneurs are on the lookout for smart opportunities. They prefer situations in which they can influence the outcome, and they like challenges if they believe the odds are in their favour. It’s all about balancing the risk and reward.
In conclusion, there are many myths out there. The aim is to not believe everything that you read or hear, but rather come to your own conclusions.