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Clearing up 4 Misconceptions about Being an Entrepreneur

By Business Desk

Monday, June 24, 2019.

There’s something pretty romantic and cool about the idea of being an entrepreneur, to the point where people who describe themselves as entrepreneurs are often either looked at with a degree of reverence and envy, or else with some pretty heavy scepticism (“does he really run his own successful business, or is he just trying to sound important?”)

It’s not hard to see why being an entrepreneur is a much sought-after occupation in life. Entrepreneurs are their own bosses, set their own hours, get to pursue their own business visions as they see fit, and sometimes become really rich into the bargain.

What’s more, it’s possible to become an entrepreneur in all sorts of different fields and avenues. You could set yourself up as a professional EPDM Rubber roof installer, or you could start a range of fitness apparel.

Beyond all the romance of the “entrepreneur” label, though, it’s important to be able to filter the fact from fiction, so that you’re not approaching the task of starting up your own business with a skewed perspective.

Let’s clear up a few misconceptions about being an entrepreneur.

    1. Misconception one: you’ll make your fortune in a hurry, if you just work hard enough

One thing that everyone essentially knows about entrepreneurs, is that they are generally famous for working around the clock, often to the point where their work-life balance goes completely out of the window, and the term “workaholic” begins to apply.

Of course, hard work is required if you want to achieve anything meaningful in life. But there’s often an unfortunate misconception among new entrepreneurs, that if they just work hard enough, they’ll be able to make their fortune in a hurry.

Some lucky businesses do end up becoming very financially successful in a very short space of time. But for the vast majority, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Accept that if you’re starting up your own business, you’re getting involved in a long-term game. Pulling back-to-back all-nighters almost certainly isn’t going to make you rich in a month. But it might make you extremely miserable.

    1. Misconception two: it’s winner take all, and if your business fails, you’re done for good

Another common idea about running your own business, is that it’s an absolutely cutthroat, winner take all situation, where if you fail, you’re done for good.

Of course, if you’ve invested all of your life savings in a particular business, you would be in a pretty bad situation if that business collapsed. But realistically, just about every entrepreneur out there who ends up making a success of themselves, also ends up with plenty of failed business ventures to their name, too. Richard Branson has more than a dozen failed businesses to his.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, it’s important to get comfortable with the idea of hedging your bets, trying different things, and taking failure in your stride. No one wants their businesses to fail, obviously. But some degree of failure is inevitable – and it’s the entrepreneurs who learn from their failures, and who adjust their strategies going forward, who eventually come out on top.

    1. Misconception three: being your own boss means not having to follow any more irritating rules and routines

One pretty common reason why people want to become entrepreneurs, is because they love the idea of being their own boss, and not having to follow any more irritating, arbitrary rules and routines, that get imposed on them by managers and supervisors.

Don’t get too comfortable with the idea that being an entrepreneur means you can do whatever you want.

In order to run your own business successfully, you have to manage your time extremely well, and you have to be able to “play the game” in your particular industry, in a way that customers and collaborators will accept and respect.

That means you may not get to sleep in until noon each day, and you shouldn’t turn up to meetings wearing the clothes you woke up in that morning.

When you’re your own boss, you still have to follow plenty of rules and routines – it’s just that you are (mostly) the one who sets those rules and routines, and enforces them.

    1. Misconception four: you need to try and cover as many bases as possible to get the edge over the competition

New entrepreneurs sometimes try to get an edge over the competition by working feverishly to cover as many bases as possible. If the competitors are selling a particular product, the young and ambitious entrepreneur may try to sell the same kind of product, while also running a complementary laundry operation, and offering to handle the customer’s tax returns for them while they wait.

When all is said and done, though, it’s often the companies who do less who really thrive and excel above the competition.

The fewer things you do as an entrepreneur, the more focused and deliberate you can be – and the better you are likely to do at those one or two things, using your already-limited resources. Try to do too much, though, and you’ll probably just end up doing a lot of things badly.

Clearing up 4 Misconceptions about Being an Entrepreneur

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