Misconceptions about entrepreneurship nearly outweigh the accurate perceptions -- and if you're going to run your own business, you need to ground your expectations in reality.
Strong idealism is a positive quality for potential entrepreneurs, so when I see potential business founders talk about how excited they are to get started with a business, I'm delighted. But realism is also a necessary quality for entrepreneurs to have, and unfortunately many new entrepreneurs are so caught up in the excitement of their new venture, they lose sight of some of the realities of business ownership.
I could identify dozens of misconceptions about entrepreneurship I see on a regular basis, but there are five in particular that have run rampant. If you're trying to start your own business, or if you already have, make sure you stay away from these inaccurate beliefs:
1. Entrepreneurship is the easiest way to get rich. There are a lot of entrepreneurs out there who have successfully made millions and retired, but there are also a lot of entrepreneurs who have failed and lost their startup capital. Don't let the get-rich-quick mentality poison your position as an entrepreneur.
2. Long hours aren't a big deal. Fortunately, most new entrepreneurs understand that long hours are a part of owning a business. Unfortunately, many of them underestimate the impact that can have on your mental well being. Be prepared to step away and relax when you need to, or you could easily burn yourself out.
3. A great idea is all it takes to become successful. No matter how innovative or "perfect" your idea seems on the surface, it won't take off as a success unless you put a significant amount of effort behind it.
4. Once you get startup funding, you can cruise. It's true that attaining startup capital is one of the most difficult parts of the process, but after that, you'll still need to closely monitor your cash flow and scrutinize every expense until you get a steady flow of revenue.
5. More freedom means a better split between personal and professional life. Actually, the opposite is true. Most entrepreneurs find their work life seeping into their personal life more than they did with any other "typical" job.
Entrepreneurship isn't easy, and it isn't always fun, but it is very rewarding for those who commit to it. Jump in with a pragmatic mind and a passionate heart, and there is no limit to what you can accomplish.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.
Jose graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.