I recently quit my job and since then, I've heard almost all shades of myths about the successful entrepreneur. Honestly, I've been hearing them way before I quit my day job. The question really isn't whether or not I'm going to venture into the world of entrepreneurship, but if I have the right information about being a successful entrepreneur when I eventually decide to be one. If I'm to be honest with myself, I'm already a part-time one; however this is for the most of us who still believe these myths.
I finally watched the fate of the furious; amazing movie. And one of the lessons Cipher taught us all is that one of the things you can honestly give the next man is information, so let me give you some.
Most of the stories or advices that has been passed down to us by seemingly well-meaning friends and family are not exactly right. Among the many are these ones listed below, which I've researched enough to debunk.
1. Entrepreneurs are born- I'm sorry, no they aren’t. Everyone is born a clean slate, we become what we choose. While I agree that some do exceptionally well in entrepreneurship, enough to give credence to this myth, they clearly just brought experiences, determination and hard work to bear. Truthfully, we can be anything we want to be if we choose to.
2. Entrepreneurs get some high to maintain sanity and momentum- Have you heard this yet? Especially when they refer to the creative entrepreneurs, I often hear that they're prone to taking lots of alcohol or drugs to stay away from depression, stay focused and energized. It’s become knowledge that despite the strength entrepreneurs try to exude, they have secret demons that they fight constantly. Sometimes I hear that they're prone to substance addiction to stay sane. However it’s not all true. No doubt, some entrepreneurs could be victims of substance abuse but so is everyone else. There are successful ways to manage such cases but it's unfair to think an entrepreneur can only be successful when backed by such substances.
3. Entrepreneurs are privileged- I don't exactly believe this bit. It feels like a sorry excuse by some failed minority to shy away from entrepreneurship. Agreed, some do have some rich backgrounds but the most of the pack, come from humble beginnings. Ask the likes of Chris Gardner, Roman Abramovich and others
4. They're often ruthless and deceptive- I must admit, I was tempted to think that way after watching The Founder and reading the story of Ray Kroc, but this also is a myth. Some entrepreneurs sadly, burn bridges, step on toes and deploy shady tactics to get ahead but not all eggs are bad in the crate. Some play by the books and with some extra determination, hard work and consistency, break into success.
5. They're never quitters- Of course they are. We've been made to believe that quitting is such a bad thing when indeed it isn't. When an entrepreneur realizes he's made a bad business decision, he quits and gives room for more profitable investments. Important thing is to learn from the mistakes and move on.
6. Entrepreneurs are their own bosses- I believed this as a teenager for a while till I finally became an entrepreneur myself. Now I laugh out loud when I hear this. They're almost never their own boss. A responsible entrepreneur is accountable to a client, a board, a list of investors or the job itself. Except you're Richard Branson who can decide to spend all his time in an unknown island, but I believe he still has some bosses. No friends, entrepreneurs are not their own bosses.
While the heat is almost always on for the entrepreneur, it's a beautiful space to exist in. The fact that you can create a product or offer a service is a power you want to enjoy wielding, without these myths hanging above your head