Your mentality is one of the most important aspects to get right when treading new waters. It can be determined by your goal and vision, but can also be shaped by your environment and what you see or hear. There are myths and misconceptions that when internalized, may deter you from what you want to accomplish. This is true when venturing into entrepreneurship. Being aware of and dismissing these myths will help stay on track on the journey to being an entrepreneur.
1. An MBA or Business Background is Required
One of the most widely-accepted narratives is that some academic qualification in business is required. Unfortunately, this myth may easily have deterred you or many others from venturing into business. Entrepreneurship is about charting your path. No credentials are a necessity and you don’t have to be, say, an MIT dropout to start a successful tech business. All that is required is having the relevant skill set.
A 2018 report on MBA entrepreneurship by The Financial Times found that new ventures founded by MBA graduates in the past 3 years fell at 27 of 40 leading business schools. While that MBA can have a positive impact on business, the most important factor is the ability to sell, whether it is an idea, brand, or products.
2. You Require a Lot of Startup Capital
While there are costs associated with setting up a business, they may not be as huge as you may assume. Funding does not deter you from setting up the basics and starting simple. A website, email, and required licensing allow you to start. While getting funding can offer you a great head start, it may come with strings attached like paying back with interest or surrendering equity. Sustainable self-funding is a huge plus.
3. Entrepreneurs are Always on the Grind
The opposite is mostly true. While some days may be very hands-on, most days do not require you to put a 24-hour shift in as most people assume. Entrepreneurs make their own hours. Having an effective and efficient system in place is an entrepreneur’s not-so-secret weapon; a system that works even in your absence. There is nothing wrong with working hard. You are just not required to work yourself to death in the name of being an entrepreneur.
4. Lone Wolf Mentality
This myth transcends entrepreneurship. The notion that you, and only you, are responsible for the success of your venture is as far from the truth as it gets. The most successful business people achieve their success by having talented people who share their vision around them. It is a compelling but untrue narrative.
5. Executives Deserve Bonuses
According to the Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation in the US grew 940% between 1978 and 2018. In the same period, normal worker compensation only grew by 12%. This is a testament to the prevailing myth that CEOs deserve more bonuses. In that period, it is highly unlikely that CEOs have added that much more value to the organizations as compared to other employees. It is more probably due to the increased influence and power of these CEOs in the organizations, The reason why it is seen as acceptable is the lone wolf mentality where everyone assumes the CEOs are solely responsible for the success of the company.
6. Female-Led Companies are Inherently Feminist
Having a female at the helm of a company does not magically make it a better work environment for women. There are numerous examples of women-led companies with egregious working environments for women. It takes a unilateral and conscious effort by everyone, men included, to provide the best working environment for everyone, especially women.
7. You Need to Run your Business Full-Time
There is a notion that you are not an entrepreneur if you are not fully and constantly ‘running your business. It is a matter of perception, where other people’s opinions may influence your thinking. You may think that giving it constant energy is the only path to being a Fortune 500 so to speak. Ultimately, it is you, your team, and your structures that determine the trajectory of your business.
Bonus: Your logo, website, and business card will not make you more money the more time you spend debating on design. Pick a good design and move on to money-making tasks.