Debunking Entrepreneurial Myths

Debunking Entrepreneurial Myths

The Cash Cow Everyone is Looking For

The Cash Cow Everyone is Looking For

Like many things, there are a number of misconceptions floating around about business ownership.  Often this is the kind of things your mother says to discourage you from taking the leap to financial independence.  Or, they are the little worries that rattle around in your head and stop you from pursuing your destiny as an entrepreneur.

Let’s blow up some of those myths and reference reality instead.

  1. Entrepreneurs are following their dreams. Sometimes, but frequently not.  Often the impulse to start a business comes from the inability to find a job.  If you’ve been looking for a job for more than six months, I say dump that ordeal and start your own enterprise.

  2. You need a lot of money to start a business. Of course, it depends on the type of business, but if you’re serious, you’ll find the money.  And, you may not need that much.   Remember, Spike Lee started his first movie on credit cards.  I started my business on a $2000 severance check 30 years ago.   Today there are on line options like nerdwallet.com, snapcap.com, Kabbage.com, and prosper.com.  Google “equity crowdfunding,” also referred to as crowd investing, investment crowdfunding, or crowd equity, that enables broad groups of investors to fund startup companies and small businesses in return for equity.

  3. It’s lonely at the top.   There are zillions of networking groups, Meetups, classes, and coaches just itching to support you.  What you don’t want to do is suffer under the delusion that you can succeed by sitting behind your computer.  Get out there and mix it up with other entrepreneurs.  Become part of the small business owner community.  You’ll be amazed at how many friends and mentors you will find.

  4. You have to be smart to succeed as a business owner. If this were true there would be no SEO consultants or plumbers.  Just kidding.  Plumbers are plenty smart.  It doesn’t take brains.  It takes confidence, commitment, and persistence.   Good instincts help.  Good decision making skills are critical. Here’s my motto, that has worked for me for many years: “Do not back up, severe tire damage will occur.”  In other words, just keep moving forward.

  5. It only takes a few months to see success. Well, maybe.  It depends on how you define success.  If you think you’re going to be Donald Trump in six months, think again.  It could take a couple of years.  If you define success as learning a lot, getting focused, and starting to feel some traction, then that could happen.

  6. There’s too much competition.  There’s enough business for everyone, unless you’re a big baby and want an empty play pen.  In fact, no competition should be a red flag.  Maybe nobody wants what you’re selling?  Studying your competition and figuring out how to do it better is one of the best tickets to success.

  7. Build it and they will come.   Just because you thought it up, and created a website, they will not necessarily beat a path to your door.  Take a couple of marketing courses and learn the ropes.  Don’t think you can accomplish all your marketing through social media either.

  8. I have to wait until the time is right. This is the procrastinator’s mantra.  The time is never perfect.  Many successful entrepreneurs started their businesses before they were discharged from the military, or while they still had a job.  So long as you show up to your wedding or the birth of your baby, the time is now.

  9. I don’t have enough time to start and run a business. Yes, you do.  Treat your business like you would a job where you have to arrive early and leave late.   If you love what you’re doing, the time will fly by.  Self-discipline in business ownership is very important.  The people who think they can just work a few hours a day and succeed have been watching too much TV, where everything can be accomplished in 30 minutes.

  10. I’ll have lots of free time. Not if you’re doing it right. Free time will come after you’ve worked many years and have figured it all out.

  11. I can hire someone to sell for me.  Big mistake.  Sales are the life’s blood of every business.  If you hand that over to someone else, you could get a nasty surprise when they leave.

  12. I need a partner. OMG!  Do not take on a partner unless you can’t hire what that person brings to the table.  A partnership is like a marriage, without the good parts, which I don’t need to explain.  You are liable for everything your partner does, which includes if they run over a kid during a business trip.  Eighty percent (80%) of partnerships fail.  Worst of all, when partnerships go bad, it destroys everything you’ve worked for.  You heard it here first:  when partnerships crash it can get really nasty and painful.  So, don’t do it unless absolutely necessary.

  13. I don’t need a plan. Think again.  A plan can save you wasted money and time.  Since you’re not a big corporation, your plan can be just for the next 12 months.  Keep it flexible.  Do your homework when the pressure isn’t on.   And, write it down.  A plan in your head is no plan at all.

  14. I’ll be able to write everything off. That kind of thinking can get you audited.  Deductible expenses can include your computer and any business operating and account management software, rent, employee salaries, money paid to independent contractors, advertising costs, and your business phone bills. Your car payments and gas maybe.  Check out https://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/taxes on Entrepreneur Magazine’s website.   Get advice from a pro.

  15. I will be able to get a government grant to start my business. Ha! Afraid not. There is no such program that lends or gives directly to any business. In fact, the government wants your money in the form of a business license, taxes, and other onerous fees.

You’ll never get rich working for someone else.  This is an entrepreneurial world.  Small business is the backbone of our economy.   Be smart and you will succeed.

Vicki Garcia is the Co-Founder of Veteran Entrepreneurs Today & President of Marketing Impressions. She wants to hear from you! Email her at vicki@veteranentrepreneurstoday.org.  Look for trusted advisors, or apply to be a B2B vendor for veteran entrepreneurs at www.veteranentrepreneurstoday.org. 

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