Like most other professions, a number of harmful misconceptions and stereotypes have coiled around entrepreneurship too. Take a look at the most famous misconceptions about entrepreneurs:
Successful entrepreneurs are the ones with the most novel and revolutionary ideas.
MySpace was up and running before Facebook. Digital Equipment Corporation was the market leader in building computers before Apple. No one saw the need of another search engine before Google. Several automobile manufacturers successfully rolled out electric cars before Tesla motors. Building successful businesses is about doing things better than the others and not about venturing into untouched markets.
They work for money.
Entrepreneurs solve problems for people and love what they do. Entrepreneurship isn’t all about money; it’s about creating a name for you and making an impact in the world. Mark Zuckerberg goes to the office daily because he wants to perfect Facebook even more. Warren Buffet is a philanthropist and donated his whole fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation because he believes in helping the underprivileged.
Are highly qualified.
Wrong. Most successful entrepreneurs are highly experienced and driven. Only 10% of all tech company founders in the US have PhDs. Nearly all of them are school dropouts, graduates, or simple master degree holders with little or no research experience.
Are young or just out of college.
Well, statistics point out that new startup founders have an average age of 39. Most entrepreneurs don’t even think of starting their own venture until they have amassed decades of experience. Ray Kroc, Mr. McDonald’s, sold cups and mixers until the age of 52 before he started his company.
Are misfits and weird.
Mark Zuckerberg might wear the same shirt every day, and Richard Branson may love roaming around in hot air balloons, but most entrepreneurs are ordinary folks who go to church on Sundays and love football.
Live lives of luxury.
Only successful entrepreneurs who like luxuries live in luxury. Most self-employed people earn less than ordinary employees. They also work more than their employed counterparts.
Hate working under bosses.
Entrepreneurs meet with bosses on a daily basis. From board members to suppliers to investors, there are a lot of people they have to answer to. Inability to work under others is not an entrepreneurial trait, but an attitude problem.
Are jacks of all trades.
Most entrepreneurs are good at doing one single thing. They stay focused and do things that matter most to the health of the organization.
Are geniuses with sky-high IQs.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a R&D job. Most successful entrepreneurs are just smart people who got catapulted to success with immense hard work and persistence.
Are born-risk takers.
Well, the truth is that most successful entrepreneurs are very skeptical about taking risks and are experts at reducing risks through brilliant strategy.
This statement is way off the truth. More than 50 percent of startups fail. About 99 percent fail to hit the 100 million in net-sales within 6 years mark that investors are looking for.
Most entrepreneurs are financially backed while starting a business.
This isn’t true either. More than 50 percent of businesses are set up with borrowed money. Most entrepreneurs finance their startup from their savings, or from money from their family and friends.
Investors are hunting for entrepreneurs to fund.
It’s the opposite. Less than 1 percent of startups in the seed stage are funded by venture capitalists and angel investors. It is extremely difficult to get funded by investors due to the sheer number of startups springing up every year around the world.
Wrong again. Although careful planning and market research are vital for the success of a business, these are financially impossible in the initial stages of startups. Most entrepreneurs choose a direction farther down the road. Adaptability is considered to be much more vital to success than planning. Also, many entrepreneurs decide to start their own business out of chance, and as the next advancement in their careers.