Five Myths of Being an Entrepreneur

We love a great story.

We read about the hero who was dissatisfied with his job and longed to pursue a passion, and then quit to start his own venture turning it into an overnight success worth millions.

We think if only we could be that guy (or girl) then our world would change too. And so we find ourselves longing for an opportunity to chase our dreams and the desire to reach the summit as well. One day …

The reality is that most startups don’t ever reach the summit. Many never even get out of base camp. It is difficult to rope up and climb a mountain. Sure,the books and the blogs tell you that success is well within our grasp. They tell us that if we just follow “their” plan or advice then we too can have our day of triumph. Sadly, we don’t hear the stories of the climbers who froze to death on the mountain or the ones who lost their limbs to frostbite.

Dead climbers don’t make a great romantic story that we would long for. Entrepreneurship is a lot like mountain climbing and the myths surrounding them the same.

It’s Easy to Do.

Let me be real honest … if it were easy, everyone could do it. Climbing a mountain or entrepreneurship is very hard work. It’s simple to say you are doing it and it’s another to actually take the journey. You have to plan, calculate the risks, prepare for the ascent, find the proper guide, and have dependable equipment. Then you might be ready for the task.

You Can Do It When You Want.

Yes, you can set your own schedule or have a flexible lifestyle, but that won’t ever get you to the top. Weather conditions and the season – items you have no control over -will dictate your ability to climb. The same is with entrepreneurship. Your customers or clients will have expectations you must meet and the market changes rapidly so you are forced to adapt. If you don’t manage those conditions, you could die.

You Don’t Have to Have a Plan.

There is no real value in putting together a detailed, forty page business plan BUT you do need to have a plan on how your business will work. If you want to reach the top, you have to have a strategy on how to do that and you must also be flexible enough to change it as needed. You wouldn’t just rope up and start climbing Mt. Everest. The same goes for business.

You Only Need Minimal Tools or Investment

Computer technology and the Internet have made it cheaper than ever to start a new business venture. There is no doubt you can launch a business with $100 and free apps, but that investment will only take you so far. In theory, you could buy a cheap rope and carabiners and start climbing, but in practicality you might find yourself in a very bad situation if your equipment fails.

You get out of what you invest in. It takes the proper tools and investment to increase your odds of victory.

You Can Get There Fast

How I wish were true! If you read any blogs or books that tell you they made instant money overnight, then you better get ready for a blizzard. Promises of sunshine and unrealistic expectations are only pipe dreams — so put on your oxygen mask Major Tom and come back down to earth.

Climbing a mountain or building a successful business takes time and commitment. There are no short cuts and no magic beans. If you want to ascend the summit, then you must be prepared to take a long and consistent journey to get there.

I love people who are passionate enough to launch out and start a new business, but I also hope that these people are prepared with the real facts about entrepreneurship. It takes dedication and hard work to make it to your destination, and even then, there is no guarantee for success.

“ON BELAY!”

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