5 Dangerous Myths about Starting a Business

I see a lot of people come into entrepreneurship with the wrong motive and mindset and before you know it they are crying of burnt hands. They now complain and blame everybody and everything they can lay their hands on but themselves. To really prosper in business today you need the right knowledge, wisdom, the right relationships, creativity, proper timing, strategy and a good idea.

Starting a business is like nurturing a garden. It needs patience, dedication and skill to take it to harvest season. Here are 5 harmful myths a lot of people hold to that affects how they run their business.

Myth 1: “I’ll try it out and see how it goes.” This is a very faulty mindset about entrepreneurship. If you get into business with this mindset then you’re 95% guaranteed to fail. It’s not a trial and error thing. Starting a business is very demanding and includes long working hours, financial investment, and, of course, no regular paycheck. If you have not sold yourself into it from the beginning, the squeezing demands of founding a viable business will squeeze you out fast. The business world is not a place to go into lightly.

If all you are doing is “Trying It Out,” it’s bound to fail. Don’t waste your time and money. Half-heartedness won’t work here. Business demands your body, soul and spirit all working at optimum level.

Myth 2: “When I’m my own boss, I’ll avoid corporate politics.” If what you are looking for is to escape the routines and discipline of the office place then business is the wrong place to be in. When you start your own business you will need to be much more disciplined to keep things going or you will crash out. If you’re trying to run away from answering to a boss then you’ve just moved from frying pan to fire. In business you will have much more ruthless bosses to deal with and if you ignore them you are out of business.

You will have many more bosses than you ever did as an employee—bosses called “customers,” “corporations,” or “investors.” So instead of dealing with the politics of a single company, you may have to handle the politics of maybe twenty companies. It’s up to you to stay tuned into the needs and subtleties of each company and figure out how to meet those needs if you want to continue to be retained.

Myth 3: “I’ll have more free time and flexible work hours.” Trying to have more free time and flexible hours for the sake of it is a dangerous desire and mindset to carry into business. If you think business will give you time to spend on your hobbies and schedule time off whenever you please then better stay with that job. Laziness and mediocrity is never rewarded in the business world.

The first few years you will most likely spend sixty to eighty hours per week getting your business up and running. Moreover, the number of hours you spend working for yourself is not likely to lessen as your business grows.

Not to forget you will have to be marketing your services, running your business daily, doing paperwork like never before, solving problems (business is about solving business), and developing new products and services, strategizing and innovating. To be realistic the hats you have to wear as a business owner and how much time it really takes to get everything done is much and demanding. The flexible hours I can guarantee you have is that you can work late into the night and wake up early to continue.

Myth 4: “All I need is a good idea.” All you need is not good idea. There are many failed good [products and ideas out there. Yours can also be one of such is you’re thinking this way. It’s much easier to come up with ideas than to implement, nurture and grow them.

Let’s say you’re able to get the ‘good idea’ business started you will still need technical expertise to create the product or offer and give it an acceptable packaging. You will now need to get prospects or investors excited about the product and invest money in its production. You may now need the services of professionals like an accountant, lawyer, banker and others like distributors, or vendors to make your product successful. You need to be able to sell your idea to these people and get them to buy it. Actually, you need not only a good idea, but also the ability to clearly communicate your vision to investors, partners etc., a great business plan, and the ability to produce and sell the product with the help of your backers.

Myth 5: “After a few years, I’ll make lots of money.” Business is not a get-rich-quick venture. This is the major reason why many startups fold up in a few month or years of launch. Except if you are backed by venture capital or some huge favor supernatural falls your way, you will not get rich overnight. It takes three to five years to build a profitable, viable business. If you leave a corporate job to start your own business, this is a rule of thumb for income:

• In the first year of business, you may only make approximately 20 percent of your most recent salary.

• If you spend recklessly you’ll only have yourself to blame sooner or later. The early days of your business are days investing and sacrifices not days of enjoyment. Make the needed sacrifice now and you will reap the harvest in few years to come.

• Your profits begin to grow substantially by year three to five. You might be asking yourself, In case you are saying consultants make $1,000 to $3,000 a day, so why won’t they make a lot of money in a short time. What you may not have known is that most consultants bill for only about 55 percent of their time. The other 45 percent they spend on no billable activities, such as accounting, marketing, planning, and dealing with everything else it takes to run a business.

If you have plans to start a business or already in one, it is good you take a dose of reality and build the right mindset. Take your time to make all the necessary plans and research well and weigh all the factors carefully. This will help you make informed decisions.

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