Top 5 Myths about Successful Entrepreneurs – Busted

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Entrepreneurship has been a hot topic especially since the doomed global financial crisis, part of which still looms at us. There are many aspiring entrepreneurs among us who would want to break free from the shackles of the corporate “rat race” – instead of being job seekers they would want to be job creators (it’s a high!). They want the freedom of mental creativity and explore the unexplored terrains. After all, who doesn’t want freedom of mind and the feeling of being your own boss?

Now that is easier said than done. Many chicken out just because they have perceived entrepreneurship as only a ‘success’ story (failures are seldom talked about…) and they believe that entrepreneurial success is not their cup of tea due to many reasons which they would have read or heard somewhere from someone.

But that’s not the right approach. I am going to bust a few myths about entrepreneurial success here for your benefit:

Myth #1: Invent something unique

Well, this is the worst myth that people believe in. It is not a necessity to always invent something that is entirely new and then be an entrepreneur. Although it helps to disrupt markets with new inventions, but those entrepreneurial successes are rare. Don’t forget that almost every economy in this world is supported significantly by their small businesses sector and small businesses sector thrives on entrepreneurship. They break the existing frameworks, improve upon them, perfect them and add value. Mark Zuckerberg too offered a perfected framework – he perfected the social network platform when he launched Facebook.

Myth #2: Entrepreneurs are born, not made

It’s a discouraging myth that you cannot be a successful entrepreneur if no one in your family or previous generations ever started a business. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention. Many developing economies are thriving on necessity-based entrepreneurship and they are growing well. We all have innate traits of entrepreneurship. We can very well use those traits in the professional world also and be successful as well.

Myth #3: Successful entrepreneurs are in their 20s

A study in 2009 by Vivek WadhwaAnatomy of an Entrepreneur – has shown that the average and median age of entrepreneurs when they started their companies was 40 years. The myth busted!

Myth #4: Venture Capital is a pre-requisite

Consider bootstrapping your startup, as early-stage funding is extremely rare. In a study, Kauffman Foundation evaluated venture financing among companies in the Inc. 500 list (from 1997-2207), and found that only 16% of the 900 unique companies had received venture capital backing! So, there definitely is a way to startup without VC backing.

Myth #5: Successful entrepreneurs are high risk-lovers

Nope. You’ve got it all wrong. There is always risk in anything that you undertake – even in a job, as there is no such thing as perfect flow of information. And you cannot predict why humans behave the way they do. These factors develop inherent risks in everything. In other words, even in a job, there is a risk that you will be laid-off or you may not get the career progression the way you thought it would be. Entrepreneurs do take risks, but they do it in a calculated way. They are the people who judge pros and cons very carefully before taking the leap.

Bottom line? If you really do your homework well, understand all aspects of entrepreneurship and calculate risks, then there’s no stopping for you to become a successful entrepreneur.

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