Let’s debunk some of these myths
“A myth is a religion which no one any longer believes” – James Feibleman
Let’s tuck into this immediately. Urban myths are some of the things stopping people from going into business or entrepreneurship. There are a few myths about business and entrepreneurship that abound these days but the good news is that I am about to bust every single one of them. Some of these perceptions are understandable but some are just simply laughable. I mean simply laughable.
The crazy thing about myths is that they always have a way to be translated as fact and are so prevalent in society these days that so many people swear by them, even though they are NOT TRUE. I’ve put together 5 of the most common myths about entrepreneurs and 5 of business people. Are you ready? Lets do this.
They are young – Of course not. Entrepreneurship mentality is not bound by age. There is a belief that entrepreneurs are young, vibrant and modern. This myth stems from the fact that younger people embrace technology and social media more, this makes people believe they invent more. Sirs Richard Branson, Alan Sugar and Bill Gates are definitely not young are they? Yes, they were young when they started out, but they have embraced modernity and technology probably better than most youth today. If you ask me, I’ll say entrepreneurs get better with age – remember Col Sanders (KFC)? He didn’t franchise his business till he was 62.
They are old – Of course not. See reasons above. Entrepreneurship is not bound by age. If you picture Col. Sanders as proof that entrepreneurs are not always young, be prepared to picture Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) as proof that they are not always old.
They are rich – Really? Not all entrepreneurs are rich, believe me. Entrepreneurs are creatures of habit, and if there’s anything they have in common, it is hard work and dedication but certainly not wealth. If you are looking to start your own business because you feel all entrepreneurs are rich, then forget it. If you are looking to start a business because you want to have creative freedom and total independence over your life, and business then you are bang on the money.
They are college drop-outs – Of course not. Yes, we’ve all heard the stories of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell and Mark Zuckerberg who all dropped out of college (or university as others may call it) but if you think of dropping out just to emulate their success, don’t. At least, consider it. Research by the Washington Post found that on average, companies founded by college graduates have twice the sales and workforce of companies founded by people who didn’t go to college. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs today are college graduates. Sergey Brin, Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and Larry Page (Google Inc) are all college graduates.
They invent things – Of course not. Not all entrepreneurs invent things. Entrepreneurship is not about invention. There are different types of businesses being run by different types of owners; most of them are not inventors. One example of this is Michael Dell of Dell computers. Did he invent computers? No! but he’s an entrepreneur.
Just as there are myths surrounding entrepreneurship, so also are a few that have engulfed the term ‘business person’. A business person basically is anyone engaged in commerce or industry. Growing up, I always referred to anybody who work for themselves as a ‘business man’. Here are a few myths that surround this phenomenon too.
They are men – NO! Some of the most successful business owners today are women. It is so untrue that only men can do business. From Africa to Europe, from Asia to America, women have pioneered some amazing business ventures and taken charge of some well-known business
It is complicated – Not true! I have always argued that is a very simple concept to business, you buy, you sell and you make profit. Quite simple really. Where is the complication in that? Imagine creating a business that follows your true passion e.g. cooking and restaurants, the complexities you might encounter might only come from normal external factors such as finding the right location, paying taxes or marketing and promotion; but the business model of cooking and selling to customers itself is not complicated.
It is risky – Of course not! To be a business person, you must possess certain traits or characteristics, one of these traits include ‘risk taking’. Does that mean running or doing business is risky? Absolutely not. Of course there will be times certain risks will be have to be taken in business but to say that doing business as a whole is risky is simply not true.
It is for a select few – No way! This is another myth. Anybody can do business. I have come across many people who are into business big time. Africa especially is full of business people, and so is Asia. Business is for everyone. Your local gas fitters, plumbers and mechanics all come from different walks of life.
It is for the learned – Of course not! Education has no bearing on business understanding. Think about it, as already proved, so many successful entrepreneurs do not have formal education but still learned enough to know what they want from business and how to do it. Again, I think back to the traders in Africa and Europe who have not seen the 4 corners of a classroom but are doing very well in business. How many traders in the shopping bazaar in Turkey, China and Dubai are educated. So you see, being educated before doing business is a myth.
These myths are just some of the most common ones that make the rounds in our society, there are plenty more but of course some make more sense than others. Do you know any other business or entrepreneurial myths?