How These 7 Common Misconceptions Entrepreneurship Can Hurt You

People have different thoughts on what being an entrepreneur means. Some come from reading success stories while others stem from the wistful thought of getting away from the “daily grind” to run an exciting new business. Here are a few of the most common—and completely wrong—ideas about entrepreneurship.

1. Entrepreneurial spirit is inherent. Nobody is born with a talent for business. Though some may have a personality that makes it easier to commit to the amount of work involved in starting and running a business, all of the necessary skills can be taught and learned.

2. You have to be young to be an entrepreneur. Everyone from ambitious teens to innovative retirees has started businesses that became successful. The only effect age has on business is that young people have more time to develop ideas and see things through while older people bring more life experience to the table. With the reach offered by the Internet, it isn’t even necessary to be in the same location as a potential target market. It’s possible to be anyone, anywhere and still run a business.

3. Inspiration is the only way to get an idea. Many people have lost out on business prospects by waiting for a “bolt from the blue.” Entrepreneurs are much more likely to succeed when they keep an eye out for opportunities to fill the needs of potential markets.

4. Entrepreneurs have to go it alone. When one person tries to do everything necessary to run a business, it inevitably leads to burnout. Discovering personal strengths and sticking to the aspects of the company where those strengths can be applied is a smarter approach. A team of talented employees can pick up the rest.

5. Entrepreneurship is all about risks. All business endeavors carry some level of risk. However, that doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind. Successful entrepreneurs research and test ideas before investing time or money in a new endeavor. Called a calculated risk, this allows for the development of contingency plans should something go wrong.

6. There is such a thing as “overnight success”
The entrepreneurs whose success stories wind up selling books and making blockbuster movies didn’t get where they are in a day, a week or even a year. They worked hard for a long time to develop their ideas, grow their companies and generate interest. True success isn’t a glamorous Hollywood story; it’s a journey that requires dedication, time and effort.

7. Owning a business means having flexible hours
Entrepreneurs who go into an endeavor expecting to have more time to themselves will find it’s exactly the opposite. All hours can be, and often are, work hours, and it’s not always possible to disengage when trying to juggle all of the elements of a business.