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10 debunked myths about start-ups

When we think about our own start-up, it often looks like a great idea and the only obstacle we expect is to find what to do. Well, there is much more to consider though...

All of us have hard times at work with bosses, customers, and colleagues. Sometimes they drive you nuts. And at some point, you may decide it’s enough. You’re sick and tired of all this. Besides, you have a good host of great ideas you’ve wanted to implement for a long long time. Isn’t it time to strike out on your own?

But hold your horses, are you sure you’re ready for this? Did you weigh up all the pros and cons? Aren’t you rushing into it too quickly? Nobody wants to hold you back on your way to success, by no means no, but let’s first consider a few thoughts every new entrepreneur should be aware of.

Myth #1: I will do what I love. Finally! How could I not pursue my inclinations so far?

Reality: It’s really great that you have your own passion in life whether this is fishing, embroidery or wood carving but it often turns out that you cannot earn money doing it. You may love something incredibly but you may not be a professional in this field, and to become one you need a lot of time and effort which may consequently turn your love into hatred. To wrap up, do what you are good at and not what you love and do it as to the best of your experience and expertise.

Myth #2 is really close to dream #1: I love what I do that’s why I will find like-minded people who will buy my products.

Reality: Houston, I have bad news for you. It’s not a typical American rom-com where everything turns out to be as you wish at the very end. You do have to analyze the situation in the market and assess it correspondingly. You may find like-minded people but that doesn’t mean that they will eager to buy your products. Think how you can sell what you do and whom you are going to sell it. The offer cannot exist without demand.

Myth #3: The things will go smoothly if I find my customer. That is the only problem after I have my own unique product.

Reality: Sure, you have to find your customer. But, think big. Before you narrow down your customer base, you have to find as many clients as possible to promote your product, so don’t limit yourself from the very beginning. Remember that you are a start-upper, you have to make people contagious with your product and make them think they require it.

Myth #4: My product is futuristic and super-new. Nobody’s seen such a thing before. The success is guaranteed.

Reality: The success is never guaranteed. Unless your product solves all the problems of the mankind or at least does something related to longevity, you don’t have to be so self-confident. When you want to sell something, think as a customer and not as an entrepreneur. First, answer the question: would you buy what’s offered?

In fact, your business idea should not necessarily be brand-new. Have you ever thought about it? Take, for instance, HireRush.com that is a platform for customers and providers aimed at helping both to find each other. There are lots of similar services, right? But HireRush.com offers something new such as websites for providers, for instance. That is an example of successful business.

Myth #5: Being an entrepreneur allows me to spend much more time with my family and friends.

Reality: Well, Houston, bad news again. The so-called work-life balance is impossible when having your own business. In fact, you devote your business all your time as you have no opportunity to draw a line between your work and your private life. You live with your business every day just as you live with your family. And that is done simultaneously. If you’re not ready for that, you’d better not start it at all.

If you study the life of any great entrepreneur such as Henry Ford, Johannes Riegel, Momofuku Ando and others you will know that all of them were inventors by their nature who started their business from scratch and devoted up to 90% of their time to it till their death.

Myth #6: The first year is the most difficult.

Reality: According to the statistics, 80% of businesses survive the first year, the second year overcome 66% of enterprises, the next five years surrender to 50% and only 30% of all former start-ups live longer than 10 years. That, in a way, gets at the idea that the first year is only the first hurdle on the way to your business success and probably hint at the necessity in long-term planning and farseeing.

Myth #7: Even though I have no fresh idea to implement, I can beat the competition with low prices.

Reality: Before you look at it from the other point of view, do you trust cheap services yourself? Don’t you find them rather suspicious? You know the answer. That’s right. People do not appreciate something that they get for free. That’s our nature. And all the work has to be paid for respectively. Do not be afraid to ask the fee your product actually deserves as you put your time and effort into it.
Moreover, instead of dumping, for a change, you can offer something that your competition does not have but this has already been discussed in #4.

Myth #8: Having my own business allows me not to depend on anyone at last.

Reality: The truth is a bit contradictory. You are definitely free from any boss now but you are more dependent that you may think as now you have three different group of people you’re dealing with: your customers, your competition, and your employees. The latter you probably do not expect to see here, right? But you do depend on them since you cannot wear many hats and need managers, developers, sales, etc. whom you have to inspire to work for your idea and make it flourish.

There is also another group of people you have to cooperate with if you’re not bootstrapping. These are your investors. No need to add more.

Myth #9: I need considerable money to maintain the whole office with employees.

Reality: If you turn to a never-dying statistics provided by Intuit by 2020 more than 80% of all corporations are going to turn to the flexible workforce who probably never stepped in the office where they officially work. So why not trying to hire a telecommuter if it’s possible? This will save you some money for the office maintenance and all the perks that should be provided to the employees.

Myth #10: Unlike the work from 9 to 5, my own business will bring me a quick buck.

Reality: In fact, it’s great if you join 30% successful entrepreneurs and break even in some time since other 30% are losing money and only 40% are profitable. Remember how IKEA started? Make conclusions yourself and get ready to long and thorny way.

Bottom line

There is no guide for any start-up, and there will never be.

There are tons of books on how to become successful, how to open your own company and other how this and how that, but no one can tell you if you succeed or not.

There are three components that any entrepreneur can take advantage of your own experience, the experience of other entrepreneurs and a bit of luck.

All this shows only that being an entrepreneur is not only having a team and calling all the shots but rather to be responsible for yourself and your team, creative and encouraging, motivating and never losing your steam on one hand.

But on the other hand, it’s being independent and free in all your endeavors, and in the end, it’s absolutely rewarding.

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