As an entrepreneur and business coach I've had the opportunity to speak with many who aspire to pursue an entrepreneurial path but have never taken the steps to make their dream a reality. One of the first questions I ask them is, "Why not?"
Some of their reasons are valid. They may have an aversion to risk, or perhaps they're working in a steady career and don't know how to transition seamlessly into entrepreneurship. I accept those reasons and regularly teach how to work through those issues.
What I refuse to accept are the myths they have been told repeatedly that they believe to be indisputable truths.
There are no challenges or barriers in life which are insurmountable. The only exceptions to that statement are lies we choose to tell ourselves. These self-deceptions are the only true barrier between the believer and entrepreneurial success.
The 9 myths listed below are commonly offered as "reasons" for not being able to achieve a degree of success on a professional or financial level. They’re not reasons, they’re excuses.
Let’s do some MYTH-BUSTING.
1. Successful entrepreneurs are genetically "different."
Not only are these people mere mortals like you and I, many of them have experienced adversity at a level well beyond what you and I will ever know. They have all failed miserably at various times, and many have serious learning disabilities.
2. Successful entrepreneurs are more intelligent.
There are geniuses out there but their intellect is focused in one particular area, and they are definitely the exception to the rule. Knowledge, common sense, skills and experience are what make 99% of entrepreneurs successful.
3. Successful entrepreneurs have more talent for business.
Many of these creative and successful people can't even balance a checkbook, but they are smart enough to surround themselves with people who can. If you have access to a good manager and accountant, your lack of business skills don't mean that much. Let's also not forget that over time you'll learn.
4. Successful entrepreneurs have more education.
If that were the case, people such as Richard Branson, Giorgio Armani and Jenny Craig would be serving you burgers and fries instead of being names you actually know. Life experience, common sense and a good business concept are equally as valuable to formal education any day of the week.
5. Successful entrepreneurs have never failed miserably.
The truth is successful people fail more than anyone because they're always trying and never quit. The actor Sylvester Stallone was homeless and cleaning cages at a NYC zoo when he wrote his script for Rocky. Failure in nothing more than a temporary setback that provides a wealth of learning and experience. It's not that successful entrepreneurs don't fail ... they just don't quit.
6. Successful entrepreneurs have extroverted personalities.
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are extreme introverts who have overcome their shyness, and only those with the lowest levels of self-esteem allow this myth to exist. If you can smile, be respectful and pleasant with people your personality is good enough.
7. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to take extraordinary risks.
To be an entrepreneur does take some degree of risk, but that risk is involves believing in “self.” Most successful people are not reckless and they mitigate their risk exposure with a vast amount of research before launching any project. We experience risk every day in our lives and deal with it effectively.
8. Successful entrepreneurs started with more money.
Having an unlimited supply of capital might make your business start-up easier, but not having it doesn't stand in your way of launching a successful enterprise. If you have a roof over your head, food on the table and gas for your vehicle you're light years ahead of successful entrepreneurs who began their careers homeless or living on food stamps.
9. Successful entrepreneurs only do it for the money.
Love it or hate it the world is fueled by money. We need it; that's why we work. However, entrepreneurs are motivated by much more than money. Passion drives success, success drives wealth. Money is a result, not a reason.
For every 100 excuses offered as to why success can’t be achieved, only one reason is required to convince a mind that anything is possible. Can you think of any valid reason why you aren't capable of becoming a successful entrepreneur? Even if you can, it won’t be one of the 9 myths listed above.
Consider these myths BUSTED, and remember that the only difference between success and failure is where on the timeline you decide to quit ... or keep going.