Many young entrepreneurs look up to brands such as Google, Facebook and Apple that have a thrilling and inspirational story behind their success. The truth however is that succeeding as an entrepreneur involves a lot of hard work, and is rarely plain sailing.
We’ve broken down some common misconceptions about entrepreneurship to give you a better understanding of what it takes to grow your own business, and help you develop the right attitude to succeed:
Education is not important: FALSE
People often cite Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates as examples to demonstrate that you don’t need an education to succeed as an entrepreneur. Although they all dropped out of school and went on to build incredibly successful businesses, they are the exception to the rule. Most successful entrepreneurs have completed their education.
Education has enormous value, and you can learn many useful academic and practical skills by finishing your degree.
If your product is good, you don’t need marketing: FALSE
Having a sound marketing plan is a must for any young entrepreneur. Just because your product is fantastic, doesn’t mean people will automatically buy it. It is important not only to spread the word about your product, but also to educate people about why they need it.
The best ideas don’t always win either. Many successful businesses are based on a good – or even average – idea, combined with a great marketing and business plan.
If you’re not an instant success you’re bound to fail: FALSE
Stories about inspirational entrepreneurs such as Brian Chesky who co-founded Airbnb at the age of 26 can make you feel like a failure if you’re not on the path to being a millionaire in your twenties. The truth is, that again this kind of story is really the exception. It can take many years of consistent effort before a business idea takes off and begins earning you money. Developing an idea, a strategy and key business skills takes time.
As an entrepreneur you might have an unrealistic idea of what you need to do to be successful. By comparing yourself to hugely successful businesses and entrepreneurs, you’ll only make yourself feel despondent.
Most of the time, the entrepreneurs that inspire us are actually ‘rare unicorns’. Work hard, be consistent, and learn the skills that it takes to be successful in business. You’ll get there – one step at a time.