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Myth Busters and Entrepreneurship

January 24, 2014

Daily Read- Myth Busters and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has been on the rise lately, professionals and students alike don’t want to miss out on the excitement. Before you take the leap – consider what you’re getting into. Entrepreneurship is almost never about working in flip-flops in an incubator; it is tough work that requires extraordinary effort. It is super full-time and super risky. In today’s tough job market, “doing a startup” may sound better than “unemployed”. But entrepreneurship is for those who are laser-focused on building a company that will grow. Requiring a decade or longer of commitment. Anyone considering it should be prepared to separate myth from reality. Like most fads, entrepreneurship has its own mythology. Here are some favorites:

Having a startup makes you an entrepreneur. Saying that starting a new venture automatically makes you entrepreneur is a little like saying that if you put on skates and grab a stick, you’re a hockey player. The vast majority of startups are founded by people who do not see themselves creating a new market or who lack the managerial skill to go the distance.

Entrepreneurship is for the young. Not only are many valuable ventures started by people 40 and up, there is reason to believe that industry knowledge, wisdom, managerial experience and a rich contact list can help get a venture off the ground faster and with better backing. Even if launched by a student, grey-haired mentors, investors and partners are almost always required to get into the marketplace and the stamina to stay there.

Entrepreneurship requires passion. If by “passion” you mean energy, commitment, hard work, and self-confidence, well, yes, of course. But passion can make you blind. An entrepreneur who is going to conquer or create a market must have the ability to face facts without blinders, and course-correct or drop out when those facts force reconsideration.

Entrepreneurship requires innovation. The vast majority of successful ventures are based more on amazing execution than invention or innovation. Many are even outright copycats, pasting a proven business from one side of the globe to the other. Others are minor tweaks of an established winner. To be sure, there are many examples where new technologies, inventive business models and novel processes have been a key component of an entrepreneurial venture.

So if you’re weighing career options, question the simplistic assumptions about entrepreneurship. If you still think the entrepreneurial choice is for you, do it with eyes wide open!

Have you had an eye opening experience related entrepreneurship that could help others avoid the same pitfall?

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