The Entrepreneur We All See
Some of the world’s most influential people are entrepreneurs. They have a massive impact on this Earth. People like Lori Greiner, Elon Musk, or one of my personal favorites Colonel Sanders. Entrepreneurs take part in our everyday lives by providing us with the latest technology in our phones or the tastiest fast food chicken on our way home from work. Not all entrepreneurs have a billion dollar company, or even a million dollar one. Everyday brave people take the leap of starting their own business. It could be a brand new idea that the world has never seen or an existing product with a little twist. The media loves covering the next big “thing” that will fly you to the moon or the next smartphone that has seven cameras and can see the faces of the people flying to the moon. With all these amazing technologies getting so much attention from the massive media outlets, it can be intimidating to even try and think of becoming an entrepreneur. We view these world famous entrepreneurs as untouchable or like they aren’t even human. Well, Elon Musk might not be human but pretty sure the rest are.
With these companies becoming so big and these entrepreneurs making so much money we have, as a whole, come up with so many myths about them. Here at York IE we believe there is an entrepreneur in all of us and we can break it down by cracking these myths. There are several but we want to harp on what we think are the BIG FIVE myths. Hopefully after reading them you are a little less fearful and want to open up that hot dog stand you’ve always wanted or start your own media outlet that covers the lesser names in entrepreneurship.
Myth Numero Uno: “You’re either born an entrepreneur or you’re not”
Like we said above, there is an entrepreneur in all of us. Every single one of us has a skillset whether you know what it is or not. Yes, of course there are entrepreneurs whose skills come naturally and other worldly. Some are math wizards or fearless leaders that run a company with ease. BUT lucky for all of us, you can also learn those characteristics that make you a math wiz or a good leader.
If you don’t believe me then why would thousands of students spend 50 G’s a year to be an entrepreneurial major? Agreed you can never get the same experiences an accomplished entrepreneur has but you can learn from them and use their advice, practice their methods. To be the best shooter in your mens/women’s league you don’t just wake up one morning and can drain threes from half court, you spend time after games shooting an extra hundred shots. You learn from coaches and accomplished players the form you need to shoot straight and accurately. (Bend the knees, elbow in, eyes on the target, follow through)
Myth Number Two: “Entrepreneurs are huge risk takers”
Obviously it’s a risk to start your own business, you risk money, time, and a stable job but you don’t go in blind. You do your calculations of all the costs, how long until you make money, and who you want to work with. The risk is calculated, the entrepreneur knows what it is going to take to be a success. Risk will always be present in business but it can be cut down and anticipated. You probably didn’t even think twice about eating that raw fish at the sushi bar but that was risky. Risk is in everyday life so it shouldn’t be the reason you never take the leap.
Myth Number Three: “You need a ton of $$$ to start a business”
The companies in the news are getting these giant rounds of funding, which may lead you to believe this myth but it is not the case. Most entrepreneurs aren’t aiming to be the next Uber or Airbnb so it isn’t necessary to raise all that capital. People start these small businesses out of passion and bring a product or service that they believe will help people. These small businesses do not take a lot of money to get off the ground. If you truly believe in yourself and what you’re selling then you shouldn’t be too worried. There is money to be made and if you love what you’re doing then it isn’t even about the money. Once you’re established you can always expand but sometimes it is better to control your growth and maintain authority in your own company. As the Notorious B.I.G. once said “Mo Money Mo Problems”.
Myth Number Four: “You have to be an expert”
It is definitely helpful to know your product inside and out as well as your market but you do not have to be an expert. Being an entrepreneur is a learning process all the way until you retire. Always be willing to learn and adapt, be on your toes. There is so much to learn by going through the experience. There is always more to learn because the game is forever changing. So no one is truly an expert. By simply listening and learning from customers’ experiences and figuring out the weak spots in your company, you can zero in on these spots to try and solve those problems.
Myth Number Five: “It’s all about the big exit”
If you are lucky enough to build a company that sells for millions then you should give me a call and let’s plan a trip. Just kidding, it really isn’t about the big exit. It’s about enjoying what you do and helping others. The journey is what’s important and what defines entrepreneurs. Some people never sell and do it for the love of doing it. Others create a side hustle that will always be good enough for them. There really is no model because each entrepreneur is different and each one wants to do it their way. That’s the beauty of it.
Hopefully becoming an entrepreneur is a little less scary now and you’re thinking of dusting off the ole hard hat and lunch pale to get back to work. Fear will always be present because there are never any guarantees. Controlling that fear is what’s important. Fear of losing money, letting people down, or letting yourself down is a perfectly natural thing but that’s what makes success so sweet. So don’t be a Homer Simpson… “You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is ‘never try.’” – Homer Simpson