4 Myths About Being an Entrepreneur

Written by Jamie Irvine | 4-minute read

In this crazy world we live in, every day we produce more and more information, and 90 % of that information is unstructured. In 1992, 100 GB of data was produced each day online. It is projected that by 2018 we will be producing 50,000 GB per second!

To say that there is a lot of opinion and misinformation out there would be an understatement.

What happens to a business owner, to an entrepreneur with a dream, when they try to get the information they need to make their business a great success?

How easily we can be put on a path that appears to be the correct one only to find out months, or worse years later, that we were led astray by well-meaning but ultimately flawed advice!

So, let’s talk about four myths in business.

Myth # 1 – The Entrepreneurial Giant

Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Ray Kroc, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and the list goes on and on, all have something in common. They are the front men and women for companies that achieved incredible business success. They went global and they played, or are playing, a part in changing the world.

The myth: These great business people did it alone.

The reality: These great business people, although enormously talented, had many talented people working for them and without those unsung heroes working behind the scenes we would never know these people’s names. They would never have become global household names.

The trap: The trap we entrepreneurs fall into, especially when we are starting out, is that we hold ourselves to an impossible standard; we compare ourselves to these global figures and we can’t understand how they did it and why we can’t get there. We become critical of ourselves and we often quit too soon.

The solution: Start building a team today. You need to surround yourself with people who have talents and abilities that you are lacking.

If you need further evidence read the article “Steve Jobs didn’t create the I-Phone!”.

Myth # 2 – Passion

Passion has been held up as one of the key ingredients you will need to succeed. The thing about passion is if you focus on the wrong kind of passion you can be led astray.

The myth: Follow your passion and everything else will fall into place.

The reality: This is terrible advice because it is just not true. Your goal is to build a great business. What if YOUR passion is focused on something that the market will never buy?

The trap: Although on the surface this advice seems like wise counsel it is focusing your attention on the wrong person. You become very focused on yourself when you need to be focused on everyone else. Additionally, your interests and passions change with time. Think about when you were 10, 20, 30, 40 and beyond, hasn’t that proved true? What you loved when you were 10 probably looked very different at 20, and then at 30. Well, you get the point. Your passion is an unreliable guide.

The solution: Focus on the need your business will address, the pain your business will relieve, the great thing your business will do, the promise it will keep to its customers, employees, suppliers, lenders, investors and so on. By being passionate about that, you will set yourself on a course toward success.

If you need further evidence read the article “The Problem with Passion”.

Myth # 3 – What It Takes to Scale

To build a great business, you need to be able to scale. What does it take to scale a business in either size or number of locations?

The myth: Doing one big thing right will lead to big success.

The reality: That’s called buying a lottery ticket (one thing) and winning $50M (big success). What are the chances of winning the lottery? Exactly, yet in business, some people basically try the same strategy.

The trap: “If I just come up with the next Facebook, or Google, or Apple, or McDonald’s, or Walmart then I’ll make it big”, people think. They spend all their time trying to catch lightning in a bottle and they ignore the reality of the situation. Those great companies all started small and became big and none of it happened over night.

The solution: Start small, build a prototype that works perfectly, exactly as you intended it to work, test it with a small sample size of perfectly suited customers, fix the problems, test again, and then replicate it. One becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes eight, you get the idea.

If you need further evidence ask any successful business owner in your area to tell you the story of how they got to where they are today and I guarantee you that short of winning the lottery or a massive inheritance these entrepreneurs started small and built their business over a long period of time. Brick by brick, as they say, one piece at a time.

Myth # 4 – You Just Need to Work Hard and Want It

People who have had incredible success, billionaires, and other global leaders and those who study billionaires promote the idea that all we must do is copy those who have already done it and we too can reach that kind of wealth and success.

The myth: You can be a billionaire if you work hard and want it bad enough!

The reality: We are all the product of our genetic code and the environment that we were raised in. Our personality was shaped by genetics and environment. Some of us have the mix that allows us to become billionaires and some of us don’t.

The trap: We want to be successful, so who other than the ultra-successful to emulate? The problem is if we do not have the personality profile that will allow us to be a billionaire we won’t ever reach that level no matter how much we may think we want it and no matter how hard we work. We then set ourselves up for failure and disappointment.

The solution: Every human has greatness within them but depending on their personality profile they will express that greatness in vastly different ways. Some will build global businesses generating billions of dollars and then make extraordinary contributions to charity. Others will work two jobs and raise three boys by themselves, and still, others will build regional businesses that employ people who can’t find a job and create a wonderful environment for their customers and employees.

In every example, greatness has been displayed but personal revenue and scope may be vastly different. If you would like to know what kind of personality you have and how your profile will affect your expression of greatness then click here and submit a request for a personality profile test.

In Conclusion

To be successful in business you need many things. We often sabotage ourselves by believing these myths about business. I hope that I have given you something to think about and challenged you to look at what it takes to be in business.

If you are an entrepreneur and would like to learn about what it takes to build a great business, a business that produces predictable results, that operates independently of the you, a business that scales, and a business that can be sold for a great profit then I encourage you to enroll in the free edition of the Blueprint of a Great Business Course.

Author: Jamie Irvine

Jamie Irvine is the host of The Heavy-Duty Parts Report and a sales consultant that works with manufacturers, distributors, and SaaS companies serving the heavy-duty truck parts industry.

10 Replies to “4 Myths About Being an Entrepreneur”

  1. #2 is so true. Passion is one of the most overrated aspects of career fulfillment. Passion comes from being proficient at skills the marketplace finds value in—the joy comes from doing the work for others!

      1. Have you seen Cal Newport’s take on this?

        One of my favorite things to bring up when I guest lecture at my alma mater university.

  2. I agree with Jason as well, although the true art is bringing together a passion with what you’re good at.

    I also like your points to number #3. A huge push for me to start my company (when I was aware of how much I didn’t know) was the understanding that I was in it for the long run. Starting early provides you the advantage of being in a place to succeed when opportunity strikes.

  3. #3 is everything. I get asked all the time, “What is the end goal for your business? Do you want to have an international multimillion dollar agency?” and I feel like the ideas and options of scaling my business are just so far ahead of themselves and the reason why I started my own one-stop-shop agency.

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