Image by: Unsplash
By Dexter Lunde
Those who dream about owning their own business have visions of lazy Sundays, overflowing wallets, and fancy cars. They imagine that they can roll out of bed at noon and into work whenever they want. They won’t have to worry about bosses or having to answer to anyone. It’s a good dream, isn’t it? Unfortunately for them, that’s all it is; it’s a dream.
Today, I’m going to go over 5 lies and myths about entrepreneurship and what you can do to avoid those traps or prepare yourself for the business of…well, owning your own business.
#1) Follow Your Passion & Money Will Follow
Following your passions is important. If you’re not passionate about what you are doing, it will show in your lackluster efforts. That being said, money won’t just appear because you’re passionate about your work. Whether you’re passionate about what you do or not, you’ll have to put in the same amount of effort and work in order to make money. Being passionate just makes it feel easier and more enjoyable.
Before you jump into entrepreneurship, check out your options. Being passionate about something, like fishing doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll make money in the field. Check out the different markets before you decide in one and analyze which path would be more profitable. Selling fish? Being a guide and taking people out to good spots? Writing about fishing (possibly your own book, magazine, or newspaper articles, etc.)? Coming up with your own line of lures? Opening your own tackle and bait shop?
Consider focusing on a niche but leave plans to expand when you get that chance. Look in your area and see what is available for tourists and your target market. Can you offer something a little extra? What makes you unique?
#2) You Won’t Have a Boss
Now this just isn’t true. Everyone needs to answer to someone. Some people need to answer to managers and CEO’s. Others need to answer to Board of Directors, customers, and “the tax man”. That’s where entrepreneurs fall. In some ways, the people that entrepreneurs need to answer to are a little more demanding than “regular bosses.”
And by “in some ways” I really mean “in all ways.” When you’re late to work and have to answer to a manager, you get written up or get a slap on the wrist. When you’re late for the tax man, you get a hefty fine and depending on what’s late and how much is late, possible jail time.
In order to avoid that, make sure that you have an accountant at hand. If not, keep tabs on when your taxes are due and what you need to pay. Keep organized and put reminders in your calendars (all of your calendars).
#3) You’ll Have So Much Freedom
This can be taken a number of different ways and – unfortunately – most of those ways are lies. All lies. You’ll have certain freedoms…
You get to choose your own work hours: “Should I get up at 4AM? Or should I wake up at 5AM and put in an extra hour?”
You get to choose your own vacations: “Should I work seven 10-hour days or six 12-hour days and take Sunday off for Mother’s Day?”
You get to design your own store: “Would I sell more product if I put this display here or there?”
But it’s not nearly as unrestricted as most people would hope. Your first few years will be the hardest and you will be working non-stop. If you’re hoping to start your own business so that you won’t have to do as much work as you are right now, you’re in for an unpleasant surprise.
#4) Just Do It
For a lot of decisions in your life, you’ll just have to jump in head-first in order to figure out what is best. Should I make burgers or steak tonight? Should I get my wife flowers or chocolate? Will my wife get mad if I do this or that? A lot of life is just trial and error. You have to make a decision and learn from the outcome.
Yes, entrepreneurship can be like that too. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have the money to be able to make a multitude of mistakes without repercussions. Most entrepreneurs have to do extensive research on their product, their marketing strategy (including who their target demographic is going to be), what the market is like right now, etc. In order to be successful, you can’t just jump in. You have to test the waters first.
#5) You Have to Invent Something
Take a look at the most veteran and successful entrepreneurs. Most of them didn’t invent what they are selling. Ask yourself what Richard Branson’s invented? Yes, some of us can look around and see how they can improve the world but others can’t see the world that way.
Most entrepreneurs sell products and/or services that can help our customers live a better and/or easier life. However, we didn’t necessarily invent those products, we just made it easier for our customers to obtain them.
Take a look at the business that you want to go into and think about how it can benefit your customers. How can I help people who like fishing? You can show the locals (and tourists) where the good fishing spots are. You can teach beginner lessons. You can help your customers get the tackle and bait supplies that they need. You can teach your customers how to gut and grill (or bake or broil) a fish.
The possibilities are there, you just need to find them.