27 November 2014
You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over. Richard Branson
Start-ups have assumed a gigantic stature in the global economy in recent times. Walk out of your home, and you are sure to stumble upon a new enterprise in your neighbourhood.
And notably, the spirit of entrepreneurship is seen to pulsate both among the young and the old alike.
However, with popularity many a myth about entrepreneurship have also come to flourish.
And if not attended to, such myths about entrepreneurship could only lead to confusion and misdirection while giving shape to your entrepreneurial dream.
Here are five of such myths that I discovered during my own entrepreneurial journey.
Myth# 1: Entrepreneurs are Born, not Made
A myth that is premised around the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, who went on to become legendary entrepreneurs, even as they dropped out of colleges.
The truth is their success lay in their passion, not genes or blood necessarily.
Look around for potential ideas and nurture it; that is how ordinary ideas become great!
And yes, don’t forget your lunch and dinner over it. Good health is a bonus in an entrepreneurial mission.
Myth# 2: VC Funding is Critical to Success
One of the most common myths. Many a times beautiful business idea are buried down under the fear of not getting funded.
On the contrary, it has been found that less than 1 percent of start-ups have raised fund from venture capitalists.
Many entrepreneurs also give in to impatience in getting their ventures funded within a year or two of their coming into existence.
As a matter of fact, you cannot start something assuming that you will get funded within a year or two or ever.
Some start-ups could be doing brilliant jobs, and yet may not fall under the guidelines of getting funded.
Also, VC’s look at a lot of things before agreeing to fund a start-up. Scalability and expansion of a start-up being just some of them.
So, before you expect funding from outside, it would help if you can maintain a decent cash-reserve towards sustaining and stabilizing your model, at least for the initial two years.
Myth# 3: You Must have an Out of the Box Idea
“How would I sell my idea if it is already existent, and not out of the box?”
This question creeps into many an entrepreneur’s mind.
But before you rack your brain over hitting upon an out-of-the-box idea, you will do well to know most successful start-ups have shown smartness by making success of an already existent idea.
Good to remember that smartness is not the same as shrewdness. Rather it could involve an inquisitive approach to viewing an already prevalent idea and bettering it.
Come to think of it, Flipkart did in India what Amazon was already doing in the United States.
Myth# 4: Hide the Idea before it is Stolen
“I am afraid my idea might get stolen upon sharing!”
If you are one among those who believe in hiding ideas then re-think your decision to start a venture.
An idea is the cheapest investment you can do for your start-up because there are so many ideas lying here and there.
Share it with as many people as you can and you will be surprised to find that there are so many investors and people who are looking to collaborate with good ideas.
Myth# 5: Entrepreneurs lead a Luxurious Life
Ironically, many want to start a venture because they want to get a taste of making money! Or perhaps to check their ability to attract money.
If your intent behind starting up is solely to make money for yourself and lead a luxurious life, the wise thing would be to work for someone else.
Entrepreneurship involves a lot of energy and labour.
A closer look at the life of any successful Indian or global entrepreneur would reveal their struggling days, until they made their inner sun shine through years of sweating it out.
So, if your aim is to become a Richard Branson or Ratan Tata, learn to spend your energy well!
Summing it Up
These are just some of the myths I gathered through my own experiences and observations.
Many more such myths abound in the world of start-up.
Is there anything that you have on mind?