5 Myths About Entrepreneurs

The media has made lots of reports about entrepreneurs. Some may be true, some are not. Here are the 5 myths about being an entrepreneur.

Myth #1: Entrepreneurs only care about making money

Many people think entrepreneurs do what they do strictly for the money, and that taking risks is all about entrepreneur's personal reward.

While fear of poverty or use of money as a scorecard may have some relevance - and there are, of course, some entrepreneurs focused primarily on financial profits - generally, money is not the ultimate motivator for the majority of entrepreneurs.

Many successful entrepreneurs do not live a lavish lifestyles that reflect their financial success. Their motives are often more about ego and emotion. For most entrepreneurs, money is just a way to keep score.

Money is also a way to do bigger and more exciting deals. The thrill of challenge, the motivation of a new idea, and the risks involved have far more power to motivate the entrepreneurial spirit than money.

Myth #2: Winning means somebody else is losing

You may have heard of people speak of success in business as being "on the backs of other," suggesting that if an entrepreneur is winning, somebody else must be losing.

This attitude makes it seem like the only possible outcome of a business deal is to have one side win and the other side lose. The resulting bottom line is zero. This is sometimes referred to as the "zero-sum game."

Entrepreneurs are creative and expansionary thinkers. Rather than accepting a zero-sum result, and, contrary to the myth that an entrepreneur's success comes at the expense of others, entrepreneurs often try to figure out ways that both sides can win.

Myth #3: The greater the risk, the greater the reward

This myth is always passed on to young entrepreneurs as economic gospel. The theoretical relationship between risk and reward is coincidental at best, and then only in certain situations.

Risk is a relative concept. All else being equal, real risks are modified by knowledge, experience, hard work, passion, and unforeseen circumstances. Applying knowledge to any investment can change the risk profile.

Equally important in considering risks, perception of risks is often different from reality. What one person considers high risk might be from another's perspective a sure thing. Who then can say what's a great risk or a great reward?

Myth #4: As an entrepreneur, you can get rich quick

Have you heard of those dotcom millionaires? In the internet world, it sure seemed like people got rich overnight. But always remember that things often seem easier than they are.

It may seem to you that entrepreneurs made the huge amount of money, but do you know that there are lots of hardwork before he made it. Think twice about becoming an entrepreneur, if you think you can get rich quick.

Myth #5: A good business plan is the entrepreneur's critical roadmap to success

Venture capitalists often make business plans the key criteria in deciding whether or not to fund new companies. Business educators often talk about business plans like they are the Holy Bible of business success. The theory is that the better and more complete the business plan, the better the business will go. This is a myth.

While having an idea or a goal is critical, believing that you can create a structured, believeing that you can create a structured business plan that will endure time or place is simply naive. In the real world,it rarely happens.

Business plans can be useful initial tools, but they should be used only as guidelines. Trial and error, luck, creativity, flexibility, and adapting to unforeseeable developments ultimately are what make an entrepreneurial venture succeed.

Successful entrepreneurs know when to use creative problem solving rather than theoretical business plans.

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