5 Myths of Being An Entrepreneur
I was once happily employed. I also thought at 34 I would be a housewife with 10 children. Instead, I am an entrepreneur.
I am here to dispel some myths about who we are.
- You are born an entrepreneur
My experience has come to show me otherwise. I think for most people it comes out of necessity. I was happy being an employee, getting a monthly salary and cashing in on my allowances. It was actually a friend passionate about starting a business together who got me into the entrepreneur mode. I was otherwise happy to be employed. A photo booth company was not the first idea. It was a video I stumbled upon when doing wedding research that gave me that eureka moment.
An example that entrepreneurs aren’t born is from the movie The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. His father and grandfather were not inventors, but he saw a need and stepped in to fulfill it. That ought to be a valuable lesson- no matter how fantastic your idea is if there is no need for it in the market, it won’t succeed. In the same way, the mama Mboga is an entrepreneur; they don’t think they are doing something grand, they are doing it to make ends meet.
For guys like Jon Oringer Shutterstock CEO, his entrepreneurial instinct came out of the fact that he just did not want employment 😊
You are not born with it. It is just different elements that come together at the right time. If you were indeed born with it, then businesses would succeed most or all of the time. It is something you need to keep working hard at because it’s not innate. It is something that has to be cultivated, nurtured, watered and something you believe in and are passionate about.
- Your business must work and you have to be good at everything
This handy guide explains why start-ups fail. If you check all, half or even a few of the boxes of the reasons why businesses fail, don’t be dismayed if you have to close shop after three years or be kicked out of the market after 10 years. There are too many success stories and even fewer stories about failure that are quite honestly the majority of the entrepreneur business.
Equally, a lot of moguls tried and failed a few times before getting it right. Entrepreneurship is a gamble and is not guaranteed. That also has to do with not being good at everything. Some people also think you have to be an expert or have specialised skills all round. Sure, basic skills are important, but the point is you don’t have to be good at everything. The good thing about entrepreneurship is you get to surround yourself with people who have talents that compliment your own and they help you build your vision. As an entrepreneur, you are also predisposed to learning and discovering new things.
- Entrepreneurs are ballin’ out of control and having a good time
Erm, we are not. But there is the hope of one day ballin’ out of control. What people don’t know about us is that we are broke most of the time especially before the business picks up. Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. It is difficult because you are tasked with building something. Because this business is an extension of you, if it fails, you end up feeling like a failure, and if not careful you can easily become depressed or have anxiety.
It is a bold journey and you have to find ways of coping. Whether it is staying fit, or having a hobby, you have to find something to help you stay sane- a release. I also don’t hang out with my employed friends as much as I would want to because we are in two different scenes and I cannot keep up. As an entrepreneur your budgets and time are always tight!
- We have a lot of free time and flexibility
This post we did about a day in my life surely blows this myth out of the water. One thing I’ve come to see is that even in my “free time”, my mind is still going crazy about the business. That time goes into always thinking what we can do better. So technically, you are working all the time because mentally your mind is on and focused on the business.
Most people have the luxury of tuning out after their 9-5 and give their phone a side eye when the boss tries to call after hours. As an entrepreneur, I work after hours especially during events, other days I work well into the night. Everywhere I go I have to promote my business- I eat and breathe Picha Booth!
- Entrepreneurs hate on employment
I would understand why people would think this. There are tonnes of narratives that make employees feel as though they are wasting their potential and could be building their own business. The truth is that most entrepreneurs are thankful for the jobs they had because employment prepares you for business.
Being employed helps you understand the inner workings of the business structure. It is also a necessary training ground for discipline and teaching you how to roll out of bed because you have to work to eat. It is also where you get your initial networks. A lot of good comes from employment, and successful entrepreneurs do agree with that.
You just have to be focused and keep consulting. The reason to do that is if you only rely on your strength and skills, you’ll be missing out on other input from experts or rather people who have been in the game longer. It is important for you to seek out mentors, a coach, accountability partners; someone who can bring out a new perspective. Wahenga husema [wise men say], “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If You want to walk far, walk together.”
Handling things all by yourself can be a bit overwhelming. So don’t be too hard on yourself. There are some days you will feel like waking up and grinding and other days you won’t. Give yourself time to wallow for a bit and then get up and continue.
As always, thanks for stopping by.