So you completed College, worked a full time job to raise some capital, thought of a perfect business idea, and now it’s time for you to live the life by being your own boss. Well unfortunately entrepreneurship is not all its hyped up to be and instead of learning the hard way you could learn by reading this article. Before you become the next Richard Branson give this list of the biggest lies about entrepreneurship a read and then decide if you are trying to become an entrepreneur for the right reasons.
1. You should quit your day job. While working on your own could earn you some nice extra change it is usually not enough to survive on, especially for the first few months or even years. A side business should be started in your free time and not by quitting your job so you could devote every minute of your life to an idea that is not a steady source of income. Especially considering the current state of the economy, you should probably never quit your day job, no matter how great you think your idea is.
2. You will make more money than you could at your regular job. This is usually not true (obviously depending on what your day job is) because you will typically have to wait until your business has gained some decent traction before you will see any profits. Once you do start earning money you will realize that it is not all yours. After you pay your corporate taxes, rent fees, insurance fees, and any other fees that may be associated with your business you will end up with a less than expected profit.
3. You will work less hours. This is probably the biggest lie about being an entrepreneur just because there is no such thing as going home for the day. Most business owners think about their work 24 hours of the day and it takes up more time than is even fathomable. Once you work on your own you will become responsible for everything and there will be no such thing as going home early or calling in sick. Obviously there are businesses that consume less time than others but gone are the days of a steady pay check and job security.
4. You won’t have to answer to anyone. Just because you work for yourself it doesn’t mean that you don’t answer to anyone. As soon as someone loans you money you will have to explain to that person how you spend every penny (depending on the type of investor). You will have to deal with suppliers that may increase prices as they please. You will have to deal with customers that will make certain demands, and if you are not willing to meet these demands than someone else will. Sure you won’t have a formal manager to report to every morning but you will always have someone to answer to.
I don’t mean to scare you away but after talking to many great entrepreneurs in one of my Entrepreneurship courses I was able to come up with this list of the biggest lies about entrepreneurship. If you give yourself a reality check before starting that new business venture then you will set yourself on the right path.
4 thoughts on “The Biggest Lies About Entrepreneurship”
I think your tip 3 is the most critical from a non-financial viewpoint. I’m self-employed and have run startups in the past and the latter is an 80 hour a week job.
Vik’s point about doing it on the side is a good one from a financial risk one but it won’t help your hours. But then nothing is easy in life!
Valuable information, and dead on target. Too many think that being your own boss is the easy and good life. I agree 100% that you should keep a guaranteed income for as long as needed.
Another item to consider: If you are serious about starting your own business, do your due diligence. Spend ten dollars or so on a book about business plans. Then do the months worth of research and creation to see if your business is even viable. If you stick with the process of creating a business plan, and the numbers add up, then try it alongside your “day job.”
@Vik Dulat I like your thinking and totally agree with it. What’s the point of jumping into a business venture if there is no proof that it will work? The best proof is usually sales, which come with time. So until you are hitting your sales goals and earning a decent profit, quiting your day job should not be an option.
@Monevator I usually don’t allow links but will allow it in this case because the article is relevant and I am a fan of your work. The 80 hour work week sounds about right. It’s good to have someone will actual experience with a startup business stating exactly how much time and effort it takes. People don’t understand that there is no limited on the hours of an entrepreneur.
@Mr Imperfect There is so much information out there and yet people still seem to make the same mistakes. Before I started this blog I wrote articles for a few months, talked with other bloggers, and researched everything possible. It is important to conduct proper research so that you do not make the same mistakes as your predecessors.
All very true. I’ve met with each lie face-to-face on my entrepreneur voyage and let’s just say if it wasn’t for my current job, I’d still be on hiatus. Starting a business is tough. I got a solid product out, but no one’s buying. It’s comic book, if anyone is interested. Currently online, might make it a webcomic since that’s the way to go these days if you can’t make it in print.