5 Myths about Starting Your First Business
We’ve all done it: taken business advice from non-entrepreneurs. And we’ve all walked away with the same misconceptions about what really goes into your first successful launch.
How many of these myths have kept you stalled on your business journey?
#1: You have to love your first business.
You’ll hear people say this over and over: “Start a business you’re passionate about,” “do what you love,” blah blah blah.
On the surface, this is sound advice. In reality, it needs a disclaimer.
Self-employed folx may start a business for the sole purpose of doing something they enjoy day in and day out. But true entrepreneurs start businesses to grow wealth and build legacies.
They learn how to jumpstart a company, scale it, and delegate the dirty work. They replicate their processes over and over in different industries and across platforms, not because they want to do all of those jobs, but precisely because they don’t want to do any “jobs” at all.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to actually do the work your business does. Release yourself from that thinking, and suddenly those business doors will start flying open.
The truth: Passion is great, but profit is better.
#2: Your business will suffer if you take a day off.
The whole point of entrepreneurship is being in command of your wealth--and your life. If you can’t take a vacation, time off, or a freaking nap once in a while, you’re doing it wrong.
Now that’s not to say that your business won’t demand energy and effort. It definitely will. But a business is only sustainable if you can walk away for a few days without losing money.
Particularly in the beginning, you’re going to feel overwhelmed like you never have before. It takes time to build the mindset of a seasoned entrepreneur.
Don’t think it’ll be that way forever, though. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
The truth: Self-care should be part of your business model.
#3: You need investors to get started.
Fun fact: I didn’t seek investors for any of my virtual businesses. You don’t need to, either.
Whether or not you pitch to investors is a personal call, not a prerequisite. I didn’t (and still don’t) intend to share ownership of my ventures, so seeking investors didn’t make sense for me. Instead, I launched my first LLC with less than $500 in personal capital.
You have two options for funneling your cold, hard cash into your business: either as a loan or as an investment. Research both choices, and consider consulting with an attorney or financial advisor before deciding.
Whatever route you take, know that you don’t have to overcomplicate your launch or share your profits if you don’t want to.
The truth: You can be your own investor.
#4: Your business can’t evolve.
So many new business owners (me!) get hung up on the small details. They spend weeks coming up with the perfect name, the right brand colors, a catchy logo. They think those early decisions are permanent, so they have to be perfect.
But you know what? That mindset will stunt your growth every time.
Names, color schemes, and logos are all essential elements of a marketable business. But those things can also change.
In fact, your business should change. You should always have an eye to improvement and expansion. I’d go a step further and say that growth should always be part of your entrepreneurial vision.
The truth: Businesses that adapt are businesses that last.
#5: You’re either immediately successful--or you’re a failure.
Not nary a business makes millions overnight. Hell, most don’t make millions in their first weeks or months.
You’re getting into the entrepreneur game because you want financial freedom, but you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you assume that forming an LLC is enough to loosen the shackles of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
The fact is that scaling a business takes time. Sourcing clients takes time. Building an audience--you guessed it--takes time.
(If you find that it’s taking you a looooong time, coaching can help you identify gaps in your strategy.)
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the results you want right away. Stay focused. The revenue will follow.
The truth: If you don’t give up, you can’t fail.
Moral of the story: Don’t ask for directions from people who never left the house.
The prevailing misunderstandings around entrepreneurship can seriously derail your progress--if you let them.
Those of us who have been in the business trenches know that these myths are rooted in inexperience and doubt. We know that, with vision and strategy, nothing in business is impossible.
If you want to know what entrepreneurship is really like, ask an entrepreneur.
Or better yet, become one.