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6 Myths About Starting a Small Business

These days, it seems like everyone wants to start a business. That’s great! Just don’t get caught up in the myths about start-ups. It won’t be an easy road but can be extremely rewarding.

1. Work 24/7 to be successful

This is without a doubt one of the biggest myths current or future small business owners have. The capitalistic culture of the United States makes people think that they can’t be successful unless they work every minute of every day. It will take a lot of time and effort to run your own business, especially in its early days. However, there needs to be some type of balance. Working 18 hours a day is not sustainable; just because you read about Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs doing it, doesn’t make it a good idea. To be clear, there is a difference between working hard and overworking. If you plan on making the business a long-term thing, then you need to keep your mental and physical health the best it can be.

2. A lot of money is needed to get started

Too often, I hear someone say they don’t have enough money to start their own business. Sure, some businesses absolutely need money to get started, but not all. This is especially true if the product you provide is your service. Running this consulting company only takes a computer, time, and experience. Don’t be fooled into a trap of thinking the more you invest, the more successful you will be, or you’ll be very disappointed. Want to start a capital-intensive business? See if you can start on a smaller scale and grow. Looking to have an e-commerce store? Start with a small number of items and then grow it. Interested in your own restaurant? Start at festivals or doing catering from rented kitchens. Whatever you do, don’t let the idea of needing money dissuade you from pursuing your dreams.

3. Without big risks, there would be no big reward

The biggest mistake small business owners make is thinking they need to risk it all to be successful. While this tactic has worked out for some, it does not end up panning out well for most. You don’t need to take a second mortgage on your house or risk the entire company’s future on one idea. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to do that, more power to you. However, don’t feel like you need to do this. Instead, take mini risks that don’t jeopardize your whole future if they don’t pan out.  

4. A successful business needs an amazing and unique idea

This is probably the furthest thing from the truth. In fact, most highly successful businesses came into existence to improve on a product or service that already exists. Take the biggest company in the world, Apple. Microsoft already existed so the idea of a computer was not new. Over time, Apple decided to create a better version of the cell phone. Today, they are worth over $2 trillion. When Amazon was founded, E-Bay already existed. Facebook was started when Myspace was still around and prominent. Uber was started after Lyft but is now a larger company. The point is that you don’t need a revolutionary idea. However, you do need to offer unique value to beat out your competitors. This could be better customer service, a more affordable option, or a better feature.

5. This is the best way to get rich

Yes, I will admit, the richest people in the world obtained their wealth from starting their own companies. That doesn’t make it the go to solution to getting rich. You can be well off after years of hard work and some luck, but it’s unlikely you will end up on Forbes rich list. This is not to be a deterrent but just to keep everyone in check with reality. Those who become wealthy from their businesses did so because they put lots of hard work in, had some luck, and had the right timing. If your main focus is to get rich quick, then you are taking the wrong path. Starting and running a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint.

6. Focus all your energy on selling your product or service

Ok this is half true but there is more too it than that. While your product or service is important, even more important is the result and experience. Sell these to customers and you will see a big difference.

“This new website will get you a 46% increase in traffic.”

“You will feel like you’re in Italy when you dine at this restaurant.”

“These sunglasses will reduce the strain on your eyes 5x more than the competitor.”

Remember, what you are selling is probably not unique. However, the way you sell it and the results it can achieve can be.

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