Although we may not go around thinking about the norms that govern our lives – they’re there, all around us. There are plenty of “rules” that define how we live our lives and our business journey. These are built by the cultures that surround us – in our families, communities, popular culture and even through our personalities. In this post I’m going to share some of those “rules” – or rather four entrepreneurial myths to bust.
Norms can be of help. They can guide us to take simple steps forward, but too often they hold us back and are detrimental to our personal growth.
This is especially true when you’re in a position where you need to take risks. If you’re embarking on an entrepreneurial journey, for example, some of these “rules” need to be broken.
In the world of entrepreneurship there are myths about how you need to do things to succeed.
Let’s bust some of these entrepreneurial myths now.
Myth 1. You need to work really, really, REALLY hard to succeed.
One rule that I felt strongly was that I need to work really, REALLY, hard in order to build my own business. I couldn’t call myself an entrepreneur if I wasn’t working late nights, attending all the events, calls, seminars and saying YES most of the time.
With time, and with new role models, I’ve come to understand that this entrepreneurial rule is not only false, it’s detrimental to your own wellbeing and that of your business.
Myth 2. You need to have a team before you start.
This is one that is often fed to us by start-up incubators and venture capitalists (see more about that in Myth 4).
You can definitely have a self-made business that is successful. I recently saw this Masterclass commercial in which Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, teaches self-made entrepreneurship.
If you have an amazing idea that is valuable to someone else in the world, and they’re willing to pay you for it, you’ve got a business, baby.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need support – we all do.
However, you may not need to pay a team from the very beginning. You can start off by surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals. Find a Mastermind group to support you or meet with friends. This is something that will be invaluable as you grow.
When I started Girls’ Globe, I was blogging with friends after work once a week to get it off the ground. Now, years later, we’re a global media platform serving thousands worldwide.
Also, Markus (my husband and co-founder) and I have been each other’s best team mates – especially through this pandemic when we’ve shared an office. He’s helped me prioritize tasks with his agile coaching and we’ve been able to lift each other up.
Who will you go to for support? You get to choose your team.
Myth 3. You need to have a gazillion followers on social media to succeed.
Oh no you don’t!
In a world of influencers galore, it’s become a numbers game for many. What mature entrepreneurs realize (and some still need reminders!) social media followers are fleeting. They are numbers that don’t necessarily represent your business!
There are plenty of influencers with thousands, if not tens of thousands, of followers who still don’t have a successful business model. AND most importantly, there are entrepreneurs who has a small audience on social (OR NONE AT ALL) and still make millions.
When it comes to social media, the equation you need is this one:
value offer + the right audience that’s willing to pay + consistency = successful business
Myth 4. You can only succeed by bringing in external capital.
How can so much of the start-up world focus on pitching ideas to venture capitalists and funders, instead of selling the idea to real customers?
This is something that has boggled our minds for the last decade.
The thing is, this may apply to a high-tech start-up that needs external funding – but for most of us this is definitely untrue. Instead of focusing so much on how to scale a business to make it attractive to funders, put your effort into bringing REAL value to REAL customers.
Make sure that you have a viable business idea. Once it’s up and running, you can choose – stay in it yourself at your own terms completely, or invite a funder in to grow and scale in a different way.
And that’s just it, you choose what success looks like for you, and what you need to get there. Don’t let entrepreneurial myths get in the way of how you want to create your organization, business and impact.
When we redefine “the rules” we set for ourselves, including these entrepreneurial myths, we can create a life defined by what matters most.
Grow & Redefine was born from the desire to inspire norm-breaking lifestyles that drive positive change.
As conscious entrepreneurs we want to focus on the value that we bring to people and the change we can create in the world. As individuals we want to spend time with our children and care for our friends and family – while working with things that bring joy.
One thing is certain, there’s plenty of room for a diverse range of entrepreneurs. You get to decide who you’d like to be as an entrepreneur, leader and individual.
What “rules” do you want to redefine in life and business? Let me know in the comments section below!
Cover Photo Credit: Marta Miklinska