The entrepreneurship and startup journey is viewed as this mythical expedition, much like Frodo & Sam’s adventures through Middle-earth. And just like any mythical story, it has its myths. Some founders have been held back by advice that does more harm than good.
But how do you separate good advice from bad advice?
Startup myth # 1: An entrepreneur is born and NOT MADE
This is probably the most common one out there. Yes, you have to be smart to be an entrepreneur – after all, it takes smart to run a successful business and steadily evolve into a revenue-generating machine. But that doesn’t mean that entrepreneurship is a Holy Grail skill that few are blessed with.
An entrepreneur is an entrepreneur. And an entrepreneur is someone who notices a problem and may have a solution to it. That’s one of the key skills of an entrepreneur – problem solving.
Every entrepreneur starts with an idea in a room or garage – even those who are now millionaires and billionaires. Especially them. Then how come, you may be wondering, that not every startup or entrepreneur is successful?
Because being an entrepreneur means more than just being smart. Qualities like determination, decision-making ability, objective thinking, reasoning, creative thinking, etc. play a huge role in the success of an entrepreneur. And these may also define whether a startup grows into a multi-million or multi-billion dollar company or fails after a few years.
Successful entrepreneurs always try to learn and know different concepts and ideas. Ideas from your comfort zone and your core competencies.
So yes, an entrepreneur is made and learns the skills to be one. Those who embrace this and learn to be better entrepreneurs are the ones who will do better for their businesses.
Startup Myth # 2: Set RIGHT AWAY to Scale Faster
It is important to attract the best talent to your company. More importantly, however, is knowing which roles to hire and which to outsource.
Startup salaries are no joke – they’re some of the most competitive out there. Sure, the pandemic has hampered it, but a startup job is usually well paid today than it was 10 years ago.
The cost of recruiting can weigh heavily on your company. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report, you would spend over $ 4,000 and over 40 days to find the new hire that fits your needs. And that’s if you find the right candidate – if not, those expenses and deadlines tend to be even higher.
In the meantime, your company is bleeding time and money that it cannot afford to lose. A clever way to get around this hassle is to use a’s services Remote Employee Marketplace. If you are early in your start-up, it makes sense to outsource certain roles. The advantages are many – both in terms of costs and in terms of resources.
You can hire top talent at a fraction of the cost by hiring a remote worker. And the business world is moving towards distant employees. The pandemic has shown that a lot of office work can be done without being tied to a physical office space.
Startup Myth # 3: You MUST fundraise to be successful
Sure, raising funds from great investors is definitely a boost. Ultimately, this new capital can be used, among other things, to grow the business, invest in talent and processes, and improve your offerings. The ability to raise funds, especially from VCs, gives you strength and more reliability.
But it’s not the be-all and end-all. Fundraising also brings greater accountability. You need to demonstrate to investors every month or quarter that you can maximize business potential and growth.
Only consider raising funds if you absolutely need to. Rather, if it makes business sense to do so. Receiving investments should not be seen as a sign of success, nor should it be seen as “arrived”. It’s just the beginning.
Track the growth. Track profitability. Raise money on your terms.
Startup Myth # 4: You Need an Ivy League Pedigree to Become an Entrepreneur
Granted, having a degree from a high-level university helps – it sets a perception of being smart and / or successful. There are investors who still use the university degree as a benchmark to measure the founder of the startup. But that doesn’t mean you won’t succeed without it.
There are more successful companies in which the founders didn’t study at Ivy League colleges than those in which they studied. A good education always helps, there is no doubt about that. In addition, a founder of a startup needs the vision, tenacity, strength and toughness to be successful.
There are a ton of things that go into a successful startup – the founder’s college degree is just a small part of it.
The startup journey is not easy. It is full of obstacles, risks, and great difficulties. But it’s important to be able to avoid the bad advice and not get caught up in startup myths that don’t include water. As many startup founders will tell you, it’s about the work you’ve done and often getting the timing right.
What are other startup myths you make fun of? Is there any startup advice you would like to have received sooner?