5 Top Myths vs Reality of Entrepreneurship

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Before you take the big plunge into the world of entrepreneurship, there are several myths on it that you as an entrepreneur should be aware of so that you are better prepared on our journey to success.

Being an entrepreneur means that you have to have a stronger insight and a solid platform to continue its prospects. However, there are a bunch of myths about being an entrepreneur which are far from reality. It is important to differentiate entrepreneur myths from the facts to put things in clear perspective.

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1. You are free to do what you want

Absolutely not. Typically for many years to come, we are slaves to our businesses and sacrifice much to this cause. We will have to do anything as minuscule as it might be. The outside world hardly realizes the level of sacrifice in personal and family life it takes to create and drive a company. What they see is only the glamour. Just like in the sports world, many do not see the grilling work that goes into winning. They only see the win and the benefits. However, in reality, it’s brutal, it’s alone, and it’s tiring. 90 percent of entrepreneurial existence is that less than 10 percent is what the outside world perceives it to be.

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2. It’s always exciting 

I wished. The vast majority of our work is not on a luxury yacht or in a big board room figuring out a strategy or big deals. Thousands of little things and most importantly managing the most difficult element of business, people, can be very tiring and tedious and certainly not stimulating. Hence every successful entrepreneur speaks about passion, perseverance, etc to succeed, as one needs lots of that to face all challenges of operating a business, ready to get your hands dirty and not shy away from any task or solving any problem that is thrown at you, cause that would be a failure. Fixing a computer bug, servers down, office dirty, a person on sick leave, DEWA bill not paid, client not paying for rendered services, dealing with authorities, licensing, taxes, these and many more constitute the majority of the life of an entrepreneur.

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3. It pays off big time, we all have Ferrari’s and make lots of money

Well, that’s a nice outsider perspective. In reality, 75 percent fail, shut down within 5-7 years. The average age of a business that survives has dropped below 15 years, that’s for those only who have not failed. 95 percent never ever hit the 1 mill USD revenue level, so Ferrari’s are reserved for the few that make it over 5 mill USD and that’s less than 0.6 percent of all. The outside world sees the few stars and confuses the world of entrepreneurs with the reality they go through.

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4. One big idea is enough 

Not really. Ideas and business plans and strategies mean next to nothing. It’s about speed and execution and delivering to clients what they want/need. Execution has to do all with people, the quality and drive, and that is and will always remain the biggest challenge in an entrepreneur’s life. Finding and managing the right people, and equally important, exiting the wrong people, is what differentiates the successful from the not so successful businesses.

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5. It’s all about the product /service 

Nope – it’s all about the client and whether he is willing to pay for product/service rendered. Are we adding value to the client? Too many entrepreneurs focus and get excited about their idea and the product/service. Reality is what the client wants and too often that is neglected. More conversations with paying or potentially paying customers are required to figure out product, service or deliverables to the client.

(Written by Dr. Sassan Dieter Khatib-Shahidi – CEO, German Imaging Technologies, who is also a member of The Entrepreneurs Organisation – EO UAE Chapter- a global, reputed hand-selected group of entrepreneurs who have scaled their businesses in the region and have established themselves as pioneers and leaders in their space and contributing to regional impact.)

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