Four Myths and Misconceptions about Starting a Business

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Do you keep hearing negative warnings about your idea to start a business? Human nature is such that no matter what kind of idea you have, there are at least a few people who want to knock it down. Don’t let the naysayers win. Instead, deal with the myths and falsehoods head-on by dispelling them and getting to the truth.

Perhaps you’ve encountered the age-old notion that only geniuses successfully start their own companies or that you need to be independently wealthy to do so. Other incorrect frames of mind include the dire warning that you won’t see one dollar of profit for at least a year or that you’re bound to become a workaholic by founding a business. There are more misconceptions out there, but those are the four most common ones you’ll run into. Here are the details about each one and why they’re all incorrect or, at the very least, based on misleading information.

You Have to be a Genius

The genius myth has been around for a long time. In fact, anyone can start a business as long as they have the requisite amount of dedication, patience, and common sense. It’s more about hard work, the initial business startup idea, and adapting to economic conditions than possessing a super-powered brain or having unique skills.

You Have to be Rich

Few those who start their own companies are wealthy. In fact, most cover early expenses and startup fees by taking out a personal loan from a private lender. Keep in mind that the vast majority of adults who open a side business do so to earn more money, not because they’re already financially comfortable. Private lenders make sense because they offer fast online applications, access to low interest rates, and the chance for new owners to borrow what they need to cover the many costs associated with a launch. Make a list of known expenses for your new organization, like legal filing fees, promotional costs, and amounts needed to pay for outsourced jobs like accounting and tax filing.

You Won’t Turn a Profit During the First Year

There is a lead time for earning your first dollar, but it’s rarely as long as a full year. Most owners and founders of startups see incoming cash flow within a few months of opening their doors. Often, they plow what small amounts they earn right back into the business, aiming for long-term growth and profits. E-commerce stores, for example, can reach breakeven points within a few weeks, as soon as income equals expenses. The myth of years-long periods with zero profits is based on fear and misinformation.

You’ll Turn into a Workaholic

The truth is most new owners only put in a few hours per week on their company while maintaining a full-time day job to pay the bills. Once the side company begins to show significant profit potential, many new owners quit their regular jobs and devote themselves full-time to the startup. However, very few become workaholics or burn themselves out just because they go into business for themselves.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.