Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Wi-Fi, smartphones, Kindle books, etc. didn’t even exist when I wrote my first book on self-employment a little over ten years ago.
When I went back and re-read my original book I didn't know what to expect. I asked myself, "If I wrote the book today, would I tell a dramatically different story? The short answer is "No." Your success or failure will not be based on technology, but on the effort you put into your business and the decisions you make. I want to take a little time to dispel some of the more common myths about entrepreneurship.
MYTH #1: ENTREPRENEURS ARE HUGE RISK-TAKERS
I've found that this not to be true. They are cautious, thoughtful, decisive, organized, focused, and pragmatic.
MYTH #2: SMALL BUSINESSES FAIL BECAUSE OF A LACK OF MONEY
There's a common misperception that start-up businesses fail because they don't have enough capital. Many start-ups fail because they have too much money! (Yes, you read that right.)
MYTH #3: THE FIRST THING YOU NEED IS A BUSINESS PLAN
No. You must make sure that your business concept is valid and is a workable niche. If you don’t, there is not a business plan designed that will save you.
MYTH #4: "THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT"
High maintenance customers can suck the energy right of your business. Worse, they may not pay for your services and could cost you your business. A bad client almost put me out of business early on.
MYTH #5: WATCH YOUR COMPETITORS LIKE A HAWK
Competitors are your best friends! They validate your business concept and keep you sharp.
MYTH #6: IF YOU HAVE IT IN WRITING, IT'S GUARANTEED
I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't put agreements in writing. But be very careful who you align yourself with. If your client has a problem with ethics, a signed contract will not be enough to protect you from expensive litigation.
MYTH #7: THINKING POSITIVE IS A KEY TO SUCCESS
There's a billion-dollar industry developed around the concept that thinking positive will change an outcome from bad to good. I hate to sound like a "Debby Downer," but this is a ridiculous. Always be thinking worst case.
MTTH #8: FOLLOW YOUR PASSION AND THE MONEY WILL FOLLOW
80% of small businesses fail. One of the major reasons why the failure rate is so astonishingly high is that too many people buy into this long-held myth. The truly successful entrepreneurs are thinking about their customers needs. If you are thinking about filling a niche and solving a problem your prospects for success will be much higher.