Many people have a lot of myths about what being an entrepreneur is and how it will shape/affect their life that are simply not true. Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs In South Africa in Rating and these are the seven biggest myths that I continuously hear.
1. Being an Entrepreneur is too risky for me.
Starting your own business in these days is not too much more risky than trying for any other corporate job. At a corporate job you can be laid off at any time, The Most Successful Entrepreneurs In South Africa have benefits cut with no reason, and work long overtime without being compensated for that. If you are student as well, the risk can’t be that bad. It’s not like you have a mortgage or family to support if it fails.
2. I am too young to start my own company
Being young is not a negative, in fact in most cases it’s a positive! When your young you have the passion energy and enthusiasm that is needed to work 14 hour days day in and day out for a company you believe in. Most older people with more experience just don’t want to do that any more.
3. I have no experience
Again, Top 10 Young Entrepreneurs In South Africa this can work towards your advantage. Your lack of experience means that you are looking at everything with a fresh set of eyes. You wont get stuck in the “we have always done it that way” kind of thinking that can stop other entrepreneurs. Running your own company will also build much more valuable experiences than a job flipping burgers will at your age.
4. It is not the right time for me to launch a business.
As a student you have a schedule that is completely flexible and large blocks of time between classes and on breaks to start a business. Campuses have tons of resources you can harness as well, Who Are The Most Successful Entrepreneurs In South Africa so there really has never been a better time than now.
5. If I am running a business my grades will fall.
Running a business takes organization and discipline. If you are organized and disciplined in one area of your life it will probably pass over to the other areas of your life as well. Many student entrepreneurs I know actually report their grades increasing once they started a business.
6. Student businesses are just small rinky-dink operations
Some student business that started as just rinky-dink operations were Dell, Google, and Microsoft. You have probably heard of those companies right? That is because they were great ideas and hard work created products that had potential to expand from their small beginnings. Your business can too!
7. I don’t have any money! I can’t start a company
Everyone seems to think only millionaires start companies. This is simply not true. Most companies are started with the founders savings and no investment capital. Start with what you can and work hard. Things will come together if you want them to come together. You will be amazed at what you can do!
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Very few people ever got rich by working for someone else. Leaving aside pop musicians, sportsmen and similarly gifted people, the only way to acquire wealth by work is to build a business of your own. The type of business you decide upon will depend on: a) how much money you have available as start-up capital and working capital; b) your business idea; and c) your confidence level.
There are three types of business: 1) the traditional one in which you are reliant solely on your own efforts; 2) a franchise where you follow a proven idea and receive considerable training and back-up from the franchise company; and 3) network marketing.
Each business type has its pros and cons.
• The traditional business requires considerable financial input, either from your own resources or part-funded by your bank. You may need to rent premises; buy equipment; hire staff; pay for advertising, brochures, stationery, and stock. A frighteningly high percentage of this type of business fails in the first year. To succeed you need: a good idea, considerable financial backing, good health, an understanding spouse, and stamina. If you do succeed you will own the business outright and benefit from all the profits.
• Franchises have a high success rate. Banks like them because each franchise operation has a proven track record and thus the banks can accurately judge the risk, consequently they will lend money for this sort of start-up. However, all the support and training comes at a price: the initial entrance fee is likely to be very high, and a percentage of the business’s turnover has to be paid to the franchise company.
• Network marketing, also known as multi-level marketing, has many advantages and few disadvantages. The entrance fee is low and the ongoing expenses are even lower. A network marketing business can be started in your spare time – in fact that is the best way to approach it. Start small, and keep at it. The secret is perseverance, get past the first year and you should find the business has a sound foundation from which you can build a serious income. It is said that 95% of those who survive ten years in network marketing become wealthy beyond their wildest expectations.
So which type of business is for you? If you wish to provide a service or product where you have previous experience from, say, a former employment, the traditional business will be probably be the best choice. However, if you are just tired of working for someone else and making them rich and wish to strike out on your own, then a franchise or network marketing must be the preferred option.
The choice then is determined chiefly by the funds you have access to, and the time and effort you wish to put into your enterprise. A franchise will require substantial funds and 100% commitment. You are jumping in at the deep end, although the franchise company will provide training and support to help you to swim.
On the other hand you can ease yourself gently into network marketing by starting part-time while you continue with your current employment, building your business by ploughing back profits if necessary. Persevere and there will come a time when the income from your own business will be sufficient to support you financially. You will then be able to leave your employment and concentrate on your business, spending more time on it or enjoying considerable free time with your family.
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A new idea is merely the combination of two or more old ideas. The creation of a new idea is the critical first step in establishing any business.
People who dream of setting up their own business but don’t succeed, generally fall into one of three categories:
too few ideas
too many ideas or
waiting for the ‘perfect idea’.
Any of these three states of mind may hinder the budding entrepreneur.
‘Would be entrepreneurs’ with too few ideas.
These individuals typically say “if only I had ‘an idea’ for a business.”
Just remember that if you say you don’t have ‘an idea’ it really means you have ‘no-idea’! If this applies to you, you need to get cracking on that ‘first idea’ fast! As soon as you are able to dream something up, you’ll have the essential ingredient that all successful businesses are built upon.
‘Would be entrepreneurs’ with too many ideas.
Can you ever have ‘too many ideas’ I hear you say? Well if your creative process leaves you feeling overwhelmed for choice then it’s definitely a possibility! Many highly creative people experience inertia in business purely because they have so many ideas. They don’t know where to start or which idea to implement first!
If you fall into this category, just pick one of your ideas (it doesn’t need to be your best one!) and begin to mentally develop it further. Consider the first key steps you need to take to push your business idea forward. Remember that you don’t have to have a 100 page business plan or a fully formed idea before you can start taking action! All you need is a little focus.
‘Would be entrepreneurs’ waiting for the perfect idea.
This is the equivalent of expecting to know how to swim once you’ve found the perfect swimming costume.
If you fall into this category, even if you do manage to find the ‘perfect idea’, ask yourself whether or not you are going to have the right skill base to get it off the ground. Many successful entrepreneurs have failed many times before their ‘perfect idea’ came along. It is through being prepared to fall down and stand up again that you develop the tenacity required to succeed in business.
Stay Ahead of the Game.
Whatever your circumstances, whether you are in business already or looking to start a business, creating ideas and being innovative will help keep you on top of your game. The way we are doing business globally is changing at such a rapid rate that if you don’t consistently innovate, you will soon be out of business.
Cultivate your Innovation skills.
All the entrepreneurs that I have met have been ‘possibility thinkers’. By this I mean they keep their minds open to new opportunities and new ways of thinking. The best way for you to cultivate this ability within yourself is to spend time around other creative thinkers. Challenge each other to innovate.
A Simple Idea Creating Exercise.
Two nights ago I had a brainstorming session with a couple of entrepreneurial friends over a meal. We did a little 5 minute exercise where each wrote down as many ideas as they could on how to create a million pounds within a year. The quality of the initial ideas was absolutely irrelevant. What was really valuable was what came afterwards, when each person read out their individual lists and we discussed how these particular ideas could work.
We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and generated a couple of really great business ideas (as well as plenty of ordinary ones!), purely by focusing our brains to answer a simple question.
So how many entrepreneurs does it take to change a light bulb?
Well I’m not entirely sure on the answer to that one! But I do know how many ideas it takes to start a business…
Copyright Damien Senn 2005. All rights reserved.