Welcome back to another week on the blog! Today I’m talking about the top myths about being an entrepreneur. If you’re currently on social media, you may see pictures, videos, and ads of people doing nothing but travel, make money and live glamorous lifestyles. Today I’m exposing the fake life of an entrepreneur and will explain what it's like.
What is the definition of an entrepreneur? According to Google:
“A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”
Therefore, you must own and operate a business to be an entrepreneur. There are several critical areas in which you must excel and/or work to meet the specific needs of becoming an entrepreneur, which I’ll touch on later in the post.
What are some of the myths about being an entrepreneur according to what social media portrays?
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Being an entrepreneur looks easy online, doesn’t it? How could you not have fun and love life when everything seems so easy!? Being an entrepreneur is difficult and not for everyone (more on that in myth # 5).
Although social media like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok love to show videos and pictures of young (so-called) self-made millionaires living their best life, these are often 1. fake or 2. extremely rare cases.
Trusting people online in real life is difficult, let alone behind a screen. It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing everything you read and see, but the truth is you must be very careful of who and what you believe online.
Easy is not a word I would say goes two and two with being an entrepreneur. It’s quite the opposite from my perspective. When starting, you not only need to do one job, but you need to do 25 different ones!
From online marketing, email marketing, website builds, website copy, pictures, social media posts, pictures, video content, accounting, running online software, managing your time and schedule, managing your money, setting up a business address, getting health benefits, understanding and knowing your target market, investing in your skills, and much much more…
Being an entrepreneur is complex, fast-paced, busy, and chaotic. Far from easy.
The pictures by the pool and on the beach sipping margaritas all day are glamorous. Wow, I want to be able to live that life! Wearing expensive clothes, going to exotic places, and only eating the best foods year-round.
While you may be able to do this at some point during your entrepreneurial career, I can assure you it isn’t something you will likely do every day. Working inside on a computer all day may be more of what you are doing.
Whether creating new content, writing, shooting videos or making new connections. Being home trying to figure out what the most IMPORTANT tasks to do and focusing on them one at a time is common. Not drinking on a beach.
Oh, how I wish I could tell you differently. On the one hand, yes, you can make unlimited money doing your own thing. But on the other hand, you can sink fast and go into large amounts of debt, not earning a dime.
I decided to jump into my entrepreneurial venture full-time because the sky is the limit approach. Your output and work effectively mean you can earn enormous amounts of cash (overtime).
Leaving a full-time (secure) job can make things very difficult when jumping to do your own thing and making ends meet yourself. I took a massive financial hit when I decided to do my own thing. But that doesn’t mean you should wait either.
While most small-time entrepreneurs will barely survive and earn enough to pay their bills, once you gain momentum, trust, credibility, and luck on your side, you can earn more than any other job.
Look around at some people you know or who you’ve come into contact with lately that are incredibly successful. I’m talking about the ones with the big house, the vacation property, the nice cars, boats, toys, and whatever else they want.
One question I have for you is what do they do? In 99% of cases, I’m guessing you said they own their own business. That’s because the top earners in the world are entrepreneurs. So while you may have to start from the bottom and learn the ropes - it can pay off huge.
Freedom is a tough one to gauge. There is a difference between having tons of freedom/flexibility in your schedule at your job or being able to control your schedule as an entrepreneur.
I used to work 196 days a year, or about 1565 hours. This is approximately half a full year (365 days) and much fewer hours. I’ll be honest; I had a lot of freedom and free time. I had two weeks off every other two weeks. In others’ eyes, I had the best schedule possible - and you could argue that I did.
Since running my own company and juggling multiple roles at a time (which you’ll get used to), I work more hours. I put in more time, although the FEELING of freedom is more significant.
It depends on how you view freedom and what you consider freedom to be. If it’s solely based on time, you will like work much more as an entrepreneur, especially at the start.
On the other hand, if you like the idea of controlling your schedule and plans, you may feel a greater sense of freedom as an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to constantly work long hours and big days because they’re doing something they’re passionate about daily.
I think this may be the biggest myth of them all. Being an entrepreneur is NOT for everyone. It takes a specific person to be able to deal with more risk, more challenges, more working hours, more issues, and a lot more unknowns daily.
There’s a reason why most people work for a company and why most people follow rather than lead. People like to be in their comfort zones, and being an entrepreneur is not comfortable at the best of times.
But, this leads to high rewards like money, freedom of time, and “the life” you may see online. The possibilities are limitless in what you can do, create, and become. Look at companies that have grown at insane levels despite many difficult times: Mcdonald's, Starbucks, Disney, Apple and more.
Punching in and out of a job is easy, comfortable and familiar to many people. This is the path they will choose to follow. Maybe not forever but likely a very long time if not for their entire working careers.
While I don’t want to discourage you from chasing your dreams and jumping into the life of entrepreneurship - quite the opposite, I do want you to know that what social media like Instagram and Facebook shows is all a myth.
If you have some or all of these qualities, you may be in a better position than others to become an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. It takes a specific person and a never-ending drive to succeed at all costs. If you want to set your sights high and achieve more than ever, sign up for my free 5-day goal-setting course!
Chris M Wilson
Chris M Wilson is a career coach, entrepreneur, blogger, author, creator, and doer. He is passionate about helping people leave the job they hate and jump into their dream careers!