this intriguing entrepreneurial species are alive and kicking. Some are simply naive, others are deeply misleading or harmful. You can't start your entrepreneurship training with these myths sitting on your back. So let's dispel the biggest of them that even some entrepreneurs themselves belief.
The first myth about entrepreneurship is that entrepreneurs are born, not made. Some people believe that there's an entrepreneurship gene. This is misguided and defeatist. There are concrete skills that increase the odds of entrepreneurial success, skills such as management, sales, and product consumption. These skills are not genetically gifted to a lucky few. They can be taught and learned, so don't let yourself be dazzled by the so-called entrepreneurship gene. This gene has not and will not be found.
The second myth about entrepreneurship is that all leaders are charismatic and their charisma is a key factor in success. These myths often revolve around famous entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Bono. But more so than charisma, successful entrepreneurs exhibit characteristics such as vision, systematic thinking, strong analytic skills, a blend of humility and ambition, also known as "humbition," and outstanding, disciplined execution skills. Charisma on its own is not sustainable.
The third myth about entrepreneurship is that entrepreneurs love risk. In most cases it's quite the opposite. Most successful entrepreneurs don't enjoy gambling. Why would they? Why go to a casino where you have no control? Great entrepreneurs prefer intelligent risk-taking. They maneuver to remove as much risk as possible and only take calculated risks where they feel they have an advantage and can influence the outcome. It's all about managing risk and knowing what to do about it.
The fourth myth about entrepreneurship is that individuals start companies. While the entrepreneur as a lone hero is a common narrative, it's just that, a narrative. If you peek behind the curtain of most success stories, you'll find a diversified team of people who believed in the vision from the onset, gave support, advised, encouraged and so on, who made it happen together. Teams start companies, and a bigger team can often increase the odds of success. So, building your dream team with more founders equals a better chance of success.
The fifth myth about entrepreneurship is that entrepreneurs are the smartest people in the room. This is often not the case. Entrepreneurs are highly unlikely to be the best in their class. This doesn't mean they're not smart. They are. It's just that they tend to focus on something that deeply fascinates them, and then go into hype-focused mode. As a result, their grades are a reflection of their interests. And as students, entrepreneurs are more likely to score one or two A pluses and the rest C's. Focus and dedication make for successful entrepreneurs.
The sixth myth about entrepreneurship is that entrepreneurs are undisciplined. On the contrary, successful entrepreneurs must have extreme self-discipline because they have few resources, no reputation, and a very finite amount of time in which to succeed. Entrepreneurs are the attackers against the defenders, that is established companies. As such, entrepreneurs must be more disciplined, not less.
I hope this few points will make for a clearer entrepreneurial pursuit.