Have you ever thought about starting a business? Did you ever have an idea for a product that you thought could make millions? Have you ever seen a successful entrepreneur interviewed and think to yourself, “They don’t seem any smarter than me.” So, what’s holding you back? There are a handful of common myths that keep people from moving forward. Let’s talk about some of those myths and a few well known entrepreneurs who didn’t buy them.
Myth #1-“I don’t have enough money.”
This is probably one of the biggest myths out there. As an entrepreneur, if you aren’t familiar with the term “bootstrapping,” you should be. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs have been great bootstrapper’s. That is to say they “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” and got creative when financing their start-up. There are many ways to do this. One of the more common ways is to continue working your current job. Most new businesses won’t generate revenue immediately. So, rather than put yourself in a financial crunch, rely on your current income as long as you can and work on your new venture in the off hours. This will also allow you to re-invest once you do turn a profit. Another way you can get creative is to bring on a partner; someone who shares your passion and can help absorb the initial costs. And of course, don’t forget wealthy ‘Aunt Betty.’ Many times relatives or friends are good potential investors, especially once they see how passionate you are about your new venture.
Did you know that McDonald’s was not Ray Kroc’s idea? Ray Kroc had a job as a milkshake salesman when he met the McDonald brothers and saw their operation. How much money do you think Ray Kroc made as a milkshake salesman?($14k/yr) Here was a 52-year-old man who had no seed money, but saw an opportunity.
Myth #2-“I’m too old.”
Do you know at what age men become most productive? Studies have shown that men become most productive at age 40. Many women are discovering home-based businesses after the kids leave home. Today, we are living longer lives and enjoying better health than ever before. In 1960, the average life expectancy was 70 years old. Today it is almost 80 years old. So, it’s true “40 really is the new 30.”
Col. Harland Sanders founder of Kentucky fried chicken, was 60 years old when his restaurant was shut down due to a new highway being constructed. At that point he was forced to live on his $105 pension. At the age of 62, he traveled across the country by car from restaurant to restaurant, cooking batches of chicken for restaurant owners and their employees. If the reaction was favorable, he entered into a handshake agreement that would pay him a nickel for each chicken the restaurant sold. Do you think Col. Sanders believed he was too old?
Myth #3-“What if someone steals my idea?”
While you do have to protect yourself and your idea, the notion that someone is just waiting for you to give them an idea so they can run with it is not very realistic. There are many ways you can legally protect yourself. The bigger question is, if you think your idea is so great why aren’t you capitalizing on it? The Internet gives you direct access to the USPTO(United States Patent and Trademark Office). Here, you can file paperwork to protect your idea. Now, could someone still take your idea? The answer is yes. Should that stop you? The answer is no!
In 1928, Walt Disney suffered a devastating setback. At 26 years old this inexperienced businessman naively signed away his ownership rights to his first successful cartoon creation, “Oswald the Lucky rabbit.” Can you imagine the disappointment Disney must have felt? What if he had let that stop him?
The question is, “do you feel you are called to something greater than that which you are currently doing?” If the answer is “yes,” no matter what the excuse is, you can’t deny the person you are meant to be. American Underdog