There are many different misconceptions in life. Many. The meaning of misconception is a thought or an opinion that is incorrect, because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding. And misconceptions tend to prevent people from doing things that could benefit them. So today, I want to clarify nine misconceptions of entrepreneurs.
So let’s get right into the nine misconceptions of entrepreneurs.
One of the biggest misconceptions that I keep hearing is that entrepreneurs are born. This is an absolute lie. It’s like saying that one is born with a 40” vertical leap. Larry Bird didn’t have a 40” vertical leap, so he can’t dunk like LeBron James. But that doesn’t mean that someone is born to be a basketball player, and Larry Bird was not. You can’t say that Michael Jordan was born to be a basketball player but Steph Curry was not because he’s just 6’ 1” tall and weighs 170 pounds. Muggys Bogues was a 5' 3" NBA basketball player and was pretty good.
So the same goes to saying a person isn’t meant to be an entrepreneur because he’s too shy, or because he had a 1.8 GPA in high school or has a certain nationality or skin color. No. Don't buy it. Those are misconceptions of entrepreneurs. Someone’s trying to persuade you that you can’t become an entrepreneur and it’s not the truth. It’s faulty thinking and you need to question it.
The second misconception of entrepreneurs is something I struggled with, which is that you have to cheat or steal, to win as an entrepreneur. You do not. You do not have to cheat or steal to win as an entrepreneur.
I’ve watched this for many, many years with my business. I’ve had to compete against people; some of them did things the right way, and some people did things the wrong way. Some people took shortcuts. And every time there’s a shortcut, every single one of us is tempted. And I’ve been tempted.
One time I was competing against a man that was making $400,000.00 a month, and I was only making $30,000.00 a month. I was around 25 years old at the time. He did certain things I didn’t want to do, but I had to do them if I wanted to compete with him.
But I didn’t do it, and he kept doing it. He lost his license, and we kept going. Now if I had done it, I also would have lost my license. So you do not have to cheat or steal to win in business.
Sometimes people say you do, because it’s a way out for them, an excuse for not becoming an entrepreneur. They say they won’t become an entrepreneur because they’re a noble human being, and refuse to cheat because it’s against their character.
That is not true. You don't have to cheat or steal to become an entrepreneur. There are laws, and if you break them, you're going straight to prison.
#3: They Got Lucky
By the way, I talk about getting lucky quite a lot. On one end, luck doesn’t happen accidentally. For example, no one goes on a date with a beautiful girl unless they talk to her. You have to take action. There has to be a conversation.
And no one closes a big sale without knowing anything about the product. The bigger the sale, the more educated the customer. You can’t just go to a customer and ask for a $200,000 check and expect them to say yes if you know nothing about the product.
To become an expert, you have to work your butt off and immerse yourself in the product. You have to go through certain breaking points and times when you want to throw in the towel. Those are the moments no one sees. They don’t see your arguments with your spouse, or times you’ve missed your child’s birthday party because you had to be at a business meeting.
So you can’t say they got lucky. I’m not saying there isn’t any luck involved in business. But there has to be a lot of hard work before you get lucky.
Listen in here on why selfishness is a misconception of entrepreneurs.
Another misconception of entrepreneurs is that all you need is a great idea and product. A lot of people message me and say, “Pat, guess what? Man, I’ve got this product. It’s a billion dollar idea. I promise you, bro. You and I need to team up.”
Really? Do you really think ideas are what make a billion dollars? An idea means nothing. You know why? Because very few execute. So the idea you have means nothing if there’s no execution.
Sometimes people say to me, “Pat, I’m telling you, if I had a million dollars right now, I’d do this.” If I had a dollar for every time someone told me this, I’d be a billionaire today. Everybody wants to talk about what they’d do if they had money and raised capital.
Now don’t get me wrong. Capital does mean a little bit. And by the way, I’ll do a video in the future on how to raise capital.
But when people say they’ll do this or that if they have capital, I say, “Have you ever wanted a pass before? Who are you? How hard do you work? What's your track record? What relationships do you have? Who are your associations? Why should someone bet on you? Would you bet on you?”
If you can answer those questions, you'll eventually raise capital. If you can’t, you won’t get capital. It’s that simple. Your reputation and track record and the relationships and the associations who validate you will attract the capital.
And by the way, be sure to check out the video and article, 9 Forms of Capital for Entrepreneurs.
Another one of the misconceptions of entrepreneurs is that they all had great initial connections.
My connections were guys who went to the nightclub on a weekly basis, guys who were chasing skirts. My connections were guys that I’d sit down with and talk sports or play cards with all day long.
I didn’t go to university to be part of an alumni. So who were my connections? My connections from the military don’t have a business background and never ever introduced me to anybody in business.
Connections are a by-product of a lot of work, and people seeing you work and saying, “This guy's legit. He's working hard. Let's connect him to this person." It's not, “Hey, this person had a father who's related to Vanderbilt.” If you have that, it’s an edge, but it typically doesn’t work that way.
I had zero connections. My parents have never been entrepreneurs. I don't come from a business background. My dad stopped going to school after 8th grade to help support his family. I wasn’t the smart kid on campus. I had to work my tail off to get my connections.
Listen in here for my thoughts on why risks is one of the misconceptions of entrepreneurs.
The last one is that entrepreneurs are their own boss. You’ve heard people say, “When you become an entrepreneur, you’re your own boss.” That is a misconception. You are not your own boss.
It’s like when people say, "When you have kids, you're the man of the household." Really? Your kids tell you what to do. You have to drop them off at school. You have to pick them up in the afternoon. And you get a lot more sleep if you don't have kids. They wake you up three, four times in the middle of the night. My daughter right now is waking us up in the middle of the night two or three times. I’m not the boss. I happen to support and fund their lives, but they’re my boss.
As an entrepreneur, I have tens of thousand of customers that are my boss. I have thousands of salespeople that are my boss. My employees are my boss. Vendors and partners are my boss. These are people that you yourself have to learn how to support. The more you improve and grow your business, the more leverage, influence and trust you have, the easier it is to move your business. But you are not your own boss when it comes down to running everything 100% of the time. That is one of the misconceptions of entrepreneurs.
My Challenge to You
Look, I can go on and talk about many more things when it comes to the misconceptions of entrepreneurs. My challenge to you is to not let these nine misconceptions prevent you from becoming an entrepreneur.
And share this video and article with anybody that’s on the verge of saying, “I don’t want to be an entrepreneur.” Because unfortunately, many of these misconceptions prevent people from living their dream life.
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