Myths about entrepreneurs exposed - Business Works
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Myths about entrepreneurs exposed

David Hall, author and consultant It's time the media started to take entrepreneurs seriously as they are the heroes who often risk all to create wealth and jobs. Given the state of UK plc, entrepreneurs need all the support they can get in order to help the country sort out its economic problems. My new book entrecode - Unlocking the Entrepreneurial DNA examines the myths surrounding entrepreneurs and I expose some of them here.

Myth one

Entrepreneurs are dodgy business people who are only interested in making a fast buck for themselves.

The reality ...

There is a real difference between entrepreneurs and racketeers. Entrepreneurs generally have good values and try to do the right thing. Racketeers rip people off and should be in jail.

Myth two

Entrepreneurs use formal traditional business approaches such as market research, business planning, budgeting etc. to create success.

The reality ...

Entrepreneurs find a customer problem, solve it and then sell it to everyone else. Their key skills are vision, persistence and being action oriented. Entrepreneurship is much more of a personal process as opposed to a collection of business techniques.

Myth three

Entrepreneurs are risk takers.

The reality ...

Entrepreneurs do take carefully calculated risks. They then spend a great deal of time and energy in doing all they can to minimize those risks.

Myth four

Entrepreneurs are born not made.

The reality ...

Ten per cent of entrepreneurs have natural talent, the rest learn as they go along. They serve an apprenticeship, often at somebody elseís expense, acquiring skills, contacts and experiences, usually over a ten year period, to enable them to start their business. This includes large doses of personal development.

Myth five

Money from a bank is the biggest blockage to starting a business.

The reality ...

Cash is not normally a real blockage. Eighty per cent of start-up capital is from personal savings, 30% from family and friends and only 15% from the banks. Note: More than one source is used in most cases.

Myth six

If an entrepreneur has sufficient capital he or she cannot go wrong.

The reality ...

The opposite is true. Too much money can encourage a lack of discipline that can lead to impulsive spending which normally creates problems. 'Cash is king' is the successful entrepreneurís mantra.

Myth seven

Any really good idea can be turned into a successful business.

The reality ...

Entrepreneurs understand the difference between an idea and an opportunity. An idea is something somebody, often an inventor, is personally passionate about but nobody else is interested in it. Conversely an opportunity normally solves a customer's problem. The Sinclair C5 is a classic example of an inventorís passionate idea that was not an opportunity.

Myth eight

Innovation comes from large corporate businesses.

The reality ...

95% of all innovations in the past 100 years in products and services have come from entrepreneurial firms employing less than 20 people. This is the reason why entrepreneurs are critical to creating wealth and jobs in the economy.

Myth nine

Entrepreneurs are egotistical, independent and are their own masters.

The reality ...

Entrepreneurs are egotistical and independent but they actually can choose to serve many masters, including employees, shareholders, customers, creditors and their own families.

Myth ten

Starting an entrepreneurial business is risky and often ends in failure.

The reality ...

Most businesses that end cease trading, they do not fail. Less than two per cent actually go bankrupt. Businesses fail, entrepreneurs do not.

As long as the media pursues the myth that Dragons Den, The Apprentice, Arthur Daley or Del Boy have anything to do with being entrepreneurial then people will not take entrepreneurs seriously.

Britain needs to celebrate its entrepreneurs as heroes not villains or comic figures.

For more information about David and his ideas, please visit:

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