Why Entrepreneurship Is Misunderstood

entrepreneurship professional development Nov 06, 2023

You can likely bring an image to mind of the stereotypical entrepreneur - the Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs, the tech startups, someone who went all in on their business ideas and sacrificed everything before hitting it big. While all of these are examples of entrepreneurs, they don’t show the full picture. 

In reality, there are hundreds of different ways to be an entrepreneur. You come across entrepreneurship every day. Have you ever been to a local hardware store? A fast food chain? Or a doctor’s office? Yep, these are all entrepreneurial endeavors.

The biggest misunderstanding of entrepreneurship is that it looks a certain way, or you need to follow a specific path to be successful. This is NOT TRUE! There is no one way to be an entrepreneur. It can look one million different ways, because all of us are different individuals and solving different problems. 

Many times people assume that to be a true entrepreneur, you have to go “all in” on your idea and your business. This means quitting your job, sacrificing that paycheck and benefits to give your full focus to your business. While this is a good way to grow your business, it’s not always realistic for all of us. If you are trying to pay your bills, is it worth building massive amounts of debt to launch your business? Or sacrificing the financial wellness of your family? The answer for some of you may be NO. It’s not always available to all of us to quit our day jobs to get started with a business idea. And that’s ok! 

Entrepreneurship comes in all shapes and sizes. You could join the millions of individuals who have started a side hustle, something they do in between or around their 9-5 job and responsibilities. You could also consult, which is a great way to be an entrepreneur without building a specific product. You could also serve as an intrapreneur, launching a new initiative at your day job. The options are endless, so don’t convince yourself that because you can’t quit your job, it can’t happen. 

Many people imagine entrepreneurship is full of setting your own schedule, working from wherever you want, and answering to only yourself. While this is sometimes true, there’s a flip side to the entrepreneurship coin. You can set your own schedule, but you are ultimately responsible for everything in the business. 

If someone can’t get something done that day, you are the final stop and need to carve out the time to get it done. You will likely be putting in many more hours as an entrepreneur than you do as an employee. And while you answer only to yourself, when things go wrong or when things change, you are the one in charge who must answer the call. You are the boss and the buck stops with you! 

In addition to the lifestyle changes, you may also find that there is a lot more pressure on you to get the job done. No more is it signing off at 5pm and not thinking about work until tomorrow. You are the driving force of your business and are keeping it flowing. You may need to sacrifice family time, social time and more to keep your business going. This may not bother you, but if you don’t want to sacrifice your social time, think twice before diving in head first.

The most important thing is to identify what kind of lifestyle you want to have as an entrepreneur. How flexible do you want your schedule to be? How much time do you want to be putting into your business every day? How much personal time do you need for yourself and for your family? Then you can build what works for you from there. 

Remember, entrepreneurship is not all about raising funds, pitching to investors and working from the beach. There is a lot that goes into a business, no matter how you start, but know that you can create a path to entrepreneurship that is unique to you and your life. Take the time to focus on what YOU need and the path that makes sense for YOU.


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