The Four Biggest Myths About Entrepreneurship

Female Entrepreneur 3

Myth 1

Your friends and family understand you—so they will understand your business.

Let’s be clear: your friends and family usually have the best of intentions, and most of the time, they’re doing their best to support you in your new venture. Despite that, many people—and that can include your parents, your best friend, or your yoga buddies—don’t know what being an entrepreneur requires.

If you’ve left a job at a company to start your own business, you’ve made a huge life shift, and you’re now accountable only to yourself. Your schedule changes, your sense of responsibility skyrockets, and you have the freedom to design your business in exactly the way you want.

Many entrepreneurs are motivated to start businesses when they perceive a hole in an industry, which means that a lot of us are providing services or building models in ways that haven’t been done before. If you’re doing something new or different, it makes sense that your friends and family might not immediately see the value in what you do. They might even wonder, “How will you make a living doing that?”

It can feel draining and frustrating to constantly be dogged by questions about your worth and your business choices.

My Tip:

Remember, you felt so confident and passionate about your business idea that you upended your old life to take it on full-time. You could talk for hours about why you’ve chosen your new career, but don’t feel as though you need to explain yourself to every person who asks or doesn’t understand.

Come up with a three-sentence elevator pitch that summarizes your new job and why you love it. Chances are, your friends and family will be excited to hear more. If they’re still dismissive, you don’t need to explain further. It’s your career, not theirs.

Myth #2

You make your own schedule, so you’re always available.

Right now, every entrepreneur is nodding along as they read this. Your friends and family are thrilled that you make your own schedule, because it means you can join them for impromptu lunch dates, random getaways out of town, or even vacations. Right? Nope.

Again, this is a case of people having the best of intentions, but not fully understanding what it means to make your own schedule. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to clock in and out or answer to a boss, but you answer to someone who can be even more demanding: yourself.

On any given day, you may have appointments with clients or phone calls or meetings with consultants. If not, you still probably have a daily routine that works for you, and it may not be possible to interrupt it.

My Tip:

You know what works for you and your day. Realize that it’s a compliment of sorts—your people want to see you. But don’t feel pressured to drop everything and make your schedule fit theirs.

If you can make a last-minute lunch date, that’s great. Taking an hour to chat with a friend or meet your mom for coffee can be just what you need during a busy week. But if you can’t make it, that’s fine too.

You know your own deadlines, limitations, and wants, and you’re the one who has to make the jigsaw puzzle of your schedule come together. When you decline, you don’t have to apologize or prove to your friends or family that you’re busy. Prioritize your needs and make a plan for another time that works for both of you.


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