Entrepreneurship. It's a word everyone thinks they know about but only a select few really get it.
Anyone with an Etsy account can call themselves an entrepreneur, but they're only being partially truthful to themselves. I see so many so-called entrepreneurs who start out with grandiose dreams, thinking that they're just one deal away from enjoying a life of wealth.
The one thing these people often quickly realize? Being a real entrepreneur isn't glamorous. It's not easy. It's nothing you'll see in a blockbuster film. It takes real ingenuity, inspiration, planning and hard work. It's cool to say you're an entrepreneur, but most people don't get beyond that stage.
So many people think that being an entrepreneur is all about setting your own schedule (whatever that means), becoming rich beyond your wildest dreams and never listening to a boss again.
They are sorely mistaken. Here are three of the biggest misconceptions I keep hearing about entrepreneurship.
You'll Become Rich
Maybe you will, but it's far from a sure thing. The overwhelming amount of self-titled entrepreneurs fail and end up crawling back to their desk job.
If you're into entrepreneurship solely to get rich, you've already failed. Real entrepreneurs are the ones who see a weakness in the market, build a plan and attack. We don't only chase the money, we build the solution.
You'll see statistics showing that 80 or 90 percent of start-up businesses fail, largely for one of two reasons: they're chasing the money before they've built a business plan or they never had a plan to begin with.
Riches are a byproduct of solid, smart entrepreneurship -- not the only result. You don't get to daydream about your bank account if you're still trying to find your footing. Most entrepreneurs I know aren't rich. They're grinding day in, day out, so someday they'll reap a payoff.
That grind is the key tenet of entrepreneurship. If you aren't willing to do that, you're just dreaming.
You'll Set Your Own Hours
You know what people mean when they say this? They wish they didn't have to work.
While setting your own hours is ultimately true, it doesn't mean what most people think it means. They think that entrepreneurs can just work whenever they want, and for however long. A 3 hour period of work before a day of leisure? This is 100 percent false.
When you start actually building a business, you realize just how ridiculous this is. It's true that you set your own hours -- depending on how much success you want to reap. If you're looking for financial success, be prepared for a long struggle. If you're dealing with clients all over the world, that will set your timeclock.
The people who believe that entrepreneurs set their own hours, lounging at the beach after a few calls in the morning, are fooling themselves. Most entrepreneurs I know are putting in way more than those 9-to-5ers who still think entrepreneurship is a get-rich-quick scheme.
But if you still think that being an entrepreneur means you're not accountable to the clock, you're absolutely mistaken. My schedule is rigorously timed. I don't work "when I want," I work when I need.
You Need a Business Degree
Another major misconception to entrepreneurship is that the bar of entry is only available to those with an Ivy League degree.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This article you're reading was written by a college dropout. The iPhone you're reading this story on was designed by a college dropout. While many entrepreneurs have benefited from an advanced degree, the idea and the grind are just as important as the knowledge.
Even Mark Zuckerberg, the famed Facebook CEO, didn't finish his schooling at Harvard.
I know just as many entrepreneurs with engineering degrees as those who have GEDs. A degree certainly helps with connections and pedigree, but those schools don't teach you how to hustle and out-work your competition.
You can't teach ingenuity in a classroom, and that's ultimately what separates the real entrepreneurs from their so-called peers.
That's the beauty of real entrepreneurship: there's not one true path to success. You can start out at the top of your class and end up worse-off than the guy who started off as a janitor. The only true litmus tests of entrepreneurship are the attitude and desire to work your ass off to make the plan work.