To understand how entrepreneurs think, you first need to drop a few myths or stereotypes you may be carrying around. Given the media's ongoing love affair with entrepreneurs, it shouldn't surprise you that these myths have grown up around them.
Myth #1: Entrepreneurs are born, not made
This is the same as saying that you can't teach entrepreneurship. According to management guru Peter Drucker, entrepreneurship is a discipline that can be learned. Passion and persistence may be in your genes, but it takes work to develop the skills that entrepreneurs have.
Myth #2: It takes a lot of money to start a business
Not true! In fact, every year Inc magazine profiles businesses that have started on $1,000 or less. And among Inc's annual list of the 5000 fastest-growing private companies, there is no direct relationship between the amount of start-up capital invested and ultimate business success.
Myth #3: You need a business plan to succeed
Sure, investors and lenders want to see a business plan before handing you a wad of cash, but if you don't need these resources at start up, you may be able to launch your business based on the results of a feasibility analysis and then get some traction with customers. Some Internet entrepreneurs, like Richard Rosenblatt of Demand Media, know how to get a website up and making money within a couple weeks. These savvy entrepreneurs know that testing the market is more important than spending the time to write a business plan.
Myth #4: Entrepreneurs are in it for the money
Okay, some entrepreneurs do think that making money is what it's all about, but the #1 reason that most entrepreneurs start businesses is independence -- the ability to create something they can call their own instead of working for someone else. Entrepreneurs want to control their destiny.
Myth #5: You have to be young and restless to be an entrepreneur
You definitely do not have to be young to be a successful entrepreneur. In fact, a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report found that the number of older adults who are self employed outweighs that of young adults. Entrepreneurship is for all ages!