The entrepreneurial world can feel like a giant mystery from the outside.
I quickly realized the things I thought I needed to have really weren't what was needed at all. Looking back, I wish I had known that the myths we often hear are just that-- a myth.
Here are three ideas about being a successful entrepreneur that are completely wrong, and what you actually need instead.
Myth #1: You need a one-of-a-kind idea to start a business.
You don't need an idea; you need a problem to solve.
I have heard people say time and again that they want to do something big, but that great idea hasn't come to them yet. This is not what you need in business. The thing is, your business idea doesn't matter, what the market wants matters.
Shift your focus to what consumers want. Find the biggest problem your audience has, and create a way to solve it for them. Here is a little secret, the most painful problems solved are the most successful business ventures.
Instead of turning inward to what you think others might want, be thoughtful, present and aware of what is happening around you. Become external in your search, listen to what people are saying, and what they are complaining about.
Before starting my e-commerce business, I did a massive amount of consumer research to learn what customers were struggling with and what complaints were filed most often. I found that the majority of people wanted a more reliable product that wouldn't break. I took this insight and came onto the market with a product that solved this problem.
Myth #2: You must have a business degree or background to be successful.
You don't need a business degree, you need to educate yourself.
I graduated with a degree in engineering, and here I am walking proof that entrepreneurial success can be yours without a business degree. Still not sold? Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg all left college before even graduating, let alone going back for business school, and it's safe to say they made their entrepreneurial life work out. I'm not saying a business degree isn't a valuable commodity, however, it isn't a necessity to become an entrepreneur.
Instead of pursuing school, test out whether this transition is right for you. Put your energy into taking small steps each day toward your goal. Save the money you would be paying in tuition and allocate it towards your product inventory. Invest your time into online courses and seminars that cover the more niche specifics you really need for your target business. I invested upfront in courses specific to e-commerce business, inventory management, and marketing. Begin to educate yourself exactly where you need it most.
Degrees give people confidence and peace of mind that they are worthy of being an entrepreneur. It rarely has to do with the actual information learned in school. You don't need a degree to believe in yourself. And if you feel this way, instead of going to business school, hire a business coach who will help you shift your mindset while you build your business foundation.
Myth #3: You need a lot of money to start a business.
You don't need to be rich, you need to be resourceful.
Abundance is the ability to create something out of nothing. Believe it or not, it is possible to start a business with little to no money readily available. So, begin to work out your resourceful muscle and realize currency comes in more ways than cash. Use a skill set unique to you to grow funding or offer to trade time for money until you can invest more.
Be someone who always helps others. The more you give, the more you will receive later on down the road.
These myths may be holding you back from pursuing the entrepreneurial life. But know when you are able to shift your mindset and view the truth that lies beneath them, the opportunity is yours.
It's up to you to decide if you are willing to take it.