Starting a new business? Lots of people will have advice for you, but you can’t believe everything you hear. Watch out for these 10 business start-up myths.
Everyone has advice for you when you’re starting a business, but it’s not all good advice! Beware of these ten business startup myths.
1. “Career freedom means starting a business.”
Clients often assume they can reach career freedom only by starting a business. I know dozens of people who feel very free in a corporate setting. They swim easily in the corporate stream and learn to balance their lives. Some even return after successful entrepreneurial ventures.
2. “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Some advisors tell you, “You’ll be great,” even if they secretly believe you’re following a harebrained path that is doomed to fail. Do your own research and get second and third opinions.
3. “Visualize success.”
While I support visualizing and attracting, I do not believe you can attract business from a non-existent target market. Better to attract prosperity and fulfillment. You might also try to attract knowledge and discernment so you can evaluate your various advisors.
4. “If you can dream it, you can do it.”
You can dream of meeting the Queen of England at your local Wal-Mart but you may have to wait a while. The reverse is often true — you must have a dream before you experience the reality — but some people manage to skip the journey and enjoy the arrival.
5. “If other people can have a successful business, you can too.”
Unless you strongly resemble those “other people,” they’re irrelevant.
6. “You will probably fail.”
Your advisor may be using fear to motivate you to work harder or sign up for his success course. Do your own research.
7. “If you feel energized about your goal, you will be successful.”
Feeling energized just means you enjoy some aspect of what you are doing. Figure out what you enjoy and design a life to include more of it.
8. “You can always go back to what you were doing before.”
After months or years of trying to start a business, you and your former career will be different and your former colleagues will view you differently. Better to begin with a job that you can leave if you become successful. Stay in a position of power.
9.” You have had a successful career so far and you’ll figure out how to be successful now.”
Basketball players do not always thrive on football teams and baseball is a different game altogether. Enough said.
10. “You will be fine; you just need more confidence.”
If you lack self-confidence in several areas of your life, see a clinician. Otherwise, your lack of confidence in your entrepreneurial skills is probably reality-based and should be viewed as a signal to find another advisor.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, career consultant and speaker, who combines solid expertise with humor, common sense and intuition. Visit her at