Do you have a great idea for a business or a product, but you don’t feel like you’re the entrepreneurial type? You could be buying into some big misconceptions about who entrepreneurs really are. You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire Silicon Valley hipster to start your own business or launch an amazing product. Don’t let these seven common myths hold you back.
1. Entrepreneurs Are All Young
If you’re in your 20s or early 30s thinking, “I’d like to start my own company, but I’m not sure what to do,” don’t pressure yourself to come up with the perfect idea now. Americans between 55 and 64 years old have the highest rates of entrepreneurship. The median age for an entrepreneur is actually 40 years old. It’s okay to spend some time in the workforce while you develop your ideas. In fact, building a professional network can give you ready-made resources for advice and future funding.
2. Entrepreneurs Are Mostly Male
Nursing is a field dominated by women, although 9.6 percent of employed nurses are male as opposed to 2.6 percent in 1970. However, female nurses, on average, receive less pay than men do.
Many women with advanced nursing degrees, as a result, are starting their own businesses. They’re working as independent clinical nurse leaders who coordinate care for patients, or they’re developing software and medical devices.
Of the companies in the S&P 500, only 23 have female CEOs. However, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. rose 68 percent between 1997 and 2014, which is double the growth rate for male entrepreneurs. No matter what your business idea is, let nurse entrepreneurs inspire you. If you’re a female who can’t overcome the pay gap at work, start doing business on your own terms.
3. Entrepreneurs Are Misfits
Today, we lionize entrepreneurs like Apple’s Steve Jobs: misfits, tech visionaries, and 20-something millionaires. However, most entrepreneurs are nothing like Steve Jobs. They haven’t taken spiritual excursions to India, and they never chomped on magic mushrooms to expand their minds. Not to worry — if you wear heels instead of Birkenstocks, you can still be a successful entrepreneur. It’s important to be original, but you don’t have to be a misfit.
4. Entrepreneurs Have No Time for Marriage and Family
Over 69 percent of entrepreneurs were married when they started their companies. Also, 59.7 percent had at least one child, and 43.5 percent had two or more children. You’ll have to deliberately make time for relationships, but you can still have them. Your partner can provide a huge amount of support as you’re starting your new business, and your kids can inspire you to keep going.
5. Entrepreneurs Come From Entrepreneurial Families
Over half of the people who start their own companies are the first entrepreneurs in their families. In fact, most entrepreneurs feel like they were born to own their own businesses. Don’t be afraid to be the first entrepreneur in your family. You might inspire future generations to follow in your footsteps.
6. Entrepreneurs Are People Who Can’t Find Other Jobs
Only 4.5 percent of entrepreneurs started their own companies because they couldn’t find other jobs. In fact, many entrepreneurs report that working for other companies — learning both what to do and what not to do — provided invaluable insights when they started their own businesses. Fully 75.4 percent of entrepreneurs worked for other businesses for over six years before striking out on their own.
7. Entrepreneurs Only Care About Wealth
Most entrepreneurs offer no apology for their desire to build wealth. In fact, nearly three-quarters of all startup owners start a business to make more money. It’s possible to make money and create a better world at the same time. Passion carries you before the money comes in, and it sustains you when the money stops mattering.
You Can Do It
If you have an idea for starting a business, then start making it happen. Otherwise, if you’d love to be self-employed but aren’t sure what to do, give your ideas time to cook. Build a professional network now by doing great work and giving back to others in your field. Some of those people will end up backing your first Kickstarter.