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9 Common Misconceptions About Starting a New Business and How to Debunk Them

9 Common Misconceptions About Starting a New Business and How to Debunk Them

9 Common Misconceptions About Starting a New Business and How to Debunk Them

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is rife with myths and misconceptions, so we’ve gathered insights from founders and CEOs to set the record straight. From the belief that you’ll have multiple bosses in entrepreneurship to the importance of leveraging social media for business, here are nine key perspectives to challenge common startup fallacies.

  • Multiple Bosses in Entrepreneurship
  • Income is Needed to Start
  • Business Management Skills Can’t Be Learned
  • Success Happens Overnight
  • Need a Completely Original Idea
  • Renting a Physical Office Space
  • Choosing Hours and Commitment Level
  • Doing Everything Yourself
  • Leveraging Website Only

Multiple Bosses in Entrepreneurship

There won’t be one boss over your head; there will be dozens.

As a startup founder, I have many friends who started businesses because they weren’t happy with their managers and they didn’t want to work under anyone. What they tend to miss is that once you start your business, you have many bosses—your co-founders, your investors, your customers, and even your employees. In my circle, I have seen many realize this after starting their ventures and eventually quitting and moving back to a job because having just one boss leads to a much simpler life.

Siddhartha GuntiSiddhartha Gunti
Co-Founder, Adaface

Income is Needed to Start

No, you do not need six months’ income saved up for a rainy day. If you did, few people would be able to start a business. The truth is, not all businesses cost thousands of dollars to start.

I began a freelance writing journey with nothing more than an old laptop—no website, no CRM, no project management tools, no professional email address, and no portfolio. I didn’t need an office outside the home. I didn’t need massive amounts of workspace, storage, or a storefront. I used what I had and made investments as I grew.

Don’t let a lack of funds hold you back from starting a business. Think about what you know, what you love, and what you already have, then find a way to intersect them into a profitable venture.

Alli HillAlli Hill
Founder and Director, Fleurish Freelance

Business Management Skills Can’t Be Learned

Starting a new business naturally brings challenges that most new entrepreneurs willingly accept. What is harder to consider are the many surprises that present themselves along the way toward success. Common misconceptions about starting a new business may be considered by many as myths, while others accept them, and they often create the roadblock that detours the entire project. I present one of the most common misconceptions: that if you do not already know accounting and business principles and practices, you simply will not succeed as a business owner. I am proof that this is a myth.

My university education and degree are in the field of journalism, with video documentary production as my focal point. I knew little to nothing about how a for-profit business operation designs its accounting books, let alone how to minimize taxes while providing for financial growth to support the current and projected expenses. I chose to treat these challenges much like those in my other career.

To this day, I ask experts, read well-reviewed and relevant books, listen to podcasts, watch focused YouTube videos, and most productively, find and keep, with great appreciation, mentors. I can say with confidence that if you have a great idea, the business management stuff can be learned.

Ashley KennyAshley Kenny
Co-Founder, Heirloom Video Books

Success Happens Overnight

One common misconception is that success happens overnight. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Instant success is exceptionally rare. The truth? You need grit, resilience, and a strategic approach.

Here’s how to debunk that myth: Talk to seasoned entrepreneurs. They’ll tell you about the years of hard work behind their ‘overnight’ success. Lean on data, not just tales of unicorn startups. Statistics show most businesses take time to become profitable. It’s about steady growth, learning from failures, and persistence—not instant gratification.

Casey JonesCasey Jones
Founder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

Need a Completely Original Idea

A common misconception is the belief that you need a groundbreaking, completely original idea for it to be successful. Many may feel they must invent something new to enter the market. However, success can also come from taking an existing idea and executing it with a unique approach or improving it in ways that resonate with a specific audience.

For example, when I started my company as a life coach, instead of trying to find an entirely new concept, I focused on personalizing my approach to coaching, emphasizing confidence, empathy, and purpose to adapt my strategies to meet specific client needs. This differentiation is what makes me stand out in a crowded field. It shows that how you execute and differentiate your business can be just as important as the originality of the idea itself.

Bayu PrihanditoBayu Prihandito
Founder, Psychology Consultant, Life Coach for Men, Life Architekture

Renting a Physical Office Space

The first thing you need is an office. If you’re a bootstrapped business founder like I was, an immediate expense on the office is just about the last thing you want if you can get away with not having one. Working from home, working from a coffee shop, going to a co-working space—all of these are better alternatives unless something about your business demands that you have your own space, even though it likely costs you a few thousand a month to operate.

Do a bit of cost-benefit analysis on your proposed office rental and what you’d actually be gaining from it first.

Dragos BadeaDragos Badea
CEO, Yarooms

Choosing Hours and Commitment Level

Many believe being your own boss means ‘own time, own target.’ This could be the case if you are running a lifestyle business. While entrepreneurship offers autonomy, the reality is often far from this idealized picture, especially if you have ambitious goals.

To debunk this myth, one can talk to successful founders themselves.

As an executive search headhunter, I’ve connected with many thriving business owners who shared their journeys. Many didn’t achieve their level of success by working just a few hours a day. Instead, they typically put in long hours—often exceeding the standard 8-hour workday—to reach their desired results. They quickly found that resources are often scarce when starting a business, and tasks can take longer to accomplish than anticipated.

This reality check can help dispel the myth and set realistic expectations for aspiring entrepreneurs in starting a new business venture.

Katie TuKatie Tu
Managing Director, Kepler Search

Doing Everything Yourself

That you have to do everything yourself. While wearing many hats is important, don’t be afraid to delegate and let your team take over! You’ll find that your team will surprise you with new creative ideas!

Diane HowardDiane Howard
Rn and Founder, Esthetic Finesse

Leveraging Website Only

It’s a common misconception that every business needs a website—and therefore requires investment in time and money to create one. Today, a business can survive and thrive operating on social media channels alone, all of which are free to set up and use. This is especially true if your product or service is targeted toward millennials, Gen Z, and the upcoming Gen Alpha.

The majority of users will find your business, products, and services through images and videos spread across social channels and are happy to buy based on this content alone. Banking apps and digital services make it even easier to take payments without the need for an e-commerce site, and so between these online spaces, a business can fully operate.

Ryan StoneRyan Stone
Founder & Creative Director, Lambda Films London

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