Over my time writing about being an entrepreneur, I’ve talked about various, sometimes contradictory, things that you need to know. There are many myths about being an entrepreneur that novices might believe, but there are also plenty of myths that entrepreneurs, some of them pretty seasoned, believe as well. And these are myths that they need to correct. I recently read an article in entrepreneur.com by John Rampton, where he shared some of these myths. I enjoyed reading about them, since they helped me recognize what I need to watch out for. Here they are:
Falling asleep early is a good thing: Despite what Benjamin Franklin once said about going to sleep early, it doesn’t always work well for entrepreneurs. Being a night owl is in many ways a great way to improve productivity, while sleeping late has some benefits as well. Yet that’s not to say that starting early isn’t advantageous as well. If you love to sleep, and love to sleep in even more, then it might be a good idea to take power naps. If you’re trying to embrace a new sleeping schedule, do it slowly.
Never lose focus: A lack of distractions can actually stunt your creativity. There are apps that can specifically help you avoid distractions, but getting distracted can conversely help you concentrate and sharpen your creative skills in the longer term. They also refresh your mind by giving you breaks and taking your focus off something that you weren’t even solving. The trick, of course, is to not get distracted for too long, because that helps nobody.
Don’t stress: Too much stress is awful, but a little stress is actually pretty beneficial for entrepreneurs. It helps us work better and in many cases a bit of stress increases productivity; if you adopt an easy-going, slow-paced attitude, you won’t get anything done. Just don’t let stress disrupt your sleep.
Always stay calm: Staying calm all the time can lead to bottling up emotions, and that helps nobody. Getting angry can be a good thing, since it allows you to reconcile your differences and feel better in the long-term. If you don’t get angry when you’ve got a very legitimate reason to get angry, then people will assume you’re a pushover. Yet don’t get too angry, because that makes it seem like you’ve lost control.
Never pass up a chance to cut costs: To increase profits, you can either add to sales volume or reduce expenses. Yet many entrepreneurs make some huge mistakes in an attempt to lower their costs. Look at long-term profits first and foremost. Spending more money can actually lead to a lot more profit down the line.
Always say “yes” to another customer: Every new customer means more revenue, that’s true. But every new customer also comes with new responsibilities. You never want to bite off more than you can chew; taking responsibilities you can’t fulfill will lead to a reputation of being unreliable, which will damage your company in the long-run. Not only that, but some customers are more trouble than they’re worth.
Successful entrepreneurs can do everything: As the saying goes, jack of all trades, master of none. A successful entrepreneur doesn’t handle all the work alone, but rather is a good leader that knows what they’re good at and delegates tasks to people who are good at other things. Nobody can do it all, and if you try to do that, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure.