Five Myths About Entrepreneurs

Donald F. Kuratko at

Many myths have arisen about entrepreneurs. These ideas are the result of a lack of research and understanding. As many researchers in the field have noted, the study of entrepreneurship is still emerging, and thus “folklore” will tend to prevail until it is dispelled with contemporary research findings.

Myth 1: Entrepreneurs are doers, not thinkers
Although it is true entrepreneurs tend toward action, they are also thinkers. Indeed, they are often very methodical people who plan their moves carefully. The emphasis today on the creation of clear and complete business plans is an indication that “thinking” entrepreneurs are as important as “doing” entrepreneurs.

Myth 2: Entrepreneurs are born, not made
As a professor of entrepreneurship, I hear this one all the time. The idea that the characteristics of entrepreneurs cannot be taught or learned, that they are innate traits one must be born with, has long been prevalent. These traits include aggressiveness, initiative, drive, a willingness to take risks, analytical ability, and skill in human relations.

Today, however, the recognition of entrepreneurship as a discipline is helping to dispel this myth. Like all disciplines, entrepreneurship has models, processes, and case studies that allow the topic to be studied and the knowledge to be acquired.

We are all born with different traits, however, no special trait exists that will make you an entrepreneur.

Myth 3: All entrepreneurs need is money
It is true that a venture needs capital to survive; it is also true that a large number of business failures occur because of a lack of adequate financing. Yet having money is not the only bulwark against failure.

Failure due to lack of proper financing often is an indicator of other problems: managerial incompetence, lack of financial understanding, poor investments, poor planning, and the like.

Many successful entrepreneurs have overcome the lack of money while establishing their ventures. To those entrepreneurs, money is a resource but never an end in itself.

If money was the sole answer then every professional athlete and every “rock star” would be an entrepreneur. Unfortunately they squander their money and never use it to develop an entrepreneurial venture because that is not where their passion lies.

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Photo by viryboss.

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