There are many assumptions about what it takes to successfully start a business. Everything from the age you should start, how much money you need, to what should motivate you as an entrepreneur.These South African entrepreneurs dispel some of these commonly held myths and share the realities they encountered when starting their own businesses.
Myth 1: The only way you can get rich is by getting a government tender or if you have a rich family.
Reality: Most entrepreneurs don’t start out with a huge cash injection let alone a tender or family money. If all the important components and talents are there, the money will follow.
Bheki Dube, founder of Curiocity Backpackers, Maboneng: “Your customers are the biggest drivers of a successful business. They are the ones that will provide you with the finance needed to maintain a sustainable and fruitful business. You don’t even need capital, my three biggest drivers are passion, vision and a great team that shares the same vision you do.”
Myth 2: When you start your own business, you get to only do the things that you enjoy.
Reality: While it’s true that as an entrepreneur you do have greater freedom to choose, that freedom is not absolute. Most businesses start out with very small teams which means, at least initially, you will be doing tasks you may not necessarily enjoy.
Machere Pooe, fashion designer and founder of Machere Fashion House: “You can do anything you want if you have all the money and rich investors, but the reality is when you start your own business you have to do everything, even the stuff you don’t want to do. Things still have to be done. For me this meant compiling spreadsheets, planning ahead, marketing, there is a lot of stuff you need to consider.”
“At the end of the day it’s all about TIMING”- Matsi Modise.
Myth 3: All businesses that fail are because the owners were not working hard enough.
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