Truths and Myths About Being a Startup Founder
There are a lot of myths and misunderstandings about being a startup founder and a business owner. A lot of people have preconceived notions about what it’s like to be a founder.
I want to give you the truth and some hard facts about being a startup founder and tips on how to build a successful company.
A Few Truths:
1. Being a startup founder is hard work. You will not make any money for the first two years, at least.
2. You will be responsible for all the tasks of your company, including customer service, marketing, finance, sales, etc. You can outsource some of these things, but you will still be responsible for them.
3. Most startups fail because they are doing something that is not scalable or repeatable or because they are just trying to do too much at once (in other words they bite off more than they can chew).
4. You will have to make a lot of sacrifices and deal with a lot of hardships as a startup founder. You will not have time for your family or friends. Often, you will not have spare time to enjoy your other activities.
Your schedule will be all over the place, and you will have to do everything from customer service to product development and everything in between. You will also have to learn how to be extremely resourceful to get things done.
Now let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about being a startup founder:
Myth #1: The first thing I should do as a startup founder is come up with an idea for my business
The first thing you should do is to learn about your market and who your target audience is. What problem are you solving? Who is your target audience? Who are the companies that are already doing this?
You need to know these things before you can even come up with an idea for a business.
Once you have a clear understanding of your market, then you can start thinking about how to solve the problem or create a product that people will want to buy.
Myth #2: I just need one really good idea and then I can build my business around it
If you just have one good idea, then why hasn’t someone else done it already? There are always hundreds of people who have the same idea as you, but not everyone is willing to work hard enough to make it happen.
I know it’s tempting to think that if you just get one good idea, then everything else will be easy from there on out. That is not how it works though!
The truth is that if you have one good idea, then so does everyone else in your market — so what makes you different from them? What makes your business better than theirs? What makes yours scalable and repeatable when theirs isn’t?
Myth #3: If I create a good product, then I will be able to sell it
This is another big myth that many people believe. It is true that if you create a really good product, then you will be able to sell it — but only if you have already done your homework as a business insider and have created a market for it.
If no one knows about your product or has ever heard of it, then how are they going to buy it? They won’t! You need to do the work beforehand and research your chance of success before you can even start thinking about creating a product.
Once you have created the product, then the next step is to market it and get people interested in buying it!
Myth #4: If I get an investor, then I will be able to quit my job and work on my business full time
The problem with this myth is that most investors want you to put money into your business before they invest any money into it. This means that you will still have to work at your day job and spend a chunk of time working on your business after hours.
Most investors want you to spend more time working on your business than they do invest in it. That is why you need to know who your target audience is and how much money you are going to need before going out looking for an investor.
Myth #5: If I don’t have any experience being an entrepreneur, then I should find someone who has been successful and get them to mentor me
The problem with this myth is that you will have to spend money on someone who has already been a successful founder. You could spend thousands of dollars on a mentor, but they may not be able to help you because they have already been successful in their business.
You need to understand your business inside out and your target audience before getting any mentors. Once you have done your homework, then you can start looking for a mentor.
Myth #6: I don’t need to know anything about marketing or sales because I can just hire someone else to do it
If you don’t know how to market and sell your product, then how are you going to find customers? You need to understand how marketing and sales work before starting your business.
This will help you avoid the mistakes that many other startups make when it comes to marketing and sales. You need a proven system for marketing and selling your product before even thinking about hiring someone else.
Myth #7: I don’t need any funding because I will just use my credit card
The problem with this myth is that most people who use their credit cards end up spending more money than they make. This means that they will have a lot of debt and won’t be able to afford the things that they need to run their business.
It also means that they won’t be able to pay themselves until their credit card bill comes due each month (which could take up to 30 days or more).
You should always use a credit card to build your business because it is one of the fastest ways to start a business, but you should also pay yourself first and get rid of your debt as soon as possible.
Myth #8: I don’t need any education or experience in my industry because I can just hire someone else to do it
You need to know your industry inside and out before starting your business.
This doesn’t mean a college dropout can’t be a successful startup founder, but there are lots of things you need to do before you can establish a successful company.
You just need a proven system for producing, marketing, and selling your product before even thinking about hiring someone else, like a technical co-founder or another potential co-founder.
It is not easy being an entrepreneur, but it is very rewarding if you can make it work.
If you are someone who has always wanted to start your own business and can handle the hard work and sacrifice that comes with being a startup founder, then this might be something that you should pursue!
If you want something bad enough, then there is no way you cannot achieve it! Just keep in mind that this path is going to be hard and challenging at times — just like any other path in life!
About the Author
I hope that my post has helped you know more about Startups. Feel free to leave a comment and tag me and I will answer them. Follow my profile (alexanderlhk.medium.com) to get the latest content I post to stay ahead of the curve.
I am the Founder of Cudy Technologies (cudy.co), a full-stack EdTech startup helping teachers and students learn better. I am also a mentor and angel investor in other Startups of my other interests (Proptech, Fintech, HRtech, Ride-hailing, C2C marketplaces, and SaaS). You can also find me on Cudy for early-stage Startup Founder mentorship and advice.
Connect with me on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/alexanderlhk) if you have further questions. Let me know that you are a reader of my Medium posts in your invitation message.