Startup Misconceptions: Entrepreneurship has to be Done Alone

Posted by Joe Garza on 2014-07-24

Entrepreneurship is hard. REALLY hard. But with countless tales of how entrepreneurs made it big with almost nothing, it’s easy for a budding founder to jump into the startup world full of unbridled enthusiasm. 

Luckily, Startup Misconceptions is here to clear up the myths, delusions, and fancies surrounding entrepreneurship, with useful advice from experts. So, sorry if we rain on your parade, but we believe a successful entrepreneur is a prepared entrepreneur. You’ll thank us later.

In this installment, we disprove the myth that entrepreneurs should go solo when launching a startup. It’s easy to look to such figures as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson and believe that these individuals built their own companies from the ground up. The truth is that they didn’t, and neither should you.

Myth #1: Solo entrepreneurship actually exists

Reality: Not really. As Tara Gentile, the creator of Kick Start Labs, succinctly stated in an article titled "The Myth of Solo Entrepreneurship: A New Relationship with 'The Hustle'":

Solo entrepreneurship isn’t a myth because people are lying to you. It’s a myth because it’s not the whole truth. It’s out of context.”

Gentile continues, stating how founders who focus too much on the “solopreneur” aspects of entrepreneurship berate themselves and try to work harder, instead of simply asking for help, delegating to others, or just hiring employees.

She also sheds light on the fact that the famous entrepreneurs who glorify the virtues of “solopreneurship” are not always the lone wolves they make themselves out to be.

Those that appear to be doing it on their own, those who appear to shine the light on themselves, are actually running organizations. Those organizations are loose, fluid, and largely motivated by social purpose, but they are organizations nonetheless. It’s worth bearing in mind.”

Myth #2: Entrepreneurs always work alone

Reality: Almost never. English business magnate and investor Richard Branson is well aware of this fact, having relied on countless creative and talented individuals to help create the more than 400 companies that comprise Virgin Group. Here’s what he had to say in an article titled "Richard Branson on Not Going It Alone":

Many people think that an entrepreneur is someone who operates alone, overcoming challenges and bringing his idea to market through sheer force of personality.

This is completely inaccurate. Few entrepreneurs ever achieved anything worthwhile without help. To be successful in business, you need to connect and collaborate and delegate.”

Branson elaborates on the idea that collaboration and teamwork are vital to a company’s success by encouraging entrepreneurs to continually look for opportunities to network with the people around them - even in the most unexpected places.

To achieve your goals, you need to be on the lookout for the opportunity to make connections wherever you go. Welcome chance encounters and opportunities to dream up outlandish plans. The person with the skill set you need to get your new business idea off the ground may be sitting at the next table in the cafe. Go over and say hello.”

(man looking landscape image by Shutterstock)

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