It always startled me in the early days of my Making a Living Without a Job seminars when someone would raise an eyebrow and say, “But you don’t actually do this yourself, do you?” Long before I turned my attention to sharing what I’d learned about creative self-employment, I had taken a vow to never teach what I hadn’t learned. Apparently, many folks didn’t think firsthand knowledge was required in order to teach. In fact, my business plan (if it could be called that) was to be a guinea pig in my own life and pass along what I had discovered.
Teaching what you’ve already learned is on my mind today for a couple of reasons. I am increasingly aware of the growing population of experts, coaches and other authorities who don’t seem to share my commitment to learning first, teaching second. The Internet is full of instant experts, rehashing and repackaging other people’s material. I’ve watched other snake oil salesmen over the years and most of them have a short shelf life so seeing a new batch of them is disheartening.
Teaching what you’ve already learned is also on my mind because the opportunities to pass along life lessons and skills remains enormous. That’s what sisters Mary Russell Sarao and Barbara Russell Pitts have done to share what they learned as successful inventors.
Then there’s maverick coach John Williams who is doing some great work in the UK. When his Freestyle Success mailing arrived this week with the following article, I promptly asked his permission to share it with you. He said yes so here it is.
10 Entrepreneurial Myths
How many of these do you believe?
1. I need a 30 page business plan before I can do anything
2. I’ll need a load of money right from the off
3. I’ll need a team of staff to make it work (slight problem – no money to pay them)
4. I need to know all about finance, management, marketing, sales etc to go into business
5. I’ll need to quit my job (and I don’t have any savings to live off)
6. It’s too risky with the current state of the economy to think about doing something on my own
7. I’ll have to dedicate my life to this one business and never do anything else
8. You’re either born an entrepreneur or you’re not – and I wasn’t
9. If my great idea turns out not to work as a business, I’ll have to stay in the rat race
10. Being an entrepreneur is all about making money at any cost, not about creativity, or doing something worthwhile
None of these are true and yet most of my clients hold at least one of them as a belief when they start working with me.
The truth is all you need to become an entrepreneur is a desire to avoid being stuck in a job and a willingness to learn from other people how to make a business work. You don’t even need your own idea for a business!
If you know you want to start something of your own this year, whether it’s freelancing, consulting, a business online or a just a sideline in your spare time, all you have to do is start. Because if you can start it (without too much risk), and keep an open mind, you’ll learn along the way. And even if your first idea turns out to be a turkey, you’ll find other opportunities start to appear.
I want to encourage more creative people to think entrepreneurially. Because if you can make money out of the stuff you’re most passionate about, imagine how much more of it you can do. And the more you can do it, the more people can benefit from it.