Business Myth
Screenshot from The Pursuit of Happyness. Designed by the author.

You are not lazy. You are a hard worker. That’s what you have been doing all your life.

You have studied hard, graduated with a degree, nailed the interview, and got the job. But, now, you are feeling stuck.

A large chunk of your paycheck is going away, paying off the student loan you took back in the day. Your living expenses are going high.

And even after pulling frequent all-nighters, your boss doesn’t treat you well.

You pour yourself a drink and go online, looking for an escape. But it makes you even more depressed.

All you see is entrepreneurs, investors, bloggers, and vloggers make millions and billions. Even worse, most of them even don’t have a college degree.

“Surely I can do better with my life.” — You tell yourself. And you absolutely can. But not if you get yourself into a business just because you hate your job or want more money.

How can I say so? Because I had done the same. Four years later, I was short of friends, loved ones, $4000, and my sanity.

Five Business Myths You Should Be Aware of Before Quitting Your Day Job

I believe you would not want to repeat the same mistakes I did. If that’s the case, here are five business myths I wish I knew before quitting my job to launch an undercooked startup.

1. Running a Business Is Easier Than a Maintaining a Job

It’s not you. It’s the ridiculous noise around us.

Want to know what’s funny about it?

We bring out every nitty-gritty issue of a full-time job. Then we use it as a background to romanticize the perks of entrepreneurship.

In the process, we safely remove the hardships and risks of being a business owner.

Think for yourself. We only see the successes of a few staple businesses and billionaire entrepreneurs and ignore the rest of the 90% who fail to make their mark.

Then there comes the fake coaches, Instagram entrepreneurs, and manifestation gurus. They target both your insecurities and aspirations to sell you fluffy dreams.

That’s how the narrative gets tangled. It tells you that no matter what you are going through, your life will get better once you set it out on your own. All you need to do is take a leap of faith.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t do that.

Starting your own thing won’t fix your life problems. It will make things worse.

Yes. Running a business can be significantly more rewarding than a job when and if you manage to pull it off well. But not everyone can. That’s because it’s not easy.

Here’s the bottom line. If you are cracking under the pressure of a job, you will shatter trying to manage a business.

2. Entrepreneurship Is All About Making Money

This business myth is quite popular among people who fall for MLM scams or other get-rich-quick schemes. They are eager to make crazy money but are utterly clueless about how a business really works.

To them, entrepreneurship is a chase for money. However, that cannot be further from the truth.

As M.J. DeMarco puts it in his smash hit, The Millionaire Fastlane:

Money is like a mischievous cat; if you chase it around the neighborhood, it eludes you. It hides up a tree, behind the rose bush, or in the garden. However, if you ignore it and focus on what attracts the cat, it comes to you and sits in your lap.

At its core, business is all about meeting the market demand. It’s not about what you or I want, it’s all about what our market wants.

As an entrepreneur, your job is to find a market gap, follow what bothers your target demographic, and then come up with a creative solution for it.

Money is only a medium of transaction. It’s drawn to those who produce unique solutions and innovative values.

For example:

  • You are getting paid for your services to your company.
  • On the other hand, you pay the money you have earned to purchase the necessary value you need to consume, like food, rent, and other amenities.

It’s a value-driven market, not an ambition-driven market. You don’t pay people according to their will to get rich, so don’t expect to get paid for the same.

3. Love (Passion) Will Keep You Alive

It is another extension of the previous myth, pushing you further down into the rabbit hole of your own needs. Sure, you can get rich by doing what you love. But your passion won’t make it any easier. Here’s why.

Reason 1: Just because you are passionate about something doesn’t mean you are good at it.

Reason 2: Even if you have both the passion and the skills, building a business around it is a different animal altogether.

For example, suppose you are an accountant who loves to bake. Whenever you call your friends over for dinner, you treat them with delicious cheesecakes and apple pies.

Some of them might even ask you to open a bakery as a compliment.

It might get you thinking. You hate your job. But you love baking. If you can somehow monetize your passion, you will feel good. Right? Wrong!

You are winding up making the same mistakes. Here, let me quote DeMarco one last time:

“Stop thinking about business in terms of your selfish desires, whether it’s money, dreams or “do what you love.” Instead, chase needs, problems, pain points, service deficiencies, and emotions.”

So if you truly want to establish a profitable baking business, you will have to put in much more work than you usually do for your accounting job.

Your passion for baking will not play as much of a central role as you would like it to play.

Also, don’t mistake your friends’ compliments for the market response. That’s how you lose money.

Your friends are only trying to encourage you. Hell, they might even buy a few stuff from you. But the real market won’t be nearly as accomodating as they are.

4. Hard Work (for the Sake of Working Hard) Is Enough

Answer me this. Is your ‘hustle’ part of a clearly defined plan, process, or purpose? If not, you won’t make money no matter how hard you work.

Here’s what Naval Ravikant has to say about it:

You can work in a restaurant 80 hours a week, and you are not gonna get rich. It’s about knowing what to do and knowing who to do it with and when to do it.

If you want to make a mark, it’s essential to do your homework before getting on the field and going all out.

As an entrepreneur, if you work hard and produce lower results, no one will pay you for your labor alone. If you can deliver high-quality value for the market by putting in little effort, it will lavish you with big rewards.

It’s not about how many hours are you putting in, it’s more about how amazing your results are.

5. Growth and Success Are the Same

Problem-solving and producing value is only one side of a successful business. The other side of it is scalability.

The general principle is that the larger scale of people you impact through your solutions, the more money you will make.

But just as revenue and profit aren’t the same things, so aren’t growth and scalability.

It might sound freakish. But sometimes, cutting back on your growth can make you more profitable. Here’s how:

All revenue is not the same. If you remove your worst, unprofitable clients and the now-unnecessary costs associated with them, you will see a jump in profitability and a reduction in stress, often within a few weeks.

Mike Michalowicz, Profit First: A Simple System To Transform Any Business From A Cash-Eating Monster To A Money-Making Machine

In the end, you can break any successful business into five steps:

#1. Value creation: Creating a product that the market needs.

#2. Marketing: Building a clear brand message to connect with the mass.

#3. Sells: Making it accessible for the customers.

#4. Value delivery: The product should deliver on the promised value.

#5. Finance: The entire venture should earn you more money than you spend.