The unemployment rate for young people is less than ideal at the moment, as much as two times higher than the national average. This can be very discouraging for people fresh out of school.
President Obama’s team wants to encourage college grads to become entrepreneurs and start their own businesses. There’s even a new financial incentive program to limit young ‘treps’ student loan payments to 10 percent of their earned income. Sounds great, so perhaps it’s time to launch your own start-up, right?
Not so fast, says college professor and author Scott Shane. He warns people that about half of new businesses fail within the first year, and the failure rate is even higher with businesses started by recent college grads.
Why, you ask?
“Successful entrepreneurship requires knowledge of many aspects of business best learned on the job…” he says. Based on his students’ experiences and on published studies, he argues that the performances of start-ups improve only after entrepreneurs gain experience by first working for others.
Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? Author and start-up owner Jason Sadler knew he was one from an early age and didn’t let the odds keep him from pursuing his dream of owning his own company. He founded IWearYourShirt. He’s been a success, but understands that any new venture is loaded with risk.
According to him, it’s worth it; the hard work is what he enjoys. But he and other entrepreneurs feel compelled to bust some common myths about the task of being the next big thing.
5 Myths About Being an Entrepreneur
1. You’re going to be insanely successful. Fact: Maybe, but there’s only one Facebook and only one Mark Zuckerberg. What the next upstarts need to understand is that there are many ways to be a success, and it involves more than fame and fortune.
2. Entrepreneurs can point the finger and put improvement into action. Fact: Most entrepreneurs “go-it-alone” for a long time before they become the boss.
3. Entrepreneurs can take off when they want. Fact: Most entrepreneurs live, eat and breathe their businesses. In other words, vacation and partying gets pushed to the wayside.
4. Working from home means you’ll have more time for relationships. Fact: Many times your loved ones are reticent to hang around and watch you labor. Sadler himself says he’s gazed across the room at his dog crossing its legs. It can be hard to maintain meaningful relationships under these strenuous circumstances (and Sadler loves his dog!).
5. Everyone wants to have your job. Fact: Do you want to trade the last three 18-hour days spent appeasing clients? That’s for you to decide… but the entrepreneur can remain excited about controlling her own destiny, knowing the harder she works, the more results she sees.