Real Talk: Busting Six Myths About Entrepreneurship

"If you don't have fun, you cannot succeed in business. My motto is: work hard, party harder."

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By Tamara Pupic


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Over the course of our January 2018 cover interview with Access Power Executive Chairman Reda El Chaar, the entrepreneur busted six common myths associated with entrepreneurship- here's his take on such misconceptions:

MYTH #1 Entrepreneurs should not pay themselves

"I took a salary from day one. I've never stayed a day in this company without my salary, because the reality is that if entrepreneurs do not value their time, which is the only thing they have, and if their business cannot give them at least the reimbursement on their time, then I don't believe they are building a sustainable business. I've been paying myself from day one and in a very disciplined manner."

MYTH #2 Entrepreneurs work 24/7

"Another of the big myths is when entrepreneurs say that they work non-stop. The reality is that no one can work 24 hours per day. And, if you are doing that, you are doing something wrong. For me, that is a signal that something is going wrong because there needs to be a balance. If you don't have fun, you cannot succeed in business. My motto is: work hard, party harder. The same goes with not taking vacations. Something is not right there."

Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power.

MYTH #3 Entrepreneurs need to bring on investors

"Entrepreneurs are very stressed about bringing in the money from investors, but I always tell them to focus on their idea instead. If you really have a good, genuine idea, you don't need anyone. Investors will come to you. Great ideas never chase money but vice versa. This is my genuine belief. If you look at the venture capital world, eight out of 10 ideas go bust. Plus, that is an official number, meaning that it [the failure rate] must be even higher. This proves that money does not go to good ideas. It is good ideas that bring in money."

Related: Raising Capital In The MENA Region: The How-To

MYTH #4 Entrepreneurs do not need sector expertise prior to starting

"Another thing that I say to entrepreneurs is to stick with what they know. The grass is never greener on the other side. You can see an entrepreneur who has spent many years in a logistics company, and then one day he comes up with an idea to do an app that has nothing to do with logistics. I'm always asking why they can't come up with something within a sector or an industry that they know."

MYTH #5 Young people make better entrepreneurs

"I appreciate entrepreneurs who started later in life because they have already played with other people's money and they've got the knowledge of that particular sector. It is great that we are encouraging youth entrepreneurship, but I think that the world would do better if we supported those people who start a business at 40 or 45 when they are burnt out from their jobs. So, that's another myth- an entrepreneur doesn't have to be an 18 or 19-year-old college dropout."

MYTH #6 Tech entrepreneurship is the only right route to follow

"I would love to help others understand that entrepreneurship is not restricted to apps. Don't get stuck in the IT industry. You can be an entrepreneur in any sector as long as you have the know-how and the passion to do it. Also, we hear a lot about tech entrepreneurs who are making the money, but we don't hear about those who are losing the money. There are definitely a lot of tech entrepreneurs who are losing a lot of money."

Related: What Four Years As An Entrepreneur (And CEO) Taught Me About Business

Tamara Pupic

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Tamara Pupic is the Managing Editor of Entrepreneur Middle East.

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