- Live on government (or any charitable) dole
- Do odd-jobs (if any are available, i.e.)
- Start their own business
Starting their own business looks like the best way to 'get up and going' and not wallow in self-pity. And that is really what happens in a recession, or at least when jobs are few and far between. Statistics from the past have shown that this is what the unemployed do. But statistics have also shown that most such businesses (if not all) are bound to fail. Don't ask me, ask Prof Scott Shane, a professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Weatherheard School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. He has written the book, "The Illusion of Entrepreneurship", in which he debunks popular myths about Entrepreneurship.
And what are some of these myths?
- The US isn't one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. Countries such as Peru and Uganda are more entrepreneurial (page 28)
- Most entrepreneurs don't select the most profitable industries, but instead pick industries with highest firm failure rates (page 38)
- Psychological factors account for very little of the difference between enterpreneurs and other people...(page 61)
- ...The typical start-up is very ordinary, not-very-innovative, home-based business that starts and stays tiny (page 76)
Between a high school dropout entrepreneur who starts a personal cleaning business and a former Microsoft employee of 15 years of experience with an MBA starting an internet company, which is more likely to succeed?
The answer may or may not surprise you, but this question goes to the heart of message of this book - that most enterpreneur fail, but there are some with particular characteristics that will do well. Read the book to find out.