Cover stories and news articles are a great source of information. They expose us to the inspiring stories of young businessmen that are changing the world. These stories create the impression that they are representative of the average based on the exposure to other stories we encounter.
This is not the case. It is better to build your expectations on the averages rather than the outliers. Not because you cannot be an outlier, but because budgeting as if that will be the case if poor risk management and lazy planning.
Here are the stats:
Average age of successful entrepreneurs: 45.
Average period from business start to significant profits: 10 years.
Average success rate of new businesses: 10%.
Average success rate of new business ideas: 0.5%
Like all stats, these run on bell curves with concentrations around the mean. It is different across the world and differs between industries.
It serves as a reality check and a soundboard to determine if you are really as invincible as you think you are or just unconsciously incompetent.
Everyone can run an ultramarathon, but not if you start out thinking it will be a sprint.
Managed expectations enable sustained performance. Ignorance accelerates failure.