Everybody should start a business at least once.
The first time I wanted to start a business I was only seventeen years old. I gave up on it. I wish I hadn’t.
The most powerful voice in our life is the one that is inside of our own head. It can be an amazing cheerleader or a constant killjoy. If you are thinking of striking out on your own to start a business, your inner voice is probably bombarding you with excuses why you should quit before you even start.
Here are the top excuses your brain is going to use on you and why you should ignore them.
“It’s been done before.”
That doesn’t mean you can’t do it better. Improving the work of others is often the springboard to true innovation. Just because it has been done before doesn’t mean you can’t build a better business. Google wasn’t the first search engine. Facebook wasn’t the first successful social network. Starbucks wasn’t the first 1000th coffee shop in the world. Yet, they all managed to succeed.
“I don’t have enough time.”
If you have time to spare to read this list, you have time to work on your dream. John Grisham (The Firm, Pelican Brief) launched his career by writing during short breaks in between court sessions. If you want to succeed in business you have to become great at time management. Make time.
“No one understands my concept.”
Maybe the problem is that they understand it better than you. If you have to defend your product’s merits to everyone who hears about it, maybe it’s time to rethink. If people don’t get your idea, it is your chance to ask them for feedback and make adjustments. Don’t get defensive about feedback. Use it to improve your product or service.
“I am afraid.”
If you are not afraid sometimes you are not trying hard enough. Entrepreneurs are often scared, but who isn’t. Fear is good. It keeps you alert, but don’t let it stop you from reaching your dreams.
“It’s too difficult.”
You are right about that. It is difficult. That’s why it feels so great when you actually succeed. You can break every difficult task into smaller tasks. It will make it easier and more manageable. The whole process will become less overwhelming. Most things worth doing are difficult. If it was easy everyone would do it.
Many entrepreneurs before you conquered the funding challenge. There is capital out there – you just have to find it. You won’t find it by staring at an empty office space and feeling sorry for yourself. Talk to friends or family about investing in your business. Or, seek out angel investors.
“I don’t have a business partner.”
I am not going to lie to you. Many times it is helpful to have a great business partner, but it’s not the only way to start a business. Think of it this way. Without a business partner, you can make decisions faster. You don’t have to talk it over with someone or get the buy-in from another person.
“I don’t want to be a failure.”
No one wants to fail, but it’s necessary. Remember this quote:
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what people really thought of you if you knew just how seldom they do”.
Successful entrepreneurs fail often. The very essence of success is failing often and making adjustments.
“I don’t have the skills needed to do this.”
Maybe you don’t have the skills today, but you can learn. Even if you don’t know how to do something there are people out there that do. Find them and ask for help. There is nothing wrong with letting someone be the Wozniak to your Jobs.
“I don’t have any good ideas.”
It’s OK if you don’t have any ideas. Use someone else’s idea. Thomas Edison made a career out of it. Some people have great ideas but can’t market them or execute them properly. The smartphone in your pocket is a great example of one company after another taking someone else’s idea and making it a little better and selling it as their own work.
“I am not sure if my idea is ready for market.”
The best way to find out is to get it into other people’s hands. If it bombs, you can fix it. If it’s a hit, you’ll be rich. If you keep it in your pocket it doesn’t matter either way.
“The world isn’t ready for my idea.”
You can easily test your idea. There are social networks, forums, and in-person meetings where you can see if the world is ready for your idea. Don’t assume anything. Get proof. Are you out there talking with people? How do they respond? Do you have proof that people aren’t ready, or are you just making it up?
“I’m more of an idea person than hands-on.”
If you are an idea person, you are a wantrepreneur. Wantrepreneurs are full of ideas and always lack execution. If you want to make the move from wantrepreneur to entrepreneur, take action.
“There is too much competition.”
Competition is your friend. Competition means there is money to be made. Competition makes you a better business. Don’t run from it search for it. It is a form of validation. Every new business that enters the market has competition.
“I don’t know anyone who owns a business.”
Knowing someone who is an entrepreneur is not a requirement. This one is actually easy to solve. Reach out to your friends and family and ask for introductions. I bet you get several introductions. Connecting with some entrepreneurs will help you get an insight into the life of a business owner.
“I am too old to start a business.”
Please. There are too many people who started successful businesses later in life.
Here are a few examples:
- Vera Wang entered the fashion industry at the age of 40.
- Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T.
- Ray Kroc was 52 when he bought McDonald’s.
- Colonel Sanders was 62 when he franchised KFC.
“It’s too risky.”
It is true that business is risky, but you can minimize it. Actually, successful entrepreneurs are great at minimizing risks. You could start your business part-time while you are still working full or part-time. You could save money before starting a business, to make sure you can pay your bills while you are getting your venture off the ground. Plane carefully and develop a sound business strategy. Work harder and smarter. You should also have the right insurance policies in place.
“The timing is not the best.”
Have you ever thought about what’s the best time to start a business? The most important thing about timing is that it will never be perfect. Anytime is better than never. If you are waiting to be ready, it might never happen.