It’s in your heart… You really want to have your own business. You might think there are huge barriers in your way, but there are ways to get around them.
Have you ever said to yourself, if I have to sit through one more “staff meeting” or if I have to listen to one more co-worker ramble on and on, or if I have to sit in morning traffic one more time I am going to gouge my eyes out with a ball point pen! How many times have you said to yourself… I can’t wait to leave this place and start my own business!” Whether you will admit it or not, it’s more than likely that you have. If you are reading this article, I can almost guarantee that you have felt the call.
A recent study by the University of Phoenix shows that nearly half of all workers under 45 have entrepreneurial aspirations. This study also shows that there are several common barriers that seem to turn those visions high-flying aspirations into a flaming heap of spiraling carnage.
For whatever reason you have for placing your dreams on the back-burner or on that pedestal just outside of your tippy-toed reach… Let’s examine them and kill them.
1. Well… I don’t have the money!
This is probably the most popular reason. You think that your idea takes a lot of money.
You know… it is that grandiose idea that consumes your every thought each morning as you commute. Sometimes our ideas are so big that we don’t even know where to begin, we feel that the scientist, developer or engineer needed to make your dream thrive would just cost entirely too much.
Once you define your big idea, find out how much it costs. It may not be as massive as you believe. Afterward, it’s time to discover where the money is and figure out how you can get your hands on it.
Shannon McLay, Founder & President of NextGen Financial says,
One of the best ways to finance your new business venture, especially if you are having difficulty obtaining bank or SBA loans, is through angel investors like friends and family. If you truly believe in your venture, then they should as well. If you don’t want to mix your personal and your business relationships, then there are a number of crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Gofundme and Indegogo that you can access for funds.
2. I Don’t Even Know Where to Begin
You’d be surprised how many people became accidental entrepreneurs. Most think that they need an MBA or need to take lots of business courses in order to be successful. While they do provide you with a deeper insight into running a business, they are not absolutely required.
A wise man said… If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. This is especially true in business. Investors will not take you seriously if you have not taken the time to do a business plan and executive summary.
John Schmoll, who owns two businesses, Ink Harmony and Frugal Rules, explains:
If you’re waiting until you know everything about running a business, you’ll never do anything. You don’t need a business degree to run your own business. You do need to spend some time thinking through what skill, service or product you can sell or offer.
Plus, when you’re trying to gather funding or bootstrap your way to success, pricey degrees may not be the answer. As John further explained,
There’s an abundance of free information online about how to create a business plan and develop a marketing strategy. You can start there and answer basic, big picture questions like who your audience is, how you will reach them and why they need your product/service/skill.
Also, don’t forget that failure can be a great teacher. We don’t like to think about failure, but some of the most successful people on Earth used early failures to their advantage.
Jon Oringer, who is one of the youngest billionaires in the world, recently gave a speech where he described several business failures before hitting it big with Shutterstock. Don’t be afraid to fail. Know it’s a possibility and try to avoid it, but don’t be scared if it happens because you never know where it will lead.
3. I would, but I don’t have the time to commit to this!
Are you aware of how much time you are capable of wasting every day? You would be astonished! How many times have you caught yourself on social media or watching television and discovered that an hour or two have gone by? The truth is, we find time to do what we want to do. Take a hiatus from social media, carve out some time to dedicate to your dream. Entrepreneurs live like others won’t so that they will be able to live like other can’t.
We all have commitments to family, jobs, and community but, there are many ways to take advantage of moments to work on your business idea.
Grayson Bell, a successful entrepreneur and owner of iMark Interactive explains:
Owning a business is not about “finding” time to make it successful. It is about managing the time you already have to be the most efficient. While we may feel there isn’t enough time in the day, if you prioritize your tasks based on importance, then you can learn how to manage the time you have available.
4. What exactly would I do?
Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a business, but you can’t come up with an idea for one. (Or annoyingly, some guy in the next state over had the same one!) Conversely, maybe you have too many ideas and don’t know which one to pursue.
If you’re having trouble creating ideas, try a new field, work on something that “bugs you,” talk to consumers to discover what they need or reinvent the wheel by making an existing product cheaper or more streamlined. Successful business owners solve problems.
If you have too many ideas, choose the one that gets you so excited you can’t sleep at night. Many people make the mistake of picking the idea that seems the most lucrative, but when it’s late at night and you’ve already put in 100 hours for the week, it’ll be easier to keep going if you’re working on something you’re truly passionate about.
5. I don’t have the leadership skills
True leadership skills are gained through experience. Joe Saul-Sehy, co-host of the popular Stacking Benjamins podcast and former financial planner, echoed this sentiment when he said, I don’t believe that people are born with leadership skills. The fact is, anyone can learn to be a good leader. How? First, create a vision that’s big enough for stakeholders to share in the “win” and continuously show them the route to your combined success.
Even if you’re an experienced leader who wants to start a new venture but lacks the confidence, Joe suggests:
Sharpen your “leadership saw” by learning from the best of all time… such as Walt Disney, Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Sam Walton and Warren Buffett. You have to carve out time to consistently practice. That’s how you’ll see your leadership skills develop.
Find a mentor and accountability partner.
Ultimately, the most significant barrier to starting your own business could be you. Remember, believe in yourself first and have an unending passion for your business… the support and funding will follow.
6. It’s not the right time…
If not now, then when, and if not you then who? This is probably the king of all excuses. It is aways the right time to follow your dreams. Even if it is the dead of winter and you want to start a lawn mowing business… Now is the time to get started. Start planning your strategy, get a business plan and research
The fact is, even when you feel that it is the wrong time, you prepare for the perfect time. If you think about it… It is always the right time!
7. I need job security and benefits
Let’s face it, stepping out of the corporate world without benefits can feel like sky-diving and not knowing if your chute will open. It can be easier for a younger, healthy worker to forgo health benefits offered by a company. For the more startup entrepreneur, health benefits remain a top concern. In the midst of budget cuts, downsizings, layoffs, and technological advances, the job market is not as secure as it used to be.
Think through your decision, use your spouse’s plan or consider the optional HSA’s (Health Savings Account).
Really…Dig deep enough and you will often find that your reasons for not starting a business are mostly excuses. You have to learn to get over yourself. As entrepreneurs, we all experience fear. On an interview on MyPrimeTime, Tony Magee, the CEO of Lagunitas Brewery, says fear is a strong motivator. Fear drives him daily to succeed. It’s a matter of learning to accept fear as a silent partner constantly moving you towards your goal.
Departing from the cube life takes dedication, guts, and a little testicular fortitude.
Millions of business owners have succeeded. Take the plunge today and join the entrepreneurial revolution. Let go of your fears and forge your destiny as an entrepreneur.
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