Not everyone wants to become an entrepreneur, but a healthy majority of people have at least toyed with the thought of starting their own business. The thrill of being your own boss, setting your own hours, creating something from scratch and building a legacy is exhilarating, but few people actually pull the trigger, and, if you ask them why, they’ll offer one reason or another — or maybe 25:
‘What’s holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?’
1. “I’m waiting for the perfect time.” There’s no such thing as a “perfect” time to start a business. Waiting for it will leave you on indefinite hiatus.
2. “I’m waiting for the perfect idea.” If your idea has flaws, take comfort — there’s no such thing as a perfect idea. So, make up for those flaws with new strengths.
3. “It will take too long to become profitable.” Delayed gratification — the personality trait that causes people to forego smaller short-term pleasures in favor of larger, long-term ones — has been hailed by renowned physicist and author Michio Kaku as the “hallmark of human intelligence.” If you’ve got what it takes to be successful, you understand and practice delayed gratification. And success will never feel too far away.
4. “I like my current job.” Sticking with the job you know can be comforting, but you’ll never know what lies beyond unless you go for it.
5. “I don’t like change.” Change can be hard, and even scary at times, but it’s necessary if you want to be fulfilled.
6. “I’m afraid I’ll fail.” The fear of failure holds many potential entrepreneurs back, but that risk will always be present, and even failure doesn’t mean the end. Successful entrepreneurs thrive in failure.
7. “I’ll make mistakes.” If you’re afraid you’ll make an error once you become an entrepreneur, stop worrying — of course you’ll make an error. You’ll make countless errors. It isn’t about not making mistakes, it’s about making up for the mistakes you do make.
8. “It will be too difficult to learn everything I’ll need to know.” Sometimes a little extra effort is all you need to develop the necessary skills for entrepreneurship.
9. “I don’t want to risk my money.” The financial stress of entrepreneurship is daunting, but there are grants, loans and lines of credit available to ease that burden.
10. “I don’t know anyone who can help me.” Attend networking events, be social and meet people. Your energy and enthusiasm will be contagious if it’s evident and legitimate, and you’ll find people who will be happy to help you.
11. “I’m afraid of an unstructured environment.” There’s a lot more freedom in entrepreneurship, but also a lot more ambiguity.
12. “I don’t have what it takes.” Confidence is the first step to achieving anything. There’s no one type of person that can be successful as an entrepreneur; anyone can, with enough dedication.
13. “Entrepreneurship is like playing the lottery.” You can’t just strike it rich, but you also aren’t bound by terrible odds if you work hard, work smart and persist with a burning desire for success.
14. “I don’t have enough time.” It takes time to start a business, but if you’re serious about it, you’ll make time no matter how many other commitments you have.
15. “I’m nothing compared to the big name entrepreneurs.” The celebrity entrepreneurs of the world seem glamorous and brilliant, but you don’t have to be. You just have to work hard and be passionate.
16. “I’m not a good leader.” Leadership is a role you grow into over time.
17. “I don’t like working with others.” You’ll pick the people you work with, so you can build the ideal team.
18. “I don’t know what to do.” If you don’t know where to go, start talking to people who do. Read publications, articles and ebooks about how to start a business. You might not know right now exactly what to do, but figuring it out isn’t hard.
19. “Starting a business requires a ton of money.” You can start on a shoestring budget, if you know how to minimize your expenses.
20. I’m afraid of life on “hard mode.” Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, but easy isn’t always good, either. Usually, the right path forward is the more difficult one.
21. “I need more formal education.” You don’t need any formal education to start a business — though you will need to constantly improve your skills and knowledge over time.
22. “I need approval from others.” If your parents or spouse or coworkers think you’re crazy, you’re in good company. Most innovators are seen as crazy when they first start.
23. “I need other things to fall in place before I can begin.” You may not have everything, but you probably never will. Start with what you have.
24. “If I fail, I’ll be ruined.” Things couldn’t possibly turn out as bad as you imagine. Usually, things aren’t nearly as bad nor as good as you think they are.
25. “It’s too late.” It’s never too late to get started, if you’re passionate and willing to work.
These inhibitions are more common than you might think, but understanding the roots of those fears, reservations, and concerns can help you overcome them and start pursuing your dreams.
I got a deal sent from the heavens. I respectfully declined.
Here are five mishaps that became valuable lessons during my journey on the way to entrepreneurial success.
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