“I would but…”

That’s a phrase we hear all too often when it comes to smart, passionate people considering making a go of it on their own. But here’s the reality: those reasons will always be there. Always. So let’s take a look at a few of them and prove them wrong!

There is already someone else doing this…
Of course there is! That’s why you’re going to do it better. And competition is a good thing. Study your potential competition and find shortcomings. Those are your advantages.

I’m an ‘idea’ person, not a business person… 
Sure some of us are more creative than data-driven, but that shouldn’t hold you back from turning your passion into a business. Surround yourself with good advisors and good financial technology (*looks at self*) and the business decision-making won’t be as daunting as you anticipate.

What if I fail?
Not trying is the equivalent of failing without even taking the first step. And besides, you wouldn’t be alone. The stat varies depending on the source, but more than three quarters of businesses fail within five years. But for every three that fail, one succeeds. And those odds are actually pretty good. If you’re really worried about failing, create a backup plan before you start. For example, if you don’t get your business into the black within three years, you’ll go get a “real job.”

What if I don’t make any money? 
This is probably the most legitimate concern. Your current job likely bears some security. You get a paycheck, you probably have benefits… But when you go out on your own, you’re both the employer and the employee—and employer obligations come first. Things like business debts and bills. Payroll, when it’s just you, is usually last on the list. That’s why you need to be prepared not to make any money yourself for a decent amount of time. The silver lining is that that allows you to plan—conservatively. For example, you should make a commitment to only start your business with, say, six months of living expenses saved up. Even six months is probably a little aggressive.

I’m terrible at sales and marketing…
You can get better and there are tools out there to help. Say you need a website to showcase your services and you don’t know a lick of code. That’s not really a problem anymore thanks to tools like Squarespace. And if sales is your hangup, that’s just going to take practice. The more you refine and get comfortable with your pitch, the better you’ll get. You won’t even notice your improvement. That’s why you should take every meeting you can, even though you’re certain you won’t win them all.

My current job is safe…
If this is your mentality, entrepreneurship isn’t for you. We really don’t have any counterargument to this one. Entrepreneurship is a daily roller coaster. You will feel accomplished, defeated, uncertain, hesitant, sick, invincible, ferocious and regretful all in one day. If safety is your preference, stick where you are. Or read this as a challenge…

I’d be too small in a big-fish pond…
Well then when you first start out, do so in a smaller pond. Then jump to the next pond like this weird snakehead fish that can literally walk on land…

Bottom line: if you’re aiming to create and sell, say, a hand-crafted cola, don’t start off with the mindset that you need to take down Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Perhaps instead set the initial goal of getting your product featured in the local grocery store. Then the chain. Then another. Then a few more. Then online. Then Wal-Mart. Then you definitely won’t have to be reading this article.

I don’t have the time…
As we are firm believers in a healthy work-life balance, this is a valid rationale. But if one thing’s for certain it’s that being your own boss affords you the ability to gain even more control over your work-life balance. Your time will actually truly be yours. Think about that for a second. The only boss you’ll answer to is you (and your significant other / family). But the point is this: time for work and time for life is yours to allocate when you’re an entrepreneur. The key to making it all work is discipline in both respects. Discipline to work when work has to be done. And discipline when you need to pay attention to what you’re working for: life.

I wouldn’t know where to start…
Ah! The easiest excuse to counter! The simple answer? Ask others. You will not be the first person on the planet to start a business, let alone in your own network. You know someone who has done this before. Take them out to lunch and pick their brain. Then get these two things: a good accountant and a good lawyer.

 

We could go on and on here (and we might do a few more posts in the same vein), but at the end of the day, there will always be a reason not to take the first step. Those with the entrepreneurial spirit in their DNA will ignore those reasons.