Many dream of starting a small business, however few actually follow through. There are a number of reasons for this lack of follow through, but most are avoidable.
I don’t have the money – A business decision is not based on “having the money”. If this was the case, most would never start a business. Make the decision, and then figure out a way to raise the capital. It is amazing how creative one can get when they want something bad enough.
Raising capital – this is one of the biggest things that holds people back. Many will say “if I can raise the capital I will get started”. Their “decision” to start their business is dependent on this. Successful business owners think the opposite. They make the decision to get started, and then go to work to figure out where they are raising the capital required. Even if it is a challenge to find the funds, they do not give up…they go to plan B, C, D, or E if necessary. All successful business owners figure out how to raise the capital required. A line of credit or, LOC, is a great way to finance start up costs with small businesses.
I don’t have experience in that type of business – I have never had experience in any of the businesses I have started over the last 30 plus years. What you need is a willingness to learn, and take personal responsibility to learn whatever you need to. This can often be an advantage over someone with years of experience – those individuals can get stuck in the past instead of continuing to learn and grow. The new person sees the business with a fresh perspective and new ideas.
I am afraid I will fail – This is a fear almost everyone has. Those that create success as an entrepreneur push through this fear and are willing to do what it takes for as long as it takes, and understand, it is simply part of the process. Change your mindset to: “I will make this work”. Be willing to learn, grow, and do what it takes. Keep the commitment you make to yourself!
My kids are too young – This was the REASON I started my first business. I wanted to be home with them, so I started a home based business. There are so many options available that allow you to work around your family. Today there are more people than ever working as independent contractors – providing their work service to companies from their own homes. You have to decide if the age of your kids is going to be the REASON you take this control of your work, or the EXCUSE why you can’t.
I have to pay for my kids college – This is in the same category as my kids are too young. Many businesses can be launched in your spare time around your F/T job to allow you to make more money and actually pay for their education. It is not an “either/or”. Ask yourself how you can start a side business to pay for their college expenses, instead of attempting to take it out of the income you have.
The timing isn’t right – Successful entrepreneurs often start a business at the worst possible “time”. When the door of opportunity opens, successful entrepreneurs do not hesitate to jump in with both feet. It is vital to embrace opportunity when it is presented. When you have experienced this, you will understand everything usually falls into place, despite whatever perceived obstacle you may have been concerned about. Successful entrepreneurs embrace new ideas and make bold decisions to move forward when opportunity is presented to them.
One of the skills I have developed as a business-owner, is the ability to make decisions quickly. When opportunity presents itself, it is vital to make the decision quickly, and then figure out the details to launch the small business. Often I see individuals attempting to have everything figured out in advance, and many end up not moving forward and miss the opportunity they have in front of them, because of some small detail. Those that drag out the decision making, will usually find a million excuses why they can’t move forward. Just as interesting is those that make quick decisions and take action to make it go right, are utilizing a powerful entrepreneurial skill that will assist them in creating success.
We can’t always predict what that step will be, and those that are attempting to have everything perfectly figured out will usually never get started.
I don’t have time – It’s been said if you want something done, give it to a busy person. It’s interesting how much you can actually get done, when you eliminate all the time wasted, and only focus on spending time on high payoff activities.
Age – I’m not old enough/experienced enough, or I’m too old – Desire and attitude outweighs the number on your birth certificate. You may not have experience, are you willing to learn? You may be in your senior years but have the desire to be self employed. Stop using that number on your birth certificate as an excuse. I have known very young entrepreneurs as well as people in their 70’s and 80’s starting businesses.
Another quality of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to make powerful, bold decisions. One must trust their intuition and be willing to take action. The decision making doesn’t require long drawn out “thinking” and analysis. Make the decision, and then start working step by step to launch the business.
This comes from trusting your gut. This could be in hiring staff as an example. You may have 2 equally qualified people, but your gut is favoring one over the other. Trust your gut and make the judgement call.
Make a list of everything that needs to be done once you have made the decision to move forward. Check each item off as you complete it. Some things will take longer because there may be a learning curve. Don’t let that stop you. Be willing to learn whatever you require and keep taking positive action steps forward. If you get stuck on something that is going to take longer than anticipated, get busy doing something else on the to do list. You must keep the momentum going and keep taking pro-active action.
Avoid the critics – I absolutely guarantee that someone close to you will think you should not get your business started. This “well meaning” advice is one of the biggest reasons people don’t get their business ideas started. Every single successful entrepreneur has had to push through the well meaning advice of those that are NOT QUALIFIED to give you that advice. Stop listening to those that have never had the courage to pursue their own dreams, or those that “tried” and gave up. That would be like taking marriage advice from someone that has never been married, or has been divorced 3 times!
Trust your intuition – Trust your heart, and if it feels right, don’t waste time, keep taking the next action step you can take, as quickly as possible. When a business idea is in front of you, make a decision! One of the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet, Richard Branson has a saying – “screw it, let’s do it” When a business idea is in front of you, ask yourself, does this make sense, do I want to move forward? If the answer is yes, don’t let any of the excuses stop you. Be solution oriented, and move forward as quickly as possible.
Successful entrepreneurs don’t need weeks or months to make a decision. They get the details and decide – yes or no. They don’t have to “think about it”. If it makes sense, they take action right away. Successful entrepreneurs understand, they don’t need to “think”….they need to DECIDE. This is a key difference in those that want to start a business but never do…