5 Common Excuses for Not Starting Your Own Business
As a business and online marketing coach I’ve noticed common fears that come up for people who want to start a business but haven’t yet gotten around to doing so. I’ve also noticed many of the same fearful patterns among people who are already running a business but wishing to move to the next level.
Starting your own business is challenging. As a fellow entrepreneur I understand firsthand how these fears can stop us dead in our tracks before we even really get started.
I know it so well, in fact, that I personally spent about three years living in fear instead of actually making money with my own business. It wasn’t until I started calling out the fearful stories, and actively working to reframe them, that I was able to start making major progress in building my business and my brand.
The same rings true for many of the clients that I coach each week. As soon as the fear is identified we start working together to flip the script. Once my clients do that, the doors to opportunity and growth are flung wide open.
Excuses stopping you from starting your own business
In an effort to help you identify and move through some of these fears of starting your own business, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most common fears I see among early-stage business owners. While this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, and while you may still have some more personal fears to deal with, these common patterns are a good place to start changing your internal dialogue about business.
Excuse #1: Most businesses fail
Is this true? Yes. Studies show that nine out of ten businesses fail within the first three years. However, that in no way means that your business will fail.
In my experience as a business coach, one of the reasons businesses fail isn’t because of the business itself, it’s because of the owner.
Business is a major personal growth journey. There will be problems. You will need to strategize. There will be challenges and you as the owner will need to step up to the plate. A lot of people just aren’t willing to do that.
Secondly, I’ve noticed that those businesses which do fail are often times because the owner lacks commitment to the business itself.
It is hard work to start and run a business, especially in the beginning. There is no getting around this part. Yet, many people give up in the first crucial years without realizing that if they can get past the discomfort then they will be fine.
This isn’t to say that all businesses that fail are because of the owner. Sometimes there are circumstances that are out of their control, sometimes the money isn’t there and sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
However, it is to say that you shouldn’t believe all the hype about business failure. The truth is you have no idea why they failed and that’s a key component to the puzzle. Instead, separate yourself from that story by finding businesses that are doing well. Look to those examples to motivate you.
Excuse #2: I don’t have an MBA
Perhaps one of the most common excuses I hear from people who want to start a business is that they don’t have an MBA.
Here’s a little secret. When I worked in recruiting I interviewed a lot of people with MBA’s and none of them knew how to run a business. Don’t get me wrong, they knew how to manage people within someone else’s business, but they had no idea how to create their own.
The truth is that education, while helpful, isn’t going to give you a manual for starting your own business. The reason being because such a manual doesn’t actually exist. If you need further proof, many of our most successful leaders in business, government and technology actually have liberal arts degrees (if they even have a degree at all).
The truth is you learn how to run a business by actually running a business. It’s by putting one foot in front of the other that you learn what you need.
Excuse #3: I don’t have enough experience
This excuse usually comes after someone says they don’t have the right education. And similar to the MBA excuse, it’s false. The only way to get experience is to get your hands dirty and start working. Besides, often times when these clients look at their past work history they actually have a lot more relevant experience than they think.
Furthermore, every successful business owner starts at the same place: knowing nothing.
Therefore the reason they are successful isn’t because they had all this experience beforehand, it’s because they took action in spite of not knowing what they were doing.
Excuse #4: I don’t have enough money
There was a time when you needed a lot of capital up front for starting your own business.
Thanks to the internet this is no longer true. In fact, you can get yourself some web hosting, create a website and start selling something for less than $100. How do I know this? Because this is exactly how I started my own business a few years ago.
For more on how you can start a thriving business with little capital check out Chris Guillebeau’s bestselling book, The $100 Startup.
Excuse #5: I don’t have enough time
Everyone’s favorite excuse after lack of funds is lack of time.
You know as well as I do that if you want something badly enough you will find a way to make it happen.
In fact, why don’t you think of a moment in your life when you didn’t have “time” but you wanted something so badly that you made the time for it anyway? It’s the same thing with starting your own business or running your existing business. If you want it you will find the time.
By overcoming these excuses, you’ll already be way ahead of the game in entrepreneurship. At the end of the day, starting your own business is a lot about challenging common beliefs and this is a good place to start.