Humans are great at coming up with excuses—you don’t have the time, you don’t have the skills (yet), you’re short on cash. These are all great reasons to balk on the path to entrepreneurship, but they should be seen as obstacles to tackle, not a reason to give up all together. If you dream of owning your own business, it’s going to take a lot of work, sweat, tears and cash to make it happen, but if you give more weight to your excuses than your dreams, they might hold you back for good.
Are you carrying entrepreneurial baggage that’s killing your dreams? If so, there are ways to address it, overcome it and get one step closer to being an entrepreneur. Here are some of the most common things holding back future small business owners:
1. You don't want to lose the stability of your current job
There’s a reason the past five years have seen so many entrepreneurs enter the market: They lost their job (and security) during the Great Recession. That gave them the kick in the pants they needed. It’s natural to cling to security and a steady paycheck, either putting off your own business or working on it (very) part-time. Once you’ve done the prep work, entrepreneurial pursuits are more than full-time jobs. You can’t succeed with another job getting in the way.
Get prepared, make a plan and put in your notice. Most investors won't invest in you if you haven't taken this important step. It’s scary, but if you don’t believe in yourself why should anyone else?
2. You don’t have enough capital
Remember this: Nobody had enough capital when they first started their business and only a very few lucked into angel investors. When you make a plan of attack to quit your current job, it should include scrimping and saving as much as possible. You may need to downsize into a smaller space, seriously work on your budget and remember that you have to invest your own money before you can expect anyone else to invest their money.
Once that’s in motion, start getting creative—look into small business loans, crowdfunding, asking family and friends for loans or applying for grants. There’s money out there, if you’re committed to finding it. With my current free hosting startup, I know I don't have enough money to make this company big, but it doesn't mean that I won't start it and push it as hard as I can. Noting will stop a true entrepreneur.
3. You want to wait until (fill in the blank)
The kids are off to college, your partner secures that promotion, you finish that degree -- there are endless things you can “wait for” so this is the excuse that keeps on indefinitely. There’s no perfect time to start a business, just like there’s no perfect time to start a family. However, the longer you wait, the fewer quality years you have to build a successful enterprise. Work entrepreneurship into your life (complete with sacrifices), not around it.
4. You’re scared of failure
Well over 90 percent of startups fail. If you’re still reading, then you have what it takes to face fear of failure and keep moving forward. You’re not necessarily going to succeed in your first pursuit, but you might on your second (or fifth). Have backup plans in place, learn from those mistakes and don’t be afraid of the learning curve.
What’s holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur—and what can you do about it today?