Get All Access for $5/mo

The 5 Most Common Excuses of Wannabe Entrepreneurs There are ample resources and opportunities for you to take your ideas to the next level. All that's left is for you to take them!

By Larry Alton Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


If you want to be an entrepreneur, but you aren't already, what's stopping you?

Personally, like many in the entrepreneurial community, I'm of a mind that anyone can be an entrepreneur. With free resources available from government organizations, free reach available through social media and free content and instruction available from well, for one -- anywhere on the web, there's almost nothing stopping someone with a good idea from going to market.

Still, inevitably, there are thousands, maybe even millions of people who dream of being entrepreneurs, have good ideas and still never take the next steps necessary to make that dream a reality. Why is this?

Related: 7 Deadly Excuses that May Be Holding You Back

It all comes down to excuses, lies or misconceptions you repeat to yourself to justify your inaction. These are five of the most common:

1. I can't leave my job.

You already have a good job, and you might be the only person supporting your family. Does that mean you can't leave your job to become an entrepreneur? Perhaps. First, determine what you're really worried about. Are you just scared of the unknown -- or are you in truly such dire financial straits that only this job, no other job in the world, could support your needs?

Even if the latter is the case, imagine the possibility of starting a side business while you still work at your full-time job. It'd be a lot of extra hours and additional stress, but you could secure some short-term stability while you grow your enterprise beyond the incubation stage.

2. I'm not good enough to be an entrepreneur.

There's a common misconception out there that entrepreneurs are "born" to be entrepreneurs, or that successful entrepreneurs have some essential genetic quality that makes it possible for them to succeed and stifles the progress of anyone else. This simply isn't true.

There are some factors that make it easier for people to transition into an entrepreneurial role, such as high enthusiasm, extroversion and a tendency to attack problems head-on. However, these can all be learned, mimicked or substituted by people who don't exhibit these qualities naturally. In short, you can be as good or bad an entrepreneur as you want to be -- you just have to do a little work to get there.

3. I don't have enough funding.

Businesses need capital to succeed, but that doesn't mean you have to front all the money yourself. As a first measure, you can draw investments from your friends and family members. Beyond that, you can scout for potential angel investors or venture capitalists in your area. If your idea is solid, they'll be thrilled to back you. If that doesn't work, try crowdfunding (assuming your business qualifies), and even if all of those methods fall through, you can secure a line of credit with a bank (assuming your business plan and personal credit check out).

Related: Avoid These 8 Excuses -- They're Success Repellent

4. It's not the right time.

This is a vague excuse that can apply to anything. Maybe you just bought a house. Maybe you just had a kid. Maybe you're trying to transition between careers. Whatever the case, the timing isn't perfect to allow you to become an entrepreneur.

But guess what? There's no such thing as a "perfect" time. Nobody became an entrepreneur because all the stars aligned for some magically "perfect" opportunity -- they knew the risks, knew the obstacles and moved forward in spite of them. If you're waiting for some perfect moment, stop -- now's as good a time as any.

5. I'm worried I'll fail.

This is one of the most common -- and most crippling excuses -- but it has no logical bearing to hold you back. Yes, there's a strong possibility you'll fail -- most startups eventually close their doors in the first two years. The question I pose to you is: So what? There's no shortage of breakout success stories of entrepreneurs who first overcame a crushing failure. In fact, many credit their success to the hard lessons learned in an initial failure.

If anything, failure is just a mechanism for you to gain experience, insight, and eventually come out on top. Nobody particularly enjoys failing, but there's no reason to build it up in your head as some life-ending event. Dismiss the stigma, and accept it as a tolerable reality.

Once you learn to recognize these statements as what they are -- mere excuses -- you can look at your situation more practically and logically. Yes, there's a lot of risk in becoming an entrepreneur. Yes, it's scary and demands a lot of hard work. But if it's what you truly want in life, these fears shouldn't be enough to stop you. There are ample resources and opportunities for you to take your ideas to the next level. All that's left is for you to take them!

Related: Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer Says 'Every Excuse Is BS'

Larry Alton

Freelance Writer & Former Entrepreneur

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.


Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.


These 3 Big Tech Companies Offer 6-Figure Salaries and Easy Interviews — Especially If You Follow This Expert's Advice

There are far more candidates than positions, so being strategic on the job hunt is key.

Health & Wellness

4 Habits I Cultivated to Become a Healthier, More Effective Entrepreneur

By the time I hit mid-life, some of my bad habits were becoming a risk to my long-term business goals — and my health. Here's how I was able to change them.