Remember that time you got all excited about starting a business. And then you didn’t.
Ahhh good times!
But seriously, why not? What stopped you?
If I had to guess I’ll bet it was one (or a combination) of the following 9 things you’ve been telling yourself about going out on your own. What if I told you that you’ve been lying to yourself and that all those “fears” were really just myths — lies you’ve invented to keep yourself inside your own comfort zone. That safe, protective bubble; where you drive the car you can barely afford to the job you hate, to earn just enough money building the empire of that guy you want to punch in the face…
Ahhh good times!
What if instead of fearing these things, you owned them; showed them who’s boss. What would you achieve? How would your life change…
Just imagine if you will that everything negative you’ve ever told yourself about starting a business is in fact completely wrong. Suspend disbelief for just a minute, and come with me on a journey into the truth…
Let’s set the record straight!
#1: You’re Too Stupid (ie: You Don’t Have the Right Education)
There is no degree requirement for becoming an entrepreneur.
Getting an MBA is an expensive five-year vacation from investment banking. Getting a college degree is training to become overpaid support staff for a realbusinessperson — who’s empire you’ll be busting your a$$ to build.
You don’t even need a BA to become an entrepreneur, as evidenced by Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Ray Kroc, Coco Chanel … and seriously, the list just keeps going like that.
#2: Your Idea Is Stupid
Plenty of successful businesses succeed with bad ideas (Snuggie, anyone?). But even if your idea doesn’t turn out to be all that good (and how would you know until you test?), you can always pivot later.
“Pivot” is becoming an overused word in business, but the basic meaning is when a business changes the fundamental value proposition to the customer.
I liken the difference between a pivot and a normal iteration to navigating a ship in a storm. An iteration is a course correction that is intended to get you to the same destination. A pivot is deciding to sail to Jamaica instead of Puerto Rico.
Many famous businesses started off doing something vastly different than what they’re doing today. Flickr began its life as a massive multiplayer online game. Groupon was a political action website before it introduced the world to crowd-couponing. Nintendo was a playing card manufacturer before it became the largest video game company on the planet.
#3: Your Idea Is Unoriginal
Original is overrated. Facebook wasn’t the first social network. Google wasn’t the first search engine. The first popular web browser, Netscape Navigator, is long gone.
You can discount every business idea until you’re left with nothing. At some point, the entrepreneur decides to trust in herself and her ability to respond to changing circumstances.
Every plan goes straight out the window when it comes into contact with reality anyway, and that goes double for business plans.
#4: You’ll Be Lonely While You “Go It Alone”
Many entrepreneurs find that they need to go it alone, at least for a little while. So it’s important to be able to work in isolation — but only when you have to.
The ironic beauty (and misery) of the internet is that it connects us like never before, whilst allowing us to be more disengaged than is healthy, if we let it. The secret to conquering the human divide is to Mastermind with other solo-preneurs. We are human after all, and we need human contact (computer love can only take us so far!)
Masterminding is a concept popularised in Napoleon Hill’s classic “Think & Grow Rich”. The idea of like-minded individuals joining together to brainstorm, share ideas and create connections is still alive and well in 2015. We just tend to do it more digitally than Napoleon could have imagined.
Joining a community of entrepreneurs who have your back and can support you through the ups and downs of your business journey is critical to being able to push through the rough patches.
We entrepreneurs need love just like the rest of them. Often more. It’s a tough gig, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! And sharing that energy with others who think like you is one of the simplest and greatest joys in life (and business).
#5: You Will Face Uncertainty & Risk
Starting a business, especially online, has a reputation for being unpredictable. The dot com crash, and all that. But the internet now is not what it was then. In 1993 we still bought books from book stores. Remember those!
In 2020 there will be 5 BILLION people online (there’s 2 Billion today). That’s 3 Billion people coming online over just 5 years. So, more people will join the internet in the next 5 years than there are online now — 20 years after the internet was born.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like job stability to me!
The reality is that we live in a world that is steeped in uncertainty. That cushy, low-accountability office job that’s so reliable today could disappear tomorrow.
The illusion of certainty is not certainty.”
The only logical response in a world of volatility and uncertainty is to change your perspective on risk. Is it more risky to have multiple streams of income? or to rely on one employer who could go bankrupt, get bought out, or lay you off at any time?
#6: The Economy Sucks
Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook were all started in bad economies.
The truth is that the macro-economy has very little to do with the realities of starting a business, especially online. If you hadn’t noticed, the digital economy is booming! As the traditional economies of the world flounder and become more unpredictable, the digital economy continues to grow at exponential rates.
As I mentioned above, 3 Billion humans will join the digital economy over the next 5 years. That’s a pretty strong economic indicator. The businesses of the future will be digital. They have to be, it’s not even a question.
When you’re online your business is instantly global, you are no longer reliant on the market conditions of the country you live in. And with a digital business, you have the freedom to pack up and move if and when things change!
The economy of the future is digital — and global. Myth busted!
#7: You Don’t Have Enough Time
I call Malarky! “Not having time” is a poor excuse for not following your passion. Procrastination is the number 1 killer of not only productivity, but the dreams of 95% of the World’s population. To start your venture you’re going to need to split from the herd and be willing to do the things that only 5% of the population are willing to do — so you can achieve the results that only 5% of people achieve.
If this is your calling, trust me, you will find the time! There’s 168 hours in every week — use them wisely. Get up a few hours earlier, go to bed later, work lunches, prioritise your work day to maximise efficiency — where there’s a will, there’s a way.
You can operate a new business around your existing job commitment until you’re earning enough income to go full-time and exit the rat race. Shut off the TV, minimise distraction and you’ll find there’s plenty of hours left over to build your dream.