Becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs isn’t an easy task. What is easy, however, is coming up with excuse of why you won’t, can’t or don’t succeed! So, we decided to come up with a list of the most popular excuses that keep you from being the successful entrepreneur you want, and deserve, to be.
1. I don’t have enough experience…
This is one of the most common misconceptions (and excuses) when it comes to starting a business! Many people believe they need to be an expert in the field they are going into before they will be taken seriously, be successful, etc. But, the truth of the matter is, that’s not the case.
[pullquote]”If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then figure out how to do it later.” – Richard Branson[/pullquote]
There are endless examples of people who broke into (and dominated) their industries that had little to no background experience in the field. Take for example Mark Zuckerberg. He was a young man who dropped out of Harvard to pursue his goal of making Facebook the number one social networking site in the world. He didn’t have experience running other social networking sites, in fact, there wasn’t very many other social networking sites at time. He simply dedicated him self to what he wanted to do and went after it.
While your idea may not necessarily explode into a billion dollar business overnight, the point is experience is not the key to becoming an entrepreneur and you cannot let it stand in your way. Oh, and by the way, guess who else is a high school drop out? Richard Branson, who funnily enough is one of the most successful people int he work and has a $5.1 Billion dollar net worth. Take that, experience.
2. I don’t have enough money…
Let’s face it, no everyday-joe has enough money to start a business. A prime example of this is Dell Computers. Did you know Michael Dell started Dell Computers with no more than $1,000 dollars and today he’s worth an estimated $14.6 Billion? Talk about a good return on investment!
[pullquote]”A man with money is no match against a man on a mission.” – Doyle Brunson[/pullquote]
Businesses don’t necessarily need capital to get started and stay afloat. In fact, there are many ways to start a thriving company with next to no capital, Entrepreneur has a great how-to article to get you going. The key point they make in the article is to start small, and start with what you know. Create an instant source of revenue to help you grow and eliminate any unnecessary expenses.
Being an entrepreneur is a complex puzzle in which you’re tasked to make more with less every single day. The more creative you are, the less money you’ll need and the more you’ll grow and succeed. So put on your thinking cap and get to work!
3. It’s not a good time right now…
Face it, it will never be a good time to start a business. Just like you will never have enough money to start a business, so really, now is as good of a time as any!
[pullquote]”Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” – Napoleon Hill [/pullquote]
You’ll be hard pressed to find a time in your life when you aren’t dealing with (insert family, marital, educational, work-related, friend-related problem here). There will always be something you have to deal with, but you will have time for whatever you make a priority in your life. You have to decide to start and keep going, and believe us, sometimes it won’t be easy.
Taking the initial step to starting your business is most often the hardest part, just like when you want to decide to start working out or quit smoking, yeah it’s probably going to suck for a little bit but you’ll get over it and feel better than you ever have! Key point from this section? Just do it. (Thanks Nike.)
4. I don’t have the right connections…
[pullquote]”Succeeding in business is about making connections.” – Richard Branson[/pullquote]
Do you know how many social networking sites there are dedicated to making professional connections? If there’s anything that should be at the bottom of your worry list, it’s this one! Sure, great connections can get you off to a quick start (maybe you’re someone who’s lucky enough to have Bill Gates as an Uncle?) but most of us don’t have such relationships, especially if you’re breaking into a different industry than you currently work.
Gaining the right connections can be as easy as putting yourself out there. One of the best ways to meet people in your industry is to simply reach out – send them an email, request a LinkedIn connection or find them on Facebook or Twitter. You can find just about anyone on social media and you’ll be surprised at just who may respond to your requests and what kinds of beneficial relationships you can quickly create. So what are you waiting for? Get tweeting!
5. I don’t have enough time…
Of course you don’t, no one does and guess what – you’re probably going to have even less of it after you start your new business! No, we aren’t saying that to scare you off of pursuing your dreams, we simply mean that you do, in fact, have the time.
[pullquote]”Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else. – Peter Drucker[/pullquote]
This excuse is directly related to what you make a priority in your life. If you make starting your new business a priority, you will have time for it. If you don’t and decide scrolling through Facebook for 2 hours a day is a more productive way to spend the time, your business will never even get off the ground.
Scheduling is a great way to get around this. When you plan out your day hour by hour, you begin to realize just how much you can get done (and how much time you waste!) in a 24 hour period. So if you really want to become a success, pen it in. No seriously, write “Become a success!” in your daily planner each day and stick to it. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish!
6. I don’t have a good enough idea…
The best businesses aren’t usually the ones that come up with new and innovative ideas, they are the ones that take that idea and make it better. Coming up with a unique and revolutionary idea all on your own is next to impossible (but you never know so keep trying!) while improving an idea is quite simple.
[pullquote]”On the Internet you get continuous innovation, so every year our streams are a little better.” – Reed Hastings (Founder of Netflix)[/pullquote]
Take Netflix for example. Did they invent movies? No. Did they invent streaming movies? No. They simply found a way to stream movies better. Many of these ideas come out of one thing you probably do every day of your life, complaining. If you want to come up with a great idea, Inc.com says your best bet is to start “walking around and complaining”. You’ll find a ton of things you can improve upon in minutes, and improving only one of these ideas can make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.
So next time you’re bored, try walking around and complaining (to yourself). You never know what you might come up with!
7. I can’t take the risk…
[pullquote]”I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.” – Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon)[/pullquote]
Before you make this excuse, answer us this one question – What’s the biggest risk in taking this risk? You’re not jumping off a bridge or trying to tame a lion, you’re starting a business and any failure you encounter, you can recover from. Lose some money? You can make it back. Fail and feel embarrassed? It will go away (plus, not as many people care about that as you think).
Now answer us another question – What are the risks of not taking this risk? Regret? Wondering “what if”? Looking back at your life and being upset with yourself for the decisions you made? Those are things you can’t necessarily recover from, so before you decide following your dreams is too risky, consider how risky not following your dreams is.
8. I’m afraid that I will fail…
Guess what, you’re not alone and chances are, you might. In fact 90% of startups end up failing. Are you still reading? Then your dreams are probably a lot stronger than that impending sense of failure and you’re up there in the ranks of Arianna Huffington (who was rejected by 36 publishers), Bill Gates (who watched his first company crumble beneath him) and Walt Disney (who was once told he “lacked creativity”). But guess what those people did? They kept going.
[pullquote]”Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson[/pullquote]
You may not (in fact, you probably won’t) succeed on your first entrepreneurial venture, but what sets successful people apart from everyone else is that they just don’t quit. They aren’t afraid of failure. It’s simply a “bump in the road” or a “stepping stone” to the next opportunity. So next time your brain starts telling you that it’s afraid to fail, walk right past it and try again, show it who’s boss!
9. I don’t know where to start…
Good news, neither does anyone else! Do you think Steve Jobs had the whole plan for Apple mapped out from the very beginning about how, and if, his brand would become a success? Nope. And guess what, you won’t either.
Being a successful entrepreneur is about figuring things out and overcoming obstacles. Starting your business, is one of these obstacles. If you’re having trouble figuring it out on your own, there are plenty of people who have been in your exact situation that are willing to help. Asking questions, learning and growing are the key traits that make up an entrepreneur and harnessing them are what make a successful one.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Network, as questions, learn and research. The more you can learn, the better off you will be. All of these excuses are just that, excuses, and if you really want to become a successful entrepreneur you have to push past them and leap out of your comfort zone. Nothing will get started unless you do!