The Barriers to Starting Your Own Business

The Barriers to Starting Your Own Business

How often have you had a fabulous idea that you could make a pile of money from? How often have you said to yourself "man, I could definitely do a better job than this company"? How often have you turned these thoughts into thriving businesses?

Forget the 90% of Businesses Fail Statistic – Most Never Even Get Started!

I bet you have come up with some pretty darn good reasons for why those terrific ideas in your head have remained there. Inspired by Steve's comment to my Top 5 Reasons to be an Entrepreneur article, this post is for everyone unsatisfied with the daily monotony of their job, wishing to run your own business, but unable to make the leap.

Let's explore the major reasons people don't start their own business, or to put it more bluntly, here are the reasons people think they can't start a business:

1) "I don't have the time because I have a fulltime job, school, family"

Lack of time is a very common excuse but rarely valid. Most of us don't really use all of our day effectively, so by trimming down on the time spent lying around bored and numb, it's very possible to squeeze in an extra couple hours a day. If working all day wears you out, trywaking up earlier. It's all about time management, and a book like the excellent Getting Things Done is a great starting point to learn how easy it is to become much more effective at making things happen.

2) "I can't afford the RISK at this stage of my life"

Starting a business can involve a lot of risk if you choose to immediately run a capital intensive business fulltime. But it doesn't have to be done this way! Not every business is suited for every lifestyle and level of involvement, but there are many opportunities that are right for you. It's typical to equate starting a business with mortgaging the house to obtain $200 000 in funding and having your poorly planned venture (despite the nicely formatted business plan) decide whether you get knocked into bankruptcy. The reality is that if you are willing to start small and build methodically you can begin on a shoestring budget. This also affords you time to learn so that the mistakes you make don't cost you the farm.

3) "I don't know anything about business"

I love bringing up my very first real foray into business. It was going to be a computer repairs and sales business, and with no business knowledge or plan it was sure to be an astounding success. I sold one 40GB hard drive and hit revenues of $80. Turns out there's a little more to this business thing than I thought.

Business is not an obvious or easy subject despite rumours to the contrary. On the other hand it's not rocket science and is mercifully free of differential equations. After my first failure I picked up a book and started reading. All I had to do to find the time was watch a little bit less TV.

4) "Maybe one day, but for now it's just a dream"

This is my favorite and should really be labelled "fear of change" or "fear of the unknown". You think you have the ability and if you examine the situation really close you see you also have the resources, but you are just too paralyzed by the idea of straying off the beaten path. "All my friends are working normal corporate jobs, why should I be any different?"

Our society is built to breed workers and consumers, not visionaries. Anytime you wish to achieve something truly remarkable and different then you will have to face the discomfort of doing something that is frowned upon by your (former) peers who are really just masking their own discomfort of seeing someone trying something different and wishing to achieve more. Sheep need to constantly validate their decisions to ignore their dreams and live mediocre unsatisfying lives. Before listening to their pleas to return to the flock, take a long hard look at where the path they are on is leading you to.

Resources

At some point I am going to post a resource page with all the books and articles I have read online which I have found to be useful. In the meantime here are a few "must reads". Amazon pays me a small referal fee if you make purchases through the links below, so by ordering any of these books you are not only receiving a tremendous amount of knowledge for almost nothing, but you are also helping keep this blog running:

Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got – A great read and terrific explanation of tried and tested fundamentals for developing a client base. Learn how much money you are leaving on the table by not implementing these strategies.

Getting Things Done – I absolutely love this book and for good reason. It has literally provided me with more hours in my day and showed me how to get everything that I need to done.

The Wealthy Barber – Don't bother earning money if you don't know what you are going to do with it. This book explains very clearly how to quickly and practically plan your finances. It's written specifically for Canada, but most of the concepts discussed translate painlessly across borders.

Any of these books have the potential to change entire aspects of your life (they have certainly had this effect on me) and provide just as much (or more) knowledge than a $500 university course. They can all be read 20 minutes at a time, and whether you are starting a business today or think you may wish to do so in a year or five, these are the first keys to starting a successful venture.

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