It’s very possible one of your excuses is that you don’t have enough time… so let’s get right to some of the worst reasons not to be an entrepreneur.–Jeff Haden
I’m Too Late
Yeah, Jobs beat you to the graphical interface and mouse, but Xerox beat him. Zuckerberg wasn’t first in social media. The list goes on. Innovation is never one-and-done; some of the most successful companies are based on refining earlier ideas and innovations. You’re only too late if you’re not willing to be better, faster, stronger, or cheaper than whoever got there first.
I don’t have the Right Connections
Between company websites and LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and all the other social media platforms you can reach almost anyone besides the Pope and maybe Bono. In fact some people are surprisingly accessible (maybe that’s one of the secrets of their success?). Of course they may not respond. If they don’t that’s probably your fault. Never forget that the more influential the person the more they’re besieged with requests. Have a good reason to connect, give before you expect to receive, and you might be surprised by who responds.
I’m Too Scared
Join the club. Every entrepreneur is scared, so you have a choice: Let your fears hold you back – or use those same fears as fuel to do whatever it takes to succeed. Complacency is the enemy of achievement. Fortunately, the right kind of fear – the fear of not achieving your dreams – can drive complacency away.
I’ll Be Too Embarrassed If I Fail
Failing in public can be embarrassing. Some people will talk about you. But those are the same people who would never dare try something themselves. So don’t worry about them. A much larger group of people will respect you for taking a shot. They’ll recognize a kindred spirit. They’ll encourage. They’ll pick you up. They’ll know what it’s like to try and fail and try again. Why? They’re people living their lives on their terms. They’re entrepreneurs.
It’s Too Hard
Long journeys are hard. Individual steps are easy. You can’t accomplish any difficult goal overnight, but you can accomplish one step, however small, towards that goal. Think about the end of a journey and all that will be required along the way and you’ll never start. Instead, just do one thing that will help get you there. Then build on it. That you can do.
No One Gets It
Oh, they get it. They get that it’s no good. Truly great ideas and truly great products can be described in a few words. When no one seems to get it, the only person not getting it is you. Let go of your pride and agenda and “unique point of view” and figure out where you’ve gone wrong. Your product or service should meet the need of other people and be described in a way that best grabs their attention and meets their need.
I’m Not Comfortable Doing It That Way
I was raised to be humble and self-effacing, so I hate to say I’m good at anything. But sometimes I have no choice; taking advantage of certain opportunities requires confidently describing my skills, experience, and accomplishments. If you’re not comfortable doing something because it violates your principles or ethics, by all means don’t. But if you’re not comfortable doing something simply because it will take you out of your comfort zone, you’re just rationalizing. Chances are, there is more than one aspect of running a business that will challenge you in more ways than one. So, you had better get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You’ll never be more than you already are if you don’t learn to get out of your comfort zone.
I Can’t Launch Until It’s Perfect
Sure you can. You just don’t want to. Do this instead. Do your best. Then step back. If a little more work will result in a markedly better outcome, go for it. If a little more work will not make a difference anyone but you will notice, let it go. Then you make improvements based on the feedback you get from the only people whose opinions really matter: your customers.
I’m Better at Planning Than Execution
No, you’re not. You’re just too lazy to do the grunt work. Or you think you’ve already paid your dues. Or you think you’re above it. Or… pick your excuse. Every successful entrepreneur rolls up his or her sleeves and outworks everyone else around them. (That’s one of the reasons they’re so successful.) You don’t need some undefined innate quality to be good at execution; all you need is discipline. Most people hide behind the “planning” mask because they do not want to be responsible for the results.
I Can’t Take the Risk
Any risk you take today is a risk you can recover from. In time you can overcome almost any setback, stumble, or failure, and emerge stronger and smarter and better equipped to succeed the next time. If you never try all you will be is regretful: When you’re old and grey and “done” you’ll have to look back on your life and think, “I wonder what might have happened if I had only…” That’s one risk you should never take.
I Don’t Have a Great Idea
Nearly every business that exists today, exists to solve a problem for someone or something. Dreaming up something new is really, really hard. Reacting to something that already exists is really, really easy. If you walk around and start evaluating the things around you (complaining to yourself), you’ll see tons of problems that require solutions. Those solutions are ideas that your business could be built around. Another way to begin is to walk around your business and take a closer look and you will also find tons of problems that you can address there as well. “New” is hard to imagine. “Better” is much easier. Most companies are built on “better,” not “new.”
I Don’t Have the Skills
No problem. Go get them. Go to school. Read a book. Read ten books. Talk to friends. Get a part-time job at a small business. Get a part-time job in a completely different industry. Find someone who has done what you want to do and volunteer to work for free in return for the opportunity to learn. Does that seem too hard? Like too big of a price to pay? Or simply not fair? Then accept you will never have the skills and stop complaining. Skills and knowledge are earned, not given.
I Don’t Have the Time
Each one of is has the same 24 hours in a day to use however we like. The only difference in what you get out of it is what you’re willing to DO with your time. If you were trapped underground and only had 24 hours worth of oxygen you wouldn’t check your Twitter feed or chat with friends or spend a little “me time” in front of the TV. You’d dig and dig and dig until you got out to safety. You have to learn to apply the same level of importance and urgency to what you want to accomplish in life or in business and your schedule will instantly clear, because finding time is always a matter of how badly you want something. It’s a matter of how you prioritize your time.
I Don’t Have the Money
Being an entrepreneur is the art and science of accomplishing more with less — less money, less people, less time, less everything. You will never, ever have “enough” cash or capital or funding. If you don’t have enough capital to launch your business the way you plan, then change your plan. You can’t always control what you have, but you can control what you choose to do with what you have.
I Can’t Get Anyone to Listen
People will listen to anything that is entertaining, interesting, heartfelt, amusing, shocking, informative, titillating, stupid, satirical, controversial, sad, silly, sexy…If you can’t get anyone to listen, the problem isn’t them. The problem is you. What you want to say is irrelevant; change your message so it means something to the people you want to reach.
Then they’ll listen.