Have you ever imagined what it would be like to own your own business? No more being told what to do. No more enduring tasks that you don’t consider worthwhile. No more putting in overtime but seeing most of the profits go to someone else. Surely everyone who’s worked a 9-to-5 job has indulged in this fantasy.
Sometimes it stays as a fantasy: a nice thought to distract from the tedium of regular employment. But it doesn’t need to. Your dream business can become a reality — you just need to move past the excuses that may be holding you back.
It’s true that starting a business isn’t always easy, especially if it’s your dream business, and there are plenty of challenges that must be overcome if you’re to succeed — but you can do it. In this post, we’re going to look at five bad excuses that can hold you back, and talk about how you can overcome them. Let’s get on with it!
You don’t know where to start
Perhaps the most common challenge for those dreaming about starting their own business is simply not knowing where to begin. It might sound silly, but it’s true. It’s shockingly easy to think that ‘real entrepreneurs’ just magically know what to do. They don’t! They’re just as inexperienced and unknowing as anyone else — they just don’t stay that way.
Pick out any of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world and look into their backgrounds: you’ll soon discover that they were once struggling, but, they didn’t let that stop them from trying. They accepted their endeavour and started learning as much as they could, following established routes and coming up with tweaks as they went.
Navigating through government forms and processes can be one of the biggest hurdles in getting your business started. Ontario Business Central makes it simple to register or incorporate your business, taking the guesswork out of this part of the business start-up process.
What really matters (as this Forbes piece explains well) is that you know why you want to start your business. Everything else can wait for you to mature as an entrepreneur and incrementally develop your skills. You’ll just figure it out as you go. There’s plenty of time for that, and no need to worry about it. Take the first step.
You lack technical skills
This is a digital world now. There was a reasonable transition period during which online activity was optional for a fair few industries, but the COVID-19 pandemic stamped out the remaining cause for keeping things offline — and now it’s essential for every business owner to be a capable internet user, regardless of the practicalities of how their business operates. Support, marketing, hiring… it all happens online.
There are two big mitigating factors, though. Firstly, you don’t actually need great technical skills to navigate the digital landscape. If you can use a computer competently, that should suffice: the presence of intuitive tools and services allows even beginners to get good results. You don’t need to understand code to use an online store wizard, read how a proxy server works (e.g. through the proxy server guide by What Is My IP Address) to use a VPN for security, or learn the finer points of automation to set up some basic workflows.
Secondly, the internet is packed with cheap or free training resources and supportive communities — so if there’s a skill you need to pick up, you can do so with relative ease (and in an efficient way). You don’t need to rely on traditional methods of education with expensive entry fees and laborious processes.
This is greatly liberating, so you should take advantage. There’s never been a better time to pick up new skills. As noted before, what matters is your drive to start your business. Beyond that, all the resources you need are out there waiting for you.
You live in a remote place
Big business is a big-city staple, so if you live in a small town some distance away from a big city then you can feel a pressure to move — but it really doesn’t matter much these days. The COVID-19 pandemic has had some terrible impacts, but the silver lining to its cloud has been the acceptance of remote working and not needing big traditional offices.
Do you have a stable internet connection that’s capable of moderate speeds? Even if it’s a mobile data connection instead of a broadband connection: that’s still workable. You don’t even need to go to any in-person business meetings, as this is the era of Zoom meetings. In short, don’t worry about where you live: online business is the way of the present and the future.
You’re too scared of failure
We’re all afraid of failure to some extent, but it’s also almost always inevitable if you’re making an effort and taking even the most basic risks. If you prefer to shy away from situations in which you could fail, holding out for a sure thing, then you’ll be holding out forever. Failing means you’re trying and gives you a chance to learn and try again. It can actually be a good thing.
You have plenty of time to pursue your dream, but you don’t have forever. You don’t want to live a life full of regrets, always wondering what could have been — and you don’t need to. You can put everything on the line right here and now. Believe in yourself, believe in the possibilities of the future, and do what needs to be done. That’s how you’ll succeed.
You don’t have any savings
Starting a business needs money — that’s true. Even a low-budget online-only approach will require some funding to cover things like domain registration, hosting, and paid software — and you’ll probably need assistance with some tasks. But if you don’t have any money right now, you can still make your dream a reality.
You can look for investment through an angel investor or crowdfunding (HubSpot has some great site suggestions for the latter) — if your idea is promising, people will want to back you. If you start pitching now, you could find the funding you need within months (or even weeks). Can’t find any investment? Start saving immediately. Reduce your spending and plan ahead.
Even if you’re not making a huge amount of money, you can still build up a solid foundation within six months or so, giving you enough capital to kick things off. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be ready. By the middle of 2021, you could have your dream business on the go. Doesn’t that motivate you to get started?
Starting your dream business is your path to financial freedom and self-determination, so don’t let these excuses get in the way. Forget about them. They can’t stop you from achieving your dream: all you need to do is take the first step and commit. Everything after that is entirely in your hands.