In my experience, there are two types of people in this world 1) those who have started their own businesses, and 2) those who want to start their own business but keep finding excuses to put it off.
I'm sure there are some good excuses out there, but the five most common excuses are pretty lame, according to Jennifer L. Jacobson, author of the easy-to-must-read 42 Rules of Social Media for Small Business.
She recently sent me her thoughts on the subject, which I edited down (with my own views included) to the following list:
1. "I don't have enough money."
Yeah, that's probably true if you're broke and your plan is to make a better electric car than Tesla. However, most successful businesses started small, usually by performing a service in some area where people aren't well served.
Many entrepreneurs finance their startup using home equity. You may have possessions that are more valuable than you'd think. For example, yesterday I sold a comic book for $200 that I bought in 1979 for $.20.
If you've got a really good idea, your friends and family may very well want to invest in it. You could run a Kickstarter campaign or make it a more formal arrangement using a site like TrustLeaf.com. (Jennifer brought them to my attention. Thanks, JJ!)
2. "I don't have enough time."
This is bullsh*t and you know it. The best way to start a new business is to spend about five to eight hours a week on the side, so you can ease yourself into your new venture. That way there's less pressure and you get more flexibility to new things out.
Still wondering how to carve out those hours? I'll bet you're wasting at least five hours a week watching TV shows that are "just OK." If you still don't thing you have time, then learn the true secret of time management.
3. "I don't know enough about business."
What exactly do you mean by that? That you didn't go to biz-school? Look, MBAs are marginally useful in start-ups which is why very few successful entrepreneurs have MBAs.
Or maybe you think you don't know enough because you've never owned a business before? Hey, that was once true for every entrepreneur--without exception!
Just as important, everything you need to know about starting a business is somewhere on the Internet, usually for free:
4. "I'm not tech-savvy enough."
Unless your product is a new piece of software, you don't need tech-savvy to launch a business. Nail down your business idea and get your product and service out there. Build your tech as you grow.
It's never been easier to get the tech part of a business going. Use WordPress templates to create your website, Canva for your graphics, Hootsuite for social media and Paypal to process credit cards. We're talking a couple of day's work, tops. It's not rocket science.
5. "My plan isn't perfect yet."
Most people think that perfection is the highest standard. Actually, perfection is the lowest standard because it can never be achieved. It therefore becomes a reason not to bother trying.
The formula for success in a new business is to launch, test, and pivot. For example, if you open a breakfast bar, but it's busier at lunch, you change your hours. For new businesses, sometimes good enough is, well, good enough.
More important, while you're double-tweaking your plan somebody else may be out there implementing something close to your idea, and they'll pivot into your target market before you even get of the ground.
I can't resist pointing out that four of the five lame excuses are all about not having "enough" of something. The whole concept of "enough" is negative thinking. Don't go there. Consider: you live in the best time in all history to start your own business.
So enough with the excuses already! Go for it!