I speak to so many talented people and would-be entrepreneurs putting their careers (and personal fulfilment) on hold, telling themselves they ”...aren’t ready yet”.., or, “don’t know how to start…”
It saddens me to see hyper-capable individuals, whether it’s a corporate leader looking for a way out or a stay-at-home parent with a desire to earn an income, staying on the sidelines held back by the fear of failing, whether that be losing money, time, energy or simply the fear of the unknown.
Whatever it may be for each individual, one thing is common to everyone, your greatest achievement is on the other side of your greatest fear and with each day that passes, one has one less day to live out what they truly desire.
I am writing this to help those (almost) entrepreneurs create the courage to step into the unknown and begin the most fulfilling and stretching experience of their lives.
Here are fifteen common beliefs that may be holding you back from started an enriching lifestyle business, each supported with real evidence how it’s just a myth and not the truth, if you allow it so:
1. Only those with a unique idea can succeed as entrepreneurs.
Your unique idea doesn’t have to be an invention, it can be your own spin on something that already works and is in demand. Do not try to reinvent the wheel if it’s stopping you from taking action)
Choose something you love and would do for free, something that is already being done and is in demand and make it different, better, faster, more efficient, cheaper or more ethical etc
Let the innovation be your unique idea and “method”.
2. Failure in entrepreneurship is a permanent setback.
In entrepreneurship, failure is progress. You cannot achieve your desired outcome without it, it is in every chapter of the playbook, at every checkpoint on the journey and a minimum requirement to achievement something great.
Get good at failing and learning from each experience, using it to get one step closer to success.
3. You cannot have another job if I am to be an entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur I know admitted feeling like a complete failure because he had to return to being an employee as his business wasn’t generating enough income and he continuously felt under pressure.
The best position you can be in when starting a business is not needing the income, be that having an income from a job, savings or investment.
As soon as you need, you are in trouble.
Get a job if you need to pay the bills, your business will thank you and so will you down the line.
4. Entrepreneurs are born, not made.
Skills like leadership, decision-making, and adaptability can be modelled and developed. Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors in history, attributes his success to continuous learning and practice.
5. You need a lot of money to start a successful business.
I have built multiple zero-risk businesses with little to no financial investment.
Companies like Mailchimp and Dropbox also started with minimal funds. Creativity, resourcefulness, and strategic planning trump financial capital every time.
6. Once a business is established, it should run on autopilot.
While many business owners strive to automate and delegate their business once it’s profitable, success is unique to each person. Consider Zuckerberg and Bezos, their businesses are not automated and their leadership is required. Create it as you want it.
7. Entrepreneurship is a solitary journey.
Loneliness has been classified as an epidemic in the United States and entrepreneurship can be lonely when you bare all the responsibility for your work and progress, when you aren’t able to share your ideas or struggles etc
It doesn't have to be that way. Join a community, hire a mentor, speak with a friend, write in an online forum or simply journal. Share your feelings because I guarantee you will inspire others and bind together as a result.
8. Entrepreneurs don't have a work-life balance; they work around the clock.
You don’t have to work like Elon Musk, create your workstyle and lifestyle as it suits you and your circumstances and your goals.
9. Only young individuals can be successful entrepreneurs.
Passion and desire know no age limit. There are many advantages to starting entrepreneurship later in life.
Ray Kroc was 52 when he turned McDonald's into a global franchise.
10. All you need is a great product; marketing is not as important.
A great product isn’t enough today. Consumers have so much choice and comparative information so how do you persuade customers to buy from you? Be you. You are your marketing, especially if you’re building a lifestyle business.
11. Entrepreneurship is only for extroverts; introverts can't succeed.
Entrepreneurship is for everyone. Be you, in your own unique way, and enjoy the journey.
12. You need certifications and training to sell your product or service.
They can help if they have taught you practical skills. Otherwise, see point 4.
13. Innovation always requires groundbreaking, revolutionary ideas.
Nope. See point 1.
14. Small businesses have no chance against big corporations.
There are pros and cons for big and small businesses. If you own a small business, there are many advantages you can leverage. Quality vs quantity, personalised services, deeper rapport and relationships, direct consumer feedback, ethical contribution and many others.
15. I don't know how to write a business plan.
A business plan can help but doesn’t need to be an MBA thesis nor should it be the thing stopping you from getting started. Use the Strategyzer Business Model Canvas and you're good to go.
Which point was most relevant to you and what action will you take as a result of reading this?
I’d love to read your thoughts.