In Western society, we tend to glamorize entrepreneurship. Starting a business is seen as an expression of individuality (not to mention introducing the world to something beneficial, like a new product or service). Many believe it’s a path to building wealth, which everyone wants.
On top of that, 78 percent of surveyed millennials consider an entrepreneur they know to be successful, and 62 percent have at least considered starting their own businesses—yet only 2 percent of this generation is self-employed.
If so many people want to start their own businesses, and see entrepreneurship as a pinnacle of success, what’s stopping them from doing so?
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These are the main reasons people aren’t starting businesses.
If your personal credit’s in the gutter, you’ll have a hard time building a business. For starters, it’s an indication that your personal finances are in disarray, which will make it hard to make ends meet while your business goes through its initial phases of development.
On top of that, a bad credit score means you’ll have trouble getting a personal loan, which you might need if you want to start a business without preexisting capital. Fortunately, credit repair services can help you break out of this trap and improve your financial standings before writing your business plan.
It’s tempting to quit your job to become an entrepreneur, but there’s a ton of work that needs to happen before that’s feasible. You’ll need to research the competitive market, your target demographics, and the cost of operations—and that takes a significant amount of time. If your job is too demanding, you may not have the time or resources to take these steps.
Building a successful business can be a path to wealth. You might be able to pull a significant personal income, or you may be able to sell the business for a massive profit. But in the meantime, you might not be able to pull a salary at all. If you’re dealing with a new expense, like a child or a home, or if your spouse is unable to support you both, it could be hard to manage a business without prohibitive personal sacrifices.
You might also be stuck with wanting to become an entrepreneur, if you have no foundational ideas to guide your development. You might like the idea of owning your own business, but have no product or service offerings that could sustain one. This lack of ideas can be mitigated by working with a partner, buying an existing business, or opening a franchise to capitalize on ideas that already exist.
You could be stopped by a lack of general resources, in addition to a lack of capital. For instance, you might not know any vendors in your area who can supply the goods you need to operate profitably. Or you might not know any mentors or experienced entrepreneurs you can contact for advice and direction. These things aren’t necessary, but they can be enormously helpful. Attending networking events and meeting new people can help you overcome this.
Starting a business is always a risk, and if you’re risk-averse that can be frightening. However, the public perception that all entrepreneurs are gung-ho risk takers is false. In reality, most successful entrepreneurs are risk-averse. Instead, they favor calculating risks, understanding the pros and cons of every decision before proceeding. So instead of thinking about the worst-case scenario, think about the most likely scenario. Consider every branching option that could develop from your decision.
Of course, you could be trapped in a loop of indefinite procrastination. You might believe you’ll start a business someday. But that someday never comes, because you keep putting it off. Or because you’re waiting for a “perfect” moment that never arrives.
Any factor can stop you from starting a business if you look at it too closely. And if you zoom out too far, the many small limitations holding you back will seem overwhelming. Instead, if you want to start a business, focus on one thing at a time, and take baby steps toward your goal. You can start repairing your personal finances. Do some research or spend time brainstorming new ideas once or twice a week. Gradually, you’ll feel more comfortable with the idea of entrepreneurship. And you’ll gain meaningful experience you can use to build a better business.
Just remember, there’s no such thing as perfect timing. So if you’re planning on starting a business, eventually you’ll have to pull the trigger. Even if you’re not 100 percent comfortable.
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