June 3, 2016
Starting a business can be pretty scary. The startup failure statistics alone can stop a budding entrepreneur in their tracks. And whether you are starting yet another social media platform or trying to becoming the next Uber for dog manicures, the risks are real and the stress is palpable before you even take the first steps. And if you're too weary to pull the trigger, you might never be able to get your foot in the door of the startup world.
Fortunately, there's a bevy of excuses out there that you can utilize to effectively avoid following your dreams for another day. After all, people are more impressed by someone saying they're an entrepreneur than actually being one, right? In a recent Reddit post, user localcasestudy looked into the top excuses that “wantrepreneurs” have for not pulling the trigger and starting a company. We've summarized his points below:
“I want to start but I have a few more things to solve!”
There will always be more things to solve: capital to acquire, employees to hire and glass-front fridges to install. The key to being a good entrepreneur is pulling the trigger when the foundation is set. You need a good idea, you need a skilled team and you need to get your head out of your butt, because starting a business is a task that takes constant attention.
If you are looking for a nugget of wisdom to get passed this excuse, remember that entrepreneurs are doers, not thinkers. Problems will arise and things will go wrong. But if you take things on a day to day business in a systematic way, you'll be able to take on anything that comes your way.
“But I have nothing to sell.”
So, you haven't come up with a good idea yet? Who cares! If you are a good entrepreneur, you can sell heating pads to camel herders. Don't get bogged down by the nitty gritty details like, “What does my company sell?” and take a leap.
If you really need inspiration, look at your bank account and pick something you've spent more than $5 on in the last month. You'll know the product, you'll understand the necessity for the product and you'll be able to make the product fast.
“I'm trying to raise capital.”
There is no such thing as too much money. Subsequently, there will never be enough capital to make you feel comfortable starting your company. And if you get stuck in a loop of waiting for more funding to come in, you might never get your company off the ground.
Not to sound like a broken record, but pull the trigger! Venture capital firms and angel groups will be more impressed with a launched startup than an entrepreneur that is afraid to put his company out there.
“But what about scalability?”
Talk about counting your chickens before they hatch! If you haven't even launched your startup and you are worried about what kind of five-star office your unicorn company is going to reside in, you are doing it wrong.
Get good at selling your product first. Set up a basic foundation before you reach for the stars. After all, you can't climb to the mountain top without reaching base camp.
“I don't have the time right now.”
Everyone has used this excuse to put off something they need to do. If you are anything like me, you are probably doing it right now. But when it comes to running a business, there is no happy hour, no basketball game, no Netflix show that you should be valuing over getting started.
Make some time for yourself to follow your dreams! Netflix isn't going anywhere, basketball is a forever sport and happy hours come and go. But your startup has a limited amount of time to be relevant and jumping on that opportunity should be your prime focus.
“But I need to validate!”
This isn't the parking garage of a mall in middle America! Validation will come when your company is hotter than Uber and more used than Facebook. You can't get bogged down by what people think now, because they haven't seen the final product.
If you really need to feel like you are making the right choice in starting a company, talk to your parents. I hear they're very supportive.
“The market is saturated.”
This is one of the biggest “statistics” that stops entrepreneurs from following their startup dream. And it is completely unfounded. While many companies might be vying for the attention of the masses in your particular field, the likelihood of them meeting expectations are low.
Instead of dwelling on the amount, check out your competition on a more detailed level. You'll find out that a lot of terrible companies are making a lot of money, and you could be doing a lot better.
“Great! I'll get started on my business plan now.”
While having a detailed business plan is an important part of starting a company, don't use it as another way to push the buck back a few weeks. Don't mull over your numbers for longer than they need to be mulled over. All you're going to do is overthink your way out of entrepreneurship.
Find a business plan template, fill it out and launch your company. It's not that hard.
“But I need an LLC/CORP first!”
No, you don't. You can give your business the ol' college try before you sink your whole life into it. If you aren't producing revenue after a month or two, maybe you don't have a viable product. A good entrepreneur knows when to scrap an idea.
Once you have a little revenue under your belt, you won't bat an eye at the $350 LLC fee and your company will be beaming with confidence before you're even in the white pages.
“Okay but I need to research more.”
Market need, revenue potential and economic outlook can only get you so far when it comes to launching a startup. All the research in the world isn't going to do you any good if you refuse to put it into action. If people are making money and startup cost is low, just do it!
The more you absorb content for the sake of absorbing content, the less you'll actually learn. Experience is the only way to truly learn how to start up successfully.
“But shouldn't I find something to be passionate about?”
In a perfect world, yes, passion goes a long way in making a company successful. But if you fancy yourself a good entrepreneur, the passion comes from running a business, not from running a business that sells a product you really like.
Your passion can come through in acquiring capital or attracting costumers. Your passion can come from website analytics or even content production. Finding your passion in the startup world doesn't have to be focused on your product.
“I do plan to launch but I want to get the tech right.”
Tech fails. Quite regularly, in fact. And while having a product that meets market expectations and turns heads is important, complicating the technical process will only delay your inevitable launch. All the startup tools in the world won't prepare you for what's coming.
Not to steal a line from my 6th grade teacher but, keep it simple, stupid! You can easily build the foundation of a successful startup on tools like Google calendars and Excel spreadsheets if you have the discipline to put systems in place that actually work.
Photo: Flickr / Rebecca Schley
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