I’m not embarrassed to admit that I started my first business out of necessity – I was fired, and had a mortgage payment to make. Even though it was out of necessity – I still had to find the courage to be my own boss.
When you’re out today, think about how many small businesses you see and interact with. For each small business you see, someone made a courageous decision for it to exist. Whether it was to prove a point, to satisfy an itch, to beat the odds, to pursue a dream, or even to make ends meet, the courage to strike out on your own is worth celebrating.
I was like most people, afraid to fail and with very little guidance and NO experience as an entrepreneur. There are plenty of reasons why people make excuses not to start their own business — I’ve heard them all. When you fall into the trap of making excuses, you limit yourself from going after your dreams. “I can’t” is the lie you tell yourself so that you don’t have to try. In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 16-22) and Small Business Saturday (Nov. 28), I wanted to share with you the top three excuses that I hear from would-be entrepreneurs, in the hopes that you might recognize your fear and find the courage to face it.
Now isn’t the right time.
Mark Zuckerberg didn’t create the concept of social media, but is now among the top 100 wealthiest and most influential people in the world. You don’t have to be first to the table. Sometimes when you put something off, “later” becomes “never.” It will never feel like the “right” time. Nothing is ever perfect, and you’ll always feel like you’re too busy and you don’t have the time. The bottom line? We all have 24 hours in a day; it’s up to you what you do with it.
You don’t feel prepared to run a business.
You don’t know the right people, you don’t have the money, and you don’t have the right skills. I know all too well that these are legitimate concerns for someone who wants to start a business, but to achieve the skills, connections and cash to start your business, you will have to earn them. Shadow a mentor, get a part-time job or volunteer, read books, search the web, reach out on social media, talk to friends and family, speak with a financial advisor and look into loans. Our connected world is at your fingertips.
You’re afraid to fail.
Everyone has advice, but no one knows what you have to go through to start, grow, and scale a business until they live it. I’ve lived it, and I know that the fear of failure is very real. Business, as in life, is a series of trial and errors — failure and success. If you suppress your fear of failure and are open to the lessons, you can learn each time you make a mistake you will be stronger for it. Failure can be embarrassing, but if you never try, all you will end up with is regret.
You may already know that I have been working with Deluxe Corporation to elevate the stories of small businesses through The Small Business Revolution. To celebrate their 100th anniversary, Deluxe launched this movement to celebrate small business across America and will honour 100 businesses through documentary style photo essays and the short documentary film below which I play a small part in. I’m so proud of this documentary so please check it out here:
Learn more at http://smallbusinessrevolution.org.