I read this article called the 5 most common excuses of wannabe entrepreneurs and found it quite interesting. So interesting in fact, that I wanted to see if these were indeed the most common. I picked a friend who has great entrepreneurial potential and also has a solid idea and simply had a conversation with him about how his progress is, why he has stopped going after the idea, things of that nature. I was amazed to find that, in the same conversation, he ended up giving me all top 5 of the common excuses mentioned in that article. That was a wake up call and a bit discouraging because if that is true, then there are so many people out there suffering from the same affliction of excuses.
Here's the unvarnished truth about entrepreneurship: It's not enough to develop a great idea. The best concept in the world won't amount to anything if it never leaves the theoretical stage. To be truly successful, you need to go beyond idea incubation and start making tangible, real world progress.
Unfortunately, this is often the hardest thing for aspiring entrepreneurs to do. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case -- including the natural human tendency toward inertia.
With that in mind, let's discuss a few of the most common reasons why entrepreneurs don't make it out of the idea stage -- and, more importantly, how you can break through these stubborn stumbling blocks.
How to overcome self doubt
Have you ever heard of "Impostor Syndrome?" It's a psychological term coined to describe high-achieving individuals who feel like frauds because they can't internalize their success. Many of the world's most successful businesspeople have admitted to similar feelings, so it's perfectly ordinary for first-time entrepreneurs to question their own abilities.
It's important to remember, however, that such feelings are natural. Virtually every new entrepreneur must contend with doubts. The key is to recognize these feelings for what they are -- and to not let them undermine your progress.
How to overcome the fear of failure
"Fail fast, fail often." Yes, Silicon Valley has made a mantra out of failure. Because the barrier for entry for startups has been drastically lowered by technology, failure is no longer so expensive. Failure is now viewed as a learning experience, and a necessary precursor for later success.
None of that necessarily makes the fear of failure any less intimidating. Yet it's important to remember that many of the best and most successful business minds oversaw multiple failures before ultimately succeeding. Keep things in perspective, and don't let the prospect of failure prevent you from taking that critical first step.
How to overcome funding fears
There's no two ways about it: Capital is the lifeblood of business. Yet bootstrapping a new enterprise on a shoestring budget isn't impossible -- many great companies have been built that way.
If your idea is strong enough, early-stage investors will be receptive. You can pitch friends or family members, put your idea on a crowdfunding platform, or leverage inexpensive marketing resources (social media, networking groups, local business stories, etc.). Many entrepreneurs also delay quitting their full-time career until their new venture is established.
How to overcome the fear of leaving a stable job
Aspiring entrepreneurs often express concerns about losing the stability that comes with a traditional job. While that may have been a legitimate deal breaker a decade or two ago, the truth is there's very little stability left in a conventional career. Thanks to the pressure of globalization (and the relentless pursuit of higher stock prices), corporations are hiring contract workers in ever-greater numbers. Workers, meanwhile, are switching jobs at an equally rapid pace.
Instead of worrying about the stability you'll be forgoing, consider the potential benefits you'd be passing up by not taking a risk. The opportunity to build something from the ground up, or to be your own boss -- and to potentially earn vastly greater sums of money.
Many successful companies have been started as side businesses by individuals who started with full-time jobs. Being an entrepreneur will give you the option of leaving your job once your venture becomes profitable to the level of your comfort. You do not have to leave the stability of your job to start a side business. Go at your own pace.
How to defeat our innate tendency toward the status quo
Imagine this: You have a great idea. You decide to let it marinate. Months pass, then years. You always find a reason not turn that idea into something tangible. A decade or two later, you're looking back at what might have been. You could have built a lasting legacy, or perhaps even improved the world in some significant way. You have to live with that regret and uncertainty.
Or, you could take actionable steps toward breaking through the idea stage today. The first step is always the most difficult. Yet if you break things down into small, manageable tasks, suddenly the idea of starting a business doesn't seem so imposing. Even if the first step is a relatively trivial one, it's important that you do something. The second step will come much easier.
Breaking through the idea stage is often the most difficult challenge an aspiring entrepreneur must navigate. By following the advice outlined above, you can put yourself in the best possible position to turn your idea into a viable new business.
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