According to one report, as of 2018, a staggering 24 million people are thinking about starting their own business. However, only a fraction of that number take the big step and launch their business. Starting a business is an exciting and life-changing event. So why do so many people continue to delay starting or, even worse, never launch?
You may have been thinking about starting a business as a side project or even to replace your full-time job one day. If you’ve dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur but still haven’t taken the necessary steps to get things going, this article will help give you some insight into why and what you can do about it.
In this article, we’ll share the 10 reasons why you haven’t started a business yet. But before we start, we need to identify the different types of barriers most people face when trying to start a business.
Hard Barriers vs Soft Barriers
Barriers are the challenges that you must overcome as you move towards starting your business. But all barriers are not created equal. There are hard barriers and soft barriers. Think of hard barriers as physical or external challenges and soft barriers as mental or internal challenges.
For example, if you wanted to start an e-commerce business, one of the barriers would be finding products to sell. A soft barrier would be worrying about whether or not someone will buy your product.
Hard barriers are fixed and soft barriers tend to be variable.
- Don’t have the cash to invest, or need to pay down debt
- Need to complete training
- Don’t want to give up health benefits
- Worry about inconsistent income
- Worry about earning less
- Lack a complete business plan or idea
- Are loyal to their current company
Understanding the difference between hard barriers and soft barriers is important if you intend on actually moving forward with your entrepreneurial plan. Once you know your true obstacles, you can focus on them and eliminate them.
10 Reasons you haven’t started yet
1. You don’t know where to start
Starting a business requires preparation. I know you might not have started your business because you don’t know where to start. Well, this is a common challenge for most people. Having an idea without proper implementation will not lead you to start the business. You need to have a vision and goals on how to get started.
Besides, you should be prepared to encounter challenges. The greatest problem is that you might be thinking that you can start a business and you will reap profits as soon as possible. That is not the case because you first need to get started. Irrespective of the capital, you need to know where to start your business and all the other aspects will fit in place.
To help, we’ve got a few articles that will help you get started.
- Here’s How to Start a Business in All 50 States in America
- 6 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting a Side Hustle
2. You haven’t found the right idea
There is a possibility that you have not found the right idea and that is why you haven’t started your own business. This can be a hard barrier to overcome at first but finding the right business idea is easier than you may think. The key is to understand why you are having an issue finding the right ideas.
The misconception is that potential entrepreneurs need to find the right business idea for the marketplace. They look at what the trends are and what other people have done. From there, most people decide to go into a business venture because they feel that they’ve found the right business idea because others have succeeded in that particular type of business. However, the reality is that you must find the right idea for you. This means that you need to evaluate what your goals, skills, strengths, talents, and passions are. From there, you can eliminate businesses that do not align with those things.
Once you have eliminated the businesses that are not right for you, you can begin to closely examine the businesses that are right for you. This does not mean that you will not need to add more skills or increase your knowledge base. You will still need to grow and learn which is part of the fun of entrepreneurship. But having a business that you care about and aligns with who you are, drastically increases your chances of success.
3. You’re still thinking like an employee
Having an employee mindset not only affects those who want to start a business, but it also hurts those who have been running a business for years. Having an employee mindset means having a mindset and habits that are typical of being an employee and are detrimental for entrepreneurs. Many of the reasons why action hasn’t been taken towards launching your business stem from retaining an employee mindset.
In Stop Thinking Like an Employee, we outlined this phenomenon and how to eliminate the employee mindset. It is crucial to not only starting a business but succeeding as an entrepreneur. You cannot be a successful entrepreneur while thinking and acting like an employee.
Here is a quick checklist to see if you’re still thinking like an employee:
- Procrastinating on the wrong things (more on that later in this article).
- You don’t use your time wisely.
- You watch the clock while working.
- You have issues controlling your money.
- You don’t invest your time or money in the right things.
- You’re stuck in a paycheck trap.
- You have trouble solving problems or finding new ideas.
We go into much more detail on how to eliminate this mindset and the things that it create it in Stop Thinking Like an Employee. I recommend you check it out before you even start a business to help you succeed earlier and prevent problems in the future.
4. You are afraid of failure and risk-taking
Taking risks is an important part of running a successful business. You must be able to take calculated risks in your growth strategies, with your investments, in your hiring, and even in day-to-day operations. Learn to get comfortable with smaller risks and slowly begin to take larger ones. This will help you defeat your fear of taking risks and minimize your fear of failure.
As a business person, you should understand that there are a lot of challenges in the business world. There are ups and downs that you need to endure if you want to be successful. If you fear that you might fail then that is what is holding you from starting your business. You need to be a risk-taker and be prepared to face the challenges as they come. There will come a time when your business has expanded and it is stable. Therefore, take that risk now and secure your future.
5. You’re too comfortable
Being comfortable is good; being too comfortable keeps you stuck. As humans, we like to gravitate towards comfortable things. We like soft beds, comfortable clothing, and we seek a lifestyle that is free from stress. There is nothing wrong with seeking comfort in our lives. The problem arises when we want to grow ourselves or a business.
One of the reasons why you haven’t started your business yet is because you’re too comfortable in your situation. You may be too comfortable getting a paycheck, too comfortable with working 9-5, too comfortable with your current job. This comfort may be a mental block that prevents you from taking the risk of entrepreneurship.
To get out of your comfort zone, begin to do things that are uncomfortable. Take little steps daily, weekly and monthly that are uncomfortable and you will begin to stretch your comfort zone.
6. You are not sure if you are going to make money
Some people have never started their own business because they are not certain if they will make something out of it. Entrepreneurs should be optimistic about what the future holds. Having a positive outlook will help you maintain mental focus even when things are slow.
Try to avoid comparing your results with what you could be making at a job. Running a business is a completely different animal. When you fixate on the fear of not making as much as you are making at your current job, you miss out on the other financial possibilities and advantages of running your own business.
7. You think your idea needs to be original
Creating an innovative, one-of-a-kind business is extremely hard and just as rare. Most successful businesses around today got some inspiration from other businesses. You don’t have to have a unique idea to start a business.
All you need is to meet the expectation of your customers by being unique. The distinguishing factor between similar business ideas is how they handle their customers and provide their services. Find the right way of doing your business because no one will victimize you by implementing your idea.
8. You are procrastinating on the wrong things
Another employee habit is procrastinating on the wrong things. Procrastination kills dreams and visions. The reason why you have not started your business is that you prioritize unimportant things and procrastinate on the things that are important.
Everybody procrastinates to some degree at some point or another. However, successful entrepreneurs avoid procrastinating on certain things. It is ok to procrastinate doing stuff that doesn’t have an impact. But procrastinating on taking action on the things that could be life changing is holding your business dreams back.
9. You’re overthinking it
Founder of BRAK Systems and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank has said, “Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”
This is an issue that many aspiring entrepreneurs must overcome in order to start their business. Overthinking is a problem that not only leads to mental fatigue, fear, and worry, it also enables your procrastination.
10. You want to start a business for the wrong reasons
Starting a business because you think it is cool or because you’ve seen too many #entrepreneurlife posts on Instagram is the wrong reason to launch. So is starting a business just to get rich quickly.
Before you start your business you should take time and know what inspired you. Well, most business ideas will never materialize because of the wrong reasons. You might be starting your business because you saw your friend doing that particular business.
Find out what is important to you and use that as the driving force for starting your business. Is it your family, freedom, passion project that inspires you? Having a strong “why” helps you persevere when things get hard and make victory even sweeter when you succeed.