Every Friday, my daughter and I have our “Friday Family Movie Night” where we order pizza, pop some popcorn, and watch a new movie that we bought that week. Some of the movies that we have watched recently includes Wall-E, Aladdin, and Beauty & The Beast. The other week, we watched the movie The Lorax which is an adorable movie about greed and the environment. Towards the end of the movie, there was a song, “Let It Grow” which included this line:
You can’t reap what you don’t sow!
Normally, a random line from a song in a movie doesn’t usually catch my attention. However, I had a similar conversation earlier in the day that also had a similar subject.
Over the years, I have met countless people looking to start or grow their businesses. Almost every person I’ve met has had a dream or goal of where they can see themselves. The issue is that a lot of these people spend so much time thinking about how they want things to be that they forget to actually start. The person I was speaking with earlier in the day before watching The Lorax was someone who had a great idea. The issue was that he was wasting a lot of time on thinking and not enough time on actually doing.
One of the biggest hurdles in accomplishing your dreams is actually starting. A recent study from Bentley University found that 66% of people wanted to start a business. 66% is a lot of people that are interested in starting businesses. However, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor reported that only 12% of people in the United States were involved with entrepreneurial activity in 2015.66% of people want to start a business but only 12% actually do. What's stopping you from starting? Click To Tweet
Why is there a massive difference between people who want to start their own business and people who are actually running businesses? While there are many reasons that people give for not starting, a lot of the reasons can be summed up in the fear of the unknown. The issue is that you can’t achieve your dreams when you don’t event start.
What’s Stopping You
Naturally, there are good reasons to be hesitant in starting a new project or new business. What if something goes wrong and the project or business doesn’t work out? What if your project results in a lawsuit? How does starting a new project affect your life and family?
These questions are perfectly normal to have. I had many similar questions when I first started back in 2009. I wanted to start my agency My Local Webstop but didn’t know anything about the legal, accounting, or marketing. What if it didn’t work out? I couldn’t tell my electric company to wait until my business took off.
When I was discussing my worries with a friend of mine, he asked me “What is really the worst that could happen?”. I pondered that over. At the end of the day, even if my business drastically failed and I was months behind in bills, I could still get back on my feet eventually. It may take a few years, but I could recover. I knew what my dreams and goals were. Even if this business failed, I could recover and then try again.
So, my next question was “What obstacles were in my way?”.
Everyone is going to have obstacles in their way when they get started. The great thing about the time we live in is that almost any project or business that you want to start has ways that you can reduce the obstacles in easy ways. For most businesses, you can start the business in a very part-time setting around a full-time job. For example, you can start a photography studio by scheduling photo sessions around your day job.
Some businesses will require some money upfront such as a lawn care company or eCommerce businesses. You can find ways to reduce these costs by borrowing equipment or purchasing used equipment to get you started. For your Ecommerce business, you can only order or make a very small amount of your products until you start getting customers instead of bulk ordering anything.
If you aren’t sure if anyone will even need your product or service, you can even try to validate the idea before you start.
Instead of jumping completely in with your time and money, look for ways that you can reduce the amount of cost and risk that will come with starting your project or business. Even if your business doesn’t have much risk, doing this exercise will help you feel even more confident in being able to start.
Reap Your Reward
Something to remember is that you will gain something from whatever you decide to start even if it fails. You may become successful but you will also learn a lot of valuable lessons and strategies as you go. You may learn the basics of marketing, handling customers, email and time management, and lots more.
I have met so many entrepreneurs who have said something like “If only I knew what I know now 5 years ago when I started”. If you keep delaying when you start, you are also delaying when you will start learning. Take the leap today and start sowing the seeds of your future!