There are a lot of articles out there telling you to go forth and start a business! But the truth is, not everyone should start a business. If more of the 80 percent of small businesses that fail had but hesitated and considered why they were getting into business, we’d probably have fewer businesses and more successes in those that did exist. If any of these reasons ring true, you do not need to become an entrepreneur:
1. You’re Running Away from Something
Let me guess: you hate your job, and know you could do a much better job than your boss running a company like this. Or you’re not doing well in your performance reviews, but you assume it’s everyone else’s fault but yours. The idea of starting a business is heaven: you’d call the shots, and you could get away from whatever is plaguing you. Not a good reason. You need to run toward entrepreneurship if you want to succeed. Otherwise, you’re just hiding from your problems and creating more, since your reasons for starting a business are shaky at best.
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2. You Want Control
Face it: you’re a control freak. The kitchen has to be cleaned a particular way, and if a project at work isn’t up to snuff, you make your staff do it again. Running your own business, you would have total control over everything … or not. Starting a business can actually make you feel less in control. You can’t control when customers pay you, or even if they want to buy your product. You can’t force your employees to do things to your crazy expectations.
3. You Want to Make Millions
There’s this glamorous haze over starting a business, and I just don’t know where it comes from. A few success stories have put stars in people’s eyes and make them think they can easily start a business and become super rich. Think of the average small business: do you think your plumber is rolling in it? What about the shoe store on the corner? Millionaire entrepreneurs exist, but they’re rare. You seriously need to readjust your expectations.
4. You Want to Become a Media Darling
You’re sick of seeing Richard Branson in the news, and know that you could get just as much attention … if only you were a successful entrepreneur like him. But darling, let me tell you: it takes years of hard work and dedication, not to mention a crackerjack PR team, to get to the level of where Branson is. Once you start pitching the media, you’ll quickly find out they don’t care about you and your brand.
5. You Want to Spend More Time With Your Family
If you’re okay with starting a small lifestyle business, such as knitting baby clothes and selling them on Etsy, you can probably use this excuse. But realize that having more time means you’ll make less money than you do with your current job. It’s few who have mastered having time and money in running a business. Plus, if you’re working from home to spend time with the kids, you won’t be able to focus on your business fully.
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6. Your Brother Wants to Go into Business With You
He’s got a great idea, and he wants you on board. Problem is, you disagree about everything. But you both have big eyes about all the moola you can make that you’re overlooking that obvious obstacle. (Please see #3) Going into business with a family member can work, but you need to be good partners before that point.
7. You’re Passionate, But Have No Direction
You are really into helping animals, so you figure it’s a good idea to start a boarding service. Only, you don’t have a clue how to run a business or market it. Sure, these are skills you can pick up on your own, but you need to ask yourself if there are other ways you can fulfill that passion other than disrupting your life, reducing your income, and increasing your stress.
8. You Assume You Can Get a Bank Loan
You don’t quite have 1-2 years’ worth of personal and business expenses set aside in your savings account, but you’re confident you can get a small business loan. Don’t be so sure: banks are often reluctant to bankroll new, unproven businesses, which means if you just quit your job, you might want to call your old boss back.
9. All You Have Is a Really Amazing Idea
Or at least, you think it’s amazing. You haven’t run it by anyone or done any market research to see if people will actually pay for it, but you’re sure they will! You’re setting up your own demise if you start a business without even knowing who will buy your product.
Starting a business isn’t something to be taken lightly. It’s a major life decision, and one you need to be able to see through for the foreseeable future. Manage your expectations about when you’ll make your first million, and realize that it’s going to take a lot of sweat, persistence, and patience to grow it.
Read all of Susan Payton’s articles on AllBusiness.com.
Related Articles on AllBusiness:
28 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Pitching to Investors
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9 Key Ways to Prepare for an M&A Transaction
65 Questions Venture Capitalists Will Ask Startups
For local business information on 15 million businesses, visit InBusiness.com.
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