I Want My Own Business But…..

Walt Disney quote

Photo (CC) by Celestine Chua, on Flickr

Having your own business is a dream held by many. And although many people do indeed start a business, there are lots who still wish it could happen.

The reasons for not starting a business are many. One of the more common reasons is the belief that you don’t have the right skills or traits. That is simply a myth. Most of what you need to run a successful business are things you can learn or find a way to overcome. Some of the skills you may not like to do but, again, you learn what you can and then do the best job. It does get easier. It may mean finding a partner who brings those skills to the table.

The idea of learning brings up another reason for not trying – the fear of failure. Everyone fails and some of us, such as myself, make it a regular habit. Failure means you are trying. Failure brings with it opportunity for growth. Failure is a learning experience. Yes it can cost time and money but those should not stop you from trying something you really, really want to do.

Not moving when you really, really wanting something is might be hesitation or feeling the time isn’t right. If you are thinking along those lines, you may want to step back for a time before you take the plunge. However when stepping back remember you are not giving up. Starting a successful business is a timing issue. Is it the right time in the market and is it the right time for you?

Sometimes the hesitation comes from not knowing where the money will come from. Many companies start for less than $1000 and entrepreneurs are often great at bootstrapping or finding the resources they need through creative techniques.

So, there is no special set of skills or traits that you need. Go into the endeavor knowing that failure is a distinct option but know that it also is learning. You will be much smarter the next time (and the odds are there will be a next time). Money – well there is typically no free money and you need to be prepared to put some of your own funds in the business. But you also just need to think of ways to stretch your dollar. Barter, trade, find no cost marketing opportunities, etc. All are possible.

Bottom line – If you want to start a business you can.

What Drives Entrepreneurship?

Bowden GroceryThis is a question often asked regarding how entrepreneurs get started. Does something push them to that end or are they pulled into it?

Over the years the general agreement has been that both represent entrepreneurial paths and there is nothing to suggest that either way is more or less likely to result in a successful entrepreneurial business, if success is measured by remaining in business and making a profit.

Last week I had the opportunity to spend some time in Detroit, MI. During my time there I met several entrepreneurs. You know the struggles of Detroit during the last several years. In most cases, the struggle for the entrepreneur represented the push needed to start their own business – they lost their jobs. While I am sure that was devastating, today they are running successful businesses that remain in existence. The entrepreneurs talk about how after a hard beginning they are slowly growing. Several have added employees. The businesses have allowed them to provide support for their families.

One entrepreneur started out driving a taxi. He now has a fleet of five vehicles meaning his business has developed new jobs. A few of the other business owners also indicated that they have hired one or more employees. This supports the recent Kauffman report that again found, after several years, new small businesses are beginning to be the leading source of new jobs. The taxi driver indicated that his road to success had not been easy and he sees challenges ahead. It was, he said, a difficult transition after working over 20 years for the automotive industry. But he was upbeat and saw opportunity in the future.

I found the conversations offered new perspectives and understanding.

When you are in conversation with new entrepreneurs ask why they decided to “take the plunge.” Share their response along with their outlook for the future. The readers of this blog would be interested in hearing their stories.