Many people dream of one day quitting their day job and starting their own online business. But for some, there always seems to be something standing in their way.
It’s like there’s an invisible wall between them and their dreams.
They can see their dream lifestyle but they can’t reach it.
As much as they yearn to go it alone, something always seems to stop them from forging ahead with their ambitions.
For some people, it’s a case of procrastination or waiting for things to be perfect. While for others there will always be an excuse not to take a chance on themselves.
Here’s a list of 6 common excuses that stop people from launching their own business.
#1. You Don’t Have Enough Time
One key excuse is that there isn’t enough time. You’re just too busy.
I get it.
You probably have a demanding job that is stressing you out. Maybe you’re even working two jobs just to make ends meet and support your family.
So how on earth can you build a business on the side?
We all get the same 24 hours a day and you are already filling up your time but are you being as efficient as you could be?
Parkinson’s Law tells us that work expands to fill the time allotted to it.
This means that if you give yourself a week to complete a 2-hour task, it will take you a week because you’ll spend days procrastinating and worrying about it.
But give yourself two hours or less, and you’ll be shocked at how quickly you get stuff done.
The same applies to your online business.
Once you make the decision to create a lifestyle business then you have to change how you spend your time. You have to start working smarter and discipline yourself to make time because your dream business won’t build itself.
This means taking a long hard look at your schedule, asking yourself what’s important to you and prioritizing your time around your goals.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later, or giving up the occasional weekend to get your project off the ground.
In other cases, you may have to consider a career change or getting a bridge job like I did.
I found that working in recruitment and managing people all day long was extremely tiring. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and couldn’t do anything creative.
I knew I had to quit my job.
The funny thing is that as soon as I made my decision, I was offered some consultancy work. It was part-time and for just 12 months but allowed me to earn enough money to cover my bills and build my business on the side.
Did I have to make any lifestyle changes? Sure.
Was it worth it? Absolutely.
The point is that once you make a decision, the Universe truly conspires to help you.
So my advice to you is to first get clear on what you really want to do and then manage your time to make it happen.
These days, more and more employers are open to exploring efficiencies at work, job sharing and part-time roles. Could you work 4 days a week instead of 5? If so, build a case for reducing your hours and present it to your boss. If you can make this happen, be sure not to waste the extra day you’ve gained by going shopping or meeting friends for coffee.
Stop making excuses and move your business forward.
#2. You Don’t Have Enough Money
Financial constraints are another excuse that people will use to stop them launching their lifestyle business.
But compared with buying a franchise or setting up a bricks-and-mortar business, starting an online business doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money.
In fact, the overheads are ridiculously low.
Once the business progresses you will need to invest in design because your online branding is very important as well marketing.
But that shouldn’t stop you from at least getting started and building your business in stages.
If not having enough money to build your business really is an issue then find some ways of earning extra cash.
Think about the skills you possess that you can earn money from. Are you a talented graphic designer, a gifted writer, great at organizing tasks or a whizz at technical things?
Thousands of small business owners around the world are struggling with the very skills you take for granted. You could offer your services on one of the many freelance sites like Odesk and Elance and make extra money without risking your day job.
Another way to generate some quick cash to get started is by selling unwanted items on Ebay or Gumtree. It might surprise you to learn that the average home has over £1,000 ($1,600) of clutter!
Getting rid of things you no longer need or want is very cathartic and creates a vacuum for more good to come into your life. I have a big clear-out every year, not only to rid my home of junk but also to make space for the things I do want.
#3. You Aren’t Good Enough
Everyone feels like they’re not good enough from time to time, including some of the most successful people in the world. You might think you’re the only one struggling with self esteem but did you know that many celebrities are incredibly insecure?
If you are constantly comparing yourself to others and feeling that you are not good enough, stop this destructive habit and do something about it.
One of the best ways to quash feelings of not being good enough is to take small steps every day towards building your business.
I find that taking action helps release feelings of self-doubt because it shifts your focus from you to your work and serving your customers or clients. Try it and notice how much more empowered and confident you feel.
Another thing worth addressing is what you say to yourself.
When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
~ African proverb
I love the quote above because it’s a powerful reminder that we are often our own worst enemies and harshest critics.
If you keep putting yourself down then a good way to change your negative self-talk is by using positive affirmations.
Affirmations are specific, positive statements that you say to yourself every day to reprogram your thinking and develop a more positive mindset.
Here’s a couple to give you an idea of what I mean:
- I am self-reliant, creative and persistent in whatever I do.
- I love challenges. They bring out the best in me.
- I am unique and always believe in myself.
I’ve been using positive affirmations daily ever since I first encountered them over a decade ago when I studied with Louise Hay. They have been a great source of strength in my own life and have helped me overcome many limiting beliefs I didn’t even realize I had.
Try creating a few of your own and let me know how you get on.
#4. You’re Afraid Of Failure
A fear of failure is one of the major reasons why people don’t even try.
No one wants to feel like they have failed at something. We learn from a very early age that losing is bad. But our failures can actually serve as valuable learning experiences.
Many entrepreneurs have had a string of failures behind them before they finally found success.
In fact, some of the world’s most successful business people would not be where they are today if they had given up when things got tough.
Just read the biographies of business icons like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Donald Trump and you’ll soon discover that failure was very much part of their success story.
Fear is part of life and it’s normal to be scared when you’re venturing into the unknown. But you have to deal with it and push through these feelings.
You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Because whenever you feel uncomfortable, it’s a sign that you are on the right track.
Each time you stretch yourself, you are getting out of your comfort zone. And that’s where the magic happens. So don’t let fear stand in your way.
#5. You Have Family Commitments
When thinking about starting a business, your family commitments, especially if you have kids, are one of the things that you’ll have to consider.
There will still be bills to pay and perhaps a mortgage to meet, and your family might not be convinced you’ve made the right decision.
They may even be critical of your ideas, especially if it means you’ll have less time for them.
You need to take these factors into account because chances are that you’ll be working on your business for several months, probably years, before you can earn a good living from it.
Remember, your family is probably the reason you’re building a lifestyle business in the first place. You want to have a better quality of life and spend more time with your partner, your children, your family and your friends.
So let the people you love know what you are planning to do and start saving early so you have some money in reserve to run your business without affecting the household income.
Make sure you get the balance right by scheduling time for your business, for yourself AND for your family and friends.
Building a business isn’t easy and there will be times when you question yourself or just want to take a break and relax. Having people around you who love and support you will help keep you motivated.
#6. You’re Not Sure Where To Start
One excuse that stops people from launching a business is that they just don’t know where to begin.
Starting anything new – a new school, a new job, a new relationship – throws up a lot of uncertainty for most of us and starting a new business is no different.
But no one expects you to have all the answers before you start.
I certainly didn’t.
The secret is to first figure out what you really want to do.
Because way before you get involved with the technicalities of creating an online business you need to have an idea of what you want to do and the people you want to serve.
This should be the starting point for your business.
Look at your strengths, your passions and your previous career for clues as to what interests you. A great resource to help you is the excellent book Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham.
After all, the last thing you want to do is to swap your day job for another job.
You want to build a business that excites you, that makes you want to leap out of bed with joy in the morning and that supports the lifestyle you desire.
Unfortunately too many people skip this stage because they are too lazy to do the work, or too eager to move on to the “business aspect” without realizing that they are the heart and soul of their business.
Once you’ve done this exercise there are thousands of free how-to videos on YouTube, articles on blogs, and mentors to help you move to the next stage.
Very few of the blocks we experience when it comes to starting a business are actual blocks. Quite often we make up excuses to stop ourselves from moving forward with our lives and achieving our dreams.
And most of the time this inertia is due to fear.
We’re afraid of failing, of succeeding, of not being good enough, of being criticized, of leaving the people we love behind and so on.
It’s important to understand that everyone makes excuses but self-awareness can help you recognize that it’s just fear talking.
By understanding why you do what you do and taking action regardless of your fear you can keep moving forwards and build your business one step at a time.
Do any of these excuses ring true for you? What inspires you to keep moving forward?