A journey that begins with a wrong step seldom ends at the right destination.
Becoming your own boss has sort of gained a global appeal. These days many people start up their own businesses for virtually any reason. Somehow it doesn’t seem to count anymore what led people to go into business, going into business has suddenly become the new mantra of the 21st century. Obviously, there are several factors owing to this global trend some of which are; the emergence of the Internet, the unreliability of job security, the God-like attention given to successful entrepreneurs, the rise of the knowledge worker and so on. In the end, it’s not the number of businesses that are being started that matters, but the number of businesses that thrives.
Therefore, in this article I will be x-raying some of the ways how NOT to start a business so that in the end, you can have the right mindset needed to start a business. I welcome you to join me in this exciting journey and as you go through this unusual article I want you to constantly bear this in mind, failure in business is usually as a result of how you start. It is the beginning of a thing that often predicts the end. As always, I encourage you to share this unusual information with as many entrepreneurs as possible and don’t forget to share your thoughts and opinion in the comment box below. There’s no way you’re going to read this, without having one or two things to say; trust me, it’s just too unusual for you to keep quiet. J
1. Don’t Start a Business for the sake of MONEY
Top on the list of reasons why people go into business is the strong desire to amass wealth. I have never known of a more ineffective way to think about business than this. As unpopular as it might sound, most business failures stem from this singular fact alone. Why? Because the moment making money becomes your primary focus as an entrepreneur, delivering value which is the foundation of effective business practice becomes secondary. And when this happens, no matter how great your business is, it automatically goes on a downward spin. Nothing kills a business faster than putting money first before adding value. So when next you’re thinking about starting up a business, I suggest you lose every possible thought about making money and focus entirely on delivering consistently superior value. Trust me, I’m talking from experience (of other people), starting your own business for the purpose of making money is a sure fire way of being highly indebted and having cardiac arrest!
2. Don’t Start a Business because you LOST your job
Closely related to the issue of money is going into business because you lost your job. As you’ve probably realized, this is how many people end up as entrepreneurs. At first glance, there might not be anything wrong with this approach of starting up a business, but taking a closer look will reveal a vital truth; people who lose their jobs are often driven by fear and to start a business because you are afraid is absolutely disastrous. The implication is often enormous; top on the list is that you will never exercise the due diligence starting a new business entails. Why? Because the fear of living without a regular income since you no longer have a job will keep haunting you and eventually start making you place unrealistic financial expectations on your new business venture. Second on the list is that you are emotionally unstable the first few months of losing a job, especially when you didn’t see it coming. The disappointment can be disheartening, the more reason why you shouldn’t go into business with such mind frame. Why? Because in the world of business, disappointments are a natural prerequisite for success. Meaning, the more disappointments you get, the closer you are to success.
3. Don’t Start a Business because you HAVE money
I know you’re probably startled about this one. You certainly didn’t see it coming. Well, it’s as wrong as starting a business for the sake of making money. How? Here’s the thing most people with money don’t realize, it doesn’t take money alone to make a business work. Starting and running a business will cost you more than all the money you think you have. There are just too many things a business will demand from you that money can’t even buy, for example; how much does it cost to buy the passion needed to build a SIGNIFICANT (unique and useful) business? Have you ever seen passion being offered for sale? In fact, no university or institute of learning can even teach you passion (not even Harvard or Stanford J). Here’s the truth, having money is good, but it’s not sufficient enough to make you want to start a business. Starting a business requires gut, passion, ingenuity, creativity, resilience and so many other personal character traits that all the money in the world is insufficient to buy!
4. Don’t Start a Business because you want TIME Freedom
The thought of not having to wake up early and rush off to work can be very enticing to would be entrepreneurs. But take it from me, I’ve been in the game now for 4 years; the fact that you didn’t wake up early and rushed off to work doesn’t mean you are not at work. Being an entrepreneur means working all of the time even in your sleep. That your fantasy of time freedom will naturally go sore once you choose to become your own boss. How do I mean? You see, it’s not that you wouldn’t have more time to yourself when you’re an entrepreneur, certainly you would. But the irony of it all is this; that time freedom is for you to do some creative work and not for you to be idle and indulge yourself in some unproductive activity. You left your job to have enough time to do what you really care about in life, that’s all the definition of time freedom you’ll ever get – having enough time to make a SIGNIFICANT contribution with your life to the world. True entrepreneurs hardly stay idle indulging in pleasurable activities just because they have time freedom. They are always in the creative process, picking up clues here and there of how they can make the world a better place by utilizing their time, money and life for something worthwhile.
5. Don’t Start a Business because OTHERS are doing it
Anything that is popular has a way of being highly contagious. People just literally jump at it without any logical explanation. Believe it or not, this is how so many people ended up in the world of business. Since everyone they know is quitting their 9-to-5 jobs to go start their own thing, why shouldn’t they do the same? The down side of going with the bandwagon is this; you’ll lack the staying power critical to survival in the world of business. At first, the thought of being your own boss can be very enticing, but sooner or later you’ll realize it’s not a bed of roses. And when this reality sets in, you’re the only one who would be left alone to figure out a way of making it through the stormy days. So start a business because it’s what your soul desires and not what the society or your peers desires for you. Starting your own business is not about boosting your personal ego or winning a popularity contest, it’s a personal decision born out of an internal conviction!
6. Don’t Start a Business because you HATE working for others
Now here comes the tricky one; starting a business because you hate working for others. After wanting to make money, this is another popular reason people give for going into business. Listen, as popular as it may seem, here’s the truth; 99% of popular things are either totally wrong or mere misconceptions. That you hate working for others is no guarantee that you will succeed or enjoy working for yourself. In fact, there’s more work to do working for yourself than you ever thought you did working for others. So if you hate working for others, you might just as well hate working for yourself. What it turns out to be sincerely is this; you simply don’t like work in general and this is why starting your own business is the last thing you should ever think of doing. Why? Because business is the domain of unlimited work; there are no working hours like your regular 9-to-5 job. Welcome to the 24/7/365 days a year working schedule!