I wrote this post to show you that there really are no good excuses and nothing should stop you from growing or starting your online business. I cover some of the most common excuses that keep people from growing their online business.
- I don’t have any money
- I don’t have any time
- I don’t have any ideas
- I’m not very good at…
- I’m not motivated
- It’s too risky
- Ok fine, I’ll TRY…
I don’t have any money
The first thing that I consistently hear is “I don’t have any money”. A lot of new entrepreneurs consider taking the dive, but think that they need tons of money. It’s true that some businesses have a high financial barrier to entry, but there are many ways to raise money and equally as many other ways to start your business without it.
The simplest concept is to bootstrap your startup and use sweat equity (your own time) instead of hiring out or investing cash.
If that doesn’t work you can get friends involved and give them equity in the company so it’s not just you investing your time.
If you’re working an hourly job try picking up extra shifts try then allocating that bonus money to start your online business. You don’t need much money to start many online businesses.
I also wrote a full post about raising money, which you can read here.
I don’t have any time
The next thing that I hear, usually after I explain to someone that they can invest their time instead of their money, is that they don’t have any time.
Let’s get something straight right now, we all have 24 hours in a day. Everyone’s day consists of the same amount of hours. Saying you don’t have time is just not possible. If you are alive on this planet and not severly disabled, you have the same amount of time as I and everyone else. You just choose to prioritize your time differently.
There are many ways to solve this problem. Here are a few ideas:
- Inventory how you allocate your time.
- Eliminate things that you don’t need to do today.
- Make a not to do list of 1-3 things that you can not do today. Now you have more time.
- If you can’t think of anything not to do, to buy more time, wake up 1 hour earlier.
- If you can’t wake up 1 hour earlier, skip your long lunch break and work on your new business while you eat.
If all else fails, and you can’t possibly do any of this (hint: you all can) you can use a technique called batching to buy yourself more time.
How to use batching to buy more time
Batching is a simple concept that involves doing tasks at one particular time rather than spread throughout the day. For example, instead of reading your email every single time you get a notification, turn off notifications and read your email once or twice a day for 15 minutes total. This will almost always result in freeing up time. We waste a lot of time checking emails throughout the day, which distracts us from what we were doing and causes a chain reaction of time wasting behavior.
For example, instead of reading and replying to your email every single time you get a notification, turn off notifications and do your email once or twice a day for 15-minute intervals. This will almost always result in freeing up time. We waste a lot of time checking emails throughout the day, which distracts us from what we were doing and causes a chain reaction of time wasting behavior.
I don’t have any ideas
People seem to think that you need a revolutionary, never before seen idea to start an online business. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Personally I always like to tap into existing markets, not create new ones. An existing market has a proven track record of buyers.
If you are a billionaire with tons of money to spare to buy other peoples time you can go and create rocket ships and innovative electric vehicles. For the rest of us, we need cash flow and we need it to work relatively quickly. That means that for most people choosing an existing market, and finding a way to do it better than others is where you should start.
How do you get started in doing better than others?
I have a technique for this that I outline in detail in this post, called 4 Secret Words. The basic premise is that you can look at online forums, complaint boards, review sites, and the likes to find out what people “Love”, “Hate”, “Wish” was in a product or not in a prdocut.
Once you locate these key phrases and realize that people HATE a certain feature of a product they were paying for – you can capitalize and if there are enough people that hated that feature you can start a competing product with a built in audience.
I’m not very good at…
Most people think that they need some inherent natural talent for online business, entrepreneurship or marketing to be successful at it. You don’t need a natural talent! You can learn everything you need.
In fact, this whole idea of “self-taught” entrepreneurs is what is actually hurting entrepreneurship right now. You don’t need to be self taught, it’s just an ego trip.
Being self taught is a waste of time. You should learn from mentors, books, and the people before you so that you can get quickly up to speed. Then once you are up to speed, you can start innovating. Being self taught just slows you down.
I see people bragging that they were “self taught” like it’s some badge of honor. All that really sounds like to people that get it, is that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
In fact, nobody is self taught. We have all learned from those before us. We couldn’t even speak without being taught our first language. Imagine trying to “self teach” yourself your first language? It would be absolutely insane and a complete waste of time. Instead, you can improve the language and make contributions once you have been taught and quickly got up to speed with what we have learned over the past 1,000+ years about language and communication.
I’m not motivated
It’s ok if you don’t want to be an entrepreneur. I’ll tell you that if you don’t love it, maybe there’s no point in doing it.
Motivation comes differently for many people. Some people are content in a 9-5, working for someone else, and building someone else’s dream. There’s nothing wrong with that.
My motivations are all on a deeper more spiritual level than a lot of entrepreneurs that I meet. Some prefer cash and fast cars.
Others just prefer to be able to live the lifestyle that they want. Financially free and location independent. Not clocking in and clocking out on someone else’s schedule. And above else, building YOUR dream, not someone else’s. That’s my motivation.
The trap with motivation is that I think we go through different phases in our lives, and a lot of people don’t think ahead. They may not be motivated right now to fix their situation, but then 10 years later they greatly regret the fact that they didn’t just dive in and do it. This usually happens when they are locked up in some 9-5 that they absolutely hate, wondering why they didn’t follow those entrepreneurship dreams and take advantage of their network, surroundings, skills and opportunities.
It’s too risky
Entrepreneurship could be considered by many people to be “risky”, but so can working a “secure job” where in reality you are only 2 weeks away from having no paycheck and no say about it.
I don’t think entrepreneurship is riskier than anything else. It all depends on how you focus your energy. If you sit around and hate yourself because you are stuck in a 9-5 job, you performance might fall and you might lose that job anyways. Maybe it’s better to dive into entrepreneurship now than just waiting around and being complacent.
Ok fine, I’ll try…
Please don’t. That’s right, please don’t try. Let me explain…
This mindset is about getting rid of words like “try” to make sure that you are most aligned with your real goals and putting in the right energy to what you are doing.
In other words, just do it, don’t “try” to do it. When you find yourself saying things like that, correct it and change it. It doesn’t serve you as an entrepreneur.
Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world’s top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.