In this episode of Side Checks we are diving into 5 things that can stop you from starting a business and how to combat each one.
Discover What Can Truly Stop You From Starting A Business
There are many reasons why some business ideas never turn into actual businesses. Not every idea should be a business. Sometimes we have the right idea, but the wrong season of life. But other times we can get in our way. Today we are talking about 5 things that stop you front starting a business.
They are perfectionism, procrastination, fear of failing or fear of putting yourself out there, over creating, and over complicating.
When we walk through each one, I want you to challenge yourself and see if this is something you currently experience or have experienced in the past. And as you do, I want you to truly ask yourself “has this affected me ever truly starting a business?”.
This episode is for you to discover any times you’ve stood in your own way and how to healthily take a step back, and start that business!
How To Take Action With Entrepreneurship
The best thing you can give a budding business idea is momentum. There are countless times when we think of a business idea, yet nothing happens.
We may instantly think of why that idea cannot turn into reality. Other times we may get excited but never truly take action.
Action is a vital part of entrepreneurship. And as we walk through these 5 things that can stop you from starting a business, I want you to think about action and how it can be a part of your ultimate solution.
Do you spend a lot of time on smaller details that you feel need to be just right? Do you struggle to end a task and move on to the next until it meets your standards? Or do you have a hard time defining your standards, instead they may feel like something you know when you see them?
If so… you might be part perfectionist. Now perfectionist tendencies come in all sizes. Some of us can be labeled as a complete perfectionist. Others may have a few tendencies.
However, when it comes to starting a business, perfectionism comes out a lot. We feel the need to get things just right before launching them into the universe.
Maybe these are graphics, blog posts, our business ideas, our website, heck it can literally be anything.
When we are taking our idea and trying to turn it into a business, we kinda have to check our perfectionistic tendencies at the door. And here’s why.
We have no clue what perfect looks like yet for this business. And when you’re at the beginning, getting ready to start that business, you truly don’t know what you don’t know yet.
Over time you will likely be tweaking just about everything inside your business, like your offers, copywriting, marketing, and branding. So there is literally no need to try and make it perfect at the beginning. You’re going to be changing it.
And if you feel the need to make it perfect, you run the risk of never getting it up. Because let’s all face it, perfect just doesn’t exist.
Next, let’s talk about procrastination. No matter your personality type, I think this is something we can all relate to. Procrastination can be one of the #1 things that stop you from starting a business.
Procrastination can be a literal killer of business. It’s easy to repeat and bears zero progress. And for businesses just trying to start, all you need is a healthy dose of procrastination to literally bring you to a grinding halt.
Two main types of business procrastination.
Procrastination without productivity and procrastination with productivity.
Procrastination Without Productivity
When we procrastinate without productivity for our business, we delay any work.
Now this doesn’t mean we don’t think about our businesses. Maybe you get some of your best thinking done. Maybe you even map some things out and get 10 out of 10 excited. But pen doesn’t meet paper.
Instead when you actually have time to work on your business, you kinda sike yourself out and can’t seem to think as clearly as you did when you were dreaming everything up.
Or maybe you’re less excited and that turns you away from truly starting.
Maybe you unknowingly procrastinate with starting your business and simply never carve out the intentional time to work on things. You claim that your schedule gives you zero free time and so you just can’t move past the idea phase no matter how much you want to.
Well, this may or may not be true. You may be telling yourself this stress-inducing narrative because the truth is you do have 30 minutes today to work on your business. But you don’t know where to start.
This can feel scary and lead to self-doubt. Therefore it’s easier to say you don’t have the time. If you are looking for how to start your business, check out these blog posts with helpful business development resources.
Procrastination With Productivity
Now let’s talk about procrastination with progress.
Let me paint you a picture. You are excited about this business idea… maybe starting a local chicken and waffles food truck… you’ve gained proof of concept, and you’re ready to get started.
So you dive into choosing your company name. You select branding colors. You spend hours in Canva creating the perfect logo. Meh it wasn’t that great so instead you jump into a Facebook group and try to find a logo designer.
Next, you look up how much it costs to have a food truck painted. Good thing you have those branding colors picked out!
Then you create an Instagram account. You don’t have the truck yet. Or a menu. But at least you’ve secured an Instagram handle for the account.
Then you look up some competitors on Instagram. Dang, they have thousands of followers and they are doing Reels. So you gotta add Reels to your to-do list.
Then you find one truck that also has merch, they sell t-shirts and they are pretty cute. So immediately you google how to create t-shirts for your business.
Hours. Days. Maybe even weeks go by and you’ve done all of this. But in reality, you’re literally at square one. You have completely procrastinated and have avoided starting your business despite all of the hours you’ve spent working.
And I am willing to bet at this point, you feel in over your head, overwhelmed, and maybe a little defeated. Maybe you’re even telling yourself.. My truck will never be as good as theirs. I don’t even have t-shirts!
Well, you’re right. And that’s because you also don’t have a business plan, a menu, a food and beverage license for your city, quotes on a truck, or anything that’s going to actually help you start this business and earn your first $1.
I have two theories on why we procrastinate with progress. The first is… we need to start with what we know. This is comfortable. And we like this.
The second reason I think we procrastinate with progress is because the entrepreneurial community has pushed concepts like social media and branding for new businesses so much.
I frankly believe we have been over consuming the idea that these two pillars should be at the beginning of our business and a part of the business development process. They shouldn’t. Or at least they are not priorities.
03. Fear of Failing
Another thing that can stop you from starting a business is fear. One major reason people never start their business is because they are afraid to fail. It’s important to note that the fear of failure is not specific to you. Or your personality. Or your business idea.
In fact, there is not one human on the planet who doesn’t have an element of fear about failing.
Fear is real. And your feelings matter so much my friend. And just because everyone struggles with this doesn’t mean your struggle is less than.
However, do you need to just get over it? Yes. In order to start a business, you have to push through that fear. Otherwise, you just won’t start. Or even if you do, you won’t make it far without fear.
When we are fearful inside our business, it’s likely due to taking chances. Getting out of our comfort zone. And trying something new. As uncomfortable as it is, this is the path of an entrepreneur.
When we stay comfortable, we aren’t learning or growing. And I don’t know about you, but had I not grown or learned or gotten pretty dang uncomfortable… my food photography business wouldn’t have started. It wouldn’t have grown. And it wouldn’t have sold for $151,000.
Now I want to talk about the concept of failing in front of others. Because boy oh boy is this real. I’m not talking about failing or putting ourselves out there to fail in front of Mr. and Mrs. Random who lives in your city. I’m talking about family and friends. Or let’s face it… high school nemesis.
The thought of putting ourselves out there, declaring entrepreneurship, and really going for it can be terrifying when we think about people we know watching.
Are they making fun of us? Do they think we’re crazy? Are they insulted that we are declaring to be experts in something and charging money for it? What if we fail, do we have to explain ourselves to them? What will they think?
My friend… if you have had any of these thoughts in your head… here’s what I want you to do.
I want you to close your eyes and literally imagine yourself holding that thought. Then literally let it go.
Honestly, there is not an Instagram story that I put out there that I’m not like “…are my college roommates watching this? And do they think my non-corporate 401K attributing lifestyle is reckless?”.
But you know what… we simply have to let this go.
Build a business that you truly believe in. That truly serves others. And that authenticity will shine through. Don’t get too hung up on what you think others think.
04. Over Creating
The next thing that can stop you from starting a business is over-creating. Over-creating can stop you from starting and convince you that your business should start with more content or offers than it needs. This is similar to procrastination with progress.
I have a dear friend who dreams of PayPal push notifications every day all day for lower-ticket digital products. She is extremely talented in design and business.
She has years’ worth of website templates, copywriting templates, stock photos, and more. If you added them all up, she probably has hundreds of amazing digital offers that can be sold. But the kicker… they are all about 90% done.
She somehow cannot find it in herself to complete a product before getting excited about something else and creating something new.
This is called over creation.
Sometimes we over create content or offers because we are squirrely. Which entrepreneurs tend to be. We get excited and we take action!
Other times it is a way to procrastinate and avoid actually pulling the trigger on starting our business. After all, if we stay in the creation phase, we have an excuse for our businesses not to be earning income and there is no real risk of failure. The only people looking at our business during the creation phase is us, and we love our own businesses!
So why would we leave the creation phase and risk other people looking at our business and deciding not to purchase? That sounds awful.
I like to think of the creation phase as a honeymoon phase between us and our business.
We’ve started the business. We aren’t procrastinating. We are doing the work.
And we don’t have the outside world of clients sending us emails every day. Instead, it’s just this cozy season for us and our business baby.
So after our offer is complete. It’s only natural that instead of saying “Okay! Let’s do this! Time for the real world!” … we say… “you know. Maybe one more product. Or maybe one more blog post. It’s not quite ready yet…”.
Remember what I said at the beginning… your business is most likely going to tweak and evolve with time. So if you find yourself in a constant creation phase that’s keeping you from truly starting your business, challenge yourself to find a stopping point and simply launch. You could be saving yourself hours of rework down the road.
The last thing I want to mention that can stop you from starting a business is overcomplicating things. This is pretty common. However, there are some great questions to ask yourself that can help you combat this.
Now before I get into how we can over complicate our businesses, I need you to know that the best thing you can do for a budding business idea, is give it momentum.
No matter what your business does, I’m willing to bet it can truly get off the ground and start making money with a solidified offer in place, an internet home for that offer, and an audience hungry to find your offer. This is all you need.
When we overcomplicate our business before truly starting it… we tend to overcomplicate the offer or the thing that we are going to do or sell.
We think to ourselves “What if this happens? Then I need to tweak the offer to say that. And what is that happens? Then I need to create a second offer to cover it”.
If you find yourself overthinking your business or your offer and it’s preventing you from actually starting your business, I want you to ask yourself some questions.
If my business had to make money next week and I no longer had time on my side, what would my one offer be? How would I do it?
Is my offer truly designed for a new business? If not, is there an easier place to start that I can eventually build to the offer I want to grow into?
And am I taking advantage of tools to help my business run smoothly?
Run through these questions and see where you can release some pressure, simply a few things, and most importantly get your business up.
The Best Approach For Starting Your Small Business Today
We make starting a business so much more complicated than it needs to be. And I think if we were being really honest with ourselves, we could probably list out a lot more than 5 things that stop us from starting a business.
The best thing you can do when starting a business is to simply start. It may feel like the hardest part of the entire journey. But if you start today then tomorrow you will have experience to look back on.
If you’re looking for a step-by-step blueprint for starting your business with foundational success, explore Off The Ground right here.