Most people I speak to would like to start their own business, it’s a dream a lot of us have. But, there are a few ‘BUT’s which stop people from moving forward. Almost always these ‘buts’ are nothing but a myth.
I’d love to become self-employed BUT…
‘I don’t have the money’.
Unless you’re investing in stock, a terrible MLM scheme, or running a physical business, you don’t need any money.
That’s right, you don’t need any money.
You have an internet connection and you can make your own (badly made to begin with – depending on your skills) logo and website for free. You don’t need shit like business cards really, I still hardly even use them, choosing instead to follow up on people myself rather than relying on them to come to me.
We have a right-wing government who are supportive of enterprise. The tories would rather see you making it rain than sitting on benefits and they’ll actively help you. Use this to your advantage. If you are starting a business on benefits, there are options out there where you can continue claiming for the first part of your new enterprise. You can get mentors and business advice for free – whether you’re on benefits or not.
You can get low, or no interest business loans.
If you’re under 30, you can get a business grant from Princes Trust.
If you have a great idea and the means to do it, you can approach investors.
If you’re lucky enough that your parents or family have money, ask them for a loan.
If you went to uni, ask your university’s enterprise department for funding (that’s what I did) you can do this for every business you start up, not just the one.
But most likely you will need little to no money to start up your business. Particularly if you avoid renting a place until you’re getting an income and buy stock in small reasonable amounts that you know you can shift. If you’re selling a service you need nothing except for your tools. Which you can beg/steal/borrow.
Ask yourself; do I think that I can’t set up a business with my current financial options OR do I not want to leave my cushy paycheck? If it’s the latter, entrepreneurship is probably not for you. Security is not something we’re always blessed with in the #entrepreneurlife.
‘I don’t come from the right family.’
You need to be the right person to make money, if you can’t make money when you have no money – you won’t be able to make money when you do have money. That’s a quote from Dan Lok.
Listen, I’ve worked for people from rich families many times. Sometimes they do okay, but I’ve also seen rich kids manage to burn 500k worth of government funding AND millions of pounds worth of loans from Daddy. What do they have to show for it? Nothing. He’ll never be poor, but he’ll never be able to MAKE money. In 1982 according to Forbes about 38% of America’s wealthiest people were self-made. In 2012, the percentage jumped to 70%
Again, if you view the world as a negative place lacking in opportunity, entrepreneurship is not for you. You need to be positive as much as possible because a lot of doors are going to get slammed in your face. Find a role model who came from a similar background and situation as you who made it. Keep thinking of them. I was told age 17 that I’d never make it in my chosen career by a middle-class lady who’s husband worked at the BBC, because I didn’t have any contacts. I did not let her life experiences of relying on rich people she knows affect my worldview. People who were born with contacts, might not have been educated how to make them, so their advice isn’t all that relevant.
I don’t have an idea.
You don’t need to invent email or the fitness tracker to set up a business. Most businesses are doing something that’s been done for decades by other people. You don’t even really need a USP. (Unique selling point). You can be a hairdresser who does all the same haircuts as everyone else. You can do gardening for old ladies. In fact you’ll probably be more likely to succeed if you pick a business idea that you know people need. You can set yourself apart from your competition in different ways than a super quirky idea.
I recently saw a talk by the founder of Beer 52. He joined a business incubation club way before he got his idea for a beer subscription service, and had trialled many ideas which failed before he started Beer 52.
I have [insert problem here].
Found it difficult to work because of family life, disability or some other problem? So have many other entrepreneurs. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs are completely unemployable for one reason or another and a lot of us have been fired from multiple jobs. Self-employment can work for a lot of people because it works around your life.
I don’t want to work that hard.
I really believed that I was busting my ass on a 22k a year salary, so if I wanted to make my income 50k I’d have to work face-meltingly hard. But effort and money are not directly related (although your boss will say otherwise). With self-employmentment you get paid on the value you provide and your ability to leverage it. I actually work a lot less hours than I did when I was at my desk job. And now I think about it, I was unproductive or bored for many hours a day at that job, even though I got everything I needed to do, done and then some.
For sure, if you are self-employed sometimes you’ll be working on things late into the night. You’ll do a lot of unpaid work (work that has no immediate value does not get paid, unlike working for the man). You won’t get paid training, you won’t get paid for doing sales, you won’t get paid for doing your books. You get no sick leave or maternity leave. So you’ll have to work whilst sick, or pregnant, or having a nervous breakdown.
But work harder? Nah. I’ve had many a long lunch date with entrepreneur clients of mine, and I know a few who swan off all around the world regularly. The thing that we have more of is risk, not hard work.
So, what are you waiting for? Entrepreneur life is not for everybody, but if you really want it, there are actually very few reasons why you can’t do it.