Blog | Entrepreneurship

The Fear of Being an Entrepreneur

Fighting Through the Obstacles

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I think everybody should have a small business at some point in their lives. Whether it’s consulting part-time or owning a full-blown business, it doesn’t matter. I look at it from a diversifying standpoint. If you’re an employee and an employee only, you have all your eggs in one basket. But if you’re an employee that also has your own business, you are accessing multiple sources of income and are on your way to becoming an entrepreneur.

So, if being an entrepreneur is so good, then why don’t more people do it?

Now, I've mentored lots of people over the years and I've found that most people tend to overanalyze and get stuck. They don't make a move. I call it analysis paralysis.

For me, it’s the most frustrating thing. I see people that have incredible potential but are afraid to make mistakes. But I’ll let you in on a little secret; I don't know one entrepreneur who had everything figured out before they started. Not one. We all go through trial and error.

Getting Over the Obstacles

One of the keys to success as a business owner is to listen. The market and the consumers will tell you what to do if you're aware and paying attention. You can pick up on social needs and market trends, you just have to be willing to look. Now don’t get me wrong, you do have to strategize, do lots of research, and have mentors. But honestly, it’s something that everyone can do if they choose to be more present and listen to what the world is telling them.

Another big obstacle that I see for people is money. They claim to not have the money to start a business. Again, I'm around hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs every year and I don't know many that started with their own money. It's very rare that they did.

So how did they do it? They use Other People’s Money (OPM).

Using Other People’s Money (OPM)

A lot of people don’t like the thought of using other people’s money. But if you look at the way the world works, people are doing it every day. People either put their money in the bank or they put it in a pension fund or an insurance policy or a 401K. When you put money in the bank, it gets a return of less than 1%. If you put it in a Treasury Bill or some other vehicle it might get a little bit more. If you put it in real estate, you might get 8-10% or more.

All the scenarios above have one thing in common: managed money. All you're doing is turning your money over to an entity that turns around and invests it in somebody else. Most of the time, it goes into real estate or it goes into businesses.

I was reading the other day that all the big companies, Google, eBay, Uber, whoever you want to pick, all started with other people's money. So, it happens at a big level and it happens at a small level. The key to success is picking the right person that has your shared purpose and the desire and the ability to invest the money in a way that produces returns.

Finding A Place to Start

Sometimes you can find things that are broken and put a better business plan around it and recapitalize it to grow it. Or sometimes you can start off small and things miraculously take off. A good example is Cold Stone Creamery. It started in my home state of Arizona (1988) as a small mom-and-pop creamery. A few years later (1995), it opened its first franchise store in Tucson. And now it’s a huge business with locations all over the world.

It can be done! You just have to be brave enough to start.

If you keep an open mind and do your due diligence, you’ll find success.

Original publish date: November 14, 2018

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