a young woman focuses on her reasons for starting a business

The Real Reason You Haven’t Started Your Business

Fear of failure and the excuses women make

In a recent survey of the UK, the social media giant Facebook revealed some interesting things regarding women and entrepreneurship.

As Elite Business reported, one out of ten women want to launch their own company, but:

- 72% felt that they couldn’t identify a female role model running a business in the vein of the one they want to set up

- 37% didn’t feel ready

- 25% lacked the confidence

- 24% didn’t feel they possessed the business skills required to make the leap

- 34% are held back by not having access to finance

Interestingly, all of these reasons boil down to one thing, viewing the world as one of scarcity. (I wrote recently about the scarcity mindset and why it’s so dangerous for women. Read it here .)

When it comes to a scarcity mindset, what is the cause? More often than not, I believe it is fear. Specifically it is fear of failure.

Think about the list of reasons above on why women won’t start a business.

Role models

While having a role model is certainly a good thing, it’s not required to start a business. That is fear that you don’t have the knowledge and power within yourself to be successful.

Ready or not?

Not feeling ready is a vague feeling not grounded in reality. When is anyone ever ready to start a business? Make a move? Have a family? You never are; you just do. Again, not being ready really means not being ready for the possibility of failure.


Lacking confidence is a direct manifestation of fear. As Ghandi once said, “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” If you believe you don’t have the confidence, your destiny will be to never have the confidence. If you believe that failure is bad (it’s not!), your destiny will be to never take risks that could lead to failure.


I once knew a guy who never left school. Seriously. He had three…THREE different PhD’s, and never once had a job. By the time he finally finished school, he was in his late 40’s and while he had skills, none of them were marketable.

We could modify an old adage here and say, those that can do; those that think they can’t only study.

There’s nothing wrong with always growing and studying—in fact, it’s essential for success. The most successful people know you are never done learning. But the best lessons come from trying and failing.

Business skills aren’t taught. They’re acquired. And an entrepreneur’s skills are only acquired by being one.

Show me the money

In my experience, there’s plenty of money out there to fund you business. The question is, do you believe in your business enough to tenaciously seek it out and ask for it?

Again, most people hide behind the excuse of no money because they’re secretly afraid of failing and losing people’s money. If you feel that way, you’ll never get off the ground.

The reality is that most investors understand the risk in investing in a business, and many businesses fail. That is part of the journey, both for the entrepreneur and the investor. But if they smell fear, they won’t invest.

If you’ve used the excuses above—or any others for that matter—when it comes to your entrepreneurial dreams, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. Face the fact that your real problem is fear of failing and pull it out at the root. Only then will the excuses melt away and the real work get done.

Original publish date: June 23, 2016

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