Do you have dreams that keep getting pushed to the side, and every time they are revisited you make another excuse as to why it's not the right time to chase them? Successful entrepreneurs all have one thing in common – they pushed the excuses aside, not their dreams.
While there are countless excuses, these six in particular are both horrible and unfortunately common – and you should not let them stand in the way of your entrepreneurial dreams.
1. "I'm too old." You are never too old to accomplish anything that you set your mind to. The media tends to highlight young entrepreneurs and founders – a headline about an Ivy League college student creating a successful company is going to receive more media attention than a headline about an entrepreneur in his or her early 40s that launched a successful venture out of the garage.
Mark Zuckerberg co-founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room and Evan Spiegel co-founded Snapchat while at Stanford – but there have also been plenty of successful companies founded by older entrepreneurs. Reid Hoffman was 35 when he co-founded LinkedIn, and Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T. Age is just a number – not an excuse.
2. "I'm scared." There isn't a single entrepreneur that wasn't scared – anyone saying otherwise is flat-out lying to your face. You have to take that fear and use it as motivation rather than let it stop you. When it comes down to it there is only one thing you should be scared of – not reaching your dreams.
Know what's scary? The thought of someone else coming to market with your idea in the future and you kicking yourself daily for not pursuing your dreams. Now that's scary, right?
3. "I don't have money." Reality check: you are never going to have enough capital unless you are Apple and have $194-billion cash to spend. Every business can always use additional funding. Look a Uber – it is valued at approximately $50-billion and currently raising between $1.5 and $2-billion.
Don't let limited funds stop you – bootstrap your growth and make sure that your business model generates revenue fast enough to keep you above water. For more tips to help you start a business with little to no capital, check out this article.
4. "I don't have connections." This is not a valid excuse today – social media makes it possible to connect with almost anyone. Introductions and connections can sprout from a single Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn message. In fact, some of the most influential entrepreneurs and business personalities are more accessible than you might think.
You can also use website contact forms and email addresses. If you send a message through a website form the intended recipient is going to see it – whether they respond or not depends on your message. Anything that comes through my company's website addressed to me gets forwarded to me – it doesn't necessarily mean I respond to all of them, but I do read them.
You might have to kick some doors down, but if you are willing to work, you can make connections. Truthfully, anyone claiming that they aren't making any connections isn't working hard enough.
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5. "I don't have time." Every single person on this planet has 24 hours in his or her day. You can't buy any extra – it is on you to use your time efficiently. Want to start a business on the side while working your full-time job? You just have to prioritize your time away from work.
Wake up early in the morning and work on your business or skip happy hour and go home and work hard through the evening. The people claiming they don't have time are the same people sleeping in every morning and going out every night socializing for hours. If you want it bad enough, you will find the time.
6. "I might fail." Failure sucks and it's always a possibility – there's no avoiding that. There is also a chance that you could get into a car accident on your commute tomorrow – are you going to let that possibility stop you from reaching your destination? Of course not.
"You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don't take." – Wayne Gretzky Trust your gut. I just started a new venture last week – I decided to move forward after confirming four key factors:
- It will benefit entrepreneurs and business owners.
- It will appeal to entrepreneurs and business owners.
- Entrepreneurs and business owners will be able to afford it.
- Entrepreneurs and business owners cannot afford to not be a part of it.
Will it be successful? Time will tell – but the above was enough for me to jump all in and put my nose to the grindstone. If you're interested in what I'm launching, follow me on Twitter – I'll be announcing it there.
Jonathan Long is the founder and CEO of Market Domination Media, a Miami Beach-based online marketing agency that specializes in content marketing, web design and search-engine optimization (SEO). Market Domination Media uses innovative outside-the-box thinking when it comes to developing online marketing strategies. Sign up for its weekly newsletter by clicking here.
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