Main obstacle to run your own business

One self is the biggest obstacle to overcome when somebody has an idea to start their own business or is already running it.

  • It’s not about technical knowledge (or lack of it) – as you can acquire, outsource or delegate it.
  • It’s not about having money – in nowadays there are several funding and investment tools and mechanisms from crowdfunding, angel investment to startup credit lines.
  • It’s not about the idea or business concept  – well,  it is important but I assume if you want to get into business you already have done the pre-work/business plan.
  • It’s not about having managerial skills – don’t get me wrong, its important, but you can learn, improve or have a partner/staff with those skills.
  • It’s not about doubting on your entrepreneurial skills – but yes it’s also very important but again you can get them along the way.

So what is it? Oneself???

How can oneself, the guy who wants so much to start a business, that dreams about it, wants so hard to work on it, be its own biggest obstacle? For those same reasons.

  • Before the launch, (between the idea, the excitement, the dream) and the implementation, many people get “cold feet”.
    • Fear knocks on the door. Because what was initially a plan, an idea, a fancy project, needs at a certain moment to become real. Moment of truth. Leave your job, no fixed income, “what if’s” pop from everywhere. What if I fail, my reputation, the risks, living of the unknown. All those things can hold you back, and they will be a very difficult obstacle to overcome.
  • After the launch:
    • You’re so busy, you don’t have time to be the “entrepreneur”. You’re just doing the technical work, the things you were good at when you were employed.
    • you’r dam good at your technical work that you think that’s what it takes to run a business. Wrong.
      • You need also the entrepreneur side of you (or partners), those who have vision, develop, look for trends, improvements. Those who live in the future.
      • You need also the manager side of the business, the guy that keeps the balance sheet right, tracks the profits, lights the way in terms of margins and operational benefits to keep the wheel turning. The guy who lives in the present.
    • You think you have all the qualities the business needs. And you might be right. But your working days are longer and longer. At the begging it’s ok. It’s a kind of your baby, you knew it and everybody around you understands it. For a while. With time passing by, you’ll start losing yourself. you can’t be everywhere with the focus it needs. And then, neither at home. Challenges knocking from everywhere.
    • What was supposed to be a pleasant journey and fulfilling period, turns into a nightmare and a spiral you don’t know how to get out.

How can you avoid that?

  • Take your distance. Always look at the situations from an helicopter view. You are not your business. We’re talking of two different entities here.
  • Delegate. Don’t try to be the “one does everything”. It won’t work in the long run. Otherwise you won’t create a business, you created a job for yourself that in the end will consume you more than working for your old boss.
  • Empower people around you. Empowered people deliver more than you expect.
  • If you don’t have partners, ensure you’ll have managers or people with the right skills and responsibilities to cover the areas you can’t be on top of.
  • Never stop learning. Never. Nor about the business, nor about life in general.
  • Keep the flame, the excitement and the curiosity.
  • Don’t flood yourself with work. Multitasking and hard work is a modern Myth that doesn’t lead to your ultimate goal.
  • Don’t only get the right people onboard. Have the right people in the right job.

Remember the old saying “if you work too hard, you don’t have time to earn money”. If you lose the balance of yourself (no personal time, no family time, no downtime) ultimately you’ll lose. If not your business you’ll lose yourself, or your family, or your life. Keep your head high, don’t put it on the sand expecting that “everything will be alright” by itself. You make it alright. Or not. Yourself.

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