It is suddenly hot to be involved with startups. Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars or film stars. Film stars, singers and models are the new entrepreneurs. However, it is a mistake to believe you are an entrepreneur just because you attend networking events and hang out with the startup crowd. Launching a startup is risky and it’s therefore easy to prevaricate and find excuses not to start. Here are a few of the most common reasons for not starting a startup and some ideas on how to overcome them:
I don’t have an idea – it is easy to imagine that all the good ideas have already been taken. However, it is wrong to obsess on finding an idea. Think in terms of either solving a problem that you encounter in real-life and doing it ‘quicker, smarter, cheaper’ or develop a vision of something you want to change in the world. Don’t overwork the idea at first. Get a co-founder and work it out together – it’s sure to change a lot on the way.
I don’t have any money – this can often mean uncertainty about the idea! There is little doubt that there is high financial risk in getting involved in a startup. At the early stage it is always a case of beg, borrow, and test your negotiating skills with everyone! However, the situation has got a lot better over the past few years with Startup Loans and Crowd-funding. Don’t use lack of money as an excuse if you truly believe in your idea.
I can’t find a co-founder – If you can’t find a co-founder it usually means that either you are not networking enough, you are not convincing enough or you are unrealistic in what you want to offer your co-founder. Think very carefully what gap in your skill set are you trying to fill, hone the way you communicate your idea and make the deal attractive. if you can’t immediately attract a co-founder, try using contractors, part-timers or swap skills.
I don’t have enough experience – It is often a mistake to believe that it is necessary to study further or take a corporate job to build experience. Many great startups have been built by college dropouts or people with limited experience. Jumping off the corporate ladder at a later stage is very hard. If you have a great idea and want to do a startup, do it as soon as possible. There is plenty of free help out there from startup academies and mentors.
I don’t have time – This is one that can’t be overcome easily. Startups require 100% commitment or they fail. In the early days it is sometimes possible to burn the mid-night oil on your startup, whilst doing a corporate job or contracting during the day. However, it normally comes down to quitting the day job and working full time on your passion.
Creating a startup is one of the most satisfying activities to get involved in. It is a massive learning curve for anyone but the buzz is indescribable. It takes true bravery and commitment. There will be ups and downs. However, you can’t pretend to be an entrepreneur and retain any credibility. It is binary, you are either fully committed to making your dream happen or you are not. So the message is, don’t hang about – the market won’t wait for you!