There are a lot of reasons we tell ourselves or others tell us of why we shouldn't start our own business or invest in ourselves. Family, friends, colleagues even while they may have your best intentions at heart, a lot of times discourage us from breaking away from the norm. It's ok to take out hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans (with interest) is "good". Investing in yourself outside of standard educating is "bad, risky, costly, etc..." I have been lucky to always have supportive family encouraging me, but I have still heard the common criticisms from others.
One of my favorite phrases is: "Free advice can be the worst advice". This doesn't mean if you are networking with individuals in your field and not paying a fee for it the advice is bad. This means, when you mention your idea at a party and your friend/relative/colleague with no experience says that's a bad idea because .....
So this post is about the 4 biggest lies we tell ourselves or others tell us of why not to get started in business.
1. I Don't Know How to Get Started!
We all know this lie/reason to get started. I still tell it to myself today when I do something new. What would you tell someone if they didn't know how to do something? GOOGLE/YOUTUBE IT (LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK). We have been doing this for 20 years and still when we want to start something we let ourselves get stuck and say (I don't know how to do this).
Now in business the waters are a lot murkier depending on what you're trying to do. If Google fails you then you have to seek advice. You need to have a network. I have joined paid real estate groups which just because you pay for them doesn't make them better. I've messaged dozens of people on instagram who I see doing something I want to do and ask them how. Reading books on the subject and podcasts are a great way also to get advice!
If the task feels big break it down into small chunks and tackle it a task at a time! Don't look at the wall of Getting Started look at the small tasks.
When you tell yourself I don't know how to get started replace it with I don't feel like getting started!
2. It Didn't Work for Me So You Shouldn't Do It
This was one I heard from someone at a gathering. I was telling him I was interested in pursuing rental real estate. He told me how he invested in this neighborhood (cheap rentals and high crime) and the vast amount of problems he had. His advice "I wish you luck but it was a pain for me". To someone starting out if that was the only opinion you had you would run for the hills. Luckily I had been listening to podcasts and networking so I had a lot of great stories I knew of.
No matter what the business path is you want to take if you have the ambition I believe you can make it work (if there is a need for your business/product). Which brings me to my next lie/reason we never get started.
3. The Market is Oversaturated, There is No Need for My Service/Product!
This is the lie I told myself when I started my landscaping company with my business partner. I was in a town where all you saw were landscaping trucks, it honestly felt like hundreds a day.
In my head: (there are so many landscaping companies who needs another one? Why would I be different?)
We quickly found ways to separate ourselves. I was good at creating websites and you know what most companies didn't have? A website! I did a ton of research on YouTube/google on marketing (when I say a ton maybe 5 hrs). I would always get the same response when I answered the phone: "Wow we haven't actually had anyone pickup/return our call". I grew my business by being responsive to clients and getting quotes out quickly. We eventually became the top 3 recommended companies on Next-door which was huge.
So the point is there is always going to be a ton of competition in any industry. Most of that competition doesn't pick up their phone, they don't get back to clients within 1hr or even 1 day. If you have ambition and care about your clients you can be the best in your industry. But if you are overselling your clients stuff they do not need and not valuing their time, it's going to comeback and you will be sorted out.
Be ambitious, be honest, value your clients time and you will succeed!
4. It's Too Hard
I have also been told this when starting out in business by others:
"Hey well it is great you have that passion but you know I have heard that (Insert your idea) is really hard to be in".
Usually this person means well but has no experience in this industry. Or we tell ourselves "I want to get started pursuing this idea but it sounds too hard".
I have heard both and I still tell myself this sometimes when I go to pursue a new idea. You have to switch it to "what are the challenging parts of the process?" Get educated around those parts and they will become less scary. You know what else is hard waking up at 5/6am going to an office for 8-10 hrs a day and doing something because it pays the bills. If you pursue your business idea it may take 12-16 hr days but if it's something you love it will not feel like work and the hours will go down .... eventually. Being in business for yourself is hard and challenging but so is going to work for someone else.
If you are having trouble getting started with your idea reach out I'm always happy to help where I can! Pursuing your own business is hard but it is so rewarding and all the milestones small and big are things you will never forget!
Matt Tallent is a Realtor with The How Group. His passions include rental property investing and helping others achieve their real estate goals.
Real Estate Investing
Buy and Hold
720 Fayette St, Conshohocken, PA 19428