5 Excuses Entrepreneurs Use That Derail Their Businesses - The Harvey Global Post

5 Excuses Entrepreneurs Use That Derail Their Businesses

o-FEMALE-ENTREPRENEUR-facebookThis article was reprinted from Black Enterprise:

Are these common myths keeping you from starting your dream business?

Do you want to start your own company but have talked yourself out of it—afraid of risk or failure, or a belief that you lack enough resources? Basically, are you making excuses for why you haven’t followed your dream?

Lisa Song Sutton, J.D., is a real estate investor and serial entrepreneur, holding ownership interests in several companies in the real estate, retail, and food & beverage sectors, including the popular alcohol-infused bakeshop: Sin City Cupcakes.

In the preliminary stages of each of her entrepreneurial endeavors, she encountered some of the common myths that often keep people from starting a business.

To counter those myths, she relied on the advice of one of my mentors, which is to “just say yes and figure it out later,” and pressed forward anyway. “I have been rewarded by continual growth in each of my three companies,” she says.

[Related: 11 Ideas For Finding A Mentor For Your Startup]

Here Sutton exposes five myths that may be potentially holding you back, and what you can do about them.

MYTH #1: It’s not the right time. Realize that there is never a right time to strike out on your own and create a company, notes Sutton. If you keep waiting, there will always be some sort of impediment. Just prior to starting Sin City Cupcakes, I closed on my first owner-occupied house. People close to me questioned my timing and asked me to strongly consider waiting. So much in life is timing, and had I waited to start the company in the latter end of the year instead of in the beginning, our press exposure would have been significantly different based on the environment and unique changes happening in Vegas at the time.

Keep action and forward momentum at the forefront of your plans. Immediately start collaborating and reaching out to various outlets and brands as soon as you launch. Have faith that your abilities will match your plans and don’t wait.

MYTH #2: I’m waiting for inspiration. In my experience, ideas grow organically, says Sutton. Concepts have literally resulted from the sheer process of considering an idea, rejecting it, modifying it and then reconsidering it. Frankly, baking alcohol-infused cupcakes, touring multi-million dollar homes, and distributing luxury swimsuits are not my three passions in life, but what I do thrive on is working with people, selling a product, and the challenge of growing and building a brand, she explains.

MYTH #3: I need to find investors. Funding for your new company can come from a variety of sources and doesn’t have to be limited to just one. Bootstrapping and self-funding are the way most businesses get off the ground. I started my first company from a liquidated 401K and a no-interest loan from my parents, says Sutton. We ran operations extremely lean and I didn’t take owner distributions for the first two years. I poured everything back into the business and leveraged excess funds I was entitled to into my second company.

Multiple streams of revenue are key to legacy wealth building. Borrowed money and/or loss of company equity are ideal only if you are 100% certain that you need to scale quickly, notes Sutton. If you are unsure of scalability, it’s okay to start small, bootstrap funds and let your company grow organically.

Keep action and forward momentum at the forefront of your plans. Immediately start collaborating and reaching out to various outlets and brands as soon as you launch. Have faith that your abilities will match your plans and don’t wait.

MYTH #2: I’m waiting for inspiration. In my experience, ideas grow organically, says Sutton. Concepts have literally resulted from the sheer process of considering an idea, rejecting it, modifying it and then reconsidering it. Frankly, baking alcohol-infused cupcakes, touring multi-million dollar homes, and distributing luxury swimsuits are not my three passions in life, but what I do thrive on is working with people, selling a product, and the challenge of growing and building a brand, she explains.

MYTH #3: I need to find investors. Funding for your new company can come from a variety of sources and doesn’t have to be limited to just one. Bootstrapping and self-funding are the way most businesses get off the ground. I started my first company from a liquidated 401K and a no-interest loan from my parents, says Sutton. We ran operations extremely lean and I didn’t take owner distributions for the first two years. I poured everything back into the business and leveraged excess funds I was entitled to into my second company.

Multiple streams of revenue are key to legacy wealth building. Borrowed money and/or loss of company equity are ideal only if you are 100% certain that you need to scale quickly, notes Sutton. If you are unsure of scalability, it’s okay to start small, bootstrap funds and let your company grow organically.

MYTH #4: I need a business plan. A business plan is simply your concept fleshed out in further detail. Of course, having one can be helpful, but it is certainly not compulsory. The fastest way to get going is to get started. My business plans generally start with a large ream of butcher paper. I learned this trick during law school. Purchase butcher paper and tape a large sheet in an area that you frequent every day. For me, it’s my makeup vanity. After researching the background of companies similar to the one I had an idea or concept for, I would issue-spot to see if I could fix their challenges. I would then write out concepts, ideas, potential challenges and potential successes on the butcher paper and continue to extrapolate themes further until I boiled them down to basic concepts and calls to action. Turn the idea of building a business plan into a modified  ’do’ and ‘do-not-do’ list.

MYTH #5: I would have to quit my current job to start my own company. Sutton is living proof that it is entirely possible to pursue multiple ventures all at the same time. When she started my first company, she was still working full-time at a law firm. “I continued this lifestyle for an additional 1.5 years until circumstances allowed me to leverage my first company into starting the second. Of course, there were long days and longer nights, but my co-founder and I thrived in it. That journey helped me learn immensely about myself, my limitations and my capabilities, allowing me to see and plan a few steps ahead,” she says.

Sutton is a better business person for the experience. She still works seven days a week, but now all of it is for herself.

A version of this story originally appeared on the BusinessCollective, a virtual mentorship program designed to help millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, which was launched by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).

MYTH #4: I need a business plan. A business plan is simply your concept fleshed out in further detail. Of course, having one can be helpful, but it is certainly not compulsory. The fastest way to get going is to get started. My business plans generally start with a large ream of butcher paper. I learned this trick during law school. Purchase butcher paper and tape a large sheet in an area that you frequent every day. For me, it’s my makeup vanity. After researching the background of companies similar to the one I had an idea or concept for, I would issue-spot to see if I could fix their challenges. I would then write out concepts, ideas, potential challenges and potential successes on the butcher paper and continue to extrapolate themes further until I boiled them down to basic concepts and calls to action. Turn the idea of building a business plan into a modified  ’do’ and ‘do-not-do’ list.

MYTH #5: I would have to quit my current job to start my own company. Sutton is living proof that it is entirely possible to pursue multiple ventures all at the same time. When she started my first company, she was still working full-time at a law firm. “I continued this lifestyle for an additional 1.5 years until circumstances allowed me to leverage my first company into starting the second. Of course, there were long days and longer nights, but my co-founder and I thrived in it. That journey helped me learn immensely about myself, my limitations and my capabilities, allowing me to see and plan a few steps ahead,” she says.

Sutton is a better business person for the experience. She still works seven days a week, but now all of it is for herself.

A version of this story originally appeared on the BusinessCollective, a virtual mentorship program designed to help millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses, which was launched by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).




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