As promised last week, I’d like to address the main objections that people hide behind for not going into business for themselves.
It’s Too Risky
Perhaps you weren’t paying attention to my previous post (found here), but employment is far more risky. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, of all adults reaching the age of 65:
- 45% are dependent on relatives
- 30% are dependent on charity
- 23% are still working
98% of Americans reaching retirement age are unable to retire with any sort of financial independence. (Coincidentally, 100% of those people did not think that this would happen to them).
When harping about the risk of starting a small business, many people like to cite the statistic that 80% of small businesses fail within five years (and 50% of those fail in the first year). Frankly, I’d rather take the “risk” of business ownership. Worst case scenario is you lose all your starting capital and declare bankruptcy in one year. You have plenty of time to start over, rebuild, armed with some wisdom and experience this time. My other option is to work for 40 or 50 years and then go bankrupt as a tired old man.
I Don’t Know How
You know, most doctors didn’t know how to practice medicine when they were toddlers. If you lack knowledge: Learn. I spend a lot of time ragging on the public school system in this country. As far as I’m concerned, public school should last two years and have only one purpose: to teach our citizenry how to read. And statistically, they are abysmal failures at even this in the inner cities.
Once a person has the ability to read, they have the ability to learn anything they want to learn. Period. If kids are forced by law to sit in desks for thirteen years and learn something they have no interest in, then it is no longer “school.” It is daycare for good kids and kiddie jail for bad kids.
If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, perhaps in some field that I asked you to brainstorm about last week, begin researching. The internet has googles of free information. Books and magazines are easy to find and cheap. When you have begun arming yourself with some knowledge, enough to discern valid information from snake oil hucksters, you can actually enroll in classes, hire specialists, get yourself some quality specialized knowledge.
Anything that you want to learn, you can learn in this day and age.
I Don’t Have The Money
It takes less money to launch and operate a business today than at any other time in history. With the internet you have greater access to research and more marketing power than IBM ever had when they hit their first billion dollars in sales. A viral Tweet or Facebook post is worth more in advertising dollars than virtually any amount of print ads. With parcel delivery services you can distribute products to a near-global market without having to buy a fleet of planes, trains and automobiles.
Remember John Sestina’s advice from my column last week?
- If you make less than $75,000 a year you should start a business because you need the income. If you make more than $75,000 a year you should start a business because you could use the tax benefits.
If you start a business out of your home, then a portion of your rent or mortgage becomes tax-deductible. The cost of travel and entertainment while traveling can be deducted from your taxes if you travel for business (and let’s face it, if you’re traveling somewhere, you can figure out some business to do while you’re there). So does your car, your cell phone, your internet service. The income tax laws are designed to provide incentives for people to start businesses. Your best way to pay less in taxes with a job is to earn less money.
I Don’t Have The Time
We will make the time for what is important to us. Most people could have had their business plan completely developed and ready to launch if they had spent one less hour watching television every night of the past year and invested that time into their future. I don’t want to spend a lot of time expounding on this point, because I may have written a book on this subject already called It Takes 15 Minutes to Change Your Life.
Employment is a far more risky scheme than entrepreneurship. (Click to tweet)
You may have never thought about going into business for yourself; being an entrepreneur. You may have thought of all sorts of good reasons why you can’t do it. That’s why I wanted to dissect and decimate all these reasons and expose them as excuses.
The best definition I’ve heard of for an excuse is: an excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.
Ultimately even if I can prove to you logically that it is better for you, your family, and your future family to be an entrepreneur rather than an employee, it doesn’t matter what your excuse is. “Any excuse will work. An excuse can be illogical, irrational, inane, insane, insipid, indistinct or even indigo; but it will still work if you let it.”
Stop looking for reasons why it can’t be done, start looking for reasons why it can.
Stop listening to the 98% that say it can’t be done, start listening to the 2% that have done it.
Stop coming up with excuses, start analyzing the lie that is stuffed into it.