Many people believe operating an online business is easy, not worth it, fake, hard to do, impossible, and their emotions are all over the place and so widely mixed and mistaken. I am here to shatter those beliefs and false perceptions to the majority that have these negative views with online businesses.
The biggest challenges are not the external ones like funding, coding, technology or talent acquisition. Those challenges can be fun, as long as you view them the right way. The biggest challenges are the internal ones, like stress, fear and self-doubt.
Building an online business isn’t for everyone and I will describe to you a few reasons why below. My hope is you will make a definite decision – after reading this article – and if you are a good candidate to begin building or go to work for someone else if you find you don’t have what it takes to be a successful online owner/ceo.
1. I’m not really an entrepreneur.
Let me toss out one of the most over-asked and under-answered questions on the planet: What is an entrepreneur?
Nobody knows for sure. People try to define the word — from government organizations to columnists. We have little more than mere definitions, cobbled together by people trying to make sense of the vast entrepreneurial arena.
If you think you’re not an entrepreneur, then you’re approaching the issue from the wrong angle. The right angle is I want to start a business…sell something, do something, invent, create, dream and grow. If you start from the “am I an entrepreneur?” question then you may accidentally disqualify yourself before you even begin.
2. I’m not going to succeed.
“Failure” is pandemic in the entrepreneurial community, so much so that “fail fast, fail often” is a Silicon Valley mantra.
What’s an entrepreneur to do with this kind of data? You can respond in one of two ways:
- Believe that you will fail
- Fight failure
If you want to run your business into the ground — or never get it off the ground — then firmly place yourself in the massive fail category. If, on the other hand, you want to succeed, then readjust your beliefs.
3. I’m not worth that much.
Often, entrepreneurs sell themselves short, because they have little self-worth. The prototypical entrepreneur — scrappy, resourceful, smart and aggressive — may not have aspirations toward greatness or wealth. But in order to build a successful business, the entrepreneur needs some business drive.
Maybe you fear being greedy. Maybe you are a champion for making things low cost or available for everyone. That’s OK. At the same time, you must realize that you deserve to raise your prices, make profits, build a business and succeed for the long term.
4. I’m not a salesperson.
Can you succeed as an entrepreneur without a sales bone in your body? Heck yes. Sales and marketing are important, but aren’t essential to the entrepreneur’s success.
You don’t have to be the traditional salesperson to succeed as an entrepreneur. Do you have to sell something? Well, yeah, sort of. But you don’t have to be a salesperson to sell.
What do you do then if you don’t sell?
- Stay excited. Passion is one of the entrepreneur’s most powerful assets.
- Be an expert. Those who master a niche are destined to profit from it. As you position yourself as a top-shelf professional in your field, you’ll inevitably grow.
- Build your personal brand. If you want to build your business, build your personal brand. It’s one of the fastest ways to growth without intentionally selling.
- Form the right partnerships. Successful entrepreneurs don’t fly solo. If you aren’t the “sales type” then find a partner who can do the dirty work for you.
5. I’m not a good leader.
Like the word “entrepreneur,” the word “leader” is slippery to the point where it’s almost useless.
Some entrepreneurs are scared off from their entrepreneurial passions because they fear leadership, whatever that is. To overcome this mental hurdle, the aspiring entrepreneur should dismiss from her mind the fuzzy word, leadership, and replace it with a metaphor, not a word.
Entrepreneurs are on a journey. Other people join them on the journey. If someone wants to claim the title of “leader” or “CEO” or “manager,” then fine. But keep the metaphor in mind — the journey. Growing a business isn’t about a single person asserting his or her control or “leadership,” but rather rallying others in the pursuit of progress.
Whether you think of yourself as a good leader or no leader at all is of little consequence. You need to be capable of building a business, and that’s what matters.
Would I encourage everyone to start a business? The answer is still no, but I want to qualify that response. There are far more people who should and can start businesses. The tyranny of mental hurdles is so acute that many would-be entrepreneurs start to quit before they even start.
If you’re going to build something, it’s time to go for it. Mental hurdles, be gone.