Hurdles to Starting a Business
comes to career, one of the greatest dreams of many people is to own
their own business. This paints mental pictures of being the
captain of one’s own ship and being in control of one’s destiny.
Most all people who are considered a world class success in business
own or at least run their own operation. For the right person,
there is nothing better than owning your own business. For the
wrong person, there is nothing worse than owning your own business.
For the right people, starting or running a company becomes
liberating, creatively stimulating, and energizing. For the
wrong people, it becomes pressure-filled, confining, and paralyzing.
a number of hurdles that anyone should consider before starting or
running their own business. These hurdles build upon one
another. You don’t go to the second hurdle until you have
successfully navigated the first one; and unless you get over all the
hurdles, you should not even consider being in business for yourself.
Once you’re over the last hurdle, it doesn’t mean you win the
race, it means you qualify to enter the starting blocks to begin the
competition of owning and running your own business.
remember, there is nothing wrong with not being a business owner,
leader, or entrepreneur. There are scores of people who function
valuably and professionally within someone else’s corporate
structure. This does not make them bad people. On the
contrary, it makes them very good people at fitting into a vibrant
following hurdles should each be successfully cleared before you move
on toward the possibility of even considering starting or running your
Hurdle 1: Honestly assess your temperament to determine
whether or not you are suited to be an entrepreneur or a business
owner. Are you a leader? Do you enjoy blazing your own
trail, or would you prefer to follow someone else’s lead or a
clearly delineated job description and career path? Ask friends,
co-workers, and family members who will be honest with you to assess
your temperament as well. Often, those around us see us more
clearly than we can see our own strengths and weaknesses.
Hurdle 2: Determine whether or not you have a unique talent,
ability, or opportunity. You have heard it said that if you
build a better mousetrap, people will beat a path to your door.
Obviously, it would be best to be the very first person to create a
mousetrap. If not, you must determine if your mousetrap is
really better and has either a cost or a quality competitive advantage
compared to those that are currently on the market. You must
also assess whether or not there are a sufficient number of mice--or
in this case, potential customers--in your proposed marketplace.
This area cannot be overestimated. Entrepreneurs fail every day
because they are not honest with themselves. They feel they have
a unique talent, product, or marketplace that no one else has.
Hurdle 3: Do you have enough capital? Most entrepreneurs
will tell you the term “enough” capital does not exist.
There is more truth than one might imagine in that statement.
When you are in business for yourself, everything takes longer, costs
more, and is more difficult than you imagined. This is not
negative thinking. It is the real life experience of most
business owners. Too many “would be” entrepreneurs base all
projections on the proverbial best case scenario. You would be
much better off to base your projections on the worst case scenario
and even cut it in half. If you can survive in that environment,
you’ve got an excellent chance of making it. The only cardinal
sin in business planning is to run out of money. Money buys you
time, second chances, and many lessons. With money, you’re
like a pilot flying 40,000 feet above the earth. Any problems
can be dealt with at this altitude. You have a lot of time to
make corrections, contingency plans, and pursue alternatives.
Without enough capital, you are like that same pilot flying 100 feet
above the ground. You can fly successfully if everything goes
perfectly; but if there’s one mechanical error, fuel problem, or
wind sheer, you are destined to crash and burn.
Hurdle 4: Do you have a passion for your new business?
This may be the most critical hurdle of all. It’s got to be
more than a good idea or an attractive business. You’ve got to
be willing to live, eat, and breathe your new venture because, in
reality, you will probably be forced to. Becoming an
entrepreneur means that you are willing to do things that most people
are not willing to do. This is only possible when you have an
unbelievable passion to pursue your dream of owning your own business.
have gotten over these four hurdles, you may be ready to approach the
starting line. If you are, indeed, going to launch into your own
business, above all remember the best advice I ever heard about being
in business for myself: Make sure you’re having fun. You
got into this because you thought you would enjoy it. If you
don’t enjoy being in business for yourself, you would be far better
off having a job working for someone else.
mark. Get set. Go!
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about Jim Stovall.
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