It seems like every other day I read another article where some self-appointed “guru” is telling his readers that they, too, can do exactly what he does. The (fake) images of his bank account balance appear, the music swells aaaannnnddd… cue the sales pitch.
Even when it’s not as smarmy as all that, the conventional wisdom-de-jour is that with a few life-hacks, some cool software, and a penchant for indie rock music and/or vegan dorritos, virtually anybody can now start a business and start raking in the dough.
And although that idea may sell a lot of books and generate a kagillion facebook likes, it’s simply not true. Starting a business is NOT for for everyone, and some people shouldn’t even try.
Thinking of starting a business? If any of these 5 things are true about you, you may want to reconsider:
1. You don’t care about excellence.
The last the thing the world needs is another crappy product or service. Putting out anything other than your best sends a message to the rest of the world that you don’t care about what you are selling. So why should they?
If you are not going to constantly strive for excellence in your business, save yourself some heartache, and don’t start.
2. You don’t exhibit discipline in your daily life.
Starting and maintaining a business takes discipline. The only way to avoid drifting into the mediocre middle is to have the guts to determine the priorities for your business, come up with a plan, and then execute it consistently.
If you are not committed to making a habit of, well… making good daily/weekly habits, then don’t bother starting a business.
3. You don’t have a deep sense of purpose for what you are about to do.
We are at our best when we operate from a place of deeper meaning. A sense of purpose is like motor oil. You can drive for a little while without it, but you’re engine will quickly seize up and you’ll be stuck on the side of the road.
Develop a passion for something and for the people you are going to serve with your business, and then you may just be able to make it through the tough times that will inevitably come.
4. You are looking for an easier path than the one you are currently on.
The last reason you want to start a business is because someone told you how easy it is, and how much money you can make. The promise of “easy money” will not be enough to sustain you when it turns out to be hard.
Nothing worth doing is easy. If you want easy, don’t start a business.
5. You want to be a teacher, before you become a student.
If I hear “Just call yourself an expert and you’ll become one” one more time, I’m going to throw up. I’ve had the great misfortune of hiring some of these “experts” in the past and let me tell you from experience that the title does not make the man. Oh… and I didn’t hire them for a second job, either.
Look around you. The good industry-leaders took the time to become real experts at their craft. What they share flows naturally from their depth of experience. The great industry-leaders don’t even consider themselves experts at all. They are still students.
If you are looking to start a business selling expertise that you haven’t earned as a student, don’t waste your time. If you manage to fool enough people into believing you actually are an expert, you’ll have to live with that. More likely, though, people will see through the facade and you won’t get any traction.
The flip side is also true, though.
If you are disciplined, committed to excellence, undergirded by a deep sense of purpose, looking for the right path instead of the easy one, and are willing to learn the hard lessons before you teach them? Then you may be almost unstoppable.
Steph and I have a deep admiration for people like you and try to surround myself with them as much as possible. We want to learn from you and with you. So thanks for being a part of our little community!