|As part of my research for my book The Natural Enterprise, I had the chance this weekend to speak informally with a group of young people (in their 20s and 30s) about whether they would ever consider starting their own business. Most of them like the idea of doing so, but confess to being afraid to do so, to the point most would never even seriously consider it. Here are the ten reasons they gave for this, along with my thoughts on how a Natural Enterprise could overcome these fears.
I’m now even more convinced that this book meets a serious need. My challenge will be to get young prospective readers of the book to even look at it — their skepticism about the prospects for personal entrepreneurshiprun that deep!
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I agree it’s a tragedy we’re not teaching it – an extension of that Learned Helplessness you wrote about earlier. I’m thirty, and I’ve just got my architect’s shingle out in the past six months. I have solved some of the risk issues by: being married to someone who can meet more than half of the necessary bills; continuing to work part-time at a sympathetic business (design-build construction) which meets the rest of the necessities, and saves great time with networking and the ongoing requisite market research. Other advantages I have over my Dilbert peers: my husband travels many weekends, so I have those available to work (very necessary), and we have no children.What burdened me most were two things: the mysteries of the Process, and not understanding what niche I wanted to fill (maybe you’d put this under Skills? – but then again, I’m learning more faster in business than I did trying to prepare for it. Must be why they call it architectural PRACTICE.) The Process finally got cleared up by stumbling on a strident professional liability insurance agent, who gave me a 1-2-3 list of Things To Do By Monday And I’ll Get You a Quote. But the niche I had to struggle for on my own, working for various different kinds of firms, until I was very sure about what it was I didn’t want to be doing, and it finally became clear that a market wasn’t being served that I did want to be involved with. I don’t see how I could have done that more quickly than the ten years it took.I found myself hampered by being raised in a family with no business experience – both my parents are Dilberts – and school wasn’t very helpful either (aside from Technical Writing, which I recommend to everyone.) I did get a lot out of ‘The E-Myth Revisited’, which set my head straight about thinking about business like a Technician, and since the blogosphere has developed, I’ve found a good deal of motivation there.
Thanks for this fresh perspective on the old view of creating a new venture. When I was reading each item in the list I was smiling because I have had the same thoughts going forward in organizing to start my own venture. It is at least refreshing to know that people in my age group think the same. I especially connected with the last point of not trying to do everything yourself.I look forward to the book when it gets published.
Have you ever thought about publishing it online, on an easy-to-navigate site .. I think there are services for that kind of publishing now, and accompanying it with a Cluetrain or ChangeThis or GetFirefox kind of initiative ? It only takes a match and a few people blowing to start a brush fire.
I’m 23 from PEI. I have a few friends who all we do is talk about entrepreneurship. We have been talking for years. One of the ideas is finally starting to move ahead, and whenever I mention the possibility of starting my own business people ask where they can sign up to help. That encouragement really helps. If you know somebody who wants to do this encourage them to do it. Help them if you have anything to give. I agree, it is the self-sufficiency that is scary. But it feels like I have a network in place to limit the effects of a stumble. Entrepreneurship is a community thing.
There is a real need for services targeted at helping people at the earliest stages of entrepreneurship. We
One more thought that hasn’t come up yet – I’m 23, and work for a young environmental non-profit. The biggest reason that I have no urge to go off on my own is that I don’t want to live my life in (what I perceive as) a fundamnetally, intensely competitive environment. My view of business is colored very much towards questions of survival (where’s the next grant? where’s the next customer?) – how can you be expected to live a fulfilling life in that type of environment? But maybe you’re taking that on in the book?
I’m 23 and I’ve been in the ‘Real World’ since this past August. I worked a co-op job during school for job experience and I’ve been working with my current company since May 2005. It didn’t take me long to realize that I don’t enjoy working for someone else. I read the list and I am struggling with each one to a certain extent, but the drive within me to strike out on my own (with the help of others including close friends and family) and to achieve success as I define it myself is too strong to ignore anymore. I agree that the road ahead will be hard and will have some unavoidable setbacks, but why sit around in the cube wondering what if? One of the goals in my business venture is to achieve passive income. I see that as part of my goal for financial freedom. That will allow me to take on other business ventures (if I so choose or to take a vacation if I so choose) and achieve even more success in my life.
Dave, if you are looking for ideas for the book, I think I would put in an entire chapter on the concept of ‘value’. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I find most can’t tell you what something is worth without looking at the price tag. Like value in trade v. value in consumption. Something like that.. Know what I mean?
Hi. I came accross your post while on delicious. This sounds like a great book. I recently started my own firm (I’m 30) and I’m loving it. It’s certainly hard work, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me. I certainly have (and had) a lot of fear, but I’ve learned to deal with the things I can control (marketing, my product) and leave the rest (who hires me; whether I’ll get the business right away). I’m happy you’re writing this book. I’ll keep an eye on your blog to see how things are going.
To Russell and Fred above, go for it. I began my own business at 15 while studying
well i cant agree fully on it but i accecpt most of things pointed on ure articles… MONEY & CONFIDENCE !!! is all u need for buisness…well at age of 19 i started my buisness for rs.5000 .got money from my father. for first 4months i had like rs.30000 debts ..yea all for marketing purpose and i was the only person working in my office i answer all queries,support,accounts…HELL iam unable to sleep in night….no income and nothing till 6 months it has become a DO or DIE situation for me….but i havent lost my intrest on it i kept on working on diffrent marketing techniques and issues….i used to work like 15-16 hrs a day all alone …BUT the results is that IAM on TOP 3 in the industry. i have 15-20 ppl working underme :) SELF CONFIDENCE is something which stood with me always :)
Hi there,Nice write up. To be frank I failed twice in business (and I still dreaming to start third one). The idea of making *more money and doing something new *does not allow me seat back. I started first business when I was 18 years old after 4 four year later, I closed and went bank corrupt. Then I took small job and after 2 years later, I started it new business and within 2 years, again I went bank corrupt. I’d feel like a failure in life, it affected very badly as women whom I was suppose to marry left me and my friends (even my dad) thinks I am totally useless guy. In short, I lost all my reputation and I was on road (the end). It was sad enough for me and I thought I should kill my self. I started to take some medical treatment to get out of this dangerous situation. During this darkest time, I meet one person, we talked all about this failure, and he said few things to me 1) Failure is first step of success; he gave me couple of examples how even big business failed in their first or second attempts2) And he gave me a book called Bhagavad-Gita
Great post Dave – I’m considering doing an MBA prior to starting a business. I’ll keep my eye out for your book.
Nothing comes easy and success means hard work and sacrifice. Enjoy now, suffer later OR Suffer now, ENJOY LATER?Once a successful person told me that “if you want to be sucessful in life, you need to have a lot of self believe, vision, PASSION and not afraid of failure”.
This is so right. I agree entirely to this post. If I had read that article before, perhaps I never have done so many mistakes in the past.Like you said, people need to have the self-confidence before investing time and money in a business.
I do believe there is a lot of truth to the answers or comments. One other that could be included is getting comments from a spouse or other relation saying you can’t make money on the web. I do believe it can be done I have started 3 or 4 on-line business and then my spouse found out about it and forced me to quit. I was just starting to bring in money on a couple of them.