If you’re familiar with Daymond’s story, you know that he was working a full-time job at Red Lobster when he started FUBU. You probably also know that he later lost $20 million on a clothing line that never got off the ground, and you know that he came back from that loss to become even more successful through a number of investments and partnerships. What do these things tell you?
Unfortunately, when Daymond talks to people about these experiences, they usually come back with something like, “Yeah, but you were lucky,” or, “I wish I had the freedom to do that.” He always want to smack his head when he hears that kind of response.
Do you think that losing $20 million was lucky? What freedom did he have when he was working at Red Lobster? Basically, when he hears that kind of talk, he hears excuses that can keep otherwise good businesspeople from launching companies and breaking out of the 9-to-5. If you’re an entrepreneur, Daymond’s story and others like it should tell you that you have no excuse not to pursue your dreams of success. So, before you start saying, “I can’t because…” — here are the worst (and some of the most common) excuses I’ve heard for not starting a business.
“I DON’T HAVE THE TIME.”
Stop right there. Almost every successful entrepreneur I know started their first business while they had a full-time job working for someone else. You have the same twenty-four hours in a day that everyone else has. If you have the commitment and the motivation, then you’ll make the time to do what it takes to start your business.
“I’M TOO OLD.”
Yes, Daymond started FUBU when he was really young, but there’s no age cap on entrepreneurialism. Whether you’re fifteen or seventy-five, if you have a great idea and the will to build and market it, you’re just the right age to start your business.
“IT’S NOT PERFECT YET.”
And it never will be. If you haven’t already heard the old saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good,” then burn that into your brain right now and live by it. Your idea isn’t perfect, and your execution won’t be, either, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good. If you create a detailed plan with good exit strategies at different points along the process, then you’ll be ahead of the game. You won’t be perfect, but that’s okay, because you’ll be on your way.
“PEOPLE JUST DON’T GET MY IDEA.”
If that’s the case, then you have one of two things going on. Either you’re not communicating your idea well enough and in a way that people can really sink their teeth into, or they actually do get your idea but they don’t care. It’s your job to figure out which it is and how to fix it.
If you’re not communicating your idea well enough, then stop focusing on your product or service and start focusing on your customers. How can you improve their lives? Brainstorm all of the ways you can help your customers, and you’ll find new and better ways to communicate your ideas.
If they do get it but they’re not interested, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board and take a look at ideas that will capture their interest. Again, focus on your customers, not your products, and you’ll come to a great solution a lot faster.
If you’ve been using any of these excuses not to start a business, stop right now. If you really want it, you need to stop letting your excuses get in your way. Take them off the table and start thinking about how you can pursue your dream, not about why you can’t.