You’re great at coming up with ideas, you have good leadership skills and plenty of ambition – so why aren’t you an entrepreneur?
Of course, becoming an entrepreneur isn’t that simple. It takes a perfect combination of drive, innovation and opportunity to start a business. If you feel you have those three, it may be something else that’s holding you back.
You haven’t found your ‘passion’
Not only is ‘follow your passion’ really bad career advice, it’s also a potential stopping point on your journey to entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are supposed to be driven individuals who won’t be swayed from one true passion. If that’s true, how do you explain Richard Branson or Elon Musk? Two very successful entrepreneurs who have had success in a variety of industries. They didn’t wait to find their ‘passion’ before starting out in business – they just started businesses and took it from there.
If you’re still waiting to find that amazing idea that unlocks your ‘passion’ you might be waiting a long time. Instead, focus on the things you’re good at and get started – you never know how far it might take you.
Your ideas aren’t very good
Alongside ‘passion’, ‘one great idea’ is another of the clichéd requirements for a successful entrepreneur. That often leads people who want to start a business to ask – ‘is my idea good enough?’ There is only one way to get an answer and that’s to try; it’s impossible to tell if an idea is good just by thinking about it.
Take the Pet Rock. A rock, in a little box, with air holes and instructions on how to make it ‘stay’. Terrible idea, right? Ask its inventor, Gary Dahl. It made him a millionaire.
Even if you think your idea is great – the fear of failure can be too much. With the risk of financial meltdown, disappointing your friends and family or just not being good enough – starting a business is a scary process. You do need to ask, are your fears legitimate? And if so, is this move really worth the risk?
However, you also need to remember that failures happen. If you do fail, the challenge is to come back stronger the next time. That ability to bounce back from failure is a key attribute in the best entrepreneurs, and the best employees.
You’re addicted to brain crack
Many of us suffer from a severe case of brain crack addiction. We love our ideas so much that we need to have the time, space and money to do them perfectly before we put them into action. Until that perfect moment arrives, we hold on to the ideas – rolling them around our brain every so often to take a hit of the excitement they generate. After a while we become so addicted to these ideas that we never want to give them up. They’ll never be perfect so we just keep all the brain crack for ourselves instead.
The only way to beat this addiction is to cut it off at the source. Get your ideas out straight away and shape them as you go. If you don’t, they’ll end up locked away forever so you can always take one more hit.
It’s just not for you
The elephant in the room here may be that the reason you’re not an entrepreneur, is because you’re not an entrepreneur. We can’t all create business empires and just because you have ideas doesn’t mean you need to start a business to make them happen. Every business needs innovators and it may be that you are better suited to boosting someone else’s vision rather than building your own. Instead of dreaming about all the things you might do if you were an entrepreneur, embrace your abilities as an intrapreneur – it may be the best way to reach your full potential.