Starting a business is easy, running a business is another story. Here I would like to summarise from my experience the 5 Reasons You’ll Never Cut It as an Entrepreneur.
If you don’t want to be a TL;DR victim here is a quick summary:
- Lack of a clear vision.
- Inability to handle failure.
- Lack of resources.
- Poor decision-making skills.
- Lack of a support system.
If you would like to have a more in-depth and personal opinion, read more.
Going a step back let’s talk about me. As an entrepreneur with 16 years of experience now, I’ve seen it all. I’ve experienced the highs of success and the lows of failure, and I’ve learned firsthand what it takes to make it in this industry.
Let’s be honest, the initial years were more failures than successes, and as a 19year old at the time – when I started my first business with little to no experience the ambitions were high and so were the hopes.
I was convinced that I could do anything I set my mind to, and I was determined to make a name for myself in the world of business. But as I soon learned, starting a business is tough. It requires hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of resilience.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs never make it. The harsh truth is that the vast majority of startups fail, and if you’re not prepared for the challenges that come with entrepreneurship, you’ll never succeed.
Resilience is what kept me going and navigate through so many difficulties that made me grow as an individual and as a businessman.
As a 35-years old father of two now, looking back at all those years brings back a lot of emotions but surely I wouldn’t be the person I am here today if it weren’t for that.
But, I can assure you that many of the mistakes could have been avoided and they actually did not benefit me on this path of growth.
I could talk about the time I lost 180.000 euros, that my parents invested into my company, and all the guilt and shame that came with it – but I will leave that to another story.
So, why do most entrepreneurs never make it? Here are a few reasons:
1. Lack of a clear vision. It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want your business to be, and how you’re going to get there. Without a clear vision, it’s easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of your ultimate goals. If you are in the creative space, the lack of vision is what will make you derail in an uncontrollable rollercoaster of new ideas and will not give you the ability to focus on one project and make it work.
2. Inability to handle failure.
Failure is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey, and if you can’t take it, you’ll never make it. It’s essential to learn from your mistakes and move on, rather than getting stuck in a cycle of self-doubt and frustration.
Around 2011-2012, when I had a denim brand – I met a new potential distributor for my brand who wanted me to propose some new models. I was based in Florence and the factory was in Padua – some 2.5 hours drive away. During the next 10 days from that first meeting, I machined around 4000km going up and down between the two cities, slept very few hours, and ultimately had the collection ready. When we had the next meeting he rejected everything saying that he wasn’t actually very interested. That day, in the meeting room – all the stress and tiredness came out altogether and I burst into tears. That could have been the lowest moment and could have made me give up – but you know what? I didn’t, and with the collection, I found even better distributors.
I selected for you 3 books I wish I had read before starting.
3. Lack of resources.
Starting a business requires time, money, and other resources. If you don’t have access to these things, it will be nearly impossible to get your business off the ground.
This point is a bit tricky. Money and resources make a huge difference in the success or not of a business, but, from the start, I would always recommend going through the low-budget route.
This is very important for a person venturing into the business world because it gives you the ability to develop problem-solving skills and creative thinking towards adversities and obstacles.
If you were a newbie with unlimited funds, you would easily burn them quite quickly – because you would throw budget everywhere, you would outsource every task instead of learning how to do most of the parts required to run your company before outsourcing them.
More importantly, starting with a low budget will give you the ability to handle failure, because you would already have the experience to go back and start from Zero.
4. Poor decision-making skills.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll be faced with countless decisions, and it’s important to be able to make sound ones. If you struggle with decision-making, you’ll have a hard time navigating the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.
Moreover, decision-making skills come with experience. That is what gives you the ability to assess quickly what outcome a decision would bring and what route would be preferable for you to take.
Someone told me to never forget the mistakes done in business and to treasure them for decision-making moments, and I will always carry that tip with me and so should you.
5. Lack of a support system.
Starting a business can be a lonely journey, and it’s important to have a support system to help you through the tough times. Without a network of people to turn to for guidance and encouragement, it will be much harder to succeed.
A support system gives the ability to also look at problems from a different point of view. Doing things alone and analyzing from your own personal point of view could sometimes lead you to a roadblock – so it is always a good idea to seek external opinions and mix those opinions with your own personal thoughts and your gut. Always listen to your gut.
An important topic of a support system is also to understand that in business, especially if you are doing something new or something of which your circle is not experienced – more often they will try to bring you down, tell you to not dream so big or to give up and find a 9-5. Those voices are important because in some cases they ground you – but try to have a good part of your circle be same-minded individuals and people that want to push you up instead of bringing you down.
3 pieces that never leave my side and help me organize my work-life balance.
But don’t let these challenges discourage you. While it may be tough, it’s not impossible to succeed as an entrepreneur. In fact, with the right mindset and approach, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve success.
The fact that you arrived to read this blog and you went through it all is already a good starting point because you are in fact studying your way to your success and setting some good foundations.
In conclusion, starting and running a successful business is no easy feat. It requires a clear vision, the ability to handle failure, access to resources, and the ability to adapt to change. It also requires a strong sense of resilience and determination to keep going, even when things get tough.
If you’re an entrepreneur, or considering becoming one, it’s important to be aware of these challenges and to be prepared to face them head-on. And if you ever find yourself struggling or in need of guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a discovery call.
Together, we can work to overcome any challenges and bring your business to the next level.