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Enough Is Enough: Busting The Excuses For Not Starting Your Business

We’re well and truly over the new year rush of resolutions and good intentions. So, if you’ve still made zero to very little progress on launching your business then I’m here to give you a reality check.

You’re making excuses.

I know, you’re busy, you’ve got responsibilities, you can’t just quit your job.

Except… you can.

You’ve just got a bad case of excusitis….

Is one of your symptoms listed below?

Let’s find out if we can cure it once and for all…


“I’m too busy and I don’t have enough spare time”

You’ve got a full-time job, a commute that takes up far too much of your time, a family, friends and a home to keep clean and a mountain of washing that never seems to disappear. Not to mention making time for exercise and to watch the latest series of The Walking Dead.

How are you going to fit in getting a business off the ground too?

Excuse buster: You find the time.

If you want to do it enough, you can find at least an hour of your free time everyday to work on your business. Like Faye and Daniel who founded their boutique fitness wear brand, Tikiboo, in their spare time, alongside their day jobs and looking after their daughter:

“We were doing everything in-house: all photography, packing, physically taking sacks of parcels to the post office, creating marketing campaigns, writing product descriptions, social media posts, SEO, customer service, managing returns…literally everything between the two of us! There were weeks when three hours sleep a night became normality. We were like Tikiboo robots.”

Yes, you might have to make some sacrifices but you know that you’ll reap the rewards down the line.

Related articles:

Should I work for myself?
How to run a business alongside a full-time career


“I haven’t saved enough money yet”

Every time you get paid you sensibly squirrel away as much as you can to put towards your startup, but it isn’t quite enough yet and you know you need to have at least a year’s worth of savings just to live off, let alone as capital to get started. Plus, you’re not even sure you’d get funding for your idea because you haven’t started yet…

Excuse buster: You don’t always need a lot of money.

Scott McGregor, serial entrepreneur, says it better than I can:

“Watch a 5-year-old run a lemonade stand. They solve this problem.”

“They find a problem that people they meet have (hot day, I am thirsty, don’t want to go looking far for a cool, inexpensive drink).”

“They choose an inexpensive solution (water + lemons + sugar) because they have no money. They may have to borrow SMALL amounts from FRIENDS or FAMILY for lemons or sugar, or disposable cups, but they can repay the modest costs out of the sales, each day.”

“They ask for free advice. They get it because everyone likes to have their opinion asked and to be regarded as an expert. And people like to see friends and neighbours succeed.”

Yes, you might need a little bit of money to begin, and having money to live off is genuinely a sensible idea. But if you’ve been saving for a while and just keep hanging on for a couple more pay cheques then it’s simple. You’re stalling. Start in your spare time if you have to and don’t forget that there’s merit in starting small, keeping your business lean and growing it small step by small step.

Related articles:

How to fund a franchise

How do I get funding for a new business?

How do I get funding for an existing business?


I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.

Elizabeth Gilbert Author

“I’m not sure which business to start”

The problem isn’t how or when to start a business, but which one to start. You’ve so many ideas and have researched multiple businesses that you think would be successful but, you’re just not sure exactly which one is the one for you.

Excuse buster: Pick one or none.

You need to make a choice. Leading business mentor and founder of B-School, Marie Forleo, says “clarity comes from engagement, not thought.”

What she means is, you have to go out there and TEST your ideas. Pick one to begin with (the one you think will solve a problem people will pay you for, and you’re passionate about) and see if it works on a small scale. Test it out. Get a feel for it. Try it on for size. You’ll quickly discover if it’s for you or you’d rather be working on that other idea you had…

How to come up with good startup business ideas
(The shortcut option) How to buy a business

“My family aren’t supportive”

I understand how tough it is when your family, partner and maybe even your kids don’t support your business dreams. Maybe they’ve not even said it out loud but the lack of enthusiasm stings when you talk about your plans.

It’s easy to resent their lack of support and to take it on board as a reason to not take the risk. Family is everything after all.

Excuse buster: Ask for support.

Laura Umfer, businesswoman and psychologist, advises, “As a business owner and psychologist, this is an ongoing issue I encounter.  My primary tip is for entrepreneurs to tell people what they need. Family and friends aren’t mind readers. If they don’t own a business, then they really don’t get it. It is important to tell them how to support you, because that support is crucial to success.”

You’ll be surprised when they have a clear idea of what they can do to help, how much a family can help a budding business owner flourish. And if they still don’t support you? Go ahead and prove them wrong – they’ll soon see you mean business.

Related articles:

How do I get advice on starting my business?

There’s an underlying emotion to all the excuses listed above… fear.  Maybe it’s fear of failure. Or fear of losing comfort and stability. Fear of letting your family down. Fear of running out of money and not being able to keep a roof over your head.

Or, perhaps you doubt yourself. Or maybe you’re just scared of change… and where it will lead you.

It doesn’t matter really. Fear is fear.

It’s the blighter that’s going to keep you stuck right where you are in life, feeling like you’re wading through quicksand, going nowhere fast.

I know you know that deep down it’s fear that’s stopping you.

And me telling you straight up doesn’t make you less fearful.

But I’m calling you out on your fear because if someone doesn’t, it will keep a hold on you forever… if you let it.

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Jen Smith

Jen Smith is Informi’s resident email blogger. Sign up for our fortnightly newsletter for more inspiring and insightful stories like this one.

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