I’ve Got a Great Business Idea I Want To Pursue, But Everyone Keeps Telling Me Entrepreneurship Is Too Risky. Why Can’t Everyone See What I See?

Oct 7, 2021 | 0 comments

When I counsel aspiring and active entrepreneurs, the first thing I want to know is if they are truly an entrepreneur. The reason I place such great importance on knowing this, is that no successful entrepreneurial venture has been created without the existence of a true entrepreneur as part of the venture. I’ve found a very simple question to ask to help me uncover whether the person I’m counseling is truly an entrepreneur. That question is, “Are you willing to risk going homeless in the pursuit of your business idea?”. If the answer is no, then you’re not an entrepreneur! Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your business idea. What it means is that if you realize you’re not an entrepreneur, then you need to team up with someone who is.

Now that you’ve got the entrepreneur question figured out, why is it that every time you tell someone about your business idea, they give you every reason not to pursue entrepreneurship? Let’s be empathetic and look at you from their perspective. If you’re truly an entrepreneur, this is what they see when they see you (as described by Ross Simmonds, in his article “40 Signs You Have What It TakesTo Be An Entrepreneur”):

  • You’re a person that’s comfortable being alone, and someone who can motivate themselves without any assistance.
  • You’re a big picture dreamer, who can see what the future holds before it takes shape.
  • You embrace the small stuff, so you can achieve the big things.
  • You wake up with an itch to create value, build things and achieve goals.
  • You realize the more you learn, the more you earn, so you read a lot.
  • You place value on learning about the world around you, and are more likely to consume content that helps you grow over content that makes you laugh.
  • You know you’re going to have to make tough choices and go through tough situations, but you’re comfortable being uncomfortable, because you realize that the more uncomfortable situations you face, the more likely you’ll find situations that result in success.
  • You have someone who you look up to and aspire to emulate, and you’ve studied the steps they’ve taken to get where they are.
  • You value hard work, and aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty and put in late nights.
  • You’re focused on constantly looking for ways to be more effective and efficient, since you know this is more likely to lead you to find competitive advantage.
  • You’re very confident in your ability to deliver value to customers.
  • You’re also insecure, but this is what fuels your passion for constant development and what forces you to work hard.
  • You despise mediocrity, and hate the status quo.
  • You recognize and don’t mind that failure is part of your journey, and are willing to struggle a little to achieve a lot.
  • You’re constantly thinking and always want to keep moving, so you’ve been asked if you have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • You’re passionate about problems, because when you see something you hate you obsess over the solution.
  • You understand and accept the fact that in becoming successful you’ll piss at least one person off with the decisions you’ll make, so you have no need to be liked.
  • You’re able to work from anywhere, anytime.
  • You don’t work well with authority, and realize that kickstarting your side hustle can be the first and biggest step towards writing a new chapter in your life.
  • You’re committed to personal and professional growth, so you’re always reading the business section of publications.
  • You love taking control over planning, and giving direction to all those around you.
  • You’re a hustler, and are persistent when you see something you want, and are determined to make your dreams become realities.
  • You’re not like everyone else, in that you have some quirks and unusual perspectives, making most people consider you weird.
  • You enjoy debating, and prefer thoughtful and deep conversations over meaningless chats.
  • You look for outlets wherever you go, because in your mind where there’s a plug, there’s a way.
  • You avoid destinations without wifi.
  • You’re deeply connected to the human race, and love people watching and talking with people in situations that allow you to gain perspective about their lives.
  • You connect and hang out with people who are smarter than you, who can challenge your thinking and help you grow professionally and personally.
  • While this person may not realize it, you have someone you view as a mentor or advisor, who you can lean on when looking for insight.
  • You value your time and embrace the idea of being efficient, so you’re an avid believer in optimizing your life with technology.
  • You’re glued to and live by your calendar, and use it as a guideline for what you need to do from day to day.
  • You were a hustler as a child, and have stories about selling things like candy, lemonade or baseball cards.
  • You don’t need direction from someone else, and don’t need a boss to move your business forward.
  • You understand that your time is the most valuable asset you own, so you protect it as much as you can.
  • You’re driven to prove someone who doubted you, rejected you, or ridiculed you wrong, and this drives you and acts as the fuel for your fire.
  • You understand the need to balance your extremely hard work, by also playing extremely hard as well.
  • You see opportunities for new business everywhere you go, and find problems quickly and look for solutions.
  • You research for fun, and display an obsession for the truth by fact checking everything after having arguments with people.
  • You embrace and enjoy change when it’s going to result in something better, while most people despise the idea of doing something new.

If all of the traits I’ve just listed describe you, the average person has as much in common with you as they have with an alien! When you share with them your great idea, they don’t believe they could bring it to reality (and as a result, they don’t believe you’ll be able to do it either). The uncertainty they feel about their ability to bring your vision to reality, makes their minds jump to the worst-case scenario. Because they care about you, this is not the fate they want you to experience (so they articulate every reason they can think of to convince you not to pursue the risks associated with entrepreneurship).

So why can’t everyone see what you see? Because they’re not entrepreneurs! Let me explain this in a different way, by asking you to mentally transport yourself 46 years into the past to 1975. Your father is a prominent lawyer, and your mother is on the board of directors of the United Way of America. Your grandmother was a national bank president. Your parents wanted you to pursue a career in law, so you majored in pre-law when you got accepted into Harvard University in 1973. You’re now about to tell your parents you plan to drop out of Harvard after your sophomore year, to start a computer software company with a high school buddy (who also plans to quit his job at Honeywell). If I were a betting man, I can’t imagine many scenarios where this conversation would go well (much less be supportive). Fortunately for Bill Gates, he pursued his great business idea and created Microsoft.

If you found this article helpful, please share it with other entrepreneurs in your network. If you have questions about anything in this article, or would like my insight on a question about any aspect of the entrepreneurial process, please connect with me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thinkbigwithgeoffreykent), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/thinkbigwithgeoffreykent/), or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thinkbigwithgeoffreykent/). I also believe that 50% of entrepreneurs fail within 5 years, because they lack the resources to properly execute their vision. Leveraging what I’ve learned over a 40+ year successful entrepreneurial career, I’ve developed a methodology to help entrepreneurs build their unique customized strategy for responsibly scaling exponential business growth. To gain access to my 7-week online course, collaborate with like-minded entrepreneurs through the exclusive “Think Big” Facebook group, regularly communicate with me, and gain access to my extensive professional network, connect with me on my course page (www.thinkbigwithgeoffreykent.com/).