Do you have the itch?
This is Part 1 of a 5 part installment on starting a business.
Successful entrepreneurs are similar to movie stars, rock stars, and high profile athletes right now. The American Dream of business ownership has always been a noble pursuit in this country, but the past decade has taken this to another extreme. Entrepreneurs simply owning their means to make a living has been replaced with large personalities starting businesses that change the world. Movies are being made about entrepreneurs and their companies just a few years into existence.
I am a big fan of this trend. I enjoy articles, tweets, and news about entrepreneurs. I enjoy these more than political, celebrity, and even sports-related media. This glorification of the entrepreneur, or business owner/founder, is largely harmless or even a good thing. While American culture has had a proclivity for entrepreneurship for a long time due to the independence it provides as well as the potential financial rewards, entrepreneurship now also puts you into a high social status. I think this leads many people to feel that until they have tried to start their own business, they are missing out and are shorting themselves. I guess I am saying that many people in this country think they have “the itch” to be an entrepreneur. While some of this might be due to the previously mentioned glorification, the entrepreneurial itch certainly exists, and when you have it, it must be scratched.
Is the itch yours, or coming from forces around you? If you feel the itch, it is smart to determine if it is truly your itch (internal) or if the culture is making you think you have the itch (external). There are ways to determine this. I suggest reading some of the many books on this topic. Be honest with yourself, and take action. Action can mean not scratching the itch and seeing if it goes away. Action can mean dropping everything and starting a business, and action can mean dabbling in a business while still doing other things. Regardless, you should determine if the itch is internal or external.
If it is real, why haven’t you started a business? If you have the itch and you are reasonably sure that it is internal, then the question becomes why haven’t you started a business? I am always amazed at how many people talk about starting a business and take no concrete steps to do so. I am confident that many of these people feel the itch externally but not internally. But I am also convinced that some of them truly have the itch. They are the ones who perplex me. Why are they not moving forward? Why haven’t they started a business?
Stay tuned. Next in this series, I will dig into four potential reasons not to start a business.