With the high rate of unemployment and the rapidly increase perception of being your own boss, many people are rushing into starting a business. Now everybody dream and aspire to be the next Bill Gates, Larry Page, Steve Jobs and Aliko Dangote but the realistic truth is that many will fail and sadly enough; you might among these potential failures.
This article title above might sound provocative or offensive but if you can keep an open mind, you will come to appreciate my point of view. Sorry if the truth that you will never build a successful business hurts; but i just want to be straight and clear, no sentiments.
“Starting a business is like building a ship and embarking on a voyage, armed with a plan, a map and a team. You will have to sail against storms, unpredictable weather and uncertainty. If your ship sinks, it’s either you quit or you swim back to shore, build a new ship and sail again.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
I believe you have heard several times that entrepreneurship is a process; a journey, not a destination. In an article i wrote on this blog, i explained the step by step phases of the entrepreneurial process; a process through which every entrepreneur must undergo to build a successful business.
Unfortunately, I stressed in that article that not all who begin the entrepreneurial process will see the end and that’s a harsh truth. What this implies is that not every entrepreneur who starts a business will end up with a successful business; many will end up with trash and most will have nothing. Now what makes me so confident of the fact that you will never build a successful business? You will find out below.
“Starting a business is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. In mid air, the entrepreneur begins building a parachute and hopes it opens before hitting the ground.” – Rich Dad
Building a successful business from scratch is definitely not an easy task. Everyday, I come across highly motivated aspiring entrepreneurs who have been stirred by the entrepreneurial spirit and they are rushing out to start their own businesses. These new entrepreneurs possess the needed passion; they have the fire of enthusiasm emitting from their eyes and with this iron clad enthusiasm, they start their own business.
But despite the passion and enthusiasm, these new entrepreneurs usually follow a similar path; a path trodden by so many entrepreneurs. A path that makes true the statistics that 99% of all businesses started usually fail in their first five to ten years. Meeting these entrepreneurs and studying their entrepreneurial pattern made me come up with ten strong reasons why I believe you will never build a successful business.
In the process of reading this article, you are bound to either criticize me or analyze my points and see reasons with me. Either way, you are entitled to your own opinion but I will advice you keep an open mind and reflect on my point of view.
Before I proceed, I want to state clearly that building a successful business is not an impossibility. Rather, it is you the entrepreneur that makes it either a possibility or impossibility. This brings me to a quote from my most respected mentor:
“There are no bad business and investment opportunities; we only have bad entrepreneurs and investors.” – Robert Kiyosaki
So if you are ready to learn something new today, then let’s set the ball rolling. Below are 10 reasons why i believe you will never start and build a successful business.
10 Reasons Why You Will Never Build a Successful Business
“Most people are waiting for the perfect time to start a business; they are waiting for all stars to line up and all lights to go green. Unfortunately, that perfect time will never come. To be an entrepreneur, you must start with what you have on ground and pick up the rest along the way.” – Robert Kiyosaki
1. You are afraid of failing
“Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” – Thomas Edison
Whenever I discuss the subject of entrepreneurship and business development with my protégés; I often mention the fear of failure as the utmost reason why most entrepreneurs will never start a business. Immediately I bring up the issue of fear; I am often met with stiff oppositions and statements such as:
- “Why should I fear failure?
- “I am not afraid of failing; I am only waiting for the right time.”
While I do not doubt such statements, I want you to know that the fear of failure is a silent reason why many entrepreneurs shy away from undergoing the entrepreneurial process; and invariably avoid building a business. Being afraid or doubtful is not a sin; it is natural to express fear but the wrong comes when your fear overpowers your faith.
“Fear is faith that it won’t work.” – Mary Kay Ash“
If we try and fail, we have temporary disappointments. But if we do not try at all, we have permanent regrets.” – Bern Williams
I have seen individuals with the right opportunity, the right plan, tools and everything they need to get started but they just don’t want to start. Why? The reason they don’t start is because they are afraid of making mistakes and failing. They keep procrastinating because the fear of failure in them is stronger than their faith.
“Show me a failure and I will show you a man, who does today, what he should have done yesterday.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things.” – Louis Boone
Now how do you know you are afraid of failing? You will know you are afraid of failure if you have attended some seminars, read a lot of books on business and entrepreneurship and you have even taken a bold step to draw a plan of the business you intend starting. Deep down in you, you know you are fully prepared to launch your business, but for some reasons best known to you, you just don’t want to take the leap. And by avoiding taking that leap of faith into the world of business; a world of challenges and uncertainty, you are invariably denying yourself a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“To avoid failure is to limit accomplishment.” – Will Rogers“
Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure.” – George Edward Woodberry
If the situation explained above best describes you, then know that you are being held back by the fear of failure. My advice to you is this; don’t ever start a business if you are afraid of failing, even if it’s the world’s most profitable business idea because you will definitely fail. Statistics reveal that nine out of every ten businesses started fail in their first five years. This simply means the odd that you might fail is high and I bet you, you can never beat this odd with fear in your eyes. So until you change your mindset and develop some winning attitudes, forget about building a business.
“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With positive mental attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, and a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order to prepare to try again.” – W. Clement Stone
“I have taken more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I have failed over and over again in my life; and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
2. You want to “Get Rich Quick.”
What is your major motivation for starting a business? Why do you want to build a business? These two questions may sound casual to your ears but their answers make big differences in the life of every entrepreneur. These questions are so important that I had to write an article on my blog simply to stress their importance. I have observed that 90% of entrepreneurs start their own business just to make money and get rich quick.
“I built a conglomerate and emerged the richest black man in the world in 2008 but it didn’t happen overnight. It took me thirty years to get to where I am today. Youths of today aspire to be like me but they want to achieve it overnight. It’s not going to work. To build a successful business, you must start small and dream big. In the journey of entrepreneurship, tenacity of purpose is supreme.” – Aliko Dangote
Your desire to get rich will not take you far enough in business. If building a successful business is your priority, then will you need a stronger fuel to power you towards your desired destination. I can’t tell you what that fuel is because you have to find yours. Everybody’s fuel, passion, motivation or source of inspiration can never be the same. But I advice you, that fuel or source of motivation should never be money; It has to be something higher than money.
“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not get paid for it.” – Oprah Winfrey
So if you are going to start and build a successful business, you must abandon the get rich quick concept and focus on value creation. If you can solve a problem, create value and fill a need, solution seekers or customers will find you and when they do, the money will follow.
“Build wealth as a by product of your business success. If wealth is your only objective in business, you will probably fail.” – J. Paul Getty
3. You Lack Experience
“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you are generally better off sticking with what you know and the third is that sometimes, your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” – Donald Trump
Most new entrepreneurs basically lack experience. When it comes to running a business; competence matters a lot and competence is a product of experience. After getting the right education, the next thing is to get some real life experience. Why am I emphasizing the importance of experience? I am emphasizing the importance of experience because building a business is a game of experience.
A business idea will always look exciting and positive on paper but bringing such idea into manifestation is a game of ups and downs. Even if your business collapses and you lose everything, your greatest asset in starting a new business is going to be your experience from the past business failure. It’s priceless.
“Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.” – Dr Wayne Dyer
When trying to raise capital for your business, investors will ask you this question;
- What experience do you have running a business?
When you intend to raise capital by taking your company public, you will be asked by investors;
- How much have you raised previously and how many companies have you taken public?
All these illustrations and questions boils down to the word “Experience.” Experience in business is measured by the number of years spent running a business; the business challenges you have met and surmounted, grounds you have gained and achievements you have made. Experience entails making business mistakes and learning quickly from them. It is all about knowing what works and what doesn’t. For instance, I can never compare myself with entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs because they have been in the game for years and have results to prove it.
So if you really want to start and build a successful business, then you must be willing to learn and gain some real life experience. When I say learn, I don’t mean going to a seminar or buying a book; it’s beyond that. What I mean is you have to learn quickly from your real life mistakes. You have to start small; make every mistake possible, gain some experience, increase your business skills and confidence. If you learn from your business mistakes, you won’t repeat them and these mistakes will become priceless lessons and ultimately; you will end up gaining some experience.
“In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy.” – J. Paul Getty
4. You are using the wrong marketing tool.
Another reason why you will never build a successful business is because you are using the wrong marketing tool. I have seen entrepreneurs use their limited business capital to buy useless advertising slots from advertising agencies. Big time advert slots from advertising agencies are for big corporations with millions of dollars to spend; not for entrepreneurs with limited budget. Moreover, advertising agencies don’t guarantee results, all they do is use your business capital to win themselves awards for creativity.
Real guerrilla marketing should reflect in the books. Successful marketing campaigns are measured by an increase in sales and brand loyalty.
- Successful Marketing = Increase In Sales
- Increase in Sales = Increase In Income
- Increase in Income = Increase In Profit
If you want to succeed in business, you must know the difference between mass marketing and niche marketing. You must also strive to make sure that your marketing strategy produces result.
5. You give up too easily
A principle of life I have come to observe is this;
In every profitable venture you engage yourself in, the pains will always come before the gains.
That’s why I said earlier that a business idea on paper is different from executing the business idea. A business idea will always look exciting and promising on paper but when you launch it, you will begin to see business challenges and critical problems you never expected.
“Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Ray Kroc
This is the reason why I asked earlier in this article about your reason for starting a business. If your “why” for starting a business is not strong enough, you will back down and quit along the way. In the process of starting and building a successful business, perseverance and persistence is very crucial. Every journey has a process; a beginning and an end. If you want to build a great business that will outlive you, then you must be willing to stick to the process.
“In the game of building a success business and attaining financial freedom, the process is more important than the goal and this process surely has an end. If you stick to the process, you will hit the pot of gold.” – Robert Kiyosaki
10 Reasons Why You Will Never Build a Successful Business
6. You lack focus
“The sun rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Anonymous
I can’t remember who made this statement or where I came across it but I really think it’s the truth. Focus is fundamental to success in business. If you lack focus, then forget about starting and building a business. I have seen new entrepreneurs dream of owning multiple businesses. Now let me ask; how can you own multiple businesses when you have not been able to run one competently.
“The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it.” – Andrew Carnegie
I have also seen some entrepreneurs start a business and quit after some years. Before you know it, they have started another business. These set of entrepreneurs are always looking for the new hot business opportunity of the month. The sad fact is that these entrepreneurs will spend their entire life building castles in the air. Instead of jumping from one business to another, why don’t you simply focus and bring out the best in that single company of yours. After all, Bill Gates did not become rich by building multiple businesses; he became rich by building Microsoft. Michael Dell did not build multiple businesses; he focused on Dell Computer Corporation, so why shouldn’t you focus.
“Concentrate your energy, your thoughts and your capital.” – Andrew Carnegie
7. You have no plan and strategy
“My most important word in business is ‘Strategy’ and the reason is this: The speed at which your business grows is directly proportional to the overall strategy deployed on that business and the team behind the creation of that strategy.” – Ajaero Tony Martins
Sometimes, I am approached by highly motivated aspiring entrepreneurs who are getting ready to start their own business. “I am about quitting my job to start my own business, what advice do you have for me? This is often the question asked by these aspiring entrepreneurs and my reply to them is always this; “Do you have a plan?
“A plan is a bridge to your dreams. Your job is to make the plan or bridge real, so that your dreams will become real. If all you do is stand on the side of the bank and dream of the other side, your dreams will forever be just dreams. First make your plans real and then your dreams will come true.” – Rich Dad
Now I am throwing the same question at you: “do you have a plan? Before ever starting a business, it is advisable you create a business plan, marketing plan and an overall strategy.
“A successful business is created before there is a business.” – Rich Dad
“A poorly designed business will fail even if the business is profitable.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Success in business starts with a strong plan and a well laid out strategy. Your plan and strategy must thoroughly cover three things;
- How to start the business
- How to survive
- How to grow or expand the business
“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” – Peter F. Drucker
8. You have no set goals
“Aim for the moon. If you miss it, you may hit a star.” – W. Clement Stone
This is another reason why you will never start and build a successful business. I hope you know that starting a business without a goal is like embarking on a journey without a destination. Why is a goal important? A goal is important because it is going to be your ultimate source of motivation and a check point for you; a benchmark on which to access your level of progress.
“No matter how carefully you plan your goals, they will never be more than pipe dreams unless you pursue them with gusto.” – W. Clement Stone
Most people are lazy when it comes to goal setting and without goals, you will just be beating about the bush. If you study the life of great entrepreneurs, you will observe they are goal getters.
“I intend to be, the richest man in the world.” – Howard Hughes
9. You want to do build a business alone.
“Individuals don’t win in business, teams do.” – Sam Walton
If you are ever going to build a great business, then you must drop the “do it yourself” mentality. Whenever successful entrepreneurs are being interviewed, I always watch or listen with keen interest. While most individuals talk about doing things themselves, these great entrepreneurs always attribute their achievements and success to their business team; they also emphasize the need to delegate duties to people smarter than you.
“Successful businessmen share the ability to hire people smarter than they are.” – Dillard Munford
If you are self centered or “I” conscious, then you will never go far in the business world. I have heard of self made millionaires but I don’t think there is anything like a self made, stand alone multi billionaire. Just as Andrew Carnegie says:
“You cannot become super rich without first enriching others.” – Andrew Carnegie
One secret to the success of most great entrepreneur is their ability to hire smart people and delegate certain tasks to these smart people. When you think of hiring smart people, think of Bill Gates and his Micro Kids.
“Teams should be able to act with the same unity of purpose and focus as a well motivated individual.” – Bill Gates
10. You lack the required business skills
“Skills make you rich, not theories.” – Rich Dad
This is another glaring reason why I said you will never build a successful business. Before I go further, let me as you the following questions.
- Are you a good communicator?
- Do you love selling?
- Can you lead people or undertake projects?
- Can you balance your check book and interpret a financial statement?
- Are you brave, daring and ambitious?
- Can you handle or work under pressure?
If your answer to the questions above is no, then I am sorry you will never succeed in business because business is a game of skills and strategy. Before ever starting a business, I will advice you spend some time developing the required entrepreneurial skills. You can do that by attending seminars and reading some books. Not withstanding, developing your entrepreneurial skills is a continuous process; as long as you are in the game of entrepreneurship, you must keep improving your skills.
“The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don’t bother thinking about becoming a business owner.” – Rich Dad
To succeed in business, you will need to develop your communication skills; accounting skills, sales skill, negotiation skills, leadership skills and your personal skills. If you can’t develop all of these, then build a business team that will complement your weakness or you will fail.
“In the course of building a business; leadership skill is not an option. It’s a must.” – Rich Dad
11. You are not willing to pay the price
“Every goal has a process and every process has a price.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Finally, I don’t need to write much on this because it is self explanatory. What is the price you pay to be the best student in school? My answer is long hours of study. What is the price you pay to be the best in sports? My answer is hard preparation and constant practice. What is the price you pay to start and build a successful business from scratch? My answer is “I don’t know.“
In the process of building a business, there is definitely a huge price to pay. What this price is; I don’t know. One unique thing about the business world is that the price for building a successful business never seems to be the same. The price for success paid by Bill Gates is definitely different from the price paid by Ray Kroc or Steve Jobs.
All I can say is this; you will definitely not go far if you are not prepared to pay the price for success in business. Though everyone will not pay the same price, always bear in mind that you must pay a price and “with every price comes a great reward.”
As a final note, the most important fact i want you to always remember is that starting and building a successful business is not an impossibility. Rather, it is you, the entrepreneur that makes it either a possibility or impossibility. If you succeed, it’s your fault. If you fail, it’s still your fault. You are the architect of your own fate.