Over the years I’ve had friends that have talked about starting their own business but never got around to it. More recently I’ve also had hundreds of entrepreneurs contact me about various aspects of either starting a business, or making a significant change to an existing business to move it to a higher level of activity, but then not done so.
It’s been a puzzle, because not all of these were due to lack of finance, or capability. Many of these people had money, were well qualified and experienced at what they wanted to do. So what was going on here?
The first observation I had was that quite a lot of them were individuals, rather than those with business partners. Even the ones in businesses already started, were often founder/directors of the business, with limited additional leadership in the company.
It makes quite a difference in committing to get actions done, if you know that you have a business partner who will be chasing you. It was one of the reasons that we set up Company Partners, in order to allow individuals to find a business partner to start or grow a business with.
But it’s become apparent that there is also a “psychological” aspect to why people just dream about starting their own company, or committing to the big change that will push their fledgling business forward.
While it’s a dream it’s warm and fuzzy. You can go to sleep at night thinking about how your life can change for the better, fantasise about the great time you’ll have when your business takes off. How your friends and family will admire you. It’s very comforting.
But as soon as you take the plunge into the cold waters of reality, starting a business may be a nightmare. You’ll have difficult decisions to make, it might not work out.
The result is that for many, the warm and fuzzy dream becomes preferable, even if unconsciously.
Sometimes to make significant changes we have to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and just do it.