Who Asked You to Start a Business, Anyway?

So you want to start your own business? Great. Here’s what your’e up against:

The Government – It seems like the government should have your back. After all, you’re creating taxable income for them and either do or will help create new jobs, which in turn creates more taxable income for them, but your new business is a change – and no one likes change. First the state wants you to register your business with them. This costs money upfront and then again every year or so to keep it registered. Then you may also have to register with your local government and even with your local sheriff’s department. These are all people who could say, “No”. And if you are thinking of setting up a physical presence, there may also be zoning restrictions, which leads to the next roadblock.

Your Neighbors – Your neighbors may be friendly now, but if customers start showing up or you have daily deliveries or pick-ups from FedEx and UPS, they may not be so happy. See, people expect things to stay the same and now you’ve decided to all of sudden up and do something different. Shame on you for disturbing the peace around your neighborhood. Even if city officials don’t mind that your business is not really zoned for it’s location, your neighbors might, and once they start complaining to the government all of a sudden those zoning restrictions matter more than ever. You can try to be nice to your neighbors and work with them, but remember, they don’t like change.

Other Businesses – Other businesses are like the old guard or the established society. You’re the new guy who wants in. They have the websites you need backlinks from. They have the cash flow to outlast you. They don’t want to help you get started. They are just waiting for you to go out of business and leave them alone so they can keep doing what they’ve been doing. Businesses, like people, do not like change. You’re a nuisance to them just like you’re a nuisance to your neighbors. We’re not talking about competitors here, but since you brought it up, just hope your competitors don’t have your Craigslist ads taken down, click on your Google ads to run you out of funds, or report your business closed on Yelp.

Your Family – Your family will, like your neighbors, smile to your face and talk about you behind your back to each other. They will all hope that when you run out of money you won’t come to them begging for help and won’t try to change their lives in any way. Remember, people do not like change. You were supposed to keep your job, not start a business. Did they say you could do that? What will the rest of the family think when you fail? When they ask you how your business is going, expecting you to say it’s failing, try hard to keep a straight face when they act concerned about your future and wish you well. There only wish is for you to go back to doing whatever it was you were doing before (and to never ask them to change).

Yourself – You are the biggest obstacle to your own success. It’s you who decides how you are going to handle each and every obstacle you face. No matter what life, the government, your family, neighbors, friends, or other businesses do or say to you, it’s your choice on how you react to them. You are your own hero and they are the dragons. Will you slay them? So you have no money and rent is due. What does that have to do with how you feel? Who controls your feelings, really – you or your rent? Choose to be a success and do the work it takes to be successful and you’re 90% better off than any of those change-averse people (just like you). If what you’re doing isn’t working. Change.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain