By G. William Kazimer
When entrepreneurs go on Shark Tank and when Daymond talks to them at speaking engagements and events, he hears all kinds of reasons for starting businesses. He’s been around the business world long enough and seen enough ventures succeed and fail that he can pretty much tell if someone is going to make it or not just by listening to why they want to start a business. While there are a lot of great reasons to go into business for yourself, Daymond thinks it’s just as important to know the worst reasons, as those are the ones that’ll get you in trouble fast.
You Hate Your Job and Want to Be Your Own Boss
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Wait, what? I do want to be my own boss. What’s wrong with that?” Nothing at all. If you’re starting your own business because you have a great idea that’s marketable and profitable, and you want to be your own boss and set your schedule, go for it. However, if your primary motivating factor is hating your current job (or, worse yet, your current boss), you’re running away from a problem instead of fixing it.
Remember, being your own boss means you’re going to have to be a total self-starter, and you’re going to have to enforce your own rules on yourself and your employees. Are you ready for that or do you just have a pipedream that you’re going to have total freedom when you get out of the office and into your own business?
Other People Told You to Do It
If you’re really good at something that you do as a hobby or for side income, someone has no doubt told you that you should go into business for yourself. Whether you’re the best pie baker in town, you make the most stunning quilts anyone on the Internet has ever seen, or you have a real eye for landscaping, you’re going to hear people say, “You should start a business doing this.” And you’re going to hear it a lot.
Before you give in to the peer pressure, I want you to think really hard about what you’re about to commit to. Are you ready to turn your hobby or side gig into a full-time job? Is there actually a market for designer quilts in your area or online? What kind of competition are you looking at? Just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean it should be your main source of income. It also doesn’t mean that there’s a market for it where you are or within your means to build a business. You could be setting yourself up for a major disappointment if you go this route without a lot of research.
No One Else Is Doing It
Are you sure that you’re just the first person to come up with a business concept for an underwater pogo stick class for dogs? Or could it be that there’s no competition because there’s no market demand for your idea?
If you don’t think anyone else is doing what you propose to do, then you either haven’t done enough research or you might not have a profitable business. On the other hand, if you come up with a really cool angle on something that others are already doing and that has a demonstrable demand, you could be in business. There’s a big difference between “No one else is doing it” and “No one else has done it like this…”
There you go—the three worst reasons we’ve heard for starting a business. If you fall in any of these categories, we recommend doing a little more homework and soul-searching before you pull the lever and leave your day job. You might find that you have another, better reason to start a business.