We discussed the stages of venture initiation and growth, the different approaches to venture initiation and validation, the different strategies and tactics we can use to solve problems worth solving and build solutions worth using. Overall, we learned how entrepreneurs can build profitable and scalable tech companies, but why aren’t most potential entrepreneurs executing on their ideas? This week, I distributed a survey and interviewed a few members to learn the following.
First, keep in mind that 82% of survey takers hold full time jobs and 30% of them have a family of 3. This background statistic is important in understanding the following reasons.
Surprisingly, most survey takers suggest that money is their biggest barrier to venture initiation not because they don’t have enough of it to finance the early stages of the business but mainly because of their existing expenses which, few of them projected to double with a business. Many respondents consider starting a business (Tech/Non-Tech based) a dream but not a priority mainly due to other important commitments like family, retirement, mortgage, and kids’ college.
Lack of Knowledge
With whom I spoke, I was asked for few suggestions to help them overcome some of the obstacles they face. Politely, I said: those are either excuses due to insufficient venture initiation knowledge or excuses just for the purpose of coming up with reasons to procrastinate. Indeed, most of them read, interact and strive to learn about business but it seems that the two things that stuck the most in them is that business is risky and costly. Which is true. What they didn’t know is the difference between venture initiation, validation and growth. They didn’t know that the inner commitment is essentially the initial step, they didn’t know that proposing solutions, testing them, iterating on them and validating the need can be accomplished using nonscalable resources and under a limited budget. What they do know is that scalability and growth require more attention, money and commitment. Most of them think about the growth stage and ignore the initial stages that constitute the foundation of every company. These initial stages are, in my opinion, more important than later stages because with a strong foundation and validation, invaluable resources like experienced team members, investors and partners follow naturally. Thus, if you have the passion, nothing can stop you from turning your idea into a profitable and scalable company.
Fear of Failure
The third main reason why respondents, who by the way all have interest in business, are not executing on their ideas is the “What If?” question. This, again, I conclude is due to lack of passion and/or knowledge. I’m not sure if we can use love as a synonym for passion but just like love, passion makes us do crazy things. At some point in life, we learn that it’s not just about love or passion, it’s about reality, facts and DEADLINES. So what if we can subdivide venture initiation in small and quantifiable steps that makes steps clear, concise and measurable while alleviating risk and enabling us to pursue our passion and classify it as one of the reality, facts and deadlines we live under? This is the attitude I endorse. This is the mentality and methodology I go by; you know why? Life is too short to do the things you have no passion for.
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