So you want to start your own business. What’s holding you back?

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This is the first in a series about what might be holding you back from starting your own business.

In the last few years I’ve met many aspiring entrepreneurs with viable ideas for successful businesses. Some I’ve worked with and helped them get their business rolling. Many more say they’ve been reading self-employment newsletters and attending seminars for decades yet still haven’t moved forward with their dream of entrepreneurship.

Does this sound like you? You’ve spent years following entrepreneurial teachers. You fantasize about being your own boss. You obviously have a deep desire to enjoy the freedom, excitement and rewards of being self-employed. So what’s holding you  back? I’m guessing your roadblock has to do with money, time, fear or lack of knowledge.

Let’s look at the knowledge issue first because in my opinion, it’s the simplest obstacle to overcome and the thing that sets the mind reeling in fear about money and time.

If you find yourself thinking that you don’t know where to begin, you are not alone. You may have sought advise from the SBA or SCORE and walked away from those meetings more confused and discouraged than before. It’s generous of the retired volunteers to give their time but the truth is, they are speaking a language you don’t understand. You don’t need someone to fill your head with MBA-speak when you are already feeling overwhelmed. What you need is to connect with small business people who started where you are now, with nothing but a great idea, a lot of enthusiasm and a drive to succeed. You won’t find that at mega-seminars or from the high-priced business gurus either. If you’re paying thousands of dollars to attend seminars with hundreds of attendees, you aren’t likely to get to know the presenters at all. Their goal is to sell you on more high ticket items and programs but not address your individual questions and concerns.

So where do you get the information and guidance you need spoken in language you understand? The answer is easy and fun. Attend small workshops or seminars where you will connect face-to-face with other fledgling entrepreneurs and teachers who started where you are now and speak your language. At these smaller gatherings, you’ll meet your tribe and make friends who have been where you are now so you won’t be intimated about asking questions and admitting you don’t know something.  Entrepreneurs love to talk about their business successes as well as mistakes and share tips, tools and sources. There’s no better place to find a friendly group of kindred spirits ready to share what they know.

After all, small business is about solutions, connections and people.

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