Are there millions of people who would like to start a business—but are afraid of getting lost in the forest of obstacles we read about everyday?
Are the gurus and pundits of the business world creating a “Fear of Starting?”
I’m not talking about the issues of fear of rejection, or fear of failure—mountains of stuff have been written about those topics.
I’m talking about scaring people out of even taking the first few steps toward starting a business… people who look at the myriad of business topics that are written and talked about everyday, and then saying to themselves “There is no way in hell I can learn all that stuff.”
Here are just a few of the business topics an aspiring entrepreneur gets hit with everyday:
- Market Research and Analysis
- Business Plans
- Government Regulations and Fees
- Seed Money
- Business Licenses
- Balance Sheets
- New Technologies
- P&L Statements
- Venture Capital
- Pro forma Financials
- Angel Investors
- Advisory Boards
- Cash Flow
- Employees and Hiring problems
- On and On and On……
These are typical of the things that aspiring entrepreneurs see and hear about from some kind of business guru or media pundit everyday—and it scares the hell out of them!
Is it any wonder that a person considering starting a business is completely overwhelmed by all the information rushing at them? Most business neophytes don’t even know where to begin.
But, Is This Really a Problem?
Let’s take a look.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of eligible (16 and over) Americans participating in the labor force this year dropped to a 37-year low of around 157 million. (The 16 and over designation was established by the BLS many years ago.)
That leaves over 93 million of America’s eligible population not in the work force.
If we add the 8.5 million people who are currently unemployed to this number, we realize there are over 100 million Americans who might be candidates to become entrepreneurs.
Then, at the same time, 72% of those working tell us that they want to be independent and not be a part of the cubicle nation.
So, it would seem that the vast majority of the U.S. population 16 and over might be considered potential entrepreneurs.
I wonder then, how many of these many millions of people would actually start a small business if it didn’t seem like such a daunting task?
And this is where the problem begins.
Decline of Entrepreneurship
I wrote an article some time ago about the decline of entrepreneurship in the U.S. and pointed out that the long-term unemployed were simply “giving up.” I wonder how many people are not in the work force because they have just given up?
Well, why do so many people just “give up” instead of starting a business, and why don’t more of the 72% that want out of the 9 to 5 cubicle life go ahead and start that business they have been thinking about?
I suppose there are a number of psychological as well as material reasons a person does not start a business, but I can’t help but wonder if we folks in the business industry have developed an atmosphere of complexity in the starting and running of a business that actually creates a “Fear of Starting.”
Is this how we present the path to starting a successful small business?
(Image courtesy of Pakorn)
What do you think—are there people out there who would love to start a business, but are too intimidated by all they read and hear to get started?
I would really like to know what you think.