“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford-
Everyone of us have one or more self-imposed limiting beliefs throughout our lives. I’m not talking about striving to become the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates but even if you and I do, who is to say it’s not possible? Yes, it’s going to be a hell of a journey but it’s not something impossible. What we’re going to focus here instead are the things that ordinary people like you and me can achieve if only we don’t impose self-limiting beliefs that stop us before we even get started on our entrepreneurial journey.
So what exactly are the limiting beliefs we have that hinder us from achieving what we desire in life? Here’s a list of the most common ones you’re probably experiencing:
I don’t have enough money or time or resources or skills
This is probably the number one limiting belief the “almost entrepreneurs” have. They have great ideas and they talk about it all the time but that’s just it. There are people with ideas and then there are people with money. If an idea is truly workable and the person with the idea is willing to commit on making it happen, people with money are everywhere. You can start looking at family members and relatives, your friends and people in your social circle. I understand some people may not feel comfortable borrowing money from people they know. So, there are other options such as the banks, angel investors, crowdfunding, etc.
There are also business that don’t require a huge amount of capital to start. I’ve never been comfortable asking people for money or owing people money so I usually go for businesses that don’t require a lot of startup costs. I started my businesses mostly under a couple of hundred bucks, sometimes a couple of thousands for inventory but otherwise I’ve never spend over 5k for a start. It has always been more about investing sweat equity. Instead of money, you invest your skills and time to run the business.
I’m too old or I’m too young
I’m guilty of the whole “I’m too old” to do this or that even today and I would try very hard to overcome this thought by telling myself that I only live once and unless it involves activities that have high risk of getting myself killed, I should just go ahead and do it anyway. Without any background in designing, I only started learning computer graphics in my late 20s and begin to learn the basic of drawing in my early 30s when I decided I want to get involved with graphic design.
Unless one is still a baby, I clearly don’t see how “I’m too young” can be an issue here but the thing is, this “I’m too young” is really “You’re too young” as it’s a limiting belief most likely imposed by others. I have seen been told by adults that their children or grandchildren are “too young” to work on their ideas, start a business or learn a new skill. I have had teenagers giving me ideas on new product development and marketing strategies for my business. I would pay for them to help me implement those ideas but I was told “They’re too young to do that. They should focus on their study.” Well, I think people should not tell others what to do if they’re unwilling or can’t do it themselves.
The economy is bad
It’s insane to have an excuse like this because it’s not within your control. Every 10 years or so, we will experience an economy slump. That has always been the trend. On top of that, there’s no guarantee that your business won’t fail during good economy and we’ve also seen some businesses thrive during bad economy.
All the really good ideas are taken
“Good artists copy, great artists steal” is a saying made famous by Steve Jobs. He attributed it to Picasso. But I don’t think Jobs was encouraging us to copy or steal ideas of others. It’s really subjective to your interpretation but after reading all the books about him, I could safely assume he wasn’t talking about ripping people off. It’s about finding inspiration from what we already have and making it great.
Most of the products or services you see on the market these days are the results of innovation from what already exists anyway. Good inventions are hard to come by. If the whole world only wait for an original invention, we will not advance at all. So instead of giving up entirely just because “the good ideas are taken” or just setting out to be a mere “good artists” who add no value to the existing products, why don’t be a great artist?
Most of us have heard of the deathbed regrets shared quite frequently. An article published in the Guardian listed the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. You’ll be surprise that none of it has anything to do with wealth and assets. The bottom line is, don’t let the “I Can’t” now become your “I wish” or “I should have” later on in life when it’s really too late.