I love Nike’s slogan: Just do it.
It’s a great motivator. There are lots of difficult things in life that you should do anyway. But for this article, I want to tell you why you shouldn’t do it.
And what’s “it?” Starting and running your own business.
You shouldn’t do it because it takes effort
Are you someone who loves the idea of putting your entire business on autopilot and automating everything? Yeah…first of all, best of luck with that. I know absolutely no one who runs a successful business that is completely automated. But secondly, the effort (read: the journey) should be the fun part. It has to be, actually, because the challenge is going to crush you otherwise. You’re going to work longer and harder than you ever have in your life, and the payoff is so far removed from “overnight success” that everyone who’s ever succeeded in business just laughs at that concept.
If you aren’t ready to invest countless hours and make big sacrifices in your life, you shouldn’t do it.
You shouldn’t do it because you’ll have to change everything
You can have the most ironclad and well-thought-out business plan of all time. You can have experience from previous businesses. You can have amazing mentors and maybe even a bunch of funding.
But you know what? Your plans will change. If you’re doing it right, your vision will be shaped and molded by what your customers are actually willing to pay for. Your plans will fall apart as quickly as you can say pivot.
If you’re allergic to change, you shouldn’t do it.
You shouldn’t do it because you’re not famous
You aren’t going to be the next Steve Jobs.
You aren’t going to be the next Elon Musk.
You aren’t going to be the next anyone.
You are going to be you. No one knows who you are, and that’s a really big hurdle in people’s minds. They’re not going to trust someone they don’t know, and it’s a lot of work to get people to both recognize and trust you. It’s an even bigger hurdle to do the work your business requires without the expectation of ever getting accolades for it.
If you’re hoping to see your name or your business’ name in lights some day, you shouldn’t do it.
You shouldn’t do it because you’re going to mess up
You are going to make mistakes. You are going to have to make tough decisions, and no one is going to be able to give you all the answers. All the advice in the world can’t help you when YOU have to be the one to make the tough call. And sometimes, you’re going to make the wrong one. It’s going to suck.
If you are afraid of failing often, and in public, you definitely shouldn’t do it.
You shouldn’t do it because you have a good thing going
You shouldn’t start your own business. You should keep your job and make the best of it you can. Enjoy every day of job security that you can soak up. Relish the idea that you know where your paycheck is coming from and that someone else has to make all the tough decisions.
If these things don’t scare you into hiding, then maybe you should do it.