Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. – Thomas A. Edison
Every job I have had; I’ve done well at. I was always very well liked and performed well. People enjoyed working with me and my employers enjoyed having me as an employee. My motivation for working was always the same though: needed the money. Had to pay bills. Had to pay rent. Had to eat. HAD to have the money to go to the movies with my friends. The jobs always ended the same though, with me NOT working there.
I have always had a skill set that COULD bring income if I were just able to apply myself. After leaving each job, that is exactly what I did. That is, until the bills came in and I didn’t have enough to cover them. So the dream died and I went back to work. That stupid steady paycheck won again.
The Sad Reasons
I believe that, sadly, this is the case of most entrepreneurs. I read a few articles that suggest some pretty major reasons that entrepreneurs fail at their business. Some of the reasons were pretty common sense reasons, like, “Low Business IQ” and “Fear of Failure”. In my case, I was Survival Driven; which means that I was seeking money before adding value.
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. – Thomas A. Edison
Let’s examine a few other reasons that entrepreneurs hop back on the 9-5 train. I would bet stress is a big reason. Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. For those people that are not meant to be one, and try it anyway, I could see them buckling under the pressure of holding a whole company together on their shoulders. Let’s face itÖ it is MUCH easier to follow orders than create them and follow them yourself! The flip side of that coin is that the reward is far less.
Another reason that an entrepreneur might quit on their business is that the business is not performing well. Rather than fix the issues that are causing the business to fail, they lose hope and their will to continue failing at it. Another great quote from Thomas Edison is, I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work! He also said, I failed my way to success. Perhaps the entrepreneurs that give up don’t have what it takes to fail their way to success!
Let’s look at one more reason an entrepreneur might dim the lights (get it? You know because of all the Thomas Edison quotes!) on their business. This might even be the number one reason! Failing to really plan out your business needs and goals before you start can result in disaster. Getting peer reviews on your idea for the business and talking to as many people about the business BEFORE you start can save a lot of heartache down the road. I will give you a practical example:
Building a Box
The other day, I got it in my head to build a cage to put around the garden to keep the squirrels and birds out. This should have been a very simple project; 12 boards, some nails and some netting. I had it pictured in my head exactly how it would look (much like one can picture a business in their head!). So I got ready and got outside to get started. I knew there were things I needed to do to make the project a success, such as measure the area I wanted to protect with the cage and then of course cut the boards to match the size of that area. I also needed to find the box of nails wherever they were.
What I did NOT plan on when I went outside to get started, was the rain which made everything slippery and all around more difficult. Then I couldn’t find my tape measure. I overcame that obstacle by measuring with my feet (a foot is a foot, right?… yeah, not so much!) So after cutting, and then RE-cutting the boards, I started to nail them together. I had an over sense of accomplishment when I started putting together. In fact, I was pretty much beaming with pride! I finished one side of the frame, then the other side I was a boss! Then I tried to put the 2 sides together. That is how I found out the nails I was using were too short (or the wood was wet and wouldn’t hold the nails… jury is still out on that one).
EVERY SINGLE BOARD became unattached from the board it was nailed to. Two hours into the project and it looked as though I hadn’t really even started.
This is about the time I think most people end up quitting their entrepreneurial endeavor. Everything just falls apart and it is devastating. All the work you did amounts to a pile of boards with short nails sticking out.
But I didn’t quit! I found some screws and a screw driver and said (yeah I talked to the boards), Just try to fall apart now!! (and yeah that was the must insulting thing I could think of to say.) About 30 minutes later, I had an almost perfect frame to put the net on. Thirty minutes after that and with a little help, I had a cage (and it was a pretty decent looking cage too in my opinion). Had I given up, there would be no cage. There would also probably not be anything growing in the garden right now either.
There are always going to be at least a few reasons to quit perusing your entrepreneurial journey. By doing that though, you are de-valuing yourself. If you have the drive, and the persistence to bet on yourself, the rewards are always going to FAR outweigh the work you could do for someone else. Don’t give up!