Why Startups ARE For Everyone, part 2

(Part one of this series can be found here)


In part 1, I talk about how the combination of how EVERYONE having something special to offer and the current technology infrastructure now enable ANYONE to build her own startup.

So the question is: why isn’t everyone rushing to do so?

Here are 3 factors why:


1) The Information Gap

The first reason is simply ignorance.

We live in a society where our school systems still (by and large) marshall us and train us for the corporate and factory environment.

For a typical college graduate, her primary (and chances are, only) professional concern after graduation is “to get a job.”

The thought of pursuing her own thing and standing on her own two feet does not merit any immediate consideration, if at all. Doing her own thing is a pipe dream.

Even if so many people say in interviews that they want to “someday own a business,” so precious few actually do so. Even the response sounds like a pipe dream: “someday….”

This is what this blog actually wants to address. You CAN do it and here’s how…

For me, entrepreneurship HAS to be part of any university’s CORE curriculum. Think about it. ANY and ALL college courses can be the subject matter for a future startup or freelance career.

If I’m an artist, I might want to someday be a freelancer.  If I’m a programmer, I might one day decide to set up a software development firm. If I’m an engineer, I might someday want to set up a consulting firm. 

So why not equip ALL graduates with the rudiments of entrepreneurship?

fear2) Fear


Good old-fashioned fear. (VERY related post here)

The fear can come in many forms: fear of failure, fear of what people will say, fear of not being enough, fear of losing luxuries…

Real or imagined (and I’d say most are imagined) – it’s enough to dissuade the would-be-startup founder.

Stop him dead in his tracks.

3) The Dip

My hairstyle idol Seth Godin has many vaunted books: Tribes, Linchpin,and so on. But I think one of his most useful books for the entrepreneur is a book called The Dip.

It’s been a long time since I read it, but what I’ve always taken from the book – at different parts of my entrepreneurial life – is that the pursuit of the most worthwhile things almost always involve some sort of “dip” – right before things get better. Here’s a graphical representation (click to get a better resolution):

the dip
(Picture from http://www.bennadel.com)

I know a lot of people who quit when they find themselves at the Dip.

At first, its exciting right? Its idea creation time! Or the time to assemble your entrepreneurial avengers! These are fun, fun things.

Then you start.

Then the problems crop up.

Money running out. Founder not carrying his weight. Sales have flattened. Your biggest client drops you. Customers fry you on social media. You have 20-30 problems which need solving, You get punched in the mouth. 

For those who do manage to conquer ignorance and fear, FAILURE could be the one which does them in.

I think this is one thing experienced entrepreneurs understand pretty well. They know its darkest right before the sunrise – so they persevere. (or pivot, but that’s another story)

As you can see, there is nothing in this list that you CANNOT manage.

The barriers aren’t physical, monetary, even concrete.

The only barriers exist right between our ears.

Juan, its time to break through.

(Good way to start? Attend JGL’s monthly OPEN COFFEE and meet like-minded people talk and solve problems!) 

5 thoughts on “Why Startups ARE For Everyone, part 2

  • Pinoys are naturally resilient and resourceful, however, we are also good employees for one reason – we have a passive culture. Another thing that stops people is sheer laziness – why startup (or take a risk) when I’m leaving a pretty darn nice lifestyle. Not too many think beyond the box of daily living. Pretty much a lot of developers I know are just after the latest gadget, and are content with what they have. We also want a very quick get quick rich ROI in our businesses. Konting fail lang, suko na. You have to have the following to conquer those three problems – Focus and Passion and Abundance Mindset.

  • Entrepreneurship is not always happy times (which most Filipinos would prefer) but also hard times. It will be a heart breaking journey in which a few survive. Filipinos would mostly prefer the easier path and just go for the employment path which is the sad part(I have nothing against it, I also went through it before). Entrepreneurship is already thought since I was in elementary and high school but then we never learn. Schools are producing “employee oriented” graduates but not “business oriented” graduates. I don’t believe pinoys are hard working people(noypi po ako), if it were then our economy would have been better. Sorry for a slight rant 🙂

    It’s about time that we embark on this entrepreneurial path or else we won’t be going somewhere. I’m following this path and I know it won’t be easy but I believe it’s not impossible. So much are already given that the only problem now is how we make the most of it and be able to use to our advantage.

    Anyway, awesome article!

    • Rants are cool Reymon – as they uncover some of our basest passions 🙂 Your rants are quite parallel to my own (especially about how we feel about the current educational system)

      Thanks for chiming in and good luck with your leap!

  • One thing I know for sure “Show me a successful person and I’ll show you a passionate person.” When you are passionate about your thing specially in business you know what you are fighting for and yup people may think you are crazy! The best thing when that happens is that you know your in the game of Entrepreneurship. People love to say to “stay inside the line” but what you are about to experience is that “there is always something better on the other side”. The only thing that can hold you is that comfort zone specially if you got a job that can support you, but I believe that “Miracles happen when you get out of your comfort zone.” So yup that’s the Dip. 🙂 Thank God there are also crazy people out there that you will meet along the journey who will encourage you and also learn from them. Great Article! More Power and Vamos! 🙂

    • Thanks Roland!

      I think passion is one great differentiator of the successful people I know. These people will actually work on their craft FOR FREE, or even PAY TO DO IT. So you just know they’re having the time of their lives and doing the best work they possibly can. If people are put in situation where in they get to do their BEST work? Well, AMAZING things happen 🙂

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