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!)