What is the #1 problem why aspiring entrepreneurs won't start their dream business?

In my experience:

  • People think they need to be full-time on their business
  • People think their idea is not worth it
  • People don't know how to run a business, so they paralyze

What do you think?
What was the main barrier for you to start?

  1. 17

    Fear which leads to paralysis. I have been 'working' full time on a project for over 6 months now, but i keep thinking 'this is garbage' , 'no one is going to use this', 'why would people choose my option over X option', 'i don't have enough details / features/ stories/ yet so i can't launch this'. Therefore i just keep looking at my code, tweaking small things, hating what I have and revising my MVP idea. I'm paralyzed with fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of letting down my family. Fear of proving the doubters/haters in my life correct. Fear of looking foolish to have left a good job to pursue something that will make me happier and (hopefully) wealthier in the long run.

    Fear is awful but is a very powerful (but illogical) obstacle we all try to get beyond. I've been struggling with it for a long time and am staring at my site right now (warts and all) and just trying to talk myself into making my most recent code changes live, announcing it to someone, and stepping away for a few days to see if anyone cares.

    EDIT: fixed misspelling ('very')

    1. 1

      I'd also argue it's a fear of doing certain actions that are required for success. Fear of making that blog post, going on that podcast, or sending that cold email. That can add up in the long-term.

    2. 1

      waiting for that site to go live!! Post it here and would love to have a look at it.

      Dont overthink and do it 💪🏽

    3. 1

      Explained every mental feeling! You nailed it

    4. 0

      This comment was deleted a month ago.

      1. 2

        What? why do you want me (or anyone? to downvote the post you link to? Am I missing something? Or did I misunderstand your comment?

  2. 6

    Procrastination. People kept thinking, researching and speaking about, but never do real work. Even after they start, they spent too much time on doing things that doesn’t close to the product. Like social media channel, logos, name, etc. When they kept doing this sort of things, they get lost. And forget the important step. This is what I did in my early life.

    I stopped it, buy a domain, start building the product with least effort on coding, it allows me to test the product and speak with customers. Those customers signals were encouraging to go further.

    Before two years, the product (Tradly.app) is not even coded, but I started to do sales calls from the organic traffic leads (seo). Those signals allowed us to shape the product further and also motivated us to focus.

    From financial perspective, if people save money for next 6months , they naturally get a boost to work on their idea.

    Regarding CV, it’s the story what you goingto tell interviewers. It doesn’t matter whether you were working for someone or for you.

  3. 5

    Fear, especially if your not already financially stable

  4. 4

    I think the most common one might be financial risk but there is also a fear of leaving a "career" and not being welcomed back if need be (I once heard someone say "I'm afraid of having an gaping hole in my CV"). That last one is most of the time unfounded, like most fears...

    1. 2

      This was also a big sticking point for me.

      When you take a step back you start to realize how truly unfounded it is. If anything, someone who embarks on their own project is probably going to learn significantly more on their journey than someone who takes the safe corporate path.

      Having done tons of interviews for a big company in the past, I always paid more attention to those candidates who had an interesting story involving their own endeavor they tried to pursue.

      Part of that could be because of my own aspirations (One of us! One of us!). No doubt about that. But I also noticed those candidates had significantly more passion, ambition, drive and breadth of experience than their 100% corporate peers. They were always far more interested in the bigger picture than just being another cog in the machine earning a paycheck.

      1. 2

        So true... at the minimum your profile sticks out. The interviewer might even remember you later if the current job offer didn't land.
        Also totally agree on interest in the bigger picture, I would add that entrepreneurs tend to be proactive & problem solvers... even "failed" ones.

        1. 2

          Yep spot on.

          Bonus points if they can explain why it "failed" and how they would've done things differently. That's why it's not a failure in my eyes: instead I'd see them as a strong candidate.

          Its basically the same process any successful business follows. Hypothesize, orient, test, analyze, repeat. Fail upwards.

  5. 2

    Analysis paralysis. Spending so much thinking of everything that you need to do / should not do without validating what you already have.

  6. 2

    It's mostly the doubt of whether what you'd be working would be the right thing for you and also building an audience which requires us to show up everyday.

  7. 2

    I think it's all about consistency, being able to build up the habit of working on your thing and working through the challenges.

    It's hard and life gets in the way, especially when a bunch of us have so many other life commitments.

  8. 2

    The hardest point of starting something new is getting honest, fast feedback. Think about singing and playing guitar. The guitar will instantly let you know when you've hit the wrong note, yet you can sing with wrong technique, off-pitch and still think you're doing it right.

  9. 2

    In my case, it's a weird fear that I'm never ready. You read a bunch of stuff on the internet that says "to be successful, you need to know this and this and this" and sometimes it's just overwhelming. People realize they lack a lot of things and simply delay the process of starting the business.

  10. 2

    ~Zero audience. Because most of good profile dont support guy with very less followers. Some have idea but not able to represent it

  11. 1

    After being part of several startups in early stages and reading a ton about starting a business from scratch I am seriously leaning toward that I need a co-founder. And finding a co-founder that is at least somewhat as passionate for the particular customer/problem segment as me has been a very tough challenge.

  12. 1

    Fear. But not fear of failure directly. If you're living paycheck to paycheck, you really don't have the luxury to start your own business.
    I started working on mine as a side project. Ate a lot of my time but I was particularly risk averse.

    Still, I'm in the lucky lot. I'd imagine it wouldn't be as easy for someone from a country where the economy is bad and a stable job is your only way to barely stay afloat.

  13. 1

    Not sure what is the definition of aspiring entrepreneurs here. But finding an idea worth pursuing is one of the major problems faced by aspiring entrepreneurs. There are many people (including me) who would love to go out their and get their hands dirty, but unfortunately they lack ideas.

  14. 1

    Personally with the entrepreneurs I have come across, the biggest fear is the financial risk of Entrepreneurship. You don't know if it is going to work and don't want to leave a paying job to take a chance - the idea of "side hustle" is not always practical for many, as you job requires 100% of your time, while running a business requires 150% of your time.

    Offset that risk by saving enough before taking that leap of faith.

  15. 1

    Hi, Eduardo! My own experience:

    I don't know how to find the right problem that is worth working on.

  16. 1

    Fear, for sure.

    We are naturally more risk averse than we are to seek gain. It was hard for me to personally make the leap without having a solid financial plan in place

  17. 1

    Self-doubt. When you're not able to trust yourself, it leads to fear, analysis paralysis, and inaction.

    1. 2

      wow, I wasn't aware of this concept of 'analysis paralysis

      it clearly describes some of my feelings when it comes to entrepreneurship

  18. 1

    Analysis paralysis 🤔

  19. 1

    Inertia. An object in motion wants to stay in motion and an object at rest wants to stay at rest

  20. 1

    This comment was deleted a month ago.

  21. 1

    This comment was deleted a month ago.

  22. 1

    This comment was deleted a month ago.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Link to your product & tell IH how you came up with your idea 93 comments Ask me to review your product 37 comments Can you try my side project? I'm looking for some feedback 🙂 24 comments Does anyone actually use productivity software? Which one? 13 comments Copywriting Examples — The world's best copy. In one place. 12 comments What do you consider 'Idea validated'? 5 comments