When is the perfect time to start my own business?
Today we’re going to answer the question ‘When is the perfect time to start my own business?’
The short answer is that there is never a perfect time.
The downfall of thinking or waiting for that perfect time is why most people typically never start to build their company.
I went online to find some data around this and I found Ramit Sethi’s blog called “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”. Ramit is a New York Times Best-Selling author with a pretty big audience and they surveyed 275,000 of their readers asking them how long they’ve been thinking about starting their own business.
85% of responses say they have been thinking about starting their own business for years, with 29% of the responses saying it’s been more than 5 years.
To be honest, this doesn’t surprise me. Many people dream about being an entrepreneur, but very few take the dive into it.
On top of that, the unfortunate dose of reality to those who have been thinking about starting a business for years is that they probably never will actually go for it.
There really is no right time to start your business
If you’ve only been thinking about starting a business, and it has been years, I can only think of a few things that can trigger you to actually start.
The first is if you’re forced into it by life itself, where something dramatic or traumatic happens and it becomes your way of survival.
This reminds me of a story of when Mark Cuban was struggling to survive and he was eating ketchup and mustard sandwiches. Gross.
But that is still not as gross as one of my friends who used to eat cereal with orange juice. Who does that…
Cuban’s back was against the wall. He had to survive. And survived he did, because he later sold his startup for billions of dollars.
Another way I can think of where you are practically pushed into starting your own business after years of just thinking about it is if a really lucky opportunity falls on your lap.
But that doesn’t come very often, if ever.
Seneca said it best: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.
So, if you haven’t done the prep work for an opportunity to present itself, then luck will likely not fall on your lap.
And what do you think was the biggest reason why people have only been thinking about starting a business for years but never actually did?
“But, I just don’t have enough time.”
In our lives, time is the great equalizer.
No matter whether you’re rich or poor, or whatever religion or race you are, time is something you simply cannot gain more of over others.
We are all given 24 hours. How we choose to spend that time is what differentiates each of us.
Before I move forward though, I want to say this. How you choose to spend your time is completely up to you.
I’m not game for those entrepreneurs who shame you for not being productive and calling you out for being lazy. Or that you’re not hustling 24/7.
I’ll tell you right now, I definitely don’t do that and I don’t WANT to live that lifestyle where all I do is eat, sleep, and breathe work.
And those entrepreneurs that say you have to, I have news for you. They’re not better than you. And neither am I.
We each have our own path to success, especially when it is coupled with what actually makes you happy.
I’ll throw in another one. Those “fitness gurus” who go to the gym on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas and shame you for eating all those extra calories without going to the gym for the day.
Why can’t I just eat my turkey leg in peace?! (Just kidding, Asians don’t eat turkey for Thanksgiving)
I’m just the same as you: someone going through this wild adventure of ups and downs called life.
Life is short, so do what makes you happy.
And with that said, my insight on that remains true ONLY as long as you actually ARE happy with where your life is.
You can lie to others, but you cannot lie to yourself.
So if you are someone who has been thinking about starting a business for years and still hasn’t, and you’re unhappy about it, then you do need to hear this.
The biggest difference between those who start and run a successful business versus those who say they don’t have the time is how they use and value their time.
A ‘time exercise’ that will blow your mind
If your reason for not starting a business is “I don’t have enough time”, then I’d like to reframe the question to: “How do you utilize your time?”
Here’s what I want you to do. For the next week, track what you do every hour of the day. Write down everything such as sleep, eating, exercise, Netflix time, social media, gaming, seeing friends, taking care of your family, learning new skills, and of course, when you’re mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds.
And just like when you start to budget for your finances and your eyes pop out of your head when you see just how much money you spend every month on things like food, alcohol, or whatever, your head will probably explode when you track how much downtime you actually have.
This is the best exercise I can share to open your eyes that “I don’t have enough time” is simply just another excuse we tell ourselves.
And I’m guilty of that myself.
For example, I would love to be fluent in Mandarin. I’m Chinese, but I don’t know my own language.
I know, I bring dishonor to my family…
But you see, “I just don’t have enough time to learn Mandarin because I’m too busy with everything I already have going on…”
True, but definitely not true. The real truth is that it simply is not a priority because I have other goals I’d like to achieve more than learning Mandarin.
I simply don’t see it as dramatically improving my life as much as my other goals.
Learning Mandarin is more like a “like to have” versus a “must have”.
If it is not a priority, then of course, I can’t find the time for it. No matter how much I search for that “missing time”.
So when you go through the exercise of tracking your daily hours for a whole week, what will you find?
Do you spend your time watching Netflix for 2 hours each day?
Maybe another 2 hours on your phone scrolling through Instagram and TikTok or messaging your friends?
If you’re finding anything close to that, do you actually not have enough time then?
And again, the reframing of the question is: How do you use your time?
If you can re-claim even a half-hour or hour of your day and dedicate it to starting your company that you’ve been thinking about for years, would that give you an exponential improvement in your present and future life versus those hours of social media that you’ll probably never remember again?
My answer is a definite YES.
So, back to the original question of the video: when is a good time to start my own business?
The answer is IF you truly want to run your own business, then the answer is now.
Starting now can mean anything. It can be research into markets or competitors, doing some informal surveying, or just scribbling out what your main core offering can be.
The point is that you start some momentum now, no matter how small the step is.
Then build on that small momentum every day. Grow it into a daily habit and keep on igniting the entrepreneurial fire inside of you.
It will finally go somewhere, instead of you thinking about it for another few years.
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