Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”
Entrepreneurship. Some say it is guts, some say it’s natural flair, and some say it’s pure luck. These elements are important, but they are not everything. But what if we had to choose, just one factor, what would it be?
You might find it amusing, or even stupid that I say this. You might even ask, “This sounds like common sense, isn’t it, Whei Meng?”
Common sense is not actually that common, and I’m not even kidding!
Common sense dictates that:
- You fix what’s not right
- Focus on important issues, determined, and work hard.
- Everyone should have a dream
Do you live by the common sense that we all know? When you have all ticked, you have pretty good common sense.
Your Fear—Perceived Fear is Stopping You!
But going back to mindset, what is “mindset”? The answer varies depending on who you speak to but to me it’s simple, you are what you think you are. You often set artificial barriers for yourself, you give excuses, and you refuse to face reality.
People believe the fallacy that the status quo is safe, but actually the opposite is true! If the status quo is unsafe, then why are most of us afraid of change?
Well, blame our ancestors. We are a product of our ancestors. The evolution of human beings can be dated back to more than 1.95 million years ago. Our ancestors lived in a vulnerable environment. Inconsistent food supply and unpredictable predators attacks were problems that they faced day and night. Subconsciously, human beings developed a self-defense mechanism that keeps us safe from danger.
However, fast forward to today’s modern society, and the dangers we face aren’t as life threatening as the ones our ancestors faced. Yet, our self-defense mechanisms are still deeply rooted in our genes and the act up at the sight of our perceived danger.
So our mind prevents us from making a change because of our outdated and self-defensive subconscious. A change can spell something bad, but honestly how bad can it be?
To overcome your mindset, first, you need to know your fear, then address it one by one as common sense dictates.
Face your fears, your closet ghosts
Be realistic about this, list down your fears of taking a step to starting a business. I’ll list down the common perceived obstacles of starting a business and their solutions.
1. Lack of funding
FACE IT: Capital is more readily than ever before but you can start small too. Want to start a restaurant? Why not cook at home and deliver it by selling through Facebook? How about selling it at a pasar malam as a start to get a following before investing in your own restaurant?
2. I don’t have time
FACE IT: How much time do you spend on social media, unproductive chitchat or watching TV/YouTube? Cut it by 50% and spend it on thinking about your business. Think of your business model, go-to-market strategy, and SWOT analysis. Followed by detailed planning and then execute your plan. Revise your plan from time to time.
3. It’s the wrong timing
FACE IT: The timing can never be right if you don’t take your first move. Let your passion drive you, and determination and hard work to persevere.
4. What if it fails?
FACE IT: How bad can it really be? Doing business is about taking risks but,it’s more about taking calculated risks: how can you mitigate your downside, what is the greatest exposure you can afford and then communicate with your family about this. You need to do your homework. I always have the mentality that I’m prepared to lose it all. The journey of doing a business is fun, never regret in starting a business even if you have failed. The only time you should regret is when you have not done your homework before starting a business.
5. How to get started?
FACE IT: The Internet—the encyclopedia of the world. Ask Google, connect with business mentors in LinkedIn, ask for friends’ opinions, and join entrepreneurship events (Founder Institute). There are many places you can get some simple yet important suggestions to get you started.
The said obstacle and fears are directed more towards changing your current lifestyle, fear of being the laughing stock if you fail, fear of going into unchartered territory, and so on.
Are those perceived fear and obstacles as dangerous and life threatening as the ones our ancestors faced?
Do you really have common sense? To live your dream, work hard, and resolve problems as they come?
You are what you think you are. Tell yourself that you can and get down to work. If I may quote Henry Ford again, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”
Whei Meng is the founder of Speedrent.com, a mobile app that connects landlords and tenants to direct with their smartphone. He has made his first pot of gold when he was 23, built and exited 3 successful IT-based ventures.