Dealing With Start-Up Naysayers
by Wendy Priesnitz

Q: I very badly want to start my own small business. I've done a lot of research on it, taken some courses, and read quite a few books. So I am pretty sure I have a good idea and the skills to pull it off. My problem is my friends and family, who are always telling me it can't be done. I am ready to quit my job and go for it, but they are making me have second thoughts about entrepreneurship.

A: Starting a business is risky, there are no two ways about it. One can never completely control all the variables. But thorough market research and careful financial projections can minimize the risk.

If your friends and family have no experience with self-employed people, they may be fearful of the unknown. They may not fully understand either the risks or the benefits.

If someone very close to you, like a spouse, has major reservations about your enterprise, perhaps you could consider starting slowly to help them ease into the idea of you being self-employed. Could you keep your day job and start the business on the side? Involve that doubtful person in your research in order to provide them with some understanding of, and to develop some confidence in, your business idea.

Aside from that one caveat, you need to surround yourself with positive people who understand business ownership. Don't ignore the naysayers if they are important to you, but ignore their negativity. Instead, create a support group of other business owners. Internet small business and social networking sites are great places to find discussion groups. Or join your local Chamber of Commerce or another face-to-face networking organization.

Perseverance, commitment and determination are required to accomplish anything that's worthwhile. If you have done your homework, then go for it. And good luck with your small business!


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