What Is Holding You Back from Setting Up Your Own Business?


It is often said that you can never become truly rich while working for someone else. It is true that you stand more chance of earning a lot of money if you work for yourself, so what is holding you back? The truth is that there are a number of reasons why most people don’t take the chance and go it alone.

A Fear of Failure

Probably the biggest reason why more people don’t set up their own businesses is that doing this brings with it a fear of failure. There is no doubt that running an unsuccessful business could be a financial disaster. If running our own company gives us a chance to earn a fortune then it also gives us a chance of losing one as well. However, while a fear of financial failure is a big issue it is fair to say that it goes hand in hand with the fear of the disappointment of failing. When we work for someone else we don’t risk our hopes or dreams every day, while someone who works for themselves puts these on the line all the time. This point probably boils down to whether you like financial security and a lack of risks or whether you are happy to take a chance and put your dreams on the line.

No Business Ideas

This second point seems a less likely reason for not giving it a go, if we are being honest. Sure, you might not be a Richard Branson with business ideas pouring out of you but I think that we all have at least one idea which we could make work. In fact, if you were to sit down right now with a blank piece of paper I am sure you could come up with lots of pretty decent ideas for a business of your own. We all think sometimes – and on some level – about what type of shop or service our town lacks or what kind of website could make money. You might never seriously consider doing anything about it but you have thought about it at some point, haven’t you?

Wanting an Easier Life 

Maybe it all just comes down to wanting an easier life in the end. We all know that running your own business is a lot tougher and more stressful then sticking to paid employment. When you work for someone else you turn up, do your hours and get paid at the end of the month. A lot of people get enough job satisfaction out of this and are quite happy to earn what they earn in terms of their salary. If you are content with the life and career you have you might not feel the need to risk losing a lot of money and even more sleep by setting up your own business.

A Lack of Drive

If you are seriously thinking about setting up your own business then you need a lot of drive. I reckon that most people who don’t mind the thought of failure, who have ideas and who don’t mind having a more complicated life fall down at this final hurdle. Turning some good business ideas into a workable business requires a lot of drive and commitment, no matter how humble a business it might appear to be. Not all of us have this drive and without it the best bet seems to be to stick to paid employment. You can’t fool yourself on this point and pretend to have the necessary drive and determination when you know that you don’t.

Are there other reasons for not starting your own business?

16 Responses to What Is Holding You Back from Setting Up Your Own Business?

  1. Debt Blag says:

    For me, a big part of it is that there are huge economies of scale in my industry.

  2. Mine has to be the motivation to see things through to the very end. In a way I guess I do get bored rather fast and once something stops being a challenge I might decide to move on…probably not the best way to build a business. Its only now that am “muscling up” in an attempt a try out something for the long haul and already I can feel like my mind is being pulled in a 1000 directions 🙂
    Still, ones business is definitely worth a shot.

    • Robert says:

      I feel like this too Simon. I get bored too easy to imagine myself runinng a conventional business for the rest of my working life

  3. dojo says:

    All these were valid reasons for me not to start a business. And then I lost my main job and had to sink or swim. No better motivation than being broke and deep in debt 🙂

  4. I would say my blog is a business and I treat it like one. I think sometimes people think they have to start a business that they work full-time and therefore never start their own. In reality there are plenty of businesses that can be run on top of working full-time, therefore taking away some of the risks that would-be entrepreneurs fear.

  5. I think risk is a huge reason people don’t go into business for themselves and I can understand why. I’ve poured hours and hours into my blog over the past year and I’m just starting to get into monetizing. And who knows how long it will take to actually see a return.

    • Robert says:

      You are quite right Stefanie. Most of the time it seems as though we find ourselves in a situation in which we need to earn money more or less right away, rather than having the luxury of waiting for a return or of losing out for a while

  6. I know what’s stopping me from progressing in areas and ways that I want to advance in is the fear of failure. Hands down, that is my biggest roadblock I have to overcome. I struggle more with the idea of what others will say if I fail than the personal consequences of failure, which I think means it is going to be even harder to conquer this fear – and in fact, it may be more the fear of negative judgment that holds me back than the failure itself.

    • Robert says:

      The fear of failure is something we all need to deal with at some point. In fact, my guess is that no one ever truly conquers it but rather learns how to deal with it as well as possible

  7. I actually tried once but my business plan wasn’t as water tight as it should be and I didn’t make some of the right decisions at the right time and let my heart rule my head. I’m working a day job at the moment to save up for round 2!

    • Robert says:

      The most successful business people seem to be those that fail once or twice (or dozens of times) but still stick at it. Good luck on round 2

  8. Anton Ivanov says:

    Fears and self doubts can definitely prevent you from pursuing any major undertaking, including starting your own business. Great overview and I’m featuring this in my round-up!

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