Do you want to start your own company but have talked yourself out of it—afraid of risk or failure, or a belief that you lack enough resources? Basically, are you making excuses for why you haven’t followed your dream?
Lisa Song Sutton, J.D., is a real estate investor and serial entrepreneur, holding ownership interests in several companies in the real estate, retail, and food & beverage sectors, including the popular alcohol-infused bakeshop: Sin City Cupcakes.
In the preliminary stages of each of her entrepreneurial endeavors, she encountered some of the common myths that often keep people from starting a business.
To counter those myths, she relied on the advice of one of my mentors, which is to “just say yes and figure it out later,” and pressed forward anyway. “I have been rewarded by continual growth in each of my three companies,” she says.
Here Sutton exposes five myths that may be potentially holding you back, and what you can do about them.
MYTH #1: It’s not the right time. Realize that there is never a right time to strike out on your own and create a company, notes Sutton. If you keep waiting, there will always be some sort of impediment. Just prior to starting Sin City Cupcakes, I closed on my first owner-occupied house. People close to me questioned my timing and asked me to strongly consider waiting. So much in life is timing, and had I waited to start the company in the latter end of the year instead of in the beginning, our press exposure would have been significantly different based on the environment and unique changes happening in Vegas at the time.
Keep action and forward momentum at the forefront of your plans. Immediately start collaborating and reaching out to various outlets and brands as soon as you launch. Have faith that your abilities will match your plans and don’t wait.
MYTH #2: I’m waiting for inspiration. In my experience, ideas grow organically, says Sutton. Concepts have literally resulted from the sheer process of considering an idea, rejecting it, modifying it and then reconsidering it. Frankly, baking alcohol-infused cupcakes, touring multi-million dollar homes, and distributing luxury swimsuits are not my three passions in life, but what I do thrive on is working with people, selling a product, and the challenge of growing and building a brand, she explains.
MYTH #3: I need to find investors. Funding for your new company can come from a variety of sources and doesn’t have to be limited to just one. Bootstrapping and self-funding are the way most businesses get off the ground. I started my first company from a liquidated 401K and a no-interest loan from my parents, says Sutton. We ran operations extremely lean and I didn’t take owner distributions for the first two years. I poured everything back into the business and leveraged excess funds I was entitled to into my second company.
Multiple streams of revenue are key to legacy wealth building. Borrowed money and/or loss of company equity are ideal only if you are 100% certain that you need to scale quickly, notes Sutton. If you are unsure of scalability, it’s okay to start small, bootstrap funds and let your company grow organically.
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