This is probably an unusual topic you haven't heard anyone speak about before.
Even I've previously spoken all about why it is easier than ever to start a business.
The truth is, you have so many more advantages and factors that play in your favor when starting a business today.
It's difficult to ignore this opportunity we've all been given - the ability to both easily and quickly turn your life around.
Although this is all true, there's a deeper, darker side to the story.
Let's flip the coin and think about the reasons why it could be harder to start a business today than it was yesterday.
Or more specifically, why or how is it any harder to start a business today than it was 10, 20, 100 years ago?
Because even though we have a god-given gift of being alive in the 21st century, there are still reasons why this might not be all that great for entrepreneurs.
Here's why it's harder to start a business now than it was before.
It's 'all been done already'
Whether you're a new entrepreneur yet to experience your first failure or a seasoned professional who's a few successful ventures in, you've definitely heard this one before.
Before I ever started my entrepreneurial journey, I would sit down and try to think of really cool, creative ideas that no one has ever done or even thought of.
No matter how bright or creative I was, I wasn't creative enough to think of something not a single person from almost 8 billion people has already thought of.
I knew the effects of 24/7 gaming, yet I couldn't pull myself away from my TV screen.
With this dilemma at hand, I suddenly thought of an ingenious idea that no one could have ever thought of.
I thought, "why not create blue light glasses!!"
One of my more 'entrepreneurial' friends was in the Playstation party alongside me and so I couldn't resist telling him all about the idea.
We were so happy with it that we immediately started to look for ways to protect the idea and make sure it doesn't get stolen.
However, we quickly faced disappointment when my friend made a simple Google search only to find out that this already existed.
The same friend had an amazing idea a year prior to this one.
We were almost done with year 12 of school, and we were starting to see the slight opportunity with entrepreneurship.
All of a sudden, I got a call from him - he was overly excited whilst sounding like he had a secret to tell.
He told me he had a great business opportunity - an app where you're able to find and hire people for almost anything physically.
Need a handyman? Check the app!
Need a carer? The app got your back!
Want something from the store? Someone can help you with that on the app.
It was like a Fiverr for physical services.
I immediately started to create a wireframe (which I didn't know about back then) to model the app, until I came across 'TaskRabbit.'
It was the exact same app idea, backed by Tesco - a retail giant.
After hearing about the bad news, we all lost every ounce of motivation we had and never thought about the idea again.
See, there is some truth in the fact that almost every idea in the world (every tangible idea, at least) has already been done.
To a new entrepreneur, this can seem like the biggest problem ever - how do I start a business when it's already been done before!?
Yes, you don't need to reinvent the wheel in business to be successful, but even a small opportunity for differentiation can be a difficult spot.
Whenever you have a great business idea that you think no one else has ever thought of, let alone built, you might want to hold off on the celebrations.
If you do somehow find an idea that has never been done before, there might be a logical reason.
Either - it's not yet possible, or it might be a terrible idea with no value or demand.
Struggling to find an idea? Here's how you can find a great business idea in 6 easy steps.
Lower barriers to entry
Ironically, the fact that starting and running a successful business has become much easier, is actually making it much harder too.
Let me explain.
Dozens or even hundreds of years ago, people would kill to have the sort of resources we have at our disposal today.
You can make a quick Google search and uncover the, what used to be, secrets behind starting a business.
The opportunities available are amazing - instead of having to build custom software from scratch, there are things like Amazon SES available to help speed up the process.
Launching a store doesn't require 100s of thousands in capital, permits for land, and a heap of inventory to order and handle.
All you need to do is simply find a supplier on something like Alibaba, and set up your store on Shopify.
Here's the entire process broken down.
Instead of spending millions on testing new business ideas, you have the chance to start with an MVP and build to $1m and beyond.
Kids aged 12 or younger are making 100s of thousands by creating pixelated drawings and selling them online.
One can say that the opportunities we have at our disposal today are limitless.
"So how does this make it any harder to start a business, Mohamad?"
It's a very simple and logical explanation.
The easier it becomes to start a business, the more people start businesses.
This is because they see that the barriers to entry are very low - there's almost no challenges to starting something and calling it a 'business.'
The more people that start businesses, the fiercer the competition gets.
In turn, this competition might mean that the barriers to entry increase instead of decrease.
People who had hopes of starting a business quickly realise that they'll be a small fish in a tank full of other fish and sharks.
They start to think that there's no way to succeed in such a crowded market and so all hope of ever starting a business fades away.
On top of this, when consumers have dozens of brands to pick from, it becomes harder and harder to differentiate yourself.
Consumers are starting to only go for brands they know and trust- meaning brands others use, brands that are active and present on social media, etc.
This only makes it harder and harder to start a business and make your mark.
Social media & false expectations
If you've spent even a second in the massive realm of online business, you may have come across a guru or two who swear they can make you 100K per month a few weeks after purchasing their program.
Wherever you look today, you're able to find guides on starting and running businesses.
You have things like:
all of which are littered with information about business and entrepreneurship.
Whilst a lot of what's online is true, a majority of things you see on the internet are completely wrong.
There was an article I read a few weeks ago which almost made me cry in disgust.
It was amongst the top 1 worst business articles I've ever read and I really feel for those who read it and listened to what they had to say.
It's almost ethical to mention their names so that no one else ever suffers that fate again, but I'm not going to - we'll have to leave that for TikTok!
Almost every source of entrepreneurial information makes it seem like a walk in the park.
Influencers all drive Lamborghinis and own houses similar to that of Elon Musk and so it becomes hard NOT to believe it's that easy.
See, there's a massive difference between the words 'easy' and 'simple.'
Simple refers to something being easy to understand, whilst the word easy refers to something achievable without a lot of effort or work.
Business might be simple, for sure, however, it's definitely not easy.
It's the fact that everyone on the internet tells you how easy it is to start a business and make millions that makes it hard to succeed.
We're in a world today where attention spans are lower than a goldfish (according to certain sources), and people are essentially lazier than ever.
With that said, it's very simple to make videos about how starting a business and making millions is easy and throw it on TikTok.
The majority of people who watch the video will brainlessly listen to whoever's on the screen only to realise they've been bluffed a few weeks or months later.
Don't get me wrong - I think there are a lot of people who know what they're talking about.
In fact, here's a list of 4 entrepreneurs anyone looking to build a business should watch.
However, it's the way we collectively interpret and digest the information online that makes it hard to start a successful business.
When we take some level of responsibility and follow through with action, we can succeed in business.
Those were the 3 reasons why it's harder to start a business now.
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