Four of the most common excuses in entrepreneurship—and how to stop making them

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Offline Khan Ehsanul Hoque

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Four of the most common excuses in entrepreneurship—and how to stop making them

One of the most common hurdles I see for budding entrepreneurs is a tendency toward excuse-making. While there are real impediments to starting a business, most excuses stem from either a fear of failure or a fear of commitment—and can be overcome with the right tools.

Take poor credit, for example. If you’re part of the 53% of Americans who’ve been rejected for a loan or credit card, poor credit can seem like an impossible barrier to success. Yet, there are very real ways to secure funding without good credit or to launch a business without any funding at all. When excuses start popping up, interrogate feelings of doubt and consider creative solutions to the barriers ahead. Not all problems will have simple solutions, but that doesn’t mean they’re insurmountable.

Every entrepreneur thinks the issues they face are unique, but the most common excuses I hear are echoed by nearly everyone.


This is one of the most common excuses I hear from entrepreneurs. They often have a vague vision of their perfect product and an ever-changing launch date that’s always in the future. Unfortunately, perfectionism can get in the way of making a timely product launch, and entrepreneurs who delay launching will have to wait longer for real-world feedback, which can, in turn, hinder growth and development.

Many of the world’s biggest companies achieved success only after testing their products in the real world. Windows didn’t become the world’s biggest operating system overnight—in fact, version 1.0 was released to mixed reviews and little impact. Only by the release of Windows 3.1 did the company start to see success.

Apple faced similar challenges with the iPhone. Steve Jobs surely would have loved to present the App Store, 3G connectivity, and a front-facing camera in his first keynote. Yet, all those features would have to wait. The first iPhone didn’t even have a copy-and-paste feature, but waiting to launch with every feature would have delayed the smartphone revolution.


When this excuse comes up, ask yourself: What is the minimum amount I need to launch? The prospect of raising tens of thousands of dollars with few resources can be daunting, but if you start to consider your absolute minimum, your goal may become more achievable.

For my first business, I took out a $14k student loan for “living expenses” and used it to buy a dump truck. These kinds of loans are non-forgivable—I was taking on 100% of the risk to finance my idea, but I wasn’t dependent on finding funding from outside sources.

The takeaway here isn’t that you should always default to the riskiest option. What’s important is getting creative with your financing options and considering every opportunity you can find. Anything less is a disservice to your dream.


Some entrepreneurs believe they’re entitled to capital because their ideas are so good. In reality, the quality of your concept is less important than the results you achieve—at least from an investor’s perspective.

Consider what you’re offering when you persuade someone to invest in your business. If all you have is an idea and a little bit of traction, raising funds should be the furthest thing from your mind. Time spent evaluating product-market fit, building a minimal viable product, and understanding your sales pipeline will bring you much closer to your goals.

Hitting milestones in your business growth attracts investors. Once you’re making progress, the obstacle shifts from finding investors to maximizing the opportunities you have.


As employees, we’re conditioned to believe our work has a constrained value—a salary cap that we’re expected to accept. This paradigm doesn’t apply in the same way to entrepreneurs. Increased funding won’t always necessarily expand your business, but it can go a long way toward improving your investors’ ROI.

The self-limiting thoughts we internalize can keep us from asking for more. Sometimes the root causes of our excuse-making are tied up with family dynamics and the stories we tell ourselves. For example, you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable or holding back from asking for more if you begin to surpass the success of your peers, mentors, or family.

If you find yourself unintentionally ignoring new opportunities, consider your mindset. Obstacles to growth are very real for any business of any size, but our personal narratives about wealth and success are sometimes the chief issue. Be open to interrogating these issues outside of your workplace setting, whether that’s with a licensed therapist, financial coach, or trusted peers who understand your personal history with money.


The next time you find yourself making excuses, ask yourself a few key questions:

• Where is my passion? You started your business because you cared. Harnessing the passion you had when you first began can help motivate you through challenging times and may even spark the creativity necessary for finding solutions.

• What information do I need? Moving through uncertainty is difficult. Often, entrepreneurs don’t have every piece of information they need right in front of them to make the best decision. You can, however, better inform yourself by reaching out to mentors, vendors, users, and your personal network for advice.

• What is the worst that can happen? To avoid spiraling into doom and anxiety, face your fears head-on. Consider your worst-case scenario and whether you know anyone else who has faced this problem. Chances are you can think of others who have survived these issues, recovered, and succeeded after. You can, too.

When you’re facing an external problem, remember that your internal mindset still plays a large part in the reality you perceive. Perseverance, creativity, and thoughtfulness can aid in overcoming difficult challenges, disrupting patterns of excuse-making, and helping you launch a business that can truly change an industry.

Khan Ehsanul Hoque

Daffodil International University