From excuses to launch.

Excuse Crusher

The Excuse CRUSHER

Combating fear of entrepreneurship with facts.

What’s The Excuse Crusher?Tired of making excuses for why you can’t start a company?  Simply select your excuse below, and get the facts for why your excuse is just that…an excuse.

“I can’t come up with a good business idea.”

2 wrong things are implied: 1.) coming up with a business idea is really hard, and 2.) a great idea is necessary before trying to start a business.

Both of those are demonstrably wrong.

1.) Good ideas are really easy to come up with.

The trick?  Ask potential customers what their problems are.  Ask them what they’d spend money on to fix.  You come up with ideas by solving other people’s problems.  See a great analysis of this here (called “idea extraction”).

Also, check out my article on LifeHack about coming up with ideas.

2.) Your idea will change as your business develops, so it’s pointless to sweat over your initial idea being perfect.

It’s called a pivotand it happens with all businesses.  You meet more people, and realize part of your idea needs to change.

If you think I’m making this up, go ask Reddit.  They started as a tool to let people order food from their cell phones.  Today they’re a social bookmarking website.  Those things have nothing in common.

TAKEAWAY:  Not having a “great idea” up front is perfectly fine.  I can’t think of a single successful company that started and ended with the exact same idea (I can think of a few mediocre ones though).  What’s more important is how you’ll react to improve your idea as you talk with potential customers.

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“I don’t have enough time to start a business.”

I could just respond “you’ll make time for what you care about”, and that would be perfectly valid.  But also:

1.) There’s a ton of resources available to help you learn about startups and entrepreneurship in a short period of time.

An example of a quick way to learn about startups is Startup Weekend.  You learn the basics of customer validation over a weekend; if your team wins, you get prizes.  Anyone can spare a weekend.  Just go read books, attend Meetup events, etc.

2.) plenty of successful businesses were started in the midst of other things (full time work, for example).

Think of Dropbox for example, whose founder worked on the code for months before submitting the company to an incubator.  There’s not necessarily this “big rush” to get things done (at least at first, while you’re feeling out the market).  Be a smart, competent adult, use basic time management, and scale your efforts up and down as needed.

TAKEAWAY: Ultimately you have to be motivated enough to make time for yourself; that’s an internal decision, and nothing I could write can help you there.

But when you do decide to devote the time to it, know it’s really easy to use your time well to learn and grow quickly.

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“I don’t have any money.”

This is the 2nd-worst excuse on the list.

1.) There’s tons of ways to raise money for your startup.

Gone are the days of needing to use your life’s savings and borrowing a bajillion dollars from the bank.

The country, and particularly state and local communities, are in the midst of a massive economic development push to encourage entrepreneurship.

These guys are just begging you to take their money and start a business.  Examples: SBA grants, Hartford LaunchScale, and the Connecticut Startup EcoSystem.

2.) You probably don’t need any money at first, so it doesn’t matter.

Like this blog (which could be called a startup): it costs only $8 per month for hosting.  I host my other startups’ website on the same server.  Even if what you’re doing isn’t a website, most of your initial work focuses on finding potential customers and validating your idea with them; not on spending money randomly.


You’ll need money eventually, but it’s certainly not needed to start your venture.

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“X% of businesses fail each year.”

1.) Businesses fail for a reason, not because of a statistic.

We lean on statistics because it’s easier to generalize than to hold ourselves accountable.

If your company fails, it’s most likely because you did something wrong, not because the Entrepreneurship God made your startup fail.

Why do you think that the best accelerators in the world pay more attention to the team than the idea?  Because the people are what makes businesses successful, not the idea, or the economy, or whatever.

2.) Failure isn’t bad.

Basically every important lesson I’ve learned in business I learned through failing.  For example, with my previous blog, I did everything wrong.  After 6 months, I only had 40 subscribers.

But as I write Decoding Startups, I would have had no idea how to write better content…had it not been for being less-than-successful with my first effort.

Stop thinking you are so smart that you won’t fail, and stop worrying about it so much, because you will fail on some level.  Accept it and learn from it.


You’ll fail in some respects, and you’ll succeed in others, as long as you keep working, continue to learn, and don’t take unnecessary risk.

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“I don’t know how to program.”

Neither do I, yet I’m the President of a startup that builds a website, and has 5 programmers working for it.

The business side of a startup is far more important than just “knowing how to code”.

Why?  Because the business side is where the risk is.

Think about it: for your venture, there’s probably a 100% chance it can be coded.  There’s no risk that the technology doesn’t exist to make a website.

But how about customers?  How do you know people will use it?  It’s certainly less than a 100% chance that people will use it.

It’s a good idea to learn a little HTML and how to use WordPress so you can put together good looking front-end websites that explain your idea.  But don’t waste your time on the harder stuff.


Focus your efforts on mastering your own skillset and providing value to your company in that way, as opposed to trying to “learn coding” (which will be impossible to pick up in anything less than years of practice.”

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“It’s way too risky…”

No, it’s not.

Starting your own company is a skillset.  It’s not magic; it’s not luck.  It’s a process that you can learn, master and execute.

That’s why things like incubators, accelerators, and Startup Weekend exist; to teach you how to start a company.

Just the same way you’re probably good at school or good at your job: you got that way through experience.  Do the same with companies.

In today’s cheap-web-development and pro-entrepreneurship culture, it’s easy to try, screw up, and have no negative impact on yourself (my second startup failed, and the only loss was $50: check out my article on Under30CEO where I wrote about that experience).


Instead of looking for reasons it’s “too risky”, instead look for ways to get your feet wet and learn the skillset of starting a company.

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“I have no idea how to start a business.”

And we’ve arrived at the worst excuse on the list.

Boy am I excited to CRUSH this one!

Entrepreneurship is a skillset.  Just like with everything else in life, you learn through experience and through others.

No one knows how to start a business…until they try to start a business.

I had no clue when I started.  And there’s plenty of things I still have yet to learn.

There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes and being wrong.

And the resources that exist to help are numerous: read my blog articles to see what’s out there.

You just have to want success badly enough, and make a proactive effort to learn.  It’ll pay off in the long run.

TAKEAWAY: Just do it.

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What’s The Excuse Crusher?
Excuse just got crushed?  Share the good news with your friends!

I know karate, I know jiujitsu…

Got any other excuses you want crushed?  Write them in the comments below?

Did this help you crush your excuses and start your company?  Let us know below too!

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