It's Never Been Easier (or More Difficult) to be an Entrepreneur

It's Never Been Easier (or More Difficult) to be an Entrepreneur

We’re in a new age of entrepreneurship, filled with new difficulties. Here’s how to overcome those obstacles.

It’s never been easier to be an entrepreneur

Welcome to the Information Age, where 4.6 billion people have access to the internet, a place where learning a skill is a Google search away. Apprenticeships have been replaced by online courses. You don’t need to drive to a piano lesson. There isn’t much we can’t learn from the comfort of our own home.

Not only is it easier to learn skills, but the number of skills that are available to learn have grown exponentially. There are constantly new opportunities for skill acquisition and business possibilities.

Just within the past 30 years, the rise of computers has created a multi-billion dollar industry around software development alone.

And people just keep making it easier. Welcome to the world of no-code.

No-code solutions are coming out by the dozen, giving you the ability to harness the power of coding without needing a bachelor’s degree in web development. You can build a web app without touching a line of code. You can start your own blog quicker than it took me to write this post. You can automate the most tedious parts of your job through tools like Zapier.

Not to mention, it’s never been cheaper. 100 years ago, entrepreneurs either needed their life’s savings to buy a storefront, take out loans from the bank, or inherit the business from their family.

Now all you need is to sign up for a couple of accounts, and you can start a business with $0.

Take Notion Templates for example. You can start a Twitter profile (free), start tweeting about Notion, gain some followers, build a fancy template in Notion (free), and sell it on Gumroad (fees only on the sale of a product, nothing upfront).

If you’re looking for something bigger than that, bootstrapping your own business is completely possible with less than $1000. You can build an e-commerce store with Shopify, web apps with Bubble, or start a YouTube channel with some basic equipment. There are thousands of people willing to throw money at business ideas in the VC world, though it isn’t necessary.

Now, the main variable is time and focus. It’s just up to us to take action, right?


It’s never been more difficult to be an entrepreneur

Quick disclaimer, I’m not trying to complain here. I think that we’re in the best time to be alive right now. The number of entrepreneurs is through the roof, and I think that’s wonderful. However, we must know our obstacles to overcome them.

Now that the barrier to become an entrepreneur has been lowered, competition is through the roof. Finding a blue ocean without any competition is near impossible. The businesses that are cheap to start are now a dime a dozen (e-books, dropshipping, POD, etc).

Product overwhelm is a big issue in today’s digital economy. With so many digital products being thrown out there, it’s hard for consumers to know what’s actually high quality. Smaller entrepreneurs have to compete with the well-established and trusted authorities in their space.

Speaking of overwhelm, let’s talk analysis paralysis. Anyone can do anything. You can learn any skill. How the hell do you choose just one?

Not only that, with technology its so easy to get distracted. Shiny Object Syndrome has plagued us, and social media is designed specifically to be inescapable. The same platforms that we can use to break free from our 9 to 5 keep us constantly consuming content with an endless feed based on the neuroscience of addiction.

It takes more and more creativity to create successful businesses. Our parents and grandparents had it laid out for them. Now, we need to build our own path, requiring open-ended problem solving, a skill within itself.

Great, so now that we know everyone and everything is against our success, what do we do?

Overcoming the obstacles

Dig into your strengths

We have an inherent bias to try to fix our weaknesses. When we do that, we become average across the board. Instead, we should double down on our strengths and take advantage of the things we’re naturally good at. We can then combine that with our own personality and other interests to create a very strong niche for ourselves.

If you’re just having fun with a project, sharing your thoughts online, or not worried about monetization, then you don’t need a niche. However, in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace, you’ll need a specific niche, preferably one that is a combination of 2 or 3 interests and skills.

Shoot first, aim second

To help combat analysis paralysis, shoot first, aim second. If it’s a reversible decision, always err on the side of action. Make that decision as fast as possible and start moving in a direction. Any direction.

The important part is to just start moving. When you start taking action, you get feedback on whether or not you enjoy it, if it’s worth your time, and if you’re seriously missing out on the thing you decided against. Then you can go back to that original decision and re-evaluate with your new knowledge.

Allow yourself choose more than one project

There’s a lot of content in the business space that says choosing a singular project is the most effective way to succeed quickly. While this may be true for some people, it might do more harm to others.

Personally, I need to have a bunch of different projects at once to keep me engaged. For instance, running this blog on top of working on more revenue-focused projects.

Just be sure to make sure they are all pulling you in the same direction. A pack of sled dogs might not be as powerful as a jet engine, but if they’re pulling in the same direction, they can get you where you want to go.

Commit and clarify

Once you’ve made a decision on what you’re going to do, commit to it until you hit a certain threshold. Commitment can be scary, but it keeps you from backing out before you learn anything. It doesn’t have to be long, but make sure your project has a chance to succeed.

Next, get clarity on your action steps or road map. Find an accountability buddy or group online to stay consistent. Each day, choose one of your action steps as your “Daily Highlight” and build a habit of completing it day in and out.

Don’t let technology trap you

Focus is one of the most important skills in today’s age. Give yourself time to have distraction-free work time on your most important task of the day. Even accomplishing one important task each day can have profound success over the long term.

Now, it’s your turn. Go out there and do the work that you love.