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The #1 Reason You Are Scared to Open Your Own Business

Published on September 14, 2017

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Owning a business is hard. I should know. Since I was 12, I’ve had a variety of business ventures from delivering papers to installing kitchen countertops, owning student rentals properties, investing into a Canada Bread franchise, operating a property management company and now Franchise Grade.

Each venture has its differences – different customers, different go-to-market strategies, different business partners.

But there is always one constant:


This is hard for a lot of people to handle and is the #1 reason someone doesn’t start their own business. They are uncertain it will work out.

It reminds me of a quote from Shakespeare:

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 2.

The quote implies someone with great responsibilities, in this case a business owner, worries constantly. It also means that a person in charge or in a leadership role needs to take on many responsibilities and it’s a tough job. Digging deeper though and the true cause of that worry or uneasy feeling is uncertainty. It’s the doubt, hesitation and insecurity when making decisions that creates the worry. Every decision is yours to make and yours to potentially screw up. The stress of uncertainty is hard to avoid.

Your family depends on you. Your employees depend on you. Their lives, all their lives are affected by the success or failure of your business. You’ll take risks; you’ll remortgage your house or get a credit line. You may miss a few payments and not get paid by certain clients. You’ll spend money based on future projections with the hope of getting a return on the investment but receive no guarantee in the end.

You don’t know the future but as a business owner you need to predict the future. None of us are fortune tellers and uncertainty creeps around every corner.

So, what do you do?

Nothing. Live with it. Learn from it.

You can’t be scared of making decisions. No matter what decision you make, there will be some uncertainty and doubt that creeps into your mind. As a business owner, that’s your life.

I never look back and second guess. I may have been completely wrong in my decision but I trust my abilities. I analyzed the options; I performed a cost-benefit analysis. I bounced ideas off someone, maybe talked to a professional, key staff member, other business owners or my family.

I trust that at that moment in time, I made a decision I believed was the right one based on all the information I could gather.
I learn from the results of a decision, but after the fact, never think shoulda…woulda…coulda. That is the worst possible thought of a growing business. This paralyzes you for the next hard decision.

Making the leap into owning your own business is not about eliminating uncertainty and doubt. It’s about coming to terms that it will always be there. It’s about believing in yourself enough to use doubt as a tool to learn, accept and ultimately help grow your business.

About the Author: Jeff Lefler
As the CEO of, Jeff understands that there is no Silver Bullet or sure-fire, simple way to pick a guaranteed franchise system winner. However, by using a little science and a lot of hard work, Jeff and the team at have developed a sophisticated research, analysis and comparison model to help potential investors and existing Franchisees assess a realistic value for any franchise system relative to others. It's called a Franchise Grade. With over fifteen years of small business experience and ten working in franchising as a multi-unit Franchisee, consultant and Franchisee Association President, Jeff has a good understanding of the level of hard work, dedication and commitment that drives a successful franchise system. As part of his ongoing involvement with the industry, Jeff also served as a Member of the Strategic Committee of the International Association of Franchisees and Dealers. Get in touch with Jeff to see how your system measures up at [email protected].

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