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Why do small business owners have such a hard time taking responsibility for their own failure?
Tl;dr: Why do small business owners have such a hard time taking responsibility for their own failure?
Allow me to put this question into context. It isn’t intended to be mean spirited or goading.
My first real job out of college was working at a bank. I was a teller and helped people open and close accounts. Sometimes I would close business accounts because said business was faltering. Understandably, in this situation, most people aren’t terribly happy. They liked to place responsibility for their failure as far away from themselves as possible.
Some of the most common reasons I heard were, “I can’t afford to pay these taxes!” “Who can afford to operate a business with all these regulations (rarely specifying which ones)!?” etc.,
I just nodded and did what they asked to close their account.
Five minutes later another customer would walk in, operating a similar type of business, thrilled about how well he was doing and happily speaking of plans for expansion.
Now, this isn’t to say that certain taxes and regulations don’t weed out marginally talented or lesser skilled businesspeople. They almost certainly do. But, never once did I hear someone say, “You know what? Not everyone is cut out for business and I’m one of them.” or “I did a very poor job in staffing the right people.” or “I tried my best, but to be honest, the other guys just did what I did better than me.”
Why is this?
Because no matter what a situation is, business or otherwise, plenty of people would rather blame someone else than take responsibility for their own actions. Think all the new "addictions" that pop out the woodwork and all the weight loss ads that say "it's not your fault...". Really? Then whose fault is it...anybody else, the government, little green men but oh no, not my fault.
All you can do is shake your head and leave them in la-la land.
right, so clearly you have no experience of business, so let me explain this in simple terms.
When starting a business there are many factors to consider - marketing, advertising, research, business operations, legalities etc etc. I have seen many business people get 4 hours sleep every night for 6 months because they are putting their everything in to it, and usually if they are small can not hire employees etc - it wouldn't be viable. as a result these people spend ALL their time working on their business. starting a business isn't a piece of cake? you think google was built on pure luck?
as a result, if something went wrong down the line, or the business is becoming increasingly hard to keep afloat, many small businesses fail. 90% of small businesses fail within the first year.
Now let me ask you, if you remortgaged your house, put your family and your life on the line, and separated yourself from society for endless months to try and make a success of your investment and it failed, would you stroll in the bank happy as larry? I didn't think so.
running a business can be a mentally traumatic thing if it goes tits up. you shouldn't have such a careless attitude. some people lose everything, and the thought that it was their fault...well you get what i mean.