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‘Tale Alimi: 5 Wrong Reasons To Start a Business



I enjoy finding out the latest slangs or acronyms especially those that are business related, so that I would remain a ‘suave business coach’. One I have heard often recently is F.O.M.O which stands for Fear Of Missing Out. I also here a lot of people talking about getting their side gig, side hustle and grind going. It is quite popular to have something on the side these days (and yes I encouraged you to do this with my article; 5 reasons why you need a side gig.

These days, when I meet people who know that I am a business coach, they always talk to me about starting a business. I am happy to help as many as I can with the process, but the truth is; starting a business is not for everyone, especially when you want to start a business for the wrong reasons! If you want to start a side or main gig, that’s great as long as you have the right intentions and frame of mind. While you are thinking about it, here a 5 wrong reasons for starting a business:

To Get Rich Quickly
If you are looking to get rich fast or ‘hit’ some money, starting a business is not the way to go! On the average most business startups would take 2 years before they even break even, it took popular companies like Facebook 5 years before they started making money! So if you are looking for a way to make money or get rich quickly, starting a business might not be the way to go.

Because It is Popular
I spoke about F.O.M.O earlier and the truth is it’s easy to be tempted to do what other people are doing, but because something is popular, does not mean it is for you. You need to find out if you have what it takes to start and run a business. If you are not self-motivated and willing to be persistent, starting a business might not be for you!

Because You are Good at Something
Passion is one of the most tempting reasons to start a business and I totally encourage people to follow their passion, however I would just say do a proper self-evaluation to ensure you have or can acquire the skills to run a business and get the correct business model before you start, if not your passion would be frustrated. Because you are passionate about cooking and can cook a mean chicken does not make you a great chicken restaurant owner. The skills you need to cook and the skills you need to run a business are different.

You Want to Work Less Hours
If you think working a 9 to 5 is stressful and are looking to work less, starting a business is not the solution! Yes you would be able to work flexible hours and at your own  pace, but for you to build a successful business, you would most likely work very long hours for quite some time to get the results you need. Even in these days of automation, you would have to spend some time automating whatever is required.

You Want To Be Your Own Boss
I know! It is quite cool not to have anyone breathing down your neck with deadlines and deliverables, but starting a business really means exchanging one boss for hundreds of bosses as your customers are now your bosses. Customer service is important for business success, and you would be faced with dealing with various issues to ensure customer satisfaction. So if you are not ready to contend with human relation issues and ‘pleasing many bosses’, then maybe starting a business is not for you.

If you have read it to this point and still want to start your business or are in the early stages of a business startup, then you can check out these free resources here we also have a worksheet to guide you in starting your business on the right foundation, check it out here.

So what do you think, is starting a business for you?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Tatsianama 

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter ( and get an insight into her life on Instagram (


  1. Bruness

    October 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Ummmm!! If all that was stated are the wrong reasons to start a business please go ahead and enlighten us on the right reasons. Thank you

  2. great!

    October 16, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I really like this post
    straight to the point. There really is nothing to it, most of us fall into these reasons for starting a business, I know I have. But in the end you waste time and money when you realise you wont make a quick buck and its taken all your time to find out. In the end I think the right reason would be because you have a passion to succeed and a driving force. Without these its very difficult to keep going when it gets tough.

    I’m self employed and at times I want to give it up for a 9-5 but when things are good I remember this is why I work so hard to try and have more good days. Ironically its easier to start a business when you have a job. You already have some motivation to continue working on your business plans in the evenings and weekends. Ultimately if you have started and failed its fine, the best business people failed many times before they got the big one.

    • BusyType

      October 17, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Nice reply. I like the post and I am with you for the most part. I think this is a relative topic that could be argued both ways. Before starting any business or embarking on any venture it is important to note down the reason. Your reason for starting a business will be your driving force. If your reason is strong enough, you will drive through tough times and the darkest moments. Some entrepreneurs have started successful businesses out of passion and many out of the need to provide solutions. Many have plunged into the entrepreneurial world due to the burning desire to call their own shots or be their own boss. It all depends on how strong your reason is. The power in your “WHY” is what will push you to no retreat.
      For more insights check out: or link up on

  3. Toke

    October 17, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Nice one but what are the right reasons for starting a business?

    • Ross

      October 18, 2015 at 8:39 am

      1. You see a gap in a market for a particular product
      2. You are familiar with this product, its uses (from your personal experience) and its benefit to said market
      3. You know how to bring this product to the market (with all that it entails, i.e business acumen, drive, etc.) and you understand what your target customer is looking for exactly, thus identifying your USP (unique selling point).
      4. You have the willpower and discipline to go the distance
      5. Bringing this product to market on the long run will give you financial freedom ( i.e. after points 1 – 4 have been fulfilled).

      Just to name a few 🙂

    • 'Tale Alimi

      October 20, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Very smart points Ross! I would build on this on Friday. Well done.

  4. Missy

    October 17, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Nice one! I can relate to most of these but I believe resilience is key and it has kept me going

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