You’ve got dreams bigger than skyscrapers and a drive that could give any NASCAR champ a run for their money. Yet, there’s always that one (or a dozen) hurdles, right? For many of us, those hurdles aren’t just the market, the competitors, or the damn economy. They’re the internal obstacles, the ones we lay down brick by brick in our minds.

Let me take you back a bit. There I was, head bubbling with ideas, a couple of friends ready to jump into the wild startup world, and… a massive roadblock. We were on the verge of launching, and BAM! A competitor rolled out an eerily similar product. Not gonna lie, I was flipping out. The thoughts went wild: “We’re done for!”, “We wasted so much time!”, and the classic, “Why the hell did we even start?”. Yet, as the fog of panic cleared, a realization dawned. Most of the barriers were of our own making. We were caught in a spider web of excuses, getting stickier the more we thrashed around.

That moment of clarity? It’s something every entrepreneur, every creative, every bloody maverick out there has to face. The recognition that many of the excuses we come up with are exactly that—excuses. Bullshit barriers we put up because deep down, we’re scared. Scared of failing, scared of being judged, scared of…well, a hell of a lot of things.

In this guide, we’ll bust through those excuses, those myths, those self-imposed limitations. We’ll call them out, poke fun at them, and give them the boot. Ready to get your hands dirty and toss those chains aside? Let’s dive in, mate.

“There is Not Enough Time”

Time. That elusive, slippery bastard. How many times have you heard someone say (or maybe you’ve spewed this one out yourself), “I’d do it if I had the time”? Let’s cut the crap for a sec. Everyone, from Elon bloody Musk to your next-door granny, has the same 24 hours. It’s not about how much time you’ve got; it’s about what the hell you do with it.

Here’s the fun part: it ain’t the quantity of time that matters, but the quality. Think about it. You could have a whole weekend free, but if you spend it binge-watching that trashy reality TV show (don’t even pretend you don’t have one), then how productive was that time really? It’s like having a giant pizza but it’s all crust. No one wants that.

Time management is old school; what you want is priority management. It’s the cool kid on the block. It’s making conscious decisions about what deserves your time. Let’s say you’re gunning to start an online business. You’ve got your 9-to-5, a social life, and maybe you’re trying to keep those abs from turning into flabs. Slotting in time for your business isn’t about magically finding extra hours; it’s about deciding what gets your precious minutes.

Your ‘Golden Hour’ – not to be confused with that Insta-perfect lighting – is when you’re at your most productive. For some, it’s the butt-crack of dawn; for others, it’s the dead of night. Identify yours. Guard it jealously. That’s when the magic happens.

And then, there’s chunking. No, it’s not the latest dance move. It’s about breaking tasks down into smaller, digestible…well, chunks. Instead of getting overwhelmed by the massive “launch business” task, break it down. Today, you research. Tomorrow, you brainstorm. Day after, you set up your website. Baby steps, my friend.

In essence, time’s not the enemy. Your perception of it might be, though. Stop letting the “I don’t have time” baloney hold you back. Take control, set your priorities, and make time bow down to you, not the other way around.

“What If I Fall Flat on My Face?”

Ah, the age-old, knee-shaking fear of screwing up so majestically that you’ll become the next viral meme. Yep, the fear of failure. It’s the nasty voice in the back of your head, the dark cloud hanging over your brightest ideas, and, let’s be honest, it’s a pain in the ass. But let’s get real here.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in the game for years, that pesky fear of failure never truly goes away. And why? Because we’re conditioned to seek validation. That gold star in school, that pat on the back at work – we crave that “job well done” affirmation. But what if you take the leap and it doesn’t pan out? So. Damn. What?

Here’s a radical idea: What if failure wasn’t a dead end, but a detour? Hell, some of the most epic ventures had magnificent flops before they found their groove. It’s all about perspective. Each misstep is a lesson, a stepping stone, a…you get the idea. If you never fail, how would you ever learn what doesn’t work? Embrace the fails as part of the package.

Okay, let’s do a little exercise. Think of the worst-case scenario. I mean, the absolute pits. Got it? Now, is it really that bad? Probably not. But even if it is, it’s survivable. Risks are the lifeblood of innovation and growth. If you play it safe all the time, you’re just going to be stuck in the same damn spot, like a hamster on a wheel.

In the grand scheme of things, falling flat on your face isn’t the end of the world. It’s just a momentary glitch, a hiccup on your journey. Dust off, take what you’ve learned, and jump back into the ring. Remember, it’s not about how many times you get knocked down; it’s about how many times you get back up.

“But… What Will People Say?”

Ever heard that snarky voice in your head? No, not the one that tempts you with midnight snacks. The other one. The one that’s all about the ‘what will people think?’ dilemma. Every time you’re about to make a bold move, it’s there, poking its nose into your business. But let me spill some tea for you.

Here’s a hard truth. The vast majority of folks are way too wrapped up in their own lives to give a damn about yours. Think about it. How much time do you spend thinking about someone else’s choices? Not a lot, right? Same goes for everyone else. We overestimate how much others think about us, big time.

People are busy. Busy with work, Netflix, their cat’s Instagram account. Whatever it is, they’ve got their hands full. That fleeting judgment you’re so worried about? It’s just that: fleeting. It comes and goes faster than a hot trend. And let’s be honest, even if they did spend time judging, their opinion isn’t paying your bills, is it?

Now, this is where the gold is. Instead of waiting for validation or fearing judgment, own your damn narrative. You’re the captain of your ship. Why let the passengers decide where to steer? Trust in your vision, your goals, and your choices. Will you make mistakes? Hell yeah. But they’ll be YOUR mistakes, and that’s way better than living a life scripted by someone else.

So the next time you find yourself hesitating, wondering about the whispers and the side-eyes, just do you. The world needs your authentic self, not some watered-down version trying to fit into a mold.

“I’m Too Old / Too Young / Too This / Too That”

Let’s get one thing straight: If you’re breathing, you’ve got potential. It’s as simple as that. I’ve met folks who’ve whined about age as an obstacle, and, let me tell you, it’s nothing but a flimsy-ass excuse. Let’s dismantle this, step by step.

Age is just a number, baby! Who decided that there’s an age limit to success? Think about the ridiculousness of this myth. Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65. Malala won a Nobel Prize at 17. If they’d bought into the “too young” or “too old” crap, we’d have neither finger-licking chicken nor an international symbol of girls’ education.

You want more examples? Because there are plenty. Vera Wang didn’t design her first dress until she was 40. Tim Berners-Lee was 36 when he pretty much invented the web. On the flip side, Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his college dorm. The age spectrum of success is broader than you think.

Focus on the now. Your age, whether it’s 20, 40, 60, or beyond, is the perfect age for you to be doing exactly what you’re doing. Why? Because it’s the time you’ve got. And guess what? It’s also the time when you have the sum of all your life experiences, your energy, and your passion. Don’t let the calendar dictate your capabilities.

So, to everyone hung up on the age factor – grow up! (Or grow down, depending on which way you’re leaning.) Your journey is yours alone. Don’t let the societal age metrics box you in. Go out and prove that age ain’t nothing but a mindset.

“Money? Hah! Good One!”

Let’s chat about the root of all evil – or so they say. Money! Or rather, the lack thereof. How many times have you or someone you know said, “If I had the money, I’d definitely pursue X or Y”? Let’s dive into this “green paper drama” and bust some myths.

Money talks, we all know that. But if you’re always letting the lack of it shut down your dreams, you’re giving it way too much power. Let’s get real – most startups didn’t begin with a fat bank account. Heck, many of the biggest tycoons started with zilch.

Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not downplaying the importance of capital. But it’s not the be-all and end-all. You’ve got something money can’t buy: grit, ideas, and a burning passion. You think Elon Musk or Oprah just had a wad of cash thrown at them to get started? Nah, man. They hustled. They adapted. They sought alternatives. And, yes, they faced rejections and failures. But look where they are now.

Let’s kick it old school for a sec. Remember the barter system? Services exchanged for goods? You’ve got skills. Maybe you can trade those skills for something you need. And in today’s world, crowdfunding and venture capitalism aren’t just buzzwords; they’re genuine avenues. It’s about being resourceful, networking, and, most importantly, starting small. Your big dream doesn’t need a big budget to start.

So, to everyone waiting for that huge inheritance or lottery win – let’s keep it 100. Most of us won’t get that. But what we do have is a head full of dreams and two hands ready to work. Money will come and go, but regret? That sticks around. Make your move.

“But I Don’t Have XYZ Degree or Skill…”

Let’s spill some tea on education. I’m betting my left shoe you’ve heard (or maybe even said), “Man, if only I had that degree from [insert prestigious school here]…” or “Dang, I’d totally rock that if I had that skill!” Let’s dissect this beast and free you from this self-imposed cage.

Okay, real talk. University degrees? They’re cool. That campus life, late-night cramming, the thrill of passing exams. It shapes you. But here’s the kicker: it’s not the ONLY way to learn. In the age of the internet, where knowledge is literally at our fingertips, gatekeeping ourselves because we didn’t sit in a certain classroom is, well, plain dumb.

Remember Steve Jobs? Dropped out. Bill Gates? Dropped out. You see the pattern? It ain’t about where you studied, but HOW you studied. Self-learning, online courses, workshops – the world’s your oyster. And let me let you in on a little secret: being self-taught shows initiative. It shows grit. It shows that you can hustle and find your way without a roadmap. Many employers dig that.

Look, I’m not saying throw away your diplomas or not to chase one if you’re feeling it. But don’t be chained by it. If you’re passionate about something, dive deep. Learn, practice, fail, learn some more. Rinse and repeat. It’s the age of side gigs and multifaceted careers. You can be a coder who paints, a chef who codes, or a painter who whips up a mean lasagna. Don’t limit your identity to a piece of paper.

Bottom line? Your skills, experiences, and drive define you, not a certificate in a frame. If you’re waiting for a sign to pursue that passion project or side hustle without the “required” degree, consider this it.

“The Market’s Too Crowded, Bro!”

Ever thought about launching that killer idea of yours but stopped in your tracks thinking, “There are already a gazillion people doing the same damn thing!”? We’ve all been there. It’s like wanting to dive into a pool but thinking it’s too packed. Spoiler alert: There’s always space for a splash if you know how to make one.

So you wanna start a coffee shop, or maybe launch an app, and there are thousands out there. Big whoop! Ever think about why there are so many burger joints, yet new ones pop up every day? Because each one has its own zing, its own vibe. Your secret weapon? Being unapologetically YOU. Sure, the idea might be common, but YOUR take on it? That’s one in a billion, pal.

Here’s a nugget of wisdom: Markets evolve. Needs change. Remember when everyone and their grandma was launching a taxi service? Then came Uber, turning the game on its head. Why? Not because taxis were novel, but because they saw a gap, an itch no one was scratching right. So, don’t get bamboozled by the number of players. Instead, look for the gaps, the niches. There’s always room for a fresh perspective.

Ditch the cookie-cutter. If you’re entering a “crowded” market, bring your own freaking cookie. What’s that special flavor you offer? Quicker service? A killer aesthetic? A new tech twist? Or maybe just some damn good vibes? Pinpoint that, and amplify it.

Remember, peeps: it’s not about reinventing the wheel, but maybe giving it a snazzy new spin that no one saw coming. Dive into that “crowded” pool and make waves that are unmistakably, undeniably yours.

“Let’s Get Real!”

So, by now, we’ve figured that our brain, as amazing as it is, often acts like that overprotective friend who won’t let you try the spiciest sauce at the taco stand. Not because it’s bad for you, but because, you know, it MIGHT be hot. Our mental blocks? Pretty much the same deal. The fear of unknown outcomes, the ‘what-ifs,’ they paralyze us. But the game-changer? Recognizing these blocks for what they are – mere assumptions, not realities.

Breaking barriers sounds pretty superhero-ish, right? But guess what? You don’t need a cape. Just some killer tools up your sleeve. Ever tried visualization? No, not daydreaming about that beach vacay. I mean, picturing yourself achieving what you’re scared of. Feel that rush? That’s your brain getting a taste of success, making the actual gig seem less daunting. Or how about setting micro-goals? Instead of ‘I want to start a business,’ how about ‘I’ll research the market this week’? Small steps, massive leaps!

Alright, here’s a curveball for ya: Sometimes, you gotta stop thinking. Yep, I said it. Overthinking leads to paralysis by analysis. Instead, embrace the mantra of ‘Do first, refine later.’ Made a mistake? Cool, you learned something. Didn’t work out the way you planned? No biggie, pivot and move. The more you act, the less intimidating the task becomes.

So, instead of building castles in the air and then worrying about their architecture, how about laying the first brick and seeing where it takes ya? Dive in, tweak along the way, and before you know it, you’re not just dreaming; you’re DOING.


Man, oh man, what a ride it’s been, huh? But before we drop the mic, let’s take a look in the rearview mirror. See those hurdles, those speed bumps, and those pesky potholes? You got past every single one of them. And with each hurdle, you didn’t just move forward, you grew taller, smarter, and a heck of a lot cooler. But don’t just take my word for it. Keep a journal, a blog, heck, even those snazzy Instagram stories. Document your journey. Not just for the ‘Gram, but for those days when you feel stuck. You’ll be surprised how far you’ve come.

In the midst of all the hustle, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. Got out of bed on a Monday? Win! Sent out that business proposal? Big Win! Got your first client? Massive Win! No victory is too small in this grand journey. So, grab that slice of cake, do your happy dance, or maybe just give yourself a quiet nod of approval in the mirror. Because, hot damn, you earned it!

Our journey today might be wrapping up, but yours? Oh, it’s just getting started. Remember, the road to success isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. There will be more challenges, more of those annoying ‘what will people say’ comments, and probably a few more of those ‘I’m too old or too young’ thoughts. But you’ve got the tools, the insights, and the chutzpah to break those chains.

About the Author: Geoffrey Byers
Geoffrey is one of the world's foremost Designers. He is also a Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, and Mad Scientist. Hypothesis-Driven experimentation is his love language.