“But I was told I need to have a ____ to start a business.” Fill in the blank with a board of advisors, business plan, or some other obstruction between you and the thing you want to build. Have you noticed how all these commonly held notions about things you “have” to do are just excuses in disguise? They’re a reason for not doing something. They put a layer (or a lawyer) between you and getting something out there.

Board of advisors is a good one. Some people think they need one to get started with a business. But really, that’s just another excuse for not beginning. Why do you think everyone else knows how to run your business better than you? You know plenty — and what you don’t know you’ll learn as you go. Of course it can be a good idea to ask for advice and learn from other people’s experiences, but there’s no need to formalize it.

And notice who spreads these scare tactics about things you need and hoops you have to jump through. It’s the people who sell the hoops. That means publishers and authors of business books, business magazines, lawyers, and everyone else that makes a buck from showing you the “right” way. And don’t forget all the venture capitalists and established businesses who would like nothing better than to swoop in and tell you what to do for their own reasons.

Next time you hear that “you need this” or “you need that” to get your business off the ground, question it. Ask yourself: “Is this really necessary or can I get by without it for now?”