“I wish I could start my own business. I just don’t have the funding for it. I need more money. You need money to make money”
Ugh. Get a life. I’ve heard this way too many times. I can’t stand it. For some reason I always end up in random debates after a few drinks. I try to avoid them, but I’m too honest for my own good sometimes. I always lose my mind when I hear a buddy try to pass off so-called “conventional wisdom” as a matter of fact. I believe that in life you need to challenge axioms and learn to think differently. You can’t just accept everything at face value.
Do you even need money to start a business? Many years ago when you took a business course in high school, you were reminded that you need money to make money. You were told that the rich get richer and if you don’t have any resources, then you’re pretty much screwed I’m not too sure this advice holds up still.
The web has opened up possibilities that were unfathomable many years ago. Folks are making money doing some pretty random things these days. But that’s a different story for a different day.
Is it okay to borrow money to start a business? Do you have to wait to save up money before you start working for yourself?
No. Absolutely not.
For the last few years I’ve been writing about how you don’t need money to make money. Then I read the $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau and this confirmed what I had been thinking for a long time. I was curious to learn more, so I reached out to Chris and he answered a few questions for me on how to start a business for only $100.
This got me even me invigorated about the topic of starting a business. Now don’t get me wrong. Not every single person out there has to start a blog or become a famous blogger to make money running a business. There are many other options.
Back to the original point…
Why is money no longer a requirement to starting a successful business?
While money is always important, most great businesses will start with time and effort. If you don’t have the effort and willingness to work hard at something, it will never work out. If you’re not willing to devote the time to your goals, you’re going to keep on getting the same results. Effort is often priceless.
Yes, you can argue that money buys time. But when you have no money, you should at least have time. With time and effort, you can get anything done.
When you sit down to think about it, you’ll always come up with plenty of excuses. Anything scary or worth doing comes with excuses and stories. We’ve all used excused at some point. I can recall some of my excuses for not pulling the trigger with the launch of Studenomics:
Then one Friday evening I was bored and finally launched Studenomics. All of the excuses went out the window. Why? Because I really wanted it. If you want something bad enough you’ll work for it. Starting right now and learning on thee jobs always beats waiting until you magically find the finances.
This then leads to the next point…
“When in doubt, raise money from your customers by selling them something they truly need–your product.” — Seth Godin
That’s right. You can never have enough money to start a business or grow a business. There will always be new expenses and things that you want to purchase. The reality is that you have to prioritize as an entrepreneur. You can’t have it all. You need enough to get by and turn your business profitable. You’ll always need more money. There’s always more to buy. This is why you’ll never have enough money to have everything that you want. You just have to deal with it.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against borrowing money to grow a business. When you’re ready to take your business to the next level (increased marketing, more staff, etc.) it makes complete sense to invest money into the growth. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to borrow money to start a business or to get any real traction. I want you to stop using money as an excuse.
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