You have this wonderful idea for a business.
You get excited. You work out the details. Oh, this is going to be it. You are already deciding how to spend the profits; travel to that beautiful location, buy the awesome gadget – you even write down the percentage you’ll be giving to charity.
Then reality hits. You realize that you would need X amount of money. You don’t have it. You can hear the noise of your dreams deflating. Your plans laid to waste.
You are back to dreaming, back to waiting.
You do this often enough and this becomes a habit. Now every time an idea about a business comes, you know how it’s going to end; I have no money, I can not start. The vicious cycle of dreams remaining dreams begins.
But there is a way you can start a business with no money.
How Businesses Start
First understand how businesses start. They do not start because of money.
Just ask any banker and you will be surprised at the amount of money just lying around. That money is lying around because it is waiting for an idea.
A business starts not because the investors had oodles of cash. It starts primarily because some entrepreneur – like you – had an idea.
So a business is based on an idea. You still need to do lots and lots of work to transform that idea into a business. But the bottom line is that having money is not the deciding factor when it comes to starting a business.
Then why did you kill your ideas because of lack of money?
That is because you were being a bad entrepreneur.
Don’t be a Bad Entrepreneur
So I am dead serious when I say this:
If you want to start a business with no money, you start a business that requires no money.
If you’d stop rolling your eyes for a minute, I’ll explain.
I request that you take a step back and analyze.
Money is a resource. Just like your time. And your skills. And the people you know. These are all resources you will use to start your business.
If you do not have the resource and you want to start a business that requires that resource, you are being a bad entrepreneur.
An entrepreneur is someone who uses existing resources in the most efficient manner. If you are stuck up on the money resource, then you need to rethink the business itself. There is a problem in your idea that needs to be fixed. So fix it. Start something that doesn’t require as much capital.
For example, you are a resource. How are you being used?
Use Your Available Resources.
When you have more money, you have more options. But when you don’t have money, it doesn’t mean that you have no options.
When I was in college, I started making websites. Freelancing is one type of self-employment that requires little, if any, capital. You sell your skills.
When I was going out and trying to sell my skill, I learned some very valuable lessons.
I got to learn:
- how to rapidly teach myself new tools (such as web development softwares).
- how to sell from face-to-face meetings with people triple my age.
I was soon making enough money in a month to ward off pressures to start a job. Every time my family would say, “it’s time to get a job!” I’d show them my hand-written “monthly income sheet” in hopes that they would see that I am earning enough to keep going on my own.
By God’s Grace it worked out then.
Was I in business? Yes. Was it a big business? No. Did I care? No.
Did it give me the financial freedom that I so craved? Most definitely.
You may have your own naysayers and well-meaning doubters. But you must start. Start small. If you can, quit your job now. If you can not, dedicate an hour a day.
Start selling your skills. If you do not have any, develop them. Skill’s like a muscle; work it, build it, make it strong.
You can take your hobby to the next level, start earning from it and become what I call a prohobbyist.
All the information you’ll ever need is already out there.
Money should not come up as a reason for not starting. Catch yourself making that excuse. Either find a better reason for not starting your journey, or start your journey.
I wish you all the best.
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Photo courtesy of Alina Sofia