I used to believe that in order to start a business you needed a pile of money waiting into your bank account to be invested in your dream company. In fact, I used to believe that this sum had to be big enough not only to allow you to set up the business but also to keep it alive through the first, possibly unprofitable, months. But after just three months into working on supersizeme this perception has been totally shattered. First-time entrepreneurs don’t need money, they need time.
Owning the funds to start a business is counter-intuitive for first-time entrepreneurs
If you are a first-time entrepreneur, owning the funds to start a business can actually jeopardize the latter. Because if you do have the money then you just start. Which means that you might totally neglect the invaluable process of learning. And it is not because you would be arrogant, it is because you would be ignorant. And ignorance is dangerous!
It is quite simple. Since you never had the experience of going through the entrepreneurial process, you cannot perceive what it actually takes, so you think that it is not that much. After all you have the money, what else do you need? Well, unfortunately it won’t take too long to realise that it is not quite as simple…
You have now made an initial investment with confidence and excitement and your expectations run with a thousand miles per hour only to hit the concrete wall of failure following your launch. Then you do start learning indeed. But you have lost a great deal of money already, you probably have running costs so you keep losing money, your moral has been deteriorated and you likely enter a vicious circle of stress and misery.
If you manage to go through this process without quitting, you probably reach the point that you have learned a lot but there is a good chance that now that you know where and how to allocate the funds, there are just no funds left any more. Good luck with raising the funds for a business that you’ve made look failed.
There is no bigger truth than that. Only that you don’t have to lose a fortune in order to launch.
No money, no honey? Or..?
So what if you don’t have the money and you just have that burning desire to start your own thing? You have to find a way, thus you gradually start researching and educating yourself on entrepreneurship. More likely than not, you soon find out how ignorant you used to be about so many things. Most importantly, you realise that there are so many things you can do without money or at a very minimum cost.
But even if your idea is something that requires funding to be materialized, such as in the case of a physical product, you don’t necessarily need to own the funds. Even more, fundraising is a very healthy process. Whether you would choose the crowdfunding path or you would attempt to find an investor, you need to have a solid business plan. Which means you need to know how to build a business plan. Which effectively means that you have to learn before any money go into the business.
Fundraising is also a form of validation. It proves that it is not only you that believes in the idea but there are also others that go as far as to put their money in it. It is so insanely common that people start businesses without having validated their idea first. While having real customers pre-paying for the product or service is the best form of validation, having investors backing you up is a good indicator to say the least.
In any case, when you are starting out as a first-time entrepreneur without funds in place you go through a learning process as you would if you did have the funds in place. Only that now you start learning without any exposure to any investment being the burden to drag you down. You just learn. One new thing every day. You climb the stairway one step at a time. You enjoy the satisfaction of learning one more skill. And slowly, yet steadily, you enter a vicious circle of confidence and excitement. It is a process of pleasure, not struggle.
You don’t need money, you need time
There are entrepreneurs that launch new products or new businesses and enjoy an immediate success. But they are not first-time entrepreneurs, they are rather experienced ones. That if you dig into their past you will find that at one point in time they went through their own learning process one way or another. Just don’t compare yourself with entrepreneurs and leaders at the peak of their career. You are just not there. Yet.
You don’t need money, yet. You don’t need connections, yet. You need time. Time to learn. Give it to yourself. If you don’t have it, find it. Create it. Fall. And get up. Fall again. And get up again. Fall a million times. And get up a million times.
If you don’t have money upon starting out, then you learn by doing. If you do have money though, you learn by losing. An ascending learning process is always better than a descending. Choose wisely. Choose responsibly. Choose knowledge over ignorance.
Learning through an experiment
Supersizeme is an experiment. My personal experiment. More than that, it is my own learning process. I created it because more than anything else I wanted to learn. So I had to get my hands dirty. As I write these words supersizeme is a small site lost in the ocean of the web with effectively no traffic. Yet, it is so amazing how much I feel that I have learned in such a short period of time from the simple process of creating and running a blog and trying to spread the word. And there is one thing that I deeply believe and I keep reminding myself:
Success it is then a learned skill. And if you follow all the steps required to the end of your path, success is inevitable.
Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts on what you just read, either good or bad ones, I would appreciate it if you leave a comment below and let me know. Feedback is invaluable in one’s strive for progress. And if you choose to share this post it would mean the world to me! Until soon!