When you’re in my position you get to hear a lot of pitches, ideas and schemes that could learn to great riches.. if only they had a ton of money. You’ve all heard it before “You need to spend money to make money” and it was probably told to you by a person that either had none or sold advertising for a living.
To make money.. you need to learn from your mistakes, make fewer of them and above all else understand that elbow grease is more powerful than anything else.
Here are some things to ponder:
Mistakes are not fatal
When you start with something small and are just building things up, even if the marketing campaign or business model or target client base doesn’t work out you didn’t gamble a lot on it and the biggest hit is to your time and your ego. Consider the alternative: loading up on debt, credit cards or third party loans – you might still be on hook for some of that stuff if you fail. And god forbid you actually succeed then you’re really up for a disaster down the road as it puts you into a gambler mentality instead of a risk manager.
You become more conservative with risk taking
When you start small you will naturally have fewer options. Which means you will probably give them a whole lot more thought and due diligence than “let’s see what happens and how things work out” – when you have fewer decisions to make, the outcomes of those few decisions are far more important than just having a single big one work out.
You know everything won’t work out every time
Inevitably, you will fail. But when you aren’t distracted with a ton of other stuff going on, and you aren’t funding your dreams with your imagined proceeds from things hopefully working out.. you take the emotion of winning or losing out of the process. While emotion and passion do drive and motivate entrepreneurs, our ability to handle risk and defeat and quickly move on is the learning experience that makes us better with each new venture.
Fundamentally, you will be far better off starting small and learning and perfecting what you’re trying to do. And by starting small and learning along the way the better off you will perform. The more work that goes into making things work the more you will appreciate what you’re built and more conservative you’ll become when making decisions that could lead to you losing.
When I started Own Web Now it was with less than $1,000. When I opened my first Datek account it was with less than $4,000. My biggest victories started small and ended up getting built into something really great. My biggest hardships and difficulties came from growing and moving too fast – but live and learn.
All these conversations, where people have unrealistic expectations of what they need to get something done, are usually summed up like this: There is a reason why people with money have it and why those that need it don’t. You need to act and manage your strategy the same way someone with money would. That is the only way they will hand you money – if they see you as an extension of themselves and feel secure that you will make decisions the same way they do.
That’s the zen zone: Once you do start acting and behaving in such a way, you won’t need anyone else’s money. Which is usually when everyone wants to throw money at you.