How good would it feel to say you work for yourself? To tell people that you are your own boss?
The idea of entrepreneurship is an exciting one – you get to run your own business, call all the shots, and your success is largely dependent on you.
Ever since I graduated from college, I have been an entrepreneur. I was attracted to the idea of becoming my own boss, so I put all my efforts into starting my first business – a real estate sales office and mortgage company. I ended up selling that very first business for a substantial profit and since then, I’ve started multiple businesses in entertainment and in other arenas and have been able to turn my ideas into sustainable business models.
Big ideas and grand visions are a great motivator towards becoming an entrepreneur, but the challenge is in the execution. In my first years of entrepreneurship, I had to learn how to financially survive personally and professionally. I was determined to become an entrepreneur but like all entrepreneurs, I made some mistakes along the way and learned from them.
I want to share some tips with you on how to become your own boss with little or no money. It would have been great if I had tons of money stashed away for my first business venture, but that wasn’t the case. I wish I had known about these tips sooner because they would have made my life a lot easier.
“Go Big or Go Home.” A mantra that is repeated by everyone as a simultaneous motivator and insult. If you’re passionate about your new business, you’re going to want to dive in. However, “go big or go home” is dangerous. If you don’t have the money to solely focus only on your new business, then it may be wise to continue your day job while you work on your customer leads and new business strategies in your off time (evenings, weekends, etc.).
It may seem like a lot, but it’s the financially smart move – keep another job as a way to keep bringing in income while you work on building your new business, which leads to our next point.
Cut Costs Now
If you’re going to start a business, you need to save every dollar you can. That means spending less on frivolous things like expensive coffee or expensive toys. You must save your money if you want to survive as a new entrepreneur. If you do it right, your saved time and money will pay off when you’ve learned how to refine your strategy and start getting more customers.
There’s a reason why so many successful people started their business in their house/garage – it was free. These are the types of sacrifices you need to make if you want to thrive as an entrepreneur.
Keep ‘Em Separate
It may be tempting to combine your personal and professional finances to keep things simpler, but it’s a huge mistake. Keeping your finances separate will save yourself from trouble in the future. You don’t want your personal finances to be involved in a lawsuit because you mixed them with your professional finances. This separation also keeps your taxes organized to prevent any issues.
There are software programs like QuickBooks that are relatively cheap to help you manage your professional finances. You can even talk to financial planners and get their overall thoughts on what you need to financially plan for your business based on your personal finances and ultimate goals.
Set Financial Goals
You won’t know if you’re successful if you don’t have goals to track your progress. In addition to your growth goals – (i.e.: get five new clients by the end of the month, 30 new website visitors in 10 days), etc. – you need to have financial goals.
Create monthly, weekly, and even daily goals to help you understand any opportunities you must maximize your time and money. You can work out how much money a new customer can bring in and work backward from there (If a new customer will bring in at least ___________, then I need to get five new customers every 14 days to turn a profit within eight months). Even when you don’t have a lot of money, knowing how your business is spending money will help you understand how to stay smart so you can stay in business.
Stay Positive When the Going Gets Tough
As an entrepreneur, recognize that the road ahead of you will not always a smooth one. When you have a financial setback, negativity will start running your thoughts. The only way to overcome the situation is to believe you can overcome the situation and commit to working even harder towards fixing the situation. Never allow a negative/defeated attitude to invade your spirit. KNOW that “YOU GOT THIS” and keep working hard towards your dream.
Finally, starting a new business is not for everyone, it takes determination and an ability to develop a mindset focused on success. Every second you don’t spend on growing your business is a second that is costing you money. Even with little or no money, I hope that these techniques will help you keep moving towards being your own boss. I wish you the best of luck!