The other day after a buddies birthday festivities, a few of us went to grab some late night food. We started talking about all sorts of topics, and then one dude mentioned that he was exhausted from the work week. Then he started to complain about his job and how it drains him to the point that he doesn’t even feel like working out after a day of work.
“Why don’t you quit your job or try doing your own thing? You live with your parents and you pay literally next to nothing in expenses.”
That’s how I responded. I don’t believe in pity parties and I don’t feel sorry for anyone in perfect health with the ability to do anything that they want to. If you’re in your 20s, you can do anything that you want.
He responded by complaining some more. He said that he was waiting to start his own business. He felt that he would be set once he finally started his own business.
“You’ve been talking about starting your own business for two years now. What’s the hold up?”
This is where I became infuriated. He said that he wasn’t going to start a business until he had enough money saved up. I found this to be a ridiculous statement on many levels. For one, you can never save enough money to go all out and start a business that involves buying a franchise (like Subway or something). And also, you don’t need to save a fortune to start a business these days!
The reason that you shouldn’t invest a dollar into your business is because you don’t have to.
The beauty of this era is that anyone can start an online business or any business for less than $1,000 or a $100.
When I took my first course on entrepreneurship in college, I learned about a thing called sweat equity and how it could potentially be more beneficial than venture capital or any other form of funding. I haven’t thought much about this idea in the last little, but I still wanted to write about it. Much like when I researched how the stock market works, I took the time to learn more about sweat equity.
I decided to check out Entrepreneur.com to see what they had to say about sweat equity.
What’s sweat equity all about?
According to the Entrepreneur website, the definition of sweat equity is:
“The term usually given to the time and effort a cash-strapped entrepreneur puts into a business in order to earn his/her ownership share — as opposed to contributing money for it. Employees are paid a salary for the work they put in.”
It’s the work that you put into the company essentially.
What’s sweat equity worth?
If sweat equity is so important, what’s it made up of? What’s sweat equity worth? According to another article on the site, I found that sweat equity boils down to:
- Your commitment. This is how consistent and how dedicated you are to the business. Is it something you do for fun? Is it your life?
- Unique contribution. We all like to think that we’re special. What do you bring to the table that nobody else can?
- Hopes and dreams. Everyone wants to create the next Facebook. Sweat equity will always be directly tied into your dreams with the business and how hard you’re willing to work for them.
You don’t need thousands of dollars in equity. All you need is sweat equity to get the ball rolling. You don’t have to stress about investing your money.
Let’s put this all together now…
You can easily start freelancing, open up an online business, or take any action right now.
I realize that I said you didn’t have to invest a dollar into your business. However, if you have an extra $6.95 you can sign up with Bluehost to launch your own blog to offer your own unique services right now or just to see if there’s an audience for what you’re trying to offer. You can also host an unlimited amount of domains under each account. This way you can test out all of your business ideas.
That’s why I feel you shouldn’t worry about investing a dollar into your business. Initially your effort, ambition, and actions will be much more important in starting that business. Once you gain some momentum or get completely lost you can start to think about investing money into your business.
I don’t want you guys to hold back from doing something cool just because you don’t feel like you have enough money saved up. Do it now and worry about the money later.
7 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Invest a Dollar Into Your Business”
Good advice, I think a lot of people make excuses why they can’t do this or that. Sometimes you have to just take a risk and go out and do it. And the younger you are the better! You can make some really awful decisions when you’re young and still have plenty of time to recover.
You are dead on! My whole online life started with no money at all. Just 3 hours to start a blog on blogger.com and a few posts. Within 3 months, I had spent about $200 on a domain, hosting, and having my blog transferred to WordPress. And weeks and weeks of time. Even after my actual online business took off, I successfully try to stay under 10-15% a month in expenses but put in 50-100 hour work weeks. Your buddy is just whining, he hasn’t reached his light bulb moment yet.
We all like to whine once in a while. I just can’t handle it when people whine about the same stuff. If you have time to take an hour long bus ride to get drunk, you have time to invest into your business in my opinion.
Right. Now is the best time to start a business. And by now, I mean the Information Age. There are millions of opportunities and business models that the Internet has opened up. II can go on and on about how, but here is just one example: It has destroyed “Gatekeepers.” If you wanted potential mentors even 10 years ago, you had to seek them out in person or call them and try to get through their secretaries, etc to schedule a meeting. Now, you can send them a message on twitter. My comment is a little off topic, but the point is that there really are no excuses (lack of money included) to start an online business. Sweat Equity it is, baby!
Right on Ryan. The good news is that this doesn’t only apply to starting an online business. Most people don’t even want an online business. Even for your dream job or a side gig, you can take advantage of the tips that you mentioned. Thanks for stopping by again.
Something I picked up from this article that I hadn’t thought about before is the status element of things. An employee works for the money. Gas in the tank and food in the fridge. The entrepreneur also aspires to money, but not just yet. First they have to put in their sweat equity and build things up. In a way they are working for status rather than money at that point. You can be a wealthy serf, or the king of your own little kingdom, however small it starts out.
Great analogy. I’m surprised you got that from here.