“If I only had $10,000 dollars, I could start (or grow) my business.”
Have you heard this ubiquitous statement before? I certainly have.
Maybe you’ve even said it or secretly thought about it. Ten thousand dollars may not have been your magical number; maybe it was one million or one thousand. Either way, a perceived lack (of funds in this case) is keeping your genius idea from reaching its full potential. This one statement is a common grievance for most would-be entrepreneurs. Even those of us that would like to take our companies to the next level have an ideal hard cash figure in mind.
But the reality is this …
Entrepreneurship doesn’t require access to millions or gold by the ton, and you don’t need to wire the money from your Swiss bank account either. You have to do one simple thing, start where you are.
An Entrepreneurs’ True Wealth
The wealth of your business is not stored away in vaults. Instead, it’s in one of the most high-security, private access points known to man – your mind. And like money, it’s a terrible thing to waste.
Your ideas are like a gold reserve, held by a central bank (your mind) and intended as a store of value (future wealth) … as a guarantee to redeem promises (internal goals and plans). Arguably, your ideas are worth more than gold, and as a small business owner if you truly understood the future value of one simple, crazy or “stupid” idea – you’d get started immediately.
For example: when word of gold spread during the California Gold Rush of 1848, wherever gold was discovered, hundreds of miners would collaborate to put up a camp and stake their claims In the same way, your ideas – once discovered, are worth much more — you’ve quite possibly “struck gold!” Now is the time to collaborate, set up camp and stake your claim in business.
How to “Start Where You Are” in Business
Like the gold-seekers of the 1800’s, you can do three simple things today that will change the future of your business.
You have something that someone wants or needs — a special skill, talent, or as they say in France … you possibly have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi.’ Whatever the case, your task as an entrepreneur is to identify your strengths and collaborate with others to cancel out your weaknesses. Whether you lack funding, tactical know-how, business expertise, etc – start looking for collaborative partners to a) spread the risk and b) strengthen your position to launch a successful business.
Set up camp
This is really simple. Carve out a place to start building your company – even your garage. Apple, Google, Mattell, Amazon, Disney, Microsoft, Harley Davidson, The Yankee Candle Company and many others started precisely where they were – with the basics – in a garage. Contrary to popular opinion, more often than not, the work comes first and the shiny new office comes later. So park the car outside … and get to work!
Stake Your Claim
When a person “stakes claim” to something it simply means to show that you believe something is yours or to announce that something belongs to you. And if you believe something, that belief should effectuate action. Set your goal and make small, definitive steps on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. And if a lack of funding or capital is holding you back, make a decision to bootstrap your business in the early-stages. I’m not telling you that it will be easy, but it will be worth it.
Ultimately, your golden ticket in entrepreneurship is the spark of an idea. And while you can certainly wait for your ship to come in, I recommend that you follow the lead of successful entrepreneurs and swim out to it. Because for some reason, “It’s the man who waits for his ship to come in who’s always missing the boat.”