The Biggest Business Lie: ‘It Takes Money To Make Money’

People think you need to have money in order to make money. That is simply not true. Instead, you need to change how you look at business.

Photo: Stephen Dela Cruz, Serial Entrepreneur; Credit: Stegela Photography
Photo: Stephen Dela Cruz, Serial Entrepreneur; Credit: Stegela Photography

People think you need to have money in order to make money. That is simply not true.

You don’t need to have thousands of dollars to make a hundred. Of course, if you want to open a franchise you will need money to get that off the ground. However, you don’t need a dollar to become a millionaire. Instead, you need to change how you look at business.

Even Robert Kiyosaki, investor and best selling author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, felt the urge to debunk this myth, saying: “The phrase, ‘It takes money to make money,’ drives me crazy. If you have a good idea or a great deal, and a team behind you, money will find you.”


Business as usual is a dying breed

The traditional way of looking at a business goes something like this: in order to start a business you need to have a physical location. But in today’s highly technological word the old ways of looking at business is dying.

In its place is the rise of the digital nomad; a highly sought after lifestyle for todays generation of entrepreneurs. More and more people are driven to break free from the 9 to 5, create residual income and work from wherever.


Photo: © Hoda Bogdan, YFS Magazine

Thanks to the advances of today’s digital age, everything is accessible digitally. You can launch a business, promote it, and make money completely online from the comforts of your home (or a beach).

Though this is not new news to many, a lot of people still have this flawed belief that you need to a) have money and b) start a brick and mortar business in order to make money.


How I became a ‘lazy’ millionaire by solving problems

The brick and mortar thing is great for people who have perfect credit or liquid to invest. If this is your dream, don’t let me hold you back. But if you want to make money sooner, rather than later, I can show you how to become a “lazy” millionaire and boost the economy. The context of this formula is based on a service-oriented business and your ability to become a problem solver.


1. Step one: The what

The best way to make money fast is to find a problem that needs to be solved. The fastest way to find a problem to solve is look at what you need in your life? Do you need affordable babysitting? Do you need a house cleaner? Do you need a personal chef? What kind of service do you need in your daily life?

This is the first step. Find out what service you will broker (i.e., buy and sell goods or assets for others). Then, you will sell consumers your service and hire individual contractors to do the work.

For example, 
I started a cleaning business and in 5 months I made 7 figures. At a later date, I’ll go into detail of why it exploded so fast, but I want to first teach you the fundamentals of the idea behind it. You create the idea and find people to execute it for you.

“Men of means look at making money as a game which they love to play.” — Jean Paul Getty


2. Step two: The how

Now that you have identified the problem to solve, you will see the how. The beautiful thing about the digital age is that there are unlimited free resources available at your fingertips.

Though Craigslist has a bad reputation, when looking for services it is a very easy and free resource. For the sake of an example I’ll explain how I got my first contractor and my first customer.

I posted a listing on Craigslist in the services section called “Affordable House Cleaning,” even before I had any customers. Next, I posted a job listing in the jobs section “Looking For Experiences House Cleaners.” I found a woman who was experienced and had her own supplies, around the same time I got a call from a woman who wanted to have her house cleaned. I found out what she currently paid and undercut her competitor by $10, had my contractor go out and service, and I took home the difference.


3. Step three: The why

It’s important to keep people as the heart of your business. You need to have a purpose in business that goes far beyond your own pocket. Your “why” is what hurts you. You must find a reason to pour into other people.


Final thoughts

Take each of these three steps and you have the foundational principles behind successful companies that make millions… while never scrubbing a toilet.

As I shared in my own personal example, you create jobs for people who are in need of more income. You solve a problem that you were facing yourself. This concept could make you millions in as little as 5 months, as it did for me, or you may create two or three before you see 7 figures.

 But the point is, “it takes money to make money” is not a hard and fast rule. In fact, it’s not even true in today’s marketplace.

“I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people’s efforts than 100% of my own efforts.” — John D. Rockefeller


This article has been edited.

Stephen Dela Cruz is a national best seller author, speaker and serial entrepreneur who specializes in helping budding entrepreneurs double their income in their first year. He’s built several 7 figure businesses and in his book, Entrepreneursh*t he shares strategies around time and money management to help beginning entrepreneurs soar. Connect with @StephenJDCruz on Twitter.


Photo Credit:
Photo Credit: Stegela Photography


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