Fact: some of you will never get your businesses off the ground and you will never become successful entrepreneurs. Not because you lack the hopes, the dreams, the ideas and the aspiration…but because you lack the one characteristic that successful business-owners have: the willingness to sacrifice and do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. – Steve Jobs
Building Your Business
Imagine you want to start a restaurant. You need a minimum of $30,000 in capital to buy the location you have your eye on, remodel it, pick up kitchen equipment, buy tables, chairs and utensils, hire a chef and kitchen staff, fill the freezer and fridge with food, the wine cellar with wine and pay for press releases and advertising to get word of mouth out so you can fill the restaurant and make your investment money back.
Problem is, you don’t have the capital on hand and in order to get your business off the ground you have to find someone who is willing to loan you the money. You have two options: private investors or the banking system. Both of these options require you to present your business idea along with a business plan on how you will earn the money back…but more than that you will be asked to provide proof of your intent, proof of how serious you are about your business. This is almost always 15 to 20 percent of the total amount you are asking for, either in cash or in the form of collateral, such as putting your vehicle up, or putting your house up.
This collateral is proof that you are serious about your business venture, that it is more than just a pipe dream or a wisp of smoke. It’s also an insurance policy should your business fail, allowing your investors to recoup the money they invested with your company at the get-go.
If you have the 15 to 20 percent cash on hand, you won’t need collateral, but regardless of which option you work with the bank or the investors are going to want to see that you, the owner, have already done your due diligence and put forth the hard work and initial monetary investment to make your dreams a reality.
No money or no collateral = no business loan to start your business. Why? Because you aren’t serious about the venture. All you have are pipe dreams. Hopes. Aspirations. You’ve not done any hard work, you haven’t laid any foundation, you haven’ t put forth any effort and you haven’t sacrificed anything to actually make your dreams a reality.
Building A Brand
It’s no different when it comes to building a brand online. If you are expecting to build a $60,000 a year business, expect to put at least 15 to 20 percent of that total amount into the business before it reaches the “breaking even” point, or the point where it’s actually making you 60k a year.
In other words, expect to invest a minimum of 9k to 12k of your own money to get your 60k a year business off the ground. That money will go towards professional web development, copywriting, press releases, a social media manager…or if you are going to be doing it all on your own, to pay for the books, the programs, the courses, the newsletter subscriptions and the retreats you will read, study and attend over the next year or two while you build up the know-how to run an online enterprise.
At this point I’m sure there are some of my travel blogging peers out there who are claiming, “That’s not true! We built our blogs and our brands up from scratch and we didn’t pay a dime to get them to the point where they are making 60k a year”.
I call bullshit on that one. No one starts off with a built-in following of readers. It takes time to build up readers who garnish you the traffic that either generates money from book sales, or generates enough interest for you to land sponsors and advertising.
And what did you have to do in order to generate that following? You had to travel for at least a year or two, blogging about your adventures as you went along, paying for your plane/train/bus tickets, hotels, adventure activities, dinners out, cameras, smartphones and all the other little things you put up on your blog and your social media platforms.
And how did you pay for those adventures that earned you the followers and the traffic and the sponsors and advertisers who now make you 50/60k+ a year? With money. Your investment capital. The minimum 15 to 20 percent that is required to get a functioning business off the ground. There isn’t a single travel blogger out there who magically started up one day and had enough followers and advertising/sponsorships from the first day to generate a minimum of 60k a year of income.
You either invest in your brand up front, or you invest in your brand over time, but the idea that you can start a business online for free without ever paying any money or investing any time into the venture is a false one.
You get what you pay for. And if you aren’t willing to pay for anything, you will never be an entrepreneur.
The Rules For Success
As mentioned in the introduction there is a single virtue that successful business owners and entrepreneurs have that separates them from the masses: the willingness to sacrifice anything and do anything to achieve their goals.
No excuses. No half-measures. Full-on dedication, commitment and hard work. They invest everything to make it happen. And sometimes they fall flat on their ass. But rather than give up they learn from those mistakes, pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move on to the next venture, using what they learned from the first go-around to hone and refine as they go.
Professionals invest money. They are willing to spend thousands to get their venture off the ground, not make excuses why they can’t afford a $30 eBook, a $1,500 event, $500 a month for a professional social media manager, $100 a month to join a guru’s monthly newsletter or $500 a year to join a successful mentor’s online program. 60k a year business = 9k – 12k a year minimum investment (or business expenses/cost of doing business).
They sacrifice the extraneous to find the extra money even if they don’t have it at first. No more Starbucks when you can have coffee at home. No more cigarettes. No more dinners out when you can cook at home. No more movies out. No gym membership when you can work out at home. No more Netflicks subscription. Saving every penny, at least until your venture is making you the money you want and need it to.
Think you can’t save up enough cash to get a venture going? Think again. Start here with this article on Ten Ways to Save $25,000 or More, either for a life of full-time travel or for a career break to get your new career off the ground, or for a retreat event or a copywriter or a social media manager or a trip to study under your favorite mentor.
Professionals invest time. They spend four, six, eight hours a day or more on their venture, even if that means working those hours apart from their full-time job. They sacrifice what it takes to find those extra hours; their favorite TV show, their weekend dance class, their Sunday football. They get up early and go to bed late. They do what it takes, no matter how many hours and how much blood, sweat and tears are required.
Everyone is familiar with the 10,000 hours to become an expert concept. Basically, if you work at something long enough, spend enough time on it day in, day out, you will eventually become an expert at that something. But in order to get to that point you must invest. Time, primarily. Money, secondarily.
A pianist doesn’t become a maestro of the instrument by hoping and dreaming. They, or their parents, pay for classes. They buy him/her an instrument. They send their child to the best schools, or that individual pays for himself/herself to go to the best schools, to study under the greatest masters, to continually learn and push themselves higher. They spend countless hours and countless thousands, day in and day out, until they achieve that master status.
They don’t sit around wishing, hoping and thinking about it. They sacrifice what it takes to get it done. They create their own reality through conscious thought and manifestation, through hard work and commitment.
Are you ready to sacrifice? What are you doing right now in your life to make your dreams a reality?