I’ve been a contributor to a number of forums, groups, and social media chats over the years. Quite often new people will join the discussion and ask if it’s really possible to start a profitable business selling online if they have no money to invest.
Often the question comes from someone who is down on his luck, out of money (or nearly so), and searching for a way to make ends meet.
Somewhere he/she got the idea that lots of people with no business experience are making a killing online by blogging, selling T-shirts, promoting other peoples’ offers, or writing books for Kindle. It’s easy, fun, cheap to start, and you can do it in your spare time!
Now understand that I am one that truly believes anyone can potentially be a successful online business owner . . . but at the same time . . . I also believe that very, very few will ever rise to that position.
You’ll get no argument from me that there are some “exceptions” – people that have created and built businesses from literally nothing. But exceptions are just that, exceptions, and very rare – so rare, in fact, that anyone planning to be the exception, IMO, should seriously consider every other alternative for making money first before they try online business.
I know what it’s like to try to break into this business on a shoestring. I wasted a lot of years trying to “poor boy” everything I did online – free tools, free or cheap ad-infested sponsored hosting, cruddy autoresponder scripts, holding tight to free advice from public forums – well, you may recognize yourself in this picture.
If I had to start over again I would do things differently. I would work and scrimp and save money until I had a small nest-egg so I could at least start a business from my own investment. I would have saved myself years of frustration and wasted effort always trying to make good with less than adequate tools and advice.
If you have no money and no business experience, please consider putting your online business dreams on hold for a short time while you collect some monetary resources so you can at least start your online journey without the disadvantage of being penniless. In some ways, it’s like trying to run a race with your feet hobbled together – you expend huge effort but don’t go very far.
Mark Cuban, the self-made billionaire, owner of the Dallas Mavericks (NBA) and a regular on the ABC reality business show Shark Tank, was asked what he would do if he lost everything and had no money.
Cuban says he could do it all again (become wealthy). “It’s not about money or connections, it’s the willingness to outwork and outlearn everyone.”
His first step would be to go out and get two gigs. “I would get a job as a bartender at night and a sales job during the day, and I would start working.”
According to Cuban, you may not be smarter than everyone else or as talented or have the same connections. But you can always work harder than everyone else. Hard work can always be your difference.
He says everyone talks about working hard and going the extra mile; but in reality, no one actually does.
The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland and a lonely place. That’s why the extra mile is a place filled with lots of opportunities.
The stress of having to make money from your new business in order to live and pay the bills will be a huge and needless millstone around your neck. Don’t put yourself in that position. Get a job. Work harder than anyone else. Save your money so you can invest in yourself and your business. The dream of owning an online business will still be there with plenty of opportunity whenever you are able to return under better circumstances.
Obviously this is just my opinion based on my own experience – there will be contrasting views and that’s fine – feel free to respond.
To your online business success,