Unless you’re made of money, or are related to somebody made of money there is a lot you are going to have to give up to make your dream a reality. This is why most people with an idea never step out and pursue it. It’s not comfortable, it doesn’t make sense, and everybody is going to tell you that you are crazy. Society has this ridiculous idea that everybody who owns a business is somehow rich; well that simply isn’t the case. It can take years for a business to become profitable.
The multi million-dollar company, Duck Commander, was only making about $35K annually a few years into operation. Many businesses even operate at a loss for years, tech companies are known for burning investor capital faster than the latest meme goes viral. But, not every startup wants an investor, and most companies probably don’t need them.
In order to pursue your dream though, it’s going to take tightening down the purse strings on your personal budget for some time. This might be so that you can live on your spouse’s income, or for you to save your own money so that you have money in savings to live for a period of time without getting paid. So, here are a list of things you are going to have to give up to make your dream a reality.
- NetFlix, sorry, this is a frivolously and unnecessary expense. Besides, you are not going to have as much time to watch television or movies now that you are working on building a business. You know what else has to go? Cable television if you have it, and any other entertainment related subscription service. All are unnecessary weight holding you back from getting your business off the ground.
- Gym Memberships, lets face it. You can do the same thing you do at the gym from home. CrossFit exercise is all the rage these days with most exercises involving own body weight. Running doesn’t required a treadmill either, in fact running outdoors is better for you anyway, and far more enjoyable.
- Cigarettes and Beer, ok, I don’t actually smoke cigarettes, I just wanted to grab your attention. Items that used to be a mainstay on your grocery list are going to have to be cut out. Basically you are going to have to live on rice and beans! Maybe not literally, but you are going to have to find as many ways as possible to trim down. When I started Bearded Brothers I went from a $600 a month grocery budget (for myself alone) to only spending $400 a month for my wife and I.
- Travel, traveling is going to be out of the question for a while. No matter how hard we tried to fit a travel budget in to see our families it just wasn’t happening. The only way we were able to travel and see family is if we managed to use our allotted monthly gas money and grocery money. Sure, your family and friends might be bummed, but remember it’s only temporary.
- Eating out and concerts, this one was really hard for my wife and I. There were many days that we would come home after working and just want to chill out, not make dinner and go grab something to-go. But we had to say no, we also frequently had to say no to friends that invited us out to lunch, dinner, and concerts. Money budgeted for entertainment should be minimal!
- Giving gifts, this was somewhat embarrassing, but one Christmas we literally made all of the gifts we gave our family and friends. The dad’s got a BBQ sauce we made for them, and I think the moms got homemade bath products. Since we were already living off a small income we had zero dollars saved to buy Christmas presents. If you are used to buying all your friends birthday presents and gracing people with gifts at Christmastime you are going to have to put that on pause for a while, are at the very least cut back.
- All those expensive hobbies, ok you aren’t really going to have to give up those hobbies, but let’s face it, they can be expensive. If you are into running then you might not to be able to enter any more races. If you are a rock climber like myself, you can forget buying that shiny new set of cams. New running shorts are also out of the question, and you just might have to keep running past 500 miles in those shoes. But don’t let the lack of funds keep you from getting creative. If you run a business that sells a product reach out to smaller companies and embrace the barter system. This is how I’ve gotten new shoes for the past 3 years. Also, if you enjoy running races consider volunteering at the race in exchange for an entry to also run.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. But it gives you a bit of an idea of the amount of sacrifice I went through to start Bearded Brothers, and the sacrifice many other entrepreneurs go through every year to start their businesses. If anything, the lack of money shouldn’t keep you from starting the business. It only serves as motivation to become a sustainable business fast, and remain profitable from day one!