It seems that many people never start in business ownership because they have no money. I hope to dispel the idea that money is necessary to start your first business. In fact, I believe that starting with no money is more Godly and more common than you may think. By Gary Shotton #000081
Starting With No Money
By Gary Shotton
I have been fortunate to teach this lesson to people in more than thirty different countries, and I’m so sold on it. I hope you enjoy it. The topic is how to start a business with no money. I was just newly married. My wife plays the piano. We moved to a new town. We move our piano that was given to us by our parents, and I need a piano tuner. I ask around, and everybody says, “Call this one gentleman.” I forgot his name, but the unique thing was, they all said, “He’s the local high school band teacher.” Well that makes sense. We have a piano tuner that works part time as a band teacher, or works as a piano teacher, part time in being a band teacher. They said, “There’s one other thing. You might want to know that he’s blind.”
Oh, no problem. I wouldn’t discriminate. I think that’s pretty cool that he’s got a sideline job.” I’m on the phone talking with him. We’re talking about price, and we agree on where I’m at. I’m fully expecting him to hand the phone on the other end of the line to his wife, because obviously he’s not going to be able to drive, but he didn’t. I lived out of town about a mile and a half, and I told him where I lived, and he promptly told me where I lived. He gave me the explicit instructions how to get to my house, and he’s never driven there once. Interesting.
One thing about … We all have five senses, don’t we? We have sight, sound, taste, touch, smell. We all have those, but in his particular case, he had lost his sight, and in losing his sight, I think our body has a way of making up for that by intensifying the other four senses. They intensify to the point they’re so accurate, that as a band instructor, I was told that he would tell his young students, “Stop puffing your cheeks like … ” He could hear that a young student was puffing his cheeks. He could not see it. He heard it.
We all have those same five senses, and I’m going to make that as an analogy of the five things that would be nice to start your own business, but do you know what the problem is? You’re missing one. You’re missing the finances. You don’t have the money. If you’re missing one of those five key elements, I suggest that you’d better bone up, be strong, intensify the other four way beyond normal. Just like my friend who did the piano tuning was able to use his other four sense to overcome his lack of sight.
One of the aspects I suggest is that you’re going to have to have fortitude. If everybody else would end the race at the half mile, you’re going to have to go three quarters of a mile. If everybody else is quitting after the first difficult hump, you’re going to have to press through to the next difficult hump. I can tell you you’re going to have to have fortitude. I owned a moving and storage company. There was so many times I wanted to quit, it’s unbelievable. I looked around and say, “What am I going to do? I’m halfway in.” I don’t have any other good options, so I continued on. I did not quit. You’re going to have to stick with it till it works out.
Be sure you’re on the right course, of course, but then stick with it. There’s going to be the element of being frugal. What do I mean by frugal? Some people don’t understand that when you have money in your hands like this, it can get away so stinking easy. All of us … That money can get away. If you don’t create a habit of holding onto your money, discipline your money, knowing where you can get a good buy … I’m not talking about being cheap, and always bargaining down, I’m just saying shop, shop, double shop. You do not have as much money as the other guy. You don’t have any money, so you’re going to have to be frugal.
It’s kind of like taking this duct tape or this black tape, and just rolling it up, and just rolling it around so that you don’t spend that. You’ve got your money, but before you unwrap that, you’re going to think about, “Can I do without this?” You cannot afford what everybody else has. You’re going to have to be sure if you’re going to make this business work, you can’t venture off something that’s not common that you’re very good at. I call it fit for you.
I have here a glove. I borrowed it from one of my machinists here. It’s one that they use so they don’t get too much oil on their hands, and there’s coolant. That glove needs to fit. If you’re going to make this business work with little or no money, you’re going to have to be in the center of something that really fits you. Not some sideline thing that maybe works for everybody else. It has to hit like that, so close to exactly what’s in your wheelhouse that it’s going to work.
Then of course faith. I can talk about God’s faith, faith in God. That’s a whole subject. I believe in that, but let’s start with faith in yourself. If you don’t think this is going to work, guess what. It’s not going to work. Your words are so powerful. You’ve got to speak faith. You’ve got to think faith. I had a situations many times when I was totally out of money. My kids were wondering, “What are we going to do?” We always had food. I’m not talking about that. I had a little slogan that said, “You know what? I have money you don’t know of.” I didn’t know of it either. I didn’t convey cheap, poverty, “Oh no. No money.” I had faith in myself. I went to work every day. I had doubts, sure, but I didn’t share those doubts.
Those are the four things that lead up to: fortitude, frugal, fit for you, faith, and of course finances. It would be nice to have finances, but you don’t have it. Those four things better be pretty good. Get them better, and better, and better, and better until the finances come. I’ve been around long enough to see different other people that they had all five. In fact, if you’ve got plenty of money, you’ve got plenty of money, you don’t have to find something that fits quite so close, you understand? You can experiment around with things that are not right in your center of your wheelhouse.
If you’ve got plenty of money, you can also have a little less fortitude. You’ve got money that’s going to push you on through. You have some options there. You can see, I was observing a news show one time. It was so interesting. There was a couple, and they had neither sight nor sound. They could neither see nor hear each other. They could smell, touch, and taste. They got married. They got their PhD. It was Barbara Walters did the special. They communicated by hand signals, inside their hand like the … It was so exciting to see how somebody could overcome two handicaps. Let’s give ourselves a break. Get out of the poverty line. Get out of the, “Oh, woe is me,” line. Get out there. Find something that fits for you. You can be frugal. You can have fortitude. You can have faith, and the finances are going to come. I believe that if you line those four things up, God will bring in your path something that’s unbelievably good, and you’ll be ready to take advantage of it.
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