Being your own boss and becoming an entrepreneur has become a trend to some due to social media and unusual success of overnight startups’ sensations along with YouTube stars.
So when asked to share my viewpoints in terms of creating a step by step guide to being financially independent, I decided to use an unorthodox approach coupled with common sense 101.
As a co-founder of EnrichHER, a Fintech Company, I had an amazing and enlightening experience during our customer discovery process. I literally spoke to over 300 founders; interviewed and had intense brainstorming business strategy sessions.
This is what I know to be true. There is no right or wrong way to start your business as it relates to funding. There is no magic number that you should have in order to move forward.
The most important common denominator is figuring out what kind of lifestyle you want to live and what is the overarching vision for your life. Are you risk-averse and how much do you need to live comfortably? The answer is completely subjective and varies depending on where you live in terms of the cost of living and who you are in terms of how your happiness is defined.
There are two mindsets that both lead to failure and it has nothing to do with business funding.
The 1st (overthinking, overplanning, being too nitpicky, and perfectionism). The other low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
Let me break it down for you… I spoke to brilliant lawyers, doctors, and highly paid professionals who left corporate America and had practices and/or corporate careers for over 15 years.
With perfect credit scores, plus a few million in their 401k to launch their new business venture.
On the other side of the equation. I spoke to founders who started with 1k in savings with no real experience and a highly structured business plan with lots of passion.
All the founders I spoke with were looking for working capital to grow and scale. They all already had at least 100k in revenue. The overthinkers and over planners blew through most of their money the fastest. They had the hardest time growing and scaling due to their lack of knowledge as it relates to interacting with 3rd party vendors/sales consultants resulting in getting ripped off and scammed. The low self-esteem founders were double-minded and lacked common sense in regards to building the necessary team to execute.
The founders who had confidence and creativity were able to find tools and effective strategies to increase their revenue and connect with their target audience. The amount of money you start with plays a key role in allowing for more mistakes to be made.
However, it does not guarantee your business will be successful; understanding unit economics, your customer acquisition strategy, ensuring you have product-market fit. Essentially, do people want what you sell, ie services/products? And what distribution channels are most effective in connecting with those people. The founders who figured this out all were able to grow and scale regardless of how much money they started with.