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How Can I Afford This Startup Thing?
Many people ask me this question when I mention my startup career – especially since it began right out of school with no work experience whatsoever. The answer is simple: I didn’t have to spend a lot of money.
The only investment necessary to be a successful entrepreneur is time – usually a lot of time. You can get started by working proactively or reactively in your spare time. I suggest proactively, but you know yourself best and what works for you says Peter DeCaprio.
So how do you earn some income while avoiding the trap of working for someone else? Here are five steps to help you make the most of your “spare” change:
1. Start easily with no upfront cost
There are several ways to start a startup without any cash outlay, especially if you’re creative and willing to invest your own sweat equity. For example, my first business was built around a magazine about chiropractic called The Chiropractor’s Advisor.
In this case, all I needed was a website and content. Anyone can create a free blog with Blogger or WordPress. Designing and maintaining the site was completely free as well since we used an online provider like Xoom that doesn’t charge anything up front to publish your site on the Internet—you simply pay them monthly for hosting and email services as required by the amount of traffic you get (we didn’t need much).
You can also design landing pages using dedicated providers such as Squarespace, or others that are usually free to set up but require a monthly payment for you to maintain the site on their platform.
2. Start part-time
If you can start part-time, even better since it allows you to make the transition at your own pace without feeling too overwhelmed—we all know how overwhelming it can be when we first take up an endeavor involving lots of unknowns! This is also the best way to build experience, which will allow you to be more effective once you’re ready to go full time with your baby business!
3. Leverage technology until revenue comes in
Not sure how? You don’t need venture capital if you can bootstrap your startup until it starts bringing in revenue. To accelerate growth, you can raise angel or venture capital later on to fund expansion and acquisitions.
This was the business model used by Group on: Founder Andrew Mason started as a one-man band with no funding until his first angel investor showed up—and then he was able to build quickly after that!
4. Develop another skill
To keep costs down, develop another money-making skill such as consulting or freelancing while working on your startup during free time (i.e., evenings and weekends). This will give you the financial cushion necessary to weather tough patches and make ends meet until your baby business turns a profit—which hopefully won’t take too long!
Here are some great sites that regularly post opportunities for consultants to help you kickstart your new career:
5. Work other jobs on the side
Perhaps you can take on a part-time job working for someone else while building your baby business during free time (again, evenings and weekends). The beauty of this option is that it will stretch out your startup cash reserves even further – but be careful here because you need to keep up with demand so as not to jeopardize your primary employment! It’s also important not to neglect family or personal time.
How do I find the time?
Everyone’s situation is different, so whether you have children at home who require attention, or have full-time work hours that leave little time for your startup, the trick is to find a way to make extra time for your startup.
Conclusion by Peter DeCaprio:
If we, as chiropractors and doctors, want to stop pouring our life savings and earnings into these systems and instead build a sustainable professional practice that works for us, we need to do something different. In my new book, “How to Build a Profitable Chiropractic Practice in One Year or Less!” I lay out the precise steps you can take to finally escape your job of servitude to others who only care about their own financial gain.