I often get asked how to start a business with no money or resources and my response to the person is “Why do you want to start a business?” When I hear responses like “I want to be my own boss,” “I want freedom,” or “I want to make a lot of money”, and “you can’t get rich working for others,” it makes me cringe and reminds me that some people need to realize that success isn’t founded in destinations but within the journey itself.
Many people, despite reading about it daily, still believe that success is about finding your passion and/or creating a business, and then figuring out how to make it work. But unfortunately, they often miss the mark with every attempt. Success isn’t about starting a business, and it’s certainly not about succeeding in business. Money, business, or entrepreneurship is a small component of success. I said small because the idea of making money in itself, no matter how important, only still plays a very small role in the bigger picture of succeeding in life.
Success is always about the journey more so than the destination. While the destination is the goal, the biggest reward one can gain comes from what they learn along the way to the destination.
When you are faced with challenges such as lack of money, lack of passion, lack of resources, or lack of skills; you typically think that you are not meant to be an entrepreneur or you don’t have the opportunity to try. In reality, you are missing the point that being an entrepreneur or being in business doesn’t actually start at the starting line; it starts miles before you even reach the starting point of your journey.
Think about a restaurant owner, he doesn’t just close his eyes and open a restaurant to sell food. He has to find a location, find financing, get a concept together, get licenses, and a dozen other things have to happen before he can even build out his location. Then it’s another 3-4 months before he can complete it and attempt to open his doors. No one wakes up with an idea and has the opportunity to execute it immediately. Everyone must find their own way to the starting line only to be faced with even greater obstacles and the constant fight for survival.
Lets talk about this starting line and what bridging your gap to success means.
Think about one iceberg that is isolated in the ocean and a much larger iceberg about 100 feet away. The larger one is twice as big and twice as sharp, but it’s connected to land and leads somewhere. The iceberg you are stuck on is isolated by itself in the middle of the ocean, and eventually will get smaller and melt away leaving you paralyzed in the frozen water. The only way you have a chance at saving yourself isn’t by climbing to the top of this isolated iceberg, but by finding a way to get from the smaller iceberg to the bigger one. The bigger one gives you the possibility of moving from an iceberg to the mainland where things are better. You need to figure out a way to get to a place where you have a reasonable chance at attempting success; not a guarantee that you will still make it just by getting there. The real challenge begins when you get there; however, if you don’t even attempt to get there, then you will eventually drown wondering if you should have even tried.
Life is just like that, you may feel isolated, broke, in a country with no help or support, or in a parental situation that leaves you with no time to try to start a business or be what you want to be. However, if you stay where you are and dwell on the fact that you might not get there, then you will most likely drown in your situation and never even have a chance to fight. Whatever the issue you are facing that is preventing you to succeed, you need to look at it no differently than starting a business; because that situation in itself is a prerequisite to becoming an entrepreneur. It’s called being resourceful, and it doesn’t pay or give you anything other than a fighting chance at trying. Doesn’t sound too glamorous, but what choice do you have? You stay and drown, or you try to get to the starting line.
If you expect life to magically bring those icebergs closer to you, then you might as well drown waiting. But if you start trying to find a way, even if it takes ten years, then you might eventually get there. If not, at least you know you tried and know that you didn’t just wait. Sometimes through this process we learn that we may not be ready for the challenges that lie ahead once we get to the starting line. Perhaps we must improve ourselves before getting there. Bridging our success isn’t simply a challenge we must overcome, but a preparation and a taste of the things ahead. The only benefit to winning that battle is the satisfaction that you did it, and you found a way when all else seemed to go wrong or looked impossible. This is the same willpower you will need to succeed going forward.
Understand that life isn’t fair, and expecting the world to tilt the scale in your favor isn’t realistic. Instead, try to understand how the balance of life works and what you need to do to tilt the scale in your favor until you reach The Third Circle where everything is in your control.