I know there are serial entrepreneurs who can come up with a new idea and find all kinds of financial backers right out of the gate. They’ll start out in a decent office with a few staff members and a clear plan of attack; they make starting a business look luxurious and simple.
The thing is, that’s not typically how first-time entrepreneurs experience the process. Believe me. In fact, 69 percent of startups in the United States are home-based.
What My Business Startup Looked Like in 2008
There were two of us: Kia, a part-time technical assistant, and myself. I was the least skilled of the two of us, motivated mostly by the desire to create something profitable that could make me more money than hourly wages ever could.
I recruited Kia through a university bulletin board, and even though I couldn’t afford to pay him very much, he agreed to work with me part-time. Kia came in for a couple of hours twice a week to show me how to set up a website and do lots of technical tasks that were way over my head.
We worked together in my tiny apartment. The little table I had was too small to fit my chair, so we sat on the bed with our laptops and built lead capture pages—or at least Kia built them while I tried to wrap my head around the technical process.
When we weren’t building my website, I spent my time watching training videos and consuming knowledge that I hoped would make me a brilliant entrepreneur with all the answers. Though the education was valuable, a point came when I realized it was time to stop training and start implementing the strategies I’d been learning.
My Typical Day as the Owner of a New Startup
Even before I started MOBE, my first online business was part of the internet marketing industry. I had invested in a company that did the work of putting together webinars and products for me, and my role was to bring them traffic.
Each day, I would wake up around lunchtime, go to my desk and place ads. I would write an email each day, which I’m embarrassed to say took me about 2 hours to finish. I also had a blog that would get updated every 3 days or so to attract more leads to my front-end offer, which was a free report about starting an online business.
The rest of the day was spent making calls to people who had responded to my ads looking for more information about starting their own business. I have to admit, I absolutely hated doing those calls. They were painful. I just didn’t have any grasp of telephone sales and was always saying the wrong thing.
I tried and tried, and followed up with everyone who showed interest in the product. However, my method was far from effective. So, I got the calls over with as well as I could, then watched more training videos or read marketing books until about 2 a.m. or until I fell asleep.
That’s How I Became an Entrepreneur
Startup investor Ron Conway said, “Any time is a good time to start a company.” He’s right. If you have nothing more than a laptop and a plan, you can become a successful entrepreneur. It just takes willpower, drive and the ability to believe in the future payoff of today’s actions.
If you want to start your own business, don’t worry about things like office space, employees or huge investment capital. Use what you already have and just start building.