Nobody likes being broke. I’ve been broke (or close) more than once in my life and I usually don’t appreciate it much at the time. As entrepreneurs, we want money. And from what I can tell, we want it for two very important, and very different, reasons. The first reason is that we want to stay alive and feed our families. The second is that we think making a lot of money will fill our need for security, stability, freedom, success, etc. We all need money to live. As for that other stuff (the need for the things money represents), money isn’t going to give you that. Get over it.
Most of the wedding entrepreneurs I know who are still working to get their business off the ground would practically kill for a loan. Any cash-bump would be a godsend at this point.
This post is for you. You don’t need a loan, a grant or a large settlement. You don’t. Being broke is actually better for business and I’m going to show you why:
- You can’t throw money at problems. Throwing money at problems is a short-term solution that is almost always wasteful. If you don’t have money, you have to actually address the issue-at-hand. Getting to the root of the problem and taking care of it (rather than covering it up by throwing cash around) is a much healthier, cheaper and more responsible, long-term solution.
- The success of your business will probably not come down to money. I’ve heard people say that the number one reason businesses fail is because they don’t start out with enough capital. Okay, you need way more money to start a business than you think you do – I totally agree on that (I’ve lived it). But I see this as a total cop out. Money is one of many resources. How about connections, time and hustle? Are you using those to the best of your ability? Learning to fully harness resources other than money is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself and your business.
- It forces you to hustle. People who’ve made it sometimes sit back and enjoy their success while their business slowly goes under. Just see Richard St. John’s 4-minute TED talk. If your bank account is hovering just above zero, you have no time to waste. You’re forced to spend your time on your most important job: getting paid.
- You have the added motivation of thinking money will make you happy. Most rich people eventually learn that money truly can’t buy happiness (again, see Richard’s TED talk, link above). If you’re broke, you haven’t figured that out yet. You can use the double motivation of money and happiness to make your business successful, even though you’ll only end up with money and not necessarily happiness.
- You don’t waste money. Companies who begin making cash hand over fist often start spending money like there’s no tomorrow. After all, if there’s money in the bank, why not spruce up the office and buy that new car, right? When you’re broke, you don’t have extra cash to spend. You properly vet advertising opportunities and other investments because you can’t afford to mess it up. This results in better decisions, better returns and more money in your pocket.
- You take REALLY good care of your clients. I offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee. There were times in my business where it would have been difficult for me to come up with a refund – I was that broke. Thankfully, no one had any reason to request a refund. During that time, I worked hard. Not just to get new business, but also to look after my clients. I knew that a great experience meant a killer review, which would ultimately lead to more business. Companies with cash sometimes think it’s not their job to make every client happy. You’re too broke to think that way. Every client matters. A lot.
- You have to be creative. People with too much money can waste it on print ads and bridal expos that don’t work. Not you. You have to find other ways to get the right clients. Whether it’s inviting a fellow vendor to coffee for one-on-one networking (and brainstorming), creating a one-of-a-kind bridal event with other vendors or volunteering in an organization with plenty of engaged folks (or something even cooler, even more out-there that no one else has tried before), you’re doing things that other vendors just aren’t doing.
- Being broke is good for the soul. And a happy soul is good for business. When you’re broke, you can’t fill the voids in your life with money. For me, that’s meant that instead of expensive activities used as an escape (read: hookers and blow), I choose to spend time on soul-replenishing stuff like taking the pugs for a long walk, spending more time with my wife and playing pickup basketball. Doing things that matter with people you love makes you grounded and connects you with you. Then, when you’re in a sales meeting (for example), instead of slipping into “salesy” you, you stay who you are, because you actually know who you are.
Alright, that’s my list. What do you think? Am I insane? Am I right? Do you feel better about being broke yet?
Being broke may be good for business at first, but it’s no way to live long term. If you’re tired of being broke, take the Get Better Brides Process to find out where you’re going wrong. Join the Bootcamp: Meh to Marvelous in 6 Weeks. Hire a marketing consultant. See a shrink. Do something.