How do you start a business when you have no money? how do you minimize risk of losing everything

How do you start a business when you have no money? how do you minimize risk of losing everything –@lakergod

In 1994 I had no money and I started working at HBO. When I say I had no money, I had $0. As I’ve written before I lived in a one room apartment with a guy, Elias Zamora, who made his living gambling chess in Washington Square Park. I slept on the futon, he slept on the couch. I had a garbage bag next to the futon that had all my clothes including a suit I’d pull out each morning to get to work at HBO.

When you work at a big corporate giant you see everything they are doing wrong, all the holes that are missing. You start to think: they don’t have X. They don’t have Y. If they only had Z then their business would be better. Every day you can come up with 10 things they don’t have that would make their business better.

You can build those ten things.

And guess what: you have a ready customer: the company you work for. Or, if not them, then their direct competitors.

That is, at a high level, how I started my first business. I still had a full time salary. But I started making things for them and for other companies that I sold in a freelance capacity. Until it was too big and I was too busy and I was making too much money so I had to quit.

And quitting even then is still a leap of faith that requires courage. But staying at a company for 15 years until you are inbred requires a sad sort of courage as well.

Every day take a little jump. Jump over a puddle. Jump over an alligator crossing the street. Jump over your own fears. Eventually you’ll land in the pleasure dome and hopefully you get to stay there.

To summarize: find a customer that will pay you. That minimizes your risk.


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