By Farrah Gray
Do you like what you’re currently doing? Do you see yourself doing this same job 5, 10, or even 20 years from now? If you still don’t have a clear answer and vision for what you should be doing day in and day out, then you must keep asking yourself questions.
No one starts out an expert in anything. And no matter what level you place yourself in this world, value the fact you have the freedom to change where you are. Nothing should stop you from knocking on new doors and risking a step inside, even if you stumble more than once. Lots of successful people have experienced this countless times—so much so that “extreme failures of the extremely successful” is almost cliché. And the venerable Oprah Winfrey, when fired from her reporting job at the start of her career, was told “You’re not fit for TV.”
The lesson (which you’ll most certainly hear me say again): You can’t win if you don’t play. If you don’t take the dare, a subject you’ll see highlighted in the next chapter, you’re just going to sit there. Mega-companies that breed successes year after year have an acute awareness that breakthroughs depend on failure. They explore experiment, foul up occasionally and then repeat. They understand that being “the best” requires innovation, which requires risk-taking, which requires circumventing fear and doing what may feel unnatural at first. When they flop, they spring back up; scrape off whatever insights they can from the experience, and say “Next!” On an individual level, you should be doing the same.
Once you get a handle on your debt and credit issues, you’ll find money you’ve never had before—even if your income doesn’t change. I say, “Your money is already in circulation. You just have to access it.” People need to stop saying that they need money to make money. You have to start out small. It’s just that simple.
Remember, I started painting rocks. And I made a profit. I started with a dollar and turned it into a million, and then a million more as investment capital became more available to me.
Most people who are thinking about starting a business fall into one of two categories when it comes to the topic of financing their new venture: 1) those who are terrified to borrow money and have a deeply held belief that even if they were willing to attempt getting a loan, few sources of startup capital are available; 2) those who think getting money is a piece of cake and there’s an endless source of money—most of which is free. Both groups of people are half right.
Contrary to popular belief, most business startups are funded by personal investment on the part of the owner. These people are not wealthy, do not have large sums of money, and are not given any special privileges when it comes to financing their hopes and dreams. These people—like most self-employed business owners—finance their dreams through dedicated work, creativity, and a little help from friends and family. It’s much easier to raise cash through your own resources, including savings, friends and family, than to go pitch your business idea to potential investors who don’t know you. This is why many times people’s first deal is with family and friends. And guess what: it doesn’t take money to make that kind of seed money.
While it’s true that some products and services do require a bit more money than others to explore, develop, and deploy, especially if you invent something in a particular field like communication, you don’t necessarily have to start there. Do things in stages rather than attempt to leap to the finish line. If you want to take common things that are around you and turn them into ideas based on your talent, you don’t need a lot of money—you don’t need any more money than what you get from your day job. Of course you need money to live, but that’s my point: you don’t need the kind money that is imagined. It doesn’t cost any more money than basic living expenses—eating, and having a roof over your head. If you have that kind of money, you can launch something small and build on it.
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author and award-winning fashion designer Farrah Gray has inspired millions around the world through motivational speaking, economic evangelism and the strength of his example. Gray is also an agent of social change. His partnerships include the Kauffman Foundation, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Marrow Donor Program, among others.