How do I start a business from scratch with no money, no credit and no expert friends to help?

on Quora:

How do I start a business from scratch with no money, no credit and no expert friends to help? 

You’ll find many interesting answers, by following this thread on Quora. Here is my answer to this challenging question, dilemma type and I am hoping it will be prove helpful, as it’s not an easy one:

The root problem of your question is no zero resources, but the “A” before business.

In such life temporary position, I would define the “A” before looking at the other part of the question (resources), because a business implies randomness/non-personalization and it is not the same thing as the right business for you, tailored for your life, passions and personality, for your personal and career expectations/goals/needs.

4 helping questions I have for you to crystalize your thoughts on this one:

1) Ask yourself: If I have 1k now, what will I do with it? 10k? 100k? 1 mil? Answer for all scenarios.

2) What is the annual net revenues that will make you feel good/happy/? How do you calculate it? And how far in numbers are you now from your happy number?

3) What is your point B in personal life and what is your point B in business life? Are they aligned?

If you walk towards your business’s B will you be able to walk & fulfill at the same time your life’s B? If not, this journey will tear you apart.

Make a Top 5 bullet points with key words for your life & business vision and then compare them, see if they align themselves and hold potential to emerge and in what conditions (what are the IFs). If not, refine and redefine until there is harmony, coherence, strong correlation, balance.

4) What is your X Factor? If not sure, flash fiction helps a lot, as it cuts the clutter and burns confusion.

Helping example: How would you define yourself in 100 words, no more, no less? What about 25? Identify what are the elements/the fusion of ingredients that makes you YOU, unique. Imagine your life is a film…what is its tagline/logline? Why should I come to see it/wanna meet you? If you were the best cake in the world, what is your recipe?

In my view, the only way to innovate your way out of nothingness and crisis, is to design your life and business vision around your X Factor, because this is where your superpower is. And getting out from so tight places, one needs to access his/her superpowers. You can access more of your superpowers by refining your core identity. Your whole life & business choices are built around it.

The power of clarity

After you clarify yourself at this level, the right type of business for you may unravel naturally.

Once that happens, you might realize you don’t even need money & expert friends to start working on it. You can start working on your business way before reaching the point of implementing it. There’s a lot of preparation and refining needed before being able to size resources, gather them and implement it.

The thing is that when you have this kind of clarity, the business vision guides you to find all the people and resources needed to implement it. It somehow starts having a life of its own.

It’s the clarity that matters most here and this is the hardest part of all, not the business. The business is a detail.

The core 4 Basic steps/phases – during preparation phase

The core 4 Basic steps/phases – during preparation phase (the most important in my view, if everything is clear here, execution has all the chances to run smooth & your survival & success rate to consistently increase):

1.Once you defined your business concept/vision, design its process/mechanism the same way films are made: frame with frame. Miss no frame. How does it work?

Watch it as you watch a movie. Does it go smooth from start-finish? In which points it gets stuck/confused/complicated? Refine the process in these spots and make it run like a Swiss clock. This is the point A of your business. Its core.

2. Now that you clarified yourself on how it works, design its operational plans for the implementation phase, frame with frame in the natural order of things. Break it down to small phases, so you can see the timeline behind it, so you can know when/how to make the next steps. This is your map / the instructions manual on how to reach from point A to point B (having a brand new operational business).

Operational plans allow you to better see at which points you can make the next step and how is it best to make it. Most importantly, it reveals all the resources you need in the process and at which points to engage them. Eventually, it will show you the realistic time needed to implement your business, to reach the point when it’s functional, ready to operate.

3. Budget your business (points 1 + 2). Only know we can discuss about resources and their value. Budget lines should run smooth if the business mechanism & your operational plans are clear. Of course, you need to do research to evaluate them financially/materially.

4. The personal side of your life: how well is it integrated in this process? (some free time for you, your passions continuity, your partner if any/family, learning/reading). No matter what other people say, a minimum amount of time should be yours only, it’s critical to help yourself stay connected to yourself. Otherwise, the quality of your life will suffer alterations and depression will step in from self-disconnection. You’ll find harder and harder to keep yourself motivated and consistent, to understand why the hell are you doing all this, what for.

At this point it should be crystal clear how much time you need to make it work, what resources it needs and how to get them. From now on, your only mission is to make/find money, places, people and solutions to implement it.

I suggest to do all this work the ‘hard way’ – on paper with a pencil. It activates more of your brain/creativity, it amplifies your vision.

The “no resources” position in life:

By “I have no resources” what one says is “I have no exterior resources”.

This is the position of apparent nothingness. Despite appearances, it is a fortunate position because it’s Level Zero.

It is a unique point of life because it allows you the irrepetible type of freedom to become whoever you want, it’s a nod for many possible scenarios. It’s zero gravity, there’s no inertia pulling you in any direction.

This is the point where many people become the designers of their life canvas and the masters & crafters of their own destiny. It’s a point of reinvention and of innovating your way out of crisis. Even if you don’t have enough food and a roof above your head, there are still ways out, the stress is ingested and integrated better/differently.

Worst than Lezel Zero is to find yourself at levels with minus: one or more health or mental condition and/or big debts (or even worse: war zones etc).

I’ve been in very deep places with big minuses in front of the level’s number, in depths I didn’t truly believe I can return from. Trust me when I tell you, “No resources” means zero and zero is a lot, a great place to start from. In my case, zero meant everything, this type of nothing meant everything.

However, if your find yourself somewhere below the surface, there is a platinum realisation in it: the worst your situation is, the better it means you can be. As paradoxically as it might sound, the minus level shows you the magnitude of your own power and potential on plus.

The depths of your falling only shows the heights you can reach. The violence of your falling only shows the force that lies in you to bounce back. That is where you have to focus your attention on.

Having 0$ or 1 mil $ it does not matter. If you have clarity, you have everything you need to get wherever you want and you also have the resilience, patience and tenacity to endure the fire & hardships on the way, all the creativity needed to find solutions, things you won’t feel hard anymore from one point further, but only natural aspects of the journey, things that will awake and keep alive your curiosity and motivation.

With clarity as your oxygen, your entire life paradigm changes and it does not even matter if you eventually manage or not to overcome your circumstances and do that business or another one. All that matters is the beauty and fascination of the journey, of the making it work process.

You’ll be at peace at all times. If you break it through, great. If not, that’s great too. This peace comes from knowing you operate at your full potential, something that makes you bigger and better from one day to another, pathways that holds all the chances to unlock great venues for you.

We don’t do business as final destination, we do business as a vehicle to reach such states of mind and being, as a vehicle to travel through life and fulfill it.

Leave a reply or two. Or your testimonials if you ever worked or interacted with me.

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