How to Start a Business With just $50
You’re eager to start a business. Maybe you have an idea, or you’re just fascinated by all the stories of people making millions launching their own enterprises. You’re willing to take some risks, but there’s only one single hurdle stopping you. You don’t have much money.
While this seems like a major problem for most people, it’s entirely possible to start and grow your own business with (almost) no money — if you know what you’re doing.
Justin Herald was that kind of person. At the age of 25, and with only 50 dollars to his name, he started a T-shirt business that went on to make tens of millions of dollars.
As a prominent motivational speaker, Justin manages to speak to more than 150 thousand people on a yearly basis. He has authored eight books as well as mentored hundreds of business owners annually.
One of his books; Forget the Elephants, Watch Out for the Fleas, explains how people tend to concentrate on the bigger issues and overlook the minor ones. In fact, solving these minor issues could eliminate the bigger ones.
It’s All a Matter of Attitude is another brilliant piece that inspires as well as challenges leaders using typical slogans to develop a positive attitude towards achieving goals.
In 2005, Herald became The International Entrepreneur of the Year.
He was among the Top 50 influential leaders of the future generation; after winning the Future Leaders Award.
With exemplary ideals, Justin launched his next business called ReferUs.com, which gives businesses an opportunity to increase their sales through the power of word of mouth.
Justin is a fascinating figure in the entrepreneur world. His can-do attitude is exactly what makes him a Maverick.
Here is what you can learn from him:
Lesson #1: Forget conventional wisdom & Carve Out Your Own Path
One of his striking characteristics is that he is far from the typical business-like figure. Although known for his firm integrity, he doesn’t really play along by the rules. He believes that money is just a by product of success.
Justin reminds me a lot of Sir Richard Branson by the way he dresses and carries himself.
He offers quick solutions to business miss shapes and is driven by the real life motives of success not money.
You don’t have to complicate your business model for you to grow and progress, all you have to do is to shun your comfort zone.
Justin makes every point of being unique. Just because something has always being done a certain way doesn’t mean you have to follow suit. He insists on changing your mindset first before you attempt on anything.
Although he was brought up by a devout religious family (his father was a minister), he decided to live his life on his own terms. Not his father, not his family’s, but his very own Australian way.
Amazingly, at the age of 25 years, his T-shirt business idea originated from what he terms as a mockery to a lady who was discontented with his attitude, and in order to upset her even further, he decided to get his shirts printed ‘I Love My Attitude‘.
At that time, he only had $1.25 in the bank and had to lend $50 from his younger brother to print out those “Attitude” T-shirts.
He sold his T-shirts to his friends including his younger brother at 20 dollars each. The next Sunday after attending a church service, people were clearly intrigued by his new T-shirt although, the lady was visibly upset.
He knew he was onto something big when people started coming up to him, asking where they could get their own. And so his success was accidentally born out of intrigue and attitude, with many people calling him the accidental entrepreneur.
Because of this, he often encourages entrepreneurs to continue with their business ideas even when they do not know what they are doing in the beginning.
But that’s not the only thing he did that was truly unique, what he does next is what sets him apart from other business owners.
Lesson #2: Be Creative about your approach
Justin believes that even though you cannot see a square peg in a round hole, it is sometimes wothwhile to force a square peg into the round hole.
Being flexibly stubborn is the cornerstone of entrepreneurship.
Every single time he walked into a store to start pitching his T-shirts, he would inevitably get the worn-out response that there simply isn’t enough demand for his shirts.
So what did he do in order to create demand?
He rounded several of his friends to start calling up the local retailers several times a week, “Have you got any Attitude gear?“
So the next time he went to pitch the retailer on his shirts, their responses started to change.
He successfully created the illusion of demand even though it wasn’t really by-the-book.
So the next time you’re hitting a roadblock, just remember this story. Don’t take NO for an answer, try something radically different. That’s the maverick thing to do!
Even so, Justin also stresses on the need to being flexible and adaptive as well. Sometimes when something just isn’t working out, you should just move on to your next project.
In fact, Justin’s favorite four letter word is “NEXT” meaning that if something is not working, you should move on as quickly as you can onto your next endeavor.
Lesson #3: Apply the principles of compounded interest
This is one of the simplest but biggest lessons that an Entrepreneur and a business owner can learn.
Warren Buffett attributes his single most powerful factor behind his investing success by responding with this two words,”compound interest” — without skipping a beat.
This was how Attitude Inc. expanded to over 2500 stores across Australia and all over the world.
Philips Electronics approached Justin and wanted to tap into Attitude’s brand presence. Long story short, he accepted the deal and the licensing paid royalties for each sale of Phillips’ products.
He would later license it to another 180 companies world wide with more than 900 products under them. He enjoyed between two and twenty-two and a half percent of the worldwide turnover.
Talk about a pay day that lasted for years. It was like a vending machine that keeps on giving all because of one woman who decided to tell him off. What a blessing in disguise.
Lesson #4: Set a manageable daily Goal
Justin believes that we will never really know where we are heading. The truth is that if we knew, then we would already be there. So it is important to set yourself goals that you want to achieve.
However, it sees goal setting a little differently.
Some people say right off the bat that they want to make a million dollars when they’re currently only making a couple of thousand a month. That is setting you up for failure because you are not ready to handle that kind of money yet, you would probably just give up after a couple of months dreaming to hit the jackpot.
He didn’t expect to be where he is today. Neither did he intended his brand to be licensed all over the world. It was just setting targets one after another, and before you know it, opportunity started to present themselves just because he got out of the corridor.
Lesson #5: Success is not just about the money
When you sit on a tree, it doesn’t make you one. As making money doesn’t make you a success. Becoming rich is just the result of doing what you do best consistently. It is a matter of grabbing opportunities with both hands, and sometimes, you have to use other peoples hands as well to make sure it works.
Doing business can be both easy and hard.
Some people take the easy way out in order to get rich. Scamming, drugs, pyramid schemes, etc…
You may end up rich, but you sure ain’t successful.
Lesson #6: Be yourself, your Unique Self
In order to succeed, you have to start selling yourself. Most employees deny their personality and they are more molded to be product driven.
In this day and age, consumers are looking for a slight difference to make a preference. There are millions of products out there, so what makes your product special? YOU.
The difference for Justin was himself. He didn’t have to act or pretend like somebody successful or posh.
This applies to all of us.
When I was younger, I use get in trouble for not acting in a certain way that the teachers and parents wanted. I was punished for being who I am. And so I was brainwashed into this cookie-cutter persona and turned into this herded mentality. And that is why it is so difficult for most people to become astronauts or billionaires. Of course, eventually I did break free, and started my own revolution.
Lesson #7: Part of starting a business is Obstacles
Obstacles may be the source of all our frustrations, but it is common to face them if you’re starting out in the world of business.
You will always be out of your comfort zone and you have to embrace hurdles like no other person on earth. That in itself is the real purpose of starting up a business.
Do you think Elon Musk started his business just because he wanted to be filthy rich and retire at the age of 30?
No, he is in it because nobody has ever gone to Mars before. For him, each day is a new day out of his comfort zone. Only those who embrace this idea can ever truly thrive in business for a long time. It ain’t easy, but it is worth it!
Lesson #8: People bring in business
Justin has never spend any money on advertisements and marketing. Through his experience he has found that his business has flourished just through the use of verbal communication (Word of mouth). By doing a good job, people just bring in the business for him.
Businesses were mainly valued by their financial aspects or the turnovers; but much more recently, companies today are valued much more for their Reach. To give you an example of Whatsapp, which was sold for $19 billion dollars and yet they don’t have a turnover even close to that insane amount. They were sold for that much money just because they had an incredible reach.
And that is where the social media comes in. Justin came out with an idea (an app) that narrows down to sourcing as many customers to be the referrers as possible. Embracing this new smart technology is his way of getting a million people referring businesses without the middle marketing man.
Lesson #9: The more mistakes you make, the faster you reach your destination
Success is not easy because if it were easy, all of us would be successful. You need to embrace the foolish mistakes and failures of starting a business. Sometimes its a costly experience but then it is important to understand we are all the same, everyone is bound to make some mistakes. They could be part of our prosperity or our down fall.
Lesson #10: Reacting versus Responding
If at first it seems that there may only be a slight difference between these two words. But yet in practice, it could mean a world of difference.
Let’s see why Justin preaches the need to prevent ourselves from reacting, and focus more on responding.
When you react, it will always be defensive. Emotionally, it will be the center stage and you tend to lose control when you’re emotional. It’s sporadic and unproductive.
On the contrary, when you respond, there is a thoughtful logic to regulate your interaction. Your focus is on engaging in a civil conversation.
Responding feels passive in nature, but your response is more active and you could manage and maneuver the direction of the interaction. Small steps like being mindful about your breathing and body can make all the difference.
Starting a business takes a lot of work and effort. But it will only be a pipe dream if you let the lack of funds or money be the sole reason for not taking any action.
That’s why so many people give up on their dreams in the first place, and it’s why fairy-tale stories like Justin’s seems impossible at first. It seems like you have to risk it all just to start and run a successful business.
In reality, it’s just about taking each step towards building a business that makes you, YOU. Justin is the kind of person that proves that building a multi-million dollar business doesn’t take a genius. It does require some creative ingenuity but other than that, its all about laying the groundwork.
Foundation is essential, especially if you don’t want to be consumed by procrastination. Justin has thrived in over a decade because he has built a rock-solid foundation.
Take notes from these 10 lessons, and you’ll be amazed how much easier building a business gets. There will be times when the process gets grueling, but when the Moolah starts rolling in while you are asleep, you will be redeemed a thousand times over.
What is your NEXT excuse for not starting your own multi-million dollar business? How many times have you decided to let money stand in your way?