Let me tell you a little story.
When I started my first REAL business (as in with other people), I was a complete wreck.
I would wake up at 5 AM, completely worried about the negative cashflow situation.
I would work 9 AM to about midnight.
In bed, I would toss and turn about money.
Yeah, i was worried.
At about 2 AM, I would pass out.
Next morning, repeat the process. And I did this for YEARS.
Imagine, what this does to your psyche. Sure, I was younger and more mentally resilient, but still, it came at a price. (This was why I started developing interest in meditation.)
One point, I was riding high, doing about $10k net profit per day. I thought I was a genius. I thought I finally got to the end of the rainbow and found my pot of gold.
Couple of months later, it all dried up.
I felt like scum, once again.
To make matters worse, my ex-business partner got hit with some legal issue and I ran out of money.
Yeap, it was back to ground zero. (I had a mental break down. You can read about it here.)
Entrepreneurship is NOT for the faint of heart
When I was in high school, i was fat and for some strange odd reason, i wanted to be on a sports team.
I dropped 30 lbs, shed 10 inches off the waist, and managed to make the track & field team after trying out 4 times (and having had sprained ankles about 15 times).
I thought that was tough – but no, entrepreneurship is way harder.
The worst part of entrepreneurship? Unstable cashflows.
Of course with that comes the mental game of self confidence (or lack of).
If you’re a newbie entrepreneur, I’m sure you have some idea that you’re pursuing.
If it’s not proven and you have no market traction, then here’s an idea to get some cashflow so you (and your family) don’t starve.
Sell your expertise on hybrid performance model
If you have some sort of expertise that people desire, you can approach a business who’s looking to hire someone with that skill set.
What you do is offer your expertise at a nominal salary.
If you perform better than expected, you get a “raise”.
And if you hit a target goal, they become your customer based on that performance target.
Let me give you a specific example.
A while back, I started a solar lead generation called Solar One Media.
Before that, I was doing all kinds of other lead generation.. insurance, dating, finance, etc.
I remember watching a clip by Elon Musk (Tesla founder & investor of SolarCity) about how most people are chasing profits and the only way to have a paradigm shift is to do something no one else is doing.
Of course, I’m having this “inspired” moment , so I thought “how can I best apply my skillset to industries that are changing the world?”
And that’s how I got started.
I reached out to a bunch of solar people (industry that i had NO industry connection in)… out of 30 inquiries, 1 responded.
I went in for an “interview” where I interviewed against 30 other marketers (most of whom were MBAs with some fancy schmancy titles) and I must’ve blown them away with the online marketing tactics i showed them because one of the 3 owners of the company called me back within 30 minutes of me leaving their building.
Unfortunately, they wanted to hire me straight up but I was against the idea of 9-5 job. I wanted to be my own boss.
But they wanted me to focus on their thing.
Negotiate a Win-Win
So I suggested this to them as a compromise:
- I’m gonna do my thing in other industries (that was only fair so i don’t take trade secrets to competitors)
- I’ll draw a very nominal salary (it was the salary i made out of college).
- They were hitting their online lead gen at $XXX per lead. (Yes, i do mean 3 digit per lead. They didn’t know what they were doing). I told them that if I hit their MAX target of HALF that, then whatever saving I create, i get a 1/2 in commission.
- After a year, I would leave. Whatever was the target cost per lead, that would be what I charge them and have them as a customer.
Of course, they were resistant at first, but they reluctantly agreed.
Cut to the chase: I BLEW their expectation and I made their online lead generation became the HIGHEST margin marketing channel.
And yes, I got a pretty decent size check that year. It wasn’t huge, but how many businesses breaks 6 figures in their 1st 9 months of operation?
The only glitch in this plan was that there was some office politics that prevented me from serving them as a customer after I totally became independent from them. But luckily, I used my own lead gen skills to land me some other BIGGER customers in the solar sales & installation industry).
If you’re worried about negative cashflow of starting your own business, try this hybrid job/freelancer model where you ultimately become your own boss with them as your first customer. But remember to let them know AHEAD of time so when you do part ways, there is no tension. Never burn bridges.
How to Start a Completely Zero Risk Business that Even Pays Salary