Blog | Entrepreneurship

How to Start Your First Business

Start with a part-time business to ignite your entrepreneurial spirit

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When I formulated my plans to build my first business, rich dad was adamant about the spirit with which I undertook this new adventure.

I had nothing. I was young, eager, ambitious… and broke. I didn’t know how to start a business; I had hardly any money to live, let alone build a business.

Feeling weak in the stomach and lacking confidence, I called rich dad thinking he would give me the pep talk I needed. His response was, “Go get a job.”

I was shocked. “I thought you told me to start my own business,” I said in disbelief.

“Yes, I did,” said rich dad. “But you still have to eat and put a roof over your head in the process.”

Rich dad went on to explain a very valuable rule: Work to learn, not to earn.

It’s an adventure

“You build a business because of the challenge,” he said. “You build a business because it is exciting, it’s challenging, and it will require everything you’ve got to make it successful.”

By taking a job, I’d learn the skills that were necessary to start the business that I wanted to, not to build a career and find job security. He recommended that I take a job that would teach me sales skills because he knew I was very shy and terrified of rejection. He wanted me to learn to overcome my personal fears.

With that advice in mind, I started as a salesman at Xerox. I was terrified. Each day I had to go from office to office, meeting strangers and trying to sell them a machine they didn’t think they needed. It was a painful learning process, but one that has made me millions of dollars over the years. It was truly an investment.

As I worked at Xerox, I became one of the top salesmen, but I still felt strapped for cash every month.

Given this reality, rich dad gave me a second lesson: Keep your day job, and start a part-time business.

“The biggest mistake people make is that they work too hard for money,” he said. “Most people do not get ahead financially because when they need more money, they take on a part-time job. If they really wanted to get ahead, they would keep their day job and start a part-time business.” This is true for companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon.com, and Dell Computers.

Building your entrepreneurial spirit

Starting a business ignites the entrepreneurial spirit.

Rich dad explained that most big businesses started as part-time ones, and that the problem with the world is not a lack of great ideas, but instead a lack of great businesspeople.

He encouraged me to start a business, any business, no matter whether I liked the product or not. He was not concerned about whether I failed. He simply wanted me to start. One of his favorite quotes from Albert Einstein was, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” He wanted me to start a business simply so I could challenge my mediocre mind and develop my entrepreneurial spirit.

Give it your all

The primary reason to start a part-time business should be to make you a great businessperson.

A lot of people have a goal of becoming an accredited investor, which takes $200,000 a year in earnings. To some people, that is a lot of money, but it is not a reason to start a business.

In all honesty, the risks in starting a business are too large for such a small amount of money. If you decide to start a business, don’t do it for pennies on the dollar. The risks are too high for a payoff so small. Do it for a much bigger payday. Why? Because building a business will demand everything you have to make it successful. You can make $200,000 as an employee with a lot less stress and risk. Building a business requires you to have a higher goal in mind.

For that reason, it’s best to start by building a great part-time business so that you can learn to become a great business owner with a big payoff.

What you’ll learn along the way

Starting a business at home part-time allows you to learn priceless business skills and subjects such as:

  • Communication skills

  • Leadership skills

  • Team-building skills

  • Tax law

  • Corporate law

  • Securities law

These cannot be learned in a weekend course or in a single book. They must be continually learned hands on. I continually learn them even to this day. The more I study them, the more my businesses improve.

By starting a part-time business, you become an insider. A whole new world with virtually unlimited financial opportunity becomes available. It’s truly a transformative and mindset-altering experience.

Building a business is a life of love

That being said, while money is important, it’s not the primary motivating factor for building a business. I think the question, “Why would you start a business?” can be best answered by asking the same question in another way. “Why would you keep playing the game of golf?” The answer is found in the spirit of the game.

Today, I have friends who have sold their businesses for millions of dollars. Many of them take a few months off, and then they are right back in the game. It is the excitement, the challenge, the spirit, and the potential for big payoff at the end that keeps these entrepreneurs going.

Building a business is a life of love, powered by the entrepreneurial spirit.

The best part?

Anyone can do it

Original publish date: December 02, 2014

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